Wedding Invite…how to say 2 drinks on us, then no-host bar?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Including drink tickets with the invites? 

Or just saying “cash bar available” and they’ll come expecting to pay for all of their own drinks and have a pleasant surprise when you cover the first two? 


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

I would just put a ticket at each setting that says something like “enjoy a drink on us”. You don’t need to put anything else than that.

Post # 6
6273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’d do tickets. I’d worry that unscrupulous guests might go to Walmart or Pet Smart and buy more of those stones and enjoy free drinks all night.

Post # 7
6685 posts
Bee Keeper

There’s no polite way, I’m afraid.  Hosts are not supposed to ask guests to pay for refreshments.  Is there any reason you couldn’t just serve two drinks, for example one during cocktails and one with dinner?  I have been to several affairs that have passed drinks on trays or served to the table.  

Or just close down the bar after cocktail hour and or serve a glass of wine or champagne for toasts? 

Tickets are appropriate to a corporate or commercial event.  

Post # 8
2516 posts
Sugar bee

@Mrs. Dragon:  I think the glass stones idea is confusing and doesn’t give your guests a heads up to bring money for a cash bar. Including drink tickets with the invite would be the best option.

Post # 9
2173 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I think tickets would work fine.  I like the stone idea, but I also think people might get confused with what to do with them, or any kids who show up might try to stick as many as they can in their pockets, becayse kids are funny like that haha.

Post # 10
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I like the drink tickets at each table idea!!! Or serve one to each guest during cocktail hour then at dinner!!!  I know it isn’t necessarily polite but u gotta do what u gotta do!! 

Post # 11
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think that tickets are a little tacky in a more formal setting like a wedding.

Perhaps on your invitaion insert say something like “after the toasts (or a welcome drink) a cash bar will be available”, or simply “Cash Bar Available” and then have a welcome drink available or being served.

Post # 12
9204 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2018

I would say something on the invitations about a cash bar being available after a certain point in the night. I don’t think cash bars are tacky as long as you are providing some refreshment such as water, juice, soft drinks, etc. But tickets are borderline tacky in my opinion, so I would just do a cash bar partway through cocktail hour.

Post # 13
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Include the tickets in the invitation or let guests know on your website.  We are also doing two drink tickets then a cash bar and are going with word of mouth and the website.  I put a blurb on ours that says, “We will be providing a limited amount of alcohol for the reception.  A reasonably priced cash bar will also be available.”  Most of my guests will not expect a hosted bar either so we’re not worried. 


Post # 15
1208 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve had drink tickets at all kids of semi-formal events from weddings to giant corporate Christmas parties. No one ever seems to find them tacky we are just happy for the free drinks. If you include info in the invite i say have it on a seperate reception card. Don’t mention drink tickets just. Reception at blah blah time at blah blah place. Then a smaller font note at the bottom that just says “cash bar”. That way it doesn’t make a whole huge deal out of it.

Sorry where I live cash bar is automatically assumed so I’m not much help. But I think if you don’t make a big apologetic deal out of it it will be much easier. Just give the facts plain and simple.

Post # 16
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@weddingmaven:  I second this. When you’re having trouble figuring out a polite way to say something to your guests, it’s a pretty good indication that you probably shouldn’t be saying it at all.

Hosts should never ask their guests to take out their wallets. Either figure out a way to pay for what you offer your guests or change what you’re offering.  You don’t cut costs by asking your guests to pay for part of your reception. So, either pay for an open bar, or switch to beer and wine or signature cocktail, or have a dry wedding. 

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