Those ho had a pay for your own bar

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Our venue set up the bar, and everyone had to pay for their own drinks. We had the option of buying a $200 keg, which we did, and that was served to those who were at the reception first. Anyway, most everyone bought my husband and I drinks that night so we didn’t have to worry, but some brides and grooms aren’t that fortunate. I would bring along enough money as if you were going out for a night at the bar although it is likely you won’t need it.

Post # 4
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Whose hoes pay for drinks?  Sorry, that is how I read the title first.

For my first wedding we did a consumption bar with draft beer, house wine, and well liquor only.  It cost us $300 for 50 guests because most guests did not drink for religious reasons.  Talk to the venue ahead of time and see if you can prepay for a set amount of drinks for you and the groom so you don’t have to worry about the bar bill.  People are unlikely to buy you drinks because you are hosting them (i.e. they expect you to buy them drinks.)

Although it may be different in the UK, so I will have to defer to one of the UK ladies.

Post # 5
Hostess
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing our own bar.. and paying for everything. So us!

Post # 6
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I wish I could accomodate an open bar at our wedding.  We paid a flat bartender fee to cover their presence during the cocktail hour/reception, but it will be a cash bar all night.  A lot of people very strongly disagree with this, but I’m in a situation where more than one of the invited guests have or had alcohol problems and I feel that having a cash bar will help from anything getting out of hand or becoming dangerous.  (My wedding is about 2 hours away from home and I feel like I’d feel responsible God forbid there was any kind of accident due to over-consumtion of alcohol by said people.)

When I’ve attended weddings with a cash bar, on average from what I can remember, on average, beer/wine ran anywhere between $3 and $6 and mixed drinks ran between $7 and $9.  These figures can vary a whole lot based on the venue and where the wedding is regionally.  Drinks at a NYC reception would be crazy expensive as opposed to a smaller rural area of New England.

Post # 7
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@DanielleElizabeth:  I am from the south…here most people don’t do cash bars, but if you must, why not offer beer and wine and let that be a limit. Asking guests to come to your wedding a pay for their drinks would be considered rude. If that couldn’t be done, you might consider having no bar at all. We are having a brunch wedding and having bloody marys, mimosas and wine. That’s it. Nothing else. On a Sunday, I think that’s fine.

Post # 8
Member
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@DanielleElizabeth:  It’s perfectly fine to have a dry wedding. It is not fine to ask people to open their wallets at your wedding. Host what you can afford or if your concern is things getting out of hand have it be dry. By having a cash bar you create classes of guests — those who can pay and those who can’t.

Post # 9
Member
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Mrsdickinson:  I went to a wedding yesterday with a cash bar, FI and I had 2 drinks each and while I would have preferred to have free drinks the bride and groom had EXCELLENT food which totally made up for it. Don’t worry about the cash bar as long as you’re not skimping anywhere else.

To answer your question (I think…) I believe the bride and groom recieved free drinks from the venue.

Post # 10
Member
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Personally, I never understood why people get so mad about cash bars. I don’t think it’s rude at all, and they’re great if you can’t afford or don’t want an open bar.

That said, FI and I are looking into that, and it depends on how much your drinks cost, but I’d plan 1 drink an hour (unless you’re a heavier drinker).

Post # 11
Member
376 posts
Helper bee

@classyashley:  I’m sorry, why is it NOT ok to ask guests to pay for drinks? In the UK cash bars are pretty much standard. It may be because we don’t have wedding showers and the bride often pays for her own part of the hen (bachelorette) party as well as the BMs/MoH/GMs outfits. But seriously, aren’t weddings expensive enough without having to fund everyone elses desire to get drunk? The bride and groom provide food, venue, entertainment and sometimes even accomodation.

Post # 12
Hostess
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

@NekoKitten:  It’s regional but here’s what I figure.

A wedding is a hosted party. I would not invite people to my house and ask them to pay for their food and/or drinks. Weddings have grown into huge affairs but the etiquette hasn’t changed. 

Like I said though, it’s largely regional. If you’re used to cash bars then you’d be prepared. Where I live cash bars are very rare. I’ve been to one wedding that had one and I found it to be pretty annoying. I don’t carry cash and couldn’t drink. I don’t have to drink to have fun but it helps when you’re asking people to hang out for hours and dance. 

Post # 13
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

In the UK, cash bars aren’t the social death that they are elsewhere. But as @NekoKitten has said, it is also commonplace to pay for things that normally get covered by the bridal party in the US and we don’t have bridal showers and some of the other expenses that the participants pay for.

However, at all the weddings I’ve attended, guests have been champagne for toasts and liberal quantities of wine with the reception meal. It is only afterwards that a cash bar has been in operation. So there’s never any question of the guests paying for all their drinks.

At our wedding we did have an open bar but then our evening reception was less formal. We kept the bar open for 3.5 hours before settling the tab by which time it was quite late in the evening.

To answer the OP’s question, we didn’t buy ourselves a drink all night and if we’d accepted all the drinks we’d been offered – including well after the time the tab was settled! – we’d have been under the table long before the evening concluded. This is my experience at most UK weddings where I’ve rarely seen the bride and groom buy their own drinks. But then we do have generous friends and family! We didn’t take vast amounts of cash with us but instead, settled our bills with our debit/credit cards.

Post # 14
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@classyashley:  

@AlwaysSunny:  

Please can you not make sweeping generalisations based on what is considered right/wrong in your culture/social circle? I am really getting tired of what I regard as at best closed-mindedness and lack of cultural awareness.

The OP is from the UK. Take it from me, someone who mixes largely with middle class people, that cash bars, at least to some extent, are the norm here. Open bars are very uncommon, due to the cost of drinks over here, and in some social circles they would actually be considered unnecessarily extravagent/showing off/flashing money. We are spending a whopping $7k on alcohol, however, we cannot stretch to a fully open bar as to do so we would need to budget $12-15k for alcohol alone, for just 60 day guests and 100 evening guests; something we are not prepared to do, nor are we expected to do.

Further, as other posters said, it appears that weddings over here are much less costly for guests, as we don’t have showers, we pay our way at hen/stag parties, and we pay for the bridal party’s outfits.

Just wanted to clear that up.

 

OP: because cash bars are common in the UK, your guests will likely come expecting a cash bar, and most will, I imagine, want to buy you a drink. Certainly in my social circle at any party/event the host/s are usually inundated with offers of drinks lol. However, I personally wouldn’t rely on that, and would bring cash. We’re putting £2500 behind the bar for the evening reception, but a) this is limited to certain drinks and won’t include cocktails, so if I fancy a cocktail, I’ll be paying and b) it probably won’t last all night, and I don’t want to rely on it lasting/people buying me drinks. So, we’ll either have drinks charged to our room, or, more probably, OH will carry a wallet and some cash (I’m planning on being bag-free).

Post # 15
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

The difficulty with these global statements about good taste and acceptable hospitality is that they rarely stack up. So for every cash bar that us UK bees take as commonplace but are assured is rude and unhospitable, we could equally clutch our pearls at the very idea of making bridesmaids buy their own dresses. Our argument would go “Well how rude is that? You make them buy a dress they’ll never wear again out of their own money? Pshaw!”

Now I wouldn’t say that because I respect the different customs between the UK and the US. So it’d be ever so polite if we could have similar consideration. Thank you!  

 

Post # 16
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Steampunkbride:  Totally agree.

I personally don’t like the idea of bridesmaids paying for their own dresses. However, I have enough social and cultural awareness to understand that what might be considered rude by me and my social circle/culture, is actually totally fine in someone else’s social circle/culture. I have never and would never jump on a thread about asking bridesmaids to pay for their dresses saying that it is ‘tacky’ and ‘classless’, and that they just shouldn’t have bridesmaids if they can’t afford to buy them their dresses. The only time I will give my opinion is if an opinion is asked for, and if I don’t know where the poster comes from, as in that case, what is socially/culturally acceptable may differ. So, I might say ‘I’m from the UK and over here, the bride and groom typically pay for the bridesmaid dresses; the only time it’s really OK to ask them to pay is if you allow them to wear something most people have (eg a black dress), or give them a lot of input. However, I know that this differs elsewhere, and as far as I’m aware, in the States the bridal party usually pay for their outfits. So, what is acceptable really depends on where you’re from’.

I do not get why some posters cannot extend this same courtesy, but rather feel the need to jump on and attack people because their social/cultural norms differ from their own. I am also tired of people being so closed-minded that they actually ignore/argue with posters who ARE from that culture, when they themselves have no experience of that culture themselves. I honestly find that quite crass, because I would never dream of attempting to impose my cultures norms on anyone else.

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