Post # 1
Okay. I have read MANY a discussion on whether or not it is acceptable to do a cash bar… I get it, in some areas it is not considered acceptable, and some people find them tacky. Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for in this post.
The long and short of it for me is, we will be providing beer, wine, sangria, soft drinks, tea and coffee… free of charge, all night.
My fiance has recently decided, however, that he wants to make hard alcohol available to our guests as well. We CANNOT afford to host a hard alcohol open bar all night. We just cannot. End of story. We will be providing PLENTY of beverages to our guests. But he wants the option of hard alcohol to be available.
My question is… we are debating between using a ticket system (e.g. giving our guests 2 tickets, redeemable whenever they please, for a mixed drink of their choice… OR, my fiance’s original idea, was to have it be a fully open bar during cocktail hour, and then after cocktail hour, going to a cash bar for the hard alcohol.
Which would you prefer? Or do you have any suggests that might work better (besides “host what you can afford” and “have an open bar all night!” because those are not options for us).
Thank you in advanced! Can’t wait to hear you feedback!
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
I would prefer the latter, tickets at a wedding sounds weird to me.
Post # 4
We’ll be doing fully open bar for cocktail hour, then a cash bar for the rest of the night. As our ceremony and reception will all be done in one room, we’ll also be offering a signature cocktail to our guests upon arrival prior to the ceremony. Cocktail hour will start immediately following the ceremony, then a toast and cake cutting about an hour later, at which time the bar will switch to cash. We are not having a dinner, just hor d’oeuvres, as the wedding will be held at 7:30 on a Friday night.
Post # 5
I would prefer having the full bar during cocktail hour and then a cash bar for hard alcohol after that. It gives everyone an option. I don’t really like the idea of tickets.
Post # 6
I think tickets will be off-putting. I would just do the open bar during cocktail hour. We are going to piss everyone off and do cash bar all night, sorry just can’t afford it! Plus we have quite a few heavy hitters so it’s just safer this way!!!
Post # 7
Drink tickets remind me of events in college that we were basically bribed to go to with the “two free drinks!” I would rather the cocktail be an open bar and then converted to a cash bar after the fact if you’re going this route.
Another option is to determine how much you’re willing to pay for alcohol and tell the venue that it’s an open bar until the tab hits $X, then it becomes a cash bar.
Post # 8
Agree with PPs – full bar during cocktail hour and cash bar thereafter. Drink tickets remind me of a school or work function!
Post # 9
I’d rather have a full bar during cocktail hour
Post # 10
I also vote for full bar at cocktail and cash bar after.
Post # 11
No tickets. That reminds me of work Christmas parties or beer gardens at the fair. No one will miss the hard alcohol. I’ve been to both types of weddings, and I had an open bar at mine. If I had to make the choice, I would have just done beer and wine. Can you just get a few handles of whiskey or vodka to put behind the bar? That might be a compromise.
Post # 12
@mrsmilam13: I really say host what you can afford, and wine, beer, sangria + non-alcohol is more than enough… but if you’re set on doing some kind of hard liquor, I’d do it during cocktail hour only. No tickets or chips.
Post # 13
I vote for the second option, too.
Post # 14
Honestly, with all that you’re providing, I’d just have the mixed drinks be cash the whole way through. That seems like plenty of options. But I would avoid the tickets.
Post # 15
Can you do your original – beer, wine, sangria, etc. all night and then let guests have the option of purchasing hard alcohol on their own if they want? In my experience, people like free things…they will likely stick to whatever is offered to them. If you have a full bar for cocktail hour, they are going to take advantage of the hard alcohol then and be a little annoyed at a cash bar later. But, if beer, wine, and sangria is free all night they will be happy!
Post # 16
Thanks ladies! I am sure the fiance will be happy. The open cocktail hour followed by a cash bar was his idea. And yes, it isn’t like we aren’t providing plenty. We just… can’t provide it ALL. All night. I thought the tickets might be a good idea, just because it allows the guest to choose when they want to get their free drink on (instead of saying like, if you’re drinking on us, do it NOW!) But either way it works for me really. All I care about is having the sangria.
Though since he is getting his way on this one, maybe I’ll bargain for a margarita machine 😉