Post # 1
I’m having a bit of an issue when it comes to alcohol at my ceremony. I am a bit of a non-traditional bride; I’ll be 20 when my wedding rolls around, and therefore not able to drink legally. My fiance is a few years older than me and he doesn’t drink, my parents don’t drink, and his parents and grandparents don’t either, for religious reasons.
My extended family and his extended family, however, both enjoy alcohol a lot. But because my fiance and I don’t see the need to spend so much money on something that we won’t partake in, and our parents won’t partake in, we will not be having an open-bar reception (also because our reception venue will not take our word for it that some people will not be drinking and we would have to pay for alcohol for everyone).
So, my question is this: since an open bar is not practical for us, would a cash-bar or a totally dry wedding be better? On one hand, I don’t want to see my wedding guests pulling out cash at my wedding reception, but on the other hand, I don’t want everyone to go home immediately following dinner because they feel like they can’t enjoy themselves without alcohol. What would you do in my situation?
(We are paying for a non-alcoholic bar, though; there will be softdrinks and teas and lemonades and juices.)
Post # 2
FutureBride625: Perfectly acceptable to have a cash bar, you are providing refreshments to your guests, if they NEED to have something alcoholic the option to purchase is still available.
We’re doing something very similar, host non-alcoholic and anything alcoholic will be served at cost (we’re not looking to make a profit off of the bar).
Post # 3
I say dry wedding or pay for access to beer and wine only (which should cost much less than a full bar) – cash bar is a no…
Post # 4
I would provide beer/wine- maYbe you can pay on a consumption basis instead of per person? I would not do a cash bar- my people and my Fiances would not be pleased. It would be the only thing people would likely talk about after the wedding- “it was nice but wtf cash bar?” Because it’s alwats an open bar at weddings we attend. whats normal where you’re from? I think offering beer/wine is a good compromise that’s easier on the wallet for you.
Post # 5
Consider a compromise- drink tickets. First round or two is on you, but after that people can pay for their own liquor.
Post # 6
My FI & I don’t drink. However, our families and friends do drink. So, we’ll be having an open bar because while it is our wedding, I don’t feel like it’s right to put my lifestyle decisions on the guests. It’s the same reason we’re not doing an all vegetarian menu either. But, that’s just my opinion and how my wedding scenario is playing out.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong here. Just different strokes for different folks.
As another PP mentioned, you could offer a wine and beer bar.
Post # 7
All the weddings I’ve been to (I’m from England) including my own have had a cash bar. At our wedding we provided one drink each (plus a toasting drink) for everyone during the sit down meal but all other drinks were bought by our guests at the bar.
I personally don’t see any problem with a cash bar and I would never go to a wedding without money. If I don’t need it then that is a nice surprise.
Maybe you could provide a little bit of alcohol for those who like a drink but then the rest is a cash bar.
Post # 8
In your situation, and in my own, I would (and did) opt to have a “dry” wedding. The only alcohol that we offered was a choice of sparkling cider or champagne for our toast (and that occurred after very heavy hors d’oeuvres were served.)
We had an open bar featuring sodas, juices, and iced tea served in pretty stemware, and we had amazing food. Your guests are coming to your wedding to celebrate your marriage, and they will have a wonderful time doing so regardlesss of whether or not you choose to make alcoholic beverages available to them.
Post # 9
Please consider at least serving beer and wine at your reception.
Post # 10
FutureBride625: I would say it totally depends on where you’re from and what is the norm. If cash bars are common in your social circle (they are common in lots of places, Inc where I’m from (England), then I see no issue. If they’re not, I would go with a dry wedding, or compromise and offer some alcohol (eg drinks with the meal). You certainly don’t have to have alcohol though, esp in the circumstances.
Post # 11
I like the previous suggestions to consider having an open beer/wine bar to cut costs.
If that is out of your price range, I would go with the cash bar, regardless of whether this is common in your circles or not.
As a guest, I would much rather have the choice of paying for my own drink than being told “no alcohol whatsoever.”
Post # 12
I agree with BelliniChic. If I were going to a wedding, I would totally understand not having an open bar, and wouln’t mind paying for my own alcohol if I wanted it. I think it’s great to have the option there, but I don’t seen a need to pay for people to go crazy at the bar if it’s not in your budget or something that’s important to you.
We are having beer and wine for everyone, and that alone helped cut the cost down instead of having a full open bar.
Post # 13
I’d prefer to go to a wedding with a cash bar rather than a dry wedding. But have you thought about having only wine and beer?
Post # 14
- Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base
I’m going to go against the standard Bee response. Since you are not 21 yet I see no reason why you should pay for alcohol. I would much prefer a wedding where I had the option to buy alcohol versus one with no option. Where I am from it is standard to have a cash bar. I have been to many weddings where I have paid even for my own wine. Do what you feel is best overall. I do think you are holding the “ace” for any decision you make since you are under age.
Post # 15
If you are under 21 than you should feel no obligation to serve alcohol! If I was going to somebody under 21’s wedding I wouldn’t expect alcohol.