(Closed) Cash Bar?

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 32
Member
1337 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

In My Humble Opinion, a cash bar is tacky. I might be in the minority here, but I also think offering drink tickets at a wedding reception is also tacky. I’ve only been to one wedding with a cash bar (everything alcoholic was cash, nothing was paid by the couple), which I had to book a flight/hotel/rental car for and like RecessionistaBride said, I was a little put out that they couldn’t spring for a glass of wine for everyone.

But, I think just offering beer and wine (and non alcoholic drinks) is totally fine. I don’t think you “need” to have hard liquor available at a reception.

Post # 33
Member
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree that it depends on where you are from.  In my area, cash bars are a no-no.  I guess it has to do with the fact that the cost of a wedding here is less than it is in other cities.  We are having an open bar, but we are also able to stock the bar with our own beer/liquor/wine, so that’s a huge savings.

I think that it’s good that you’re not making everyone pay for everything though, and still providing beer, wine and soft drinks.  It really just depends on where you are from and the type of guests you are inviting.  Ask around! 🙂

Post # 34
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree that it depends on the norm in your region and who your guests are.  I mean, I think you should just consider whether the majority of your guests would consider it to be tacky.  If so, then maybe just not have the cash bar option and only supply the beer, wine and soda.

Post # 35
Member
1656 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

It comes down to your budget really. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. I would say no drink tickets though. That’s slightly – and I hate to use this word but you used it in the original post – tacky. Can you do a signature cocktail with the wine and beer or is that outside the budget? I always think that’s a nice touch when the couple can’t swing the full open bar. That being said, in my area an open bar is the norm, but I have learned from WB that it is a regional thing. Whatever you do, though, if it’s a cash bar you need to make sure people know. I don’t normally carry cash with me and as a guest I would like to know ahead of time so I can make sure I hit the ATM before the wedding.

Post # 36
Member
450 posts
Helper bee

Oh yeah…definitely no to drink tickets.

I think this is the most tasteful way to do it…

Don’t publicize that there is a cash bar option.  I would serve the wine and beer and make it clear that it is offered.  Like, make a little “wine and beer list” describing the selections to accompany your menu.  No sign at the bar or anything implying there is a cash bar option.  I bet most people will be satisfied with that. But if someone asks for something else, then the bartender should tell them that the hosts only provided wine and beer but they are welcome to purchase any drink they would like.

Post # 37
Member
61 posts
Worker bee

Of course, I agree with others to consider the norm for your region or family.  But I think there is another interesting point to bring up—

I noticed where it has come up about guests paying cash for mixed drinks (when beer and wine were free) at receptions held at restaurants.  To me, the venue makes a world of difference.  Restaurants would already have the liquor available– if a guest sees something they want, by all means they should be able to order it knowing it’s not covered.  But to cart in drink options to another venue (hotel ballroom, event space, etc) without them being free is a little off– but just for me personally.  Importantly, DH and I only served beer and wine and I am 100% sure no one felt slighted.  We just made sure to have more than enough so the drinks flowed freely all night! 

Post # 38
Member
450 posts
Helper bee

Beffielou’s point makes a ton of sense.  Big difference between a restaurant and a hall where you would be bringing the booze in.

Post # 39
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

It’s a regional and personal budget thing.   My Husband is from Maine, where they always have cash bars.  We were married in NYC…where cash bars are rare (i’ve never seen one here), so his friends thought we were rich!  (oh, don’t i wish!)  

I would be perfectly happy with what you provided (I don’t think it’s the ‘t’ word at all).   I would however just do beer and wine and not provide a ‘drink’ ticket at all.  I wouldn’t add the extra expense to your tab…I’m sure people will be fine with just beer and wine.  (This comes from a person that doesn’t drink beer, but I do drink wine.  But for cocktail hour I’d definitly pay for my own drink if i wanted something else.)

Post # 40
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@msmonica: lovely sentiment.  That is incredibly thoughtful of you and your husband to be not to give anyone an extra struggle on such a special day.  Cheers to you!

Post # 41
Member
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Oh God, please no.  A hostess and host are reposible for all aspects of a party to ensure that guests are well taken care of.  You wouldn’t pour a glass of wine for someone invited in your home for a party and then promplty ask for money.  If money is the issue, stick to non-alocholic bev’s. 

Post # 42
Member
266 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I do think it has a lot to do with region.  Where we are, as my Fiance says, a good wedding is determined by three things..1) length of ceremony 2) quality of food at the reception and 3) open bar.

If it’s not in your budget tho, I would stick with just the beer and wine and not do the cash bar, but that’s my opinion.  I’ve been to plenty a wedding where it was beer and wine only and never thought poorly of it, but I think if someone does have an issue with just beer and wine, they’d have an even bigger issue if they had to pay for mixed drinks.  People shouldn’t expect you to pay for them to get drunk, but sadly there are some who attend weddings just for that reason.

Post # 43
Member
1255 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’d go with the beer and wine.  If you cant afford the mixed drinks, leave them off.  Id be offended if I came to a wedding, bought a gift, possibly new outfit (if in BP) transportation, etc, to have to pay for my own drinks.  If they arent an option, nobody can be offended. 

Post # 44
Member
3686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Honestly, I think some people are overreacting to your question.  It’s not like you’re not offering ANY free drinks, and it’s not like you’re only giving guests the choice of water or soda.  You are offering a few free options, including some alcoholic options.  Your version of a cash bar is really a limited bar with the option of guests buying their own hard alcohol.  A true cash bar would be if guests had to shell out cash for everything, which is not what you’re doing.  Most people are going to be plenty satisfied with free beer, wine, and soda.

Personally, I thought jocelyn3476’s idea was the best.  Type up a bar menu letting guests know what their free options are.  If they ask about a hard alcohol or mixed drink, the bartender can politely inform them that beer and wine is hosted while mixed drinks are not.  The only reason I don’t like drink tickets is because I think they’re logistically difficult.  Otherwise, I think you’re fine.

Post # 45
Member
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree with Mrs. Spring…total overreaction! This is not just a party its your wedding and yes people are coming and bringing you gifts but you’re also paying for food, favors, wine, beer, a dj to entertain them, and so on and so forth. Like Mrs. Spring said…its not like they have to pay for EVERYTHING! Geesh! They’re making it seem like you said you were gonna have your reception at a buffet and to each its own! Lol!

Side note: Bottomline: This is YOUR day…..do what ever the hell YOU want! In the end everybody can give their opinions cuz you asked for them however, its about you and your hubby to be and what you can afford or hell..maybe just don’t want to offer.

SO DO WHAT YOU WANT GIRL!! Laughing

Post # 46
Member
450 posts
Helper bee

Well, I don’t know if that is entirely true, Ms. Monicka.  As much as it is the couple’s day, by inviting guests to share in it, you absolutely have to consider what will make them comfortable.  After all, you do want them to enjoy themselves.

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