Post # 17
@classyashley: look, there are plenty of threads on here arguing for or against cash bars. I’m not trying to start that argument, I’m just saying that around here it’s the norm and again, guests don’t NEED alcohol to have a good time. And in this instance, they’d still be saving more money than paying full price through the venue. I am used to going to weddings and paying for my alcohol if I don’t want free soda, so this idea doesn’t offend me.
Post # 18
It’s one thing to have a cash bar when you have to buy alcohol at venue prices. But being able to buy alcohol at normal prices, bringing it in and then charging?!? I know you mean well, but it’s really not a good idea and I hope you’ll reconsider.
Post # 19
@TattedNYBride, Thank you, at least I feel a little better!
Post # 20
I think if you can’t afford to host an open bar, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing non-alcoholic beverages and then beer and wine if you can afford those.
Post # 21
Who collects the money and let’s you know the final taking or how much to deduct from your bill? Seems like a bigger headache than it’s worth.
Post # 22
It doesn’t make sense to me why you all would shell out money and then have your guests pay you for the courtesy to drink. Have an open bar if you want to have alcohol. Fiance and I are paying for our wedding, and there is no way that I would charge my guests to drink to line my pockets.
Post # 23
@BrideToBee2014: How much are you looking to recoup? If you figure out how much you actually want to spend on booze, maybe you can work within that budget. E.g if you were going to buy $3000 worth of booze, with the hope of getting $1500 back, why not just shop around to see what you can buy with $1500 and not charge people?
The common example that is given against cash bars is imagine you go to someone’s house for a party and they say, “Thanks for coming! If you want a drink, it’ll be $3.”
That being said, if a cash bar is common in circle (as in *multiple* groups, not just one or two, had a cash bar wedding) then whatever, I guess that’s just how your crowd rolls and they’d probably be fine with it.
Post # 24
Since you can provide the alcohol yourselves, why not ask a few good friends and close family to bring some? If you don’t feel comfortable with that, just purchase the amount that you can afford and when it’s gone, it’s gone. You don’t have to buy top shelf brands or expensive wine either.
I wouldn’t try to recoup costs, I would just budget what I could comfortably afford. Also, I’m not sure how your method of payment would even work. Would you have a bar tender charging people and making change? Or just a jar for people to toss money in? I feel like that would be awkward.
Post # 25
@BrideToBee2014: At the end of the day it isnt fair for you to go broke for the sake of a few drinks. The people at your wedding love you and your partner and I’m sure they will be more than happy to shell out a few dollars for drinks. People keep referencing if you were to go to someones house you would expect them to supply drinks- I dont know if its the same in the US as New Zealand but you never show up to someones house empty handed- usually you take food or drink to share.
Post # 26
The switch between open and cash bar is a big no-no in my book. Confusing and potentially awkward to your guests. Cut something else and host the bar fully.
Post # 27
If you can buy the alcohol yourselves I definitely think you should have an open bar. It’s one thing if the venue charges for it (it’s expensive) and you can’t afford to pay for everyone…but buying it yourselves is cheap (money wise) so I don’t know why you wouldn’t just want to do an open bar. It comes off as cheap to me. In the US (where you are) you can get $10 or less wines (even cheaper if you get a case), and 1.75 l bottles of liquor for $30 tops. If you’re having 150 guests I couldn’t imagine you spending more than $1000 tops.
So I guess it depends on just how tight your budget actually is.
Post # 28
I know cash bars are the norm in some places, but why is it ok to charge your guests for alcoholic drinks and not other items? You provide a meal, but do you really need to provide appetizers, starter, main course, dessert, and wedding cake? So your main course is free but if you want appetizers or dessert it’s $1 each?
Just have beer and wine if you are worried about costs even with purchasing the alcohol yourselves. If you are only charging $1-2 per drink is it really worth it in the end? Just be a good host and have the wedding you can afford.
Post # 29
@BrideToBee2014: We are supplying wine with dinner and then a cash bar…it is ran by a local charity club and any profits go to the charity…also the drinks are very reasonable, less than bar prices of course…
Post # 30
If you do this it will get back to some guests and be prepared for backlash. Honestly, if I found out that the bride and groom charged me to alcohol that they supplied, I think I would be upset. That to me is very tacky. That’s a totally different animal than just having a cash bar (paid to the venue).
Post # 31
What is the reason for having a cash bar? So you are saying that you are charging for alcohol that you already purchased? I dont think it is a classy thing to do when you have invited people to attend your wedding and reception.