(Closed) Rude not to pay for strangers alcohol? I hardly think so…

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m a little surprised the restaurant doesn’t have some sort of system in place so that weddings/events with open bars aren’t paying for the entire restaurants drinks. Is there space within your room to set up your own private bar?

Post # 4
Member
67 posts
Worker bee

I think some (okay, a lot) of your guests will be turned off by this.  But at least the alcoholic drinks are available if they want them (and want to pay for them). 

If you want to meet everyone halfway, you could call the venue and ask if you can open a tab and then close the tab when the guests have met X amount.  That way, you aren’t shelling out money for an entirely open bar, and allowing your guests to have some kind of drink.

This is an age-old debate and there is no wrong or right.  I personally would never think of NOT having an open bar, but I don’t look down on anyone who chooses not to. 

Post # 5
Member
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think you’re fine, especially since it’s uncommon in your area to have an open bar :). That’s usually the best way to judge if it’s okay or not. I would just ignore the friend (well, politely, of course), she probably just read something online and got a little too over-zealous about it.

Post # 6
Member
3773 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

@anghp:  “This is an age-old debate and there is no wrong or right. I personally would never think of NOT having an open bar, but I don’t look down on anyone who chooses not to. “

Exactly this!

 

Post # 7
Member
3699 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

If that’s normal, just go with it.  Your friend is just a lush looking for a free drink!  🙂

Post # 8
Member
2787 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

They must have some sort of system-tokens or tickets they give the guests? If your only issue is that you don’t want to pay for non-guests, that is obviously reasonable, but they have to have a way around it…

If your issue is that you can’t afford an open bar (or just don’t want to have one), then that’s ok too. I think you’ll find a big split on here in regards to opinions on cash bars vs open bars,  but I think it’s regional, and if it’s uncommon in your area I can’t imagine your guests being offended.

Post # 9
Member
6260 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

If it’s common in your area to do cash bar, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if you choose to, or just have a bit of extra budget, I know some brides in a similar situation have mailed drink coupons with the invitations. Mail 100 beer coupons 100 wine coupons, and 100 cocktail coupons. Pay the bartender for  the number of coupons redeemed, and there you go.

Post # 10
Member
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m not sure what the question is if it is not a discussion about whether cash bars are rude or not?  I don’t mean that to be snarky, I’m just confused… is it that you can’t provide booze for just your guests, meaning if you had an open bar you would have to pay for everyone who went to the bar, wedding guest or not?

Post # 11
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m confused as to what your actual question is.

If you are considering providing alcohol for your guests, I’m sure the bar could keep a tab for your guests which you could settle at the end of the night to ensure that you wouldn’t be paying for the drinks of other people in the restaurant. But you say that you can’t afford to pay for alcohol for your guests and won’t be having an open bar. So…what exactly are you asking?

Post # 12
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

If your friend hasn’t gotten over what she claims to be her own “faux pas” tell her she can pay for your guests’ alcohol to redeem herself. If you didn’t plan on it I wouldn’t. ESPECIALLY since it is not the norm/etiquette in your area to have one anyway. 

 

Post # 14
Member
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

i wouldnt think that was rude at all. i would be annoyed if the only thing i could drink was soda though. i am not a nig soda drinker. hopefully water and ice tea/juice are other options?

i am surprised too that they cant differentiate your guests from other restaurant patrons. i too would NOT pay for open bar for an entire restaurant of strangers.

its not rude to not have open bar, but is there a way to get a smaller cash bar in the room you are renting? it might be kind of disruptive to have guests coming and going all throughout the reception.

edit: just saw your post. they cant run a cash bar out of the soft drink bar?

Post # 15
Member
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Would the restaurant be willing to provide carafes or bottles of house wine on the tables for your guests (that you pay for)?  That’s one way to provide some alcohol while controlling costs.

You are not obligated to provide any alcohol, but as a guest, I’d be bummed if I couldn’t have so much as a glass of wine with my dinner without paying for it.  I wouldn’t think you’re cheap or tacky or a terrible hostess, but yeah I’d be a bit disappointed.

Post # 16
Member
1253 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Give her a flask of rum and tell her she can have all the rum & coke she can drink on you 🙂

But seriously I agree with Sailor, it would be nice if you could find a way to provide wine with dinner. 

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