(Closed) Bar: hosted, open, cash

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 31
Member
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I would be pretty offended if I showed up at a 200 person wedding at a hotel and the hosts wanted me to pay for my own drinks. 

That’s a big guest list. Why don’t you host a smaller wedding that you can afford?

Post # 32
Member
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Oh this question again. There is a very vocal group on the Bee who are quite convinced that you’re a terrible person if you don’t have an open bar. It is however totally normal in some parts of the world. Just go with your local convention. At the venues in my area paying for an open bar isn’t even an option.

Be wary of a consumption bar. When I raised an open bar with my venue they said that was the only way they could do it but they strongly recommended against it. When it’s an open bar people get very casual with their drinks – they order one, put it down and forget where they put it, order another, decide they don’t like it, etc etc etc. You can easily get a HUGE bill because you’re paying full price for every one of those discarded drinks. 

Post # 33
Member
89 posts
Worker bee

I understand that every area of the Country has different customs when it comes to receptions. I just know where I’m from guests would be very offended by a cash bar. When we shopped for venues we included the cost of the bar in our budget and didn’t look beyond that.

I’d recommend doing beer and wine if that’s all you can afford. I’ve been to several weddings like that and noone had a problem-as long as they don’t have to pay. If you think people would really miss hard alcohol perhaps you could offer a signature cocktail?

 

Post # 34
Member
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

No one is calling her a terrible person for considering a cash bar. It’s just the perception of having a large hotel wedding and then making your guests pay for their own drinks. Again, host what you can afford. If that’s a 200 person wedding with no alcohol, fine. If it’s 50 people with top shelf liquor, fine. Both are acceptable. What’s not acceptable is making your guests pick up part of the tab for what you are offering. 

Post # 35
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

in my country its really rare to have open bar. Usually we serve wine&beer to food, have champagne as toast and some whiskey when we have cake. so maybe 8-10 drinks/person. The rest is always paid by guests. but then again thats how it is here. So no one thinks its weird. If its not typical where you are go for wine&beer that you can provide in reasonable price For you.

Post # 36
Member
6386 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
crzyorchid:  I think the idea of shutting down the bar during dinner might be your best bet, especially since you’ll have wine at the tables.  While I think it’s fine to have cash bars in certain areas (i.e. UK), every wedding I’ve ever been to in CA has had an open bar.  Whether you do consumption or a flat rate will kind of depend on your guests.  We did a flat rate open bar because the majority of our guests drink, with many of them being heavy drinkers. 

Post # 37
Member
3791 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think it depends on what is common in the region you’re getting married.

It is very common in the Midwest (or weddings I have been to) for a cash bar, so people do not get upset if they have to pay for their drinks at a reception. I have rarely attended a wedding where there had been open bar, or a hosted bar even. However, most of the time there is some free beer in a keg until it runs out.

We will be having a cash bar (and a free keg), unless a friend of my FI’s dad decides to do an open bar for us for a couple hours (as he has mentioned it before). If he does, great… if not,  not a big deal.

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by Kacie209.
Post # 38
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Of the few cash bar weddings I’ve been to, the feeling amongst the guests seemed to be that it was a little rude.

If you can compromise and have free wine and beer, or at least a few bottles of wine per table, I think that would promote a feeling of welcoming and friendliness.

However, if a cash bar seems to be the norm where you live, then go for it.  (I agree with the others, leave the topic off your Q&A ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Post # 39
Member
846 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I think everyone is depending way too much on Alcohol for their weddings– Who cares if the bar is open/hosted/or cash. Weddings are about love & Joining the two families. ๐Ÿ™‚

I will be having a cash bar only as my reception does not offer a hosted beer + wine package, only a full open bar/consumption. My parents and immediate family do not drink, and my father is not willing to shell out the $$ for others to get crazy. It will still be an absolute blast and I know everyone who is coming won’t mind paying for drinks. My dad plans to buy champagne for our toast and will have enough bottles for all. I think that is plenty ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 40
Member
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I live in LA and have never attended a wedding in SoCal (or anywhere in CA) that was a cash bar. I think most people would be shocked to find a cash bar at a wedding around here.

Since you’re stuck with the expensive venue, I would say go with a hosted bar of just beer and wine and cut your guest list down.  I’ve gone to plenty of weddings where it was beer and wine only and nobody has a problem with that.

Post # 42
Member
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm

We are buying 2 types of wine, not by brand, just Chardonnay and Shiraz when ever there is a sale or some bottels go on clearance. The Fiance and I both drink wine so that is what we are offering. Soft drinks and water will be available.

Post # 43
Member
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have never been to a cash bar – and at least around where I’m from that’s a pretty big faux pas. I’m not really clearly what a hosted bar is – is that when you only have certain drinks or types of drinks available for open bar? If so, I think that’s fine. I have been to a a decent number of weddings where they brought the liquor or chose to only serve beer, wine, and one mixed drink.

Post # 44
Member
8602 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I think unless you’re having a dry wedding, drinks should be on the host- at the least beer and wine.

But I am def an etiquette queen and my friends/family have open bars for every wedding/hosted event.

Post # 45
Member
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Again, I don’t think people’s drinking habits are going to change based on the bar being “hosted” or paid for by consumption. Most people don’t even know the difference. Also, most people are not going to read the Q&A section of your wedding website. 

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