Post # 62
I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar. The only time I’ve ever seen a cash bar was at a rehearsal dinner over 10 years ago, and it’s still etched in my mind as tacky. Perhaps it does vary across regions/countries, but I don’t understand how you can host a party or event and ask your guests to pay for food/drink. I completely understand not being able to afford a big-budget wedding, but providing for your guests is the most critical aspect, in my opinion. So you have fewer guests, or skimp on the flowers, favors, etc. There are tons of other areas where you can cut costs.
Post # 63
don’t do a cash bar.
are you doing consignment alcohol? they buy back any unopened bottles so you don’t lose the money on that.
make sure your bartender finishes bottles before opening new ones.
Post # 64
@mgw: Nice to know someone doesnt think it’s that bad! I agree that while most of the posters have been polite and very helpful with great opinions, some have been a little disrespectful.
I know that some people hate cash bars, but these are our close family and friends, I dont think anyone will leave because of it, atleast I hope!
And I was just throwing out unofficial numbers, we will NOT charge enough to make a profit.
And I didnt LITERALLY mean that we couldnt pay our mortgage, it was a figure of speech…
Post # 65
So the same drink that’s hosted during cocktail hour will cost $3 5 minutes later? AWKWARD. The only thing I’d remember about that wedding is how rude the hosts were.
Why don’t you just charge for dessert too? I mean, people don’t NEED dessert to have a good time. It’s just an extra. And really – why should you have to pay for people to get fat? If they want to get fat they can buy their own damn dessert.
Post # 66
I am so sorry for some of the comments here! You asked an innocent question!
I live in England, where an open bar is just unheard of. To me, I would never DREAM of going to a wedding without cash for drinks. Some say that a cash bar is rude as a host, but if I were a guest I’d intentionally drink less so I didn’t charge the couple more! IMO, it’s a nice gesture but I much, much prefer to buy my drinks at an event. I fully intend to have a cash bar, and that’s perfectly okay, because frankly not one person will bat an eyelid.
Basically what I’m saying is don’t necessarily go by the rules of etiquette – go by how well you know your guests. If you know this would go down well, do it, but if you think it could cause problems, don’t. Out of everyone here, you are in the best position to judge whether or not you can do this properly.
Post # 67
@Zhabeego: +1. Thank you for saying this!!! Just because something is common in a certain area does not make it OK!!! Wouldn’t you rather be the person who did the unexpected? Then you’d be the person who everyone thought was awesome.
Post # 68
@BrideToBee2014: I am, in general, against cash bars for all the reasons pps have already mentioned. I am specifically and adamently opposed to your idea. We’ve all been there; alcohol is expensive. You are very lucky to be able to bring in your own and reduce the cost this way. If it is still too pricy, as others have suggested reduce costs by doing just a beer, wine and signature drink bar. Please don’t charge your guests to put the money back in your pocket. that’s just rude and bad form.
Post # 69
@Woodstock: How would you know that no one was upset??? They’re not going to tell the bride. Have you seen all the posts on here complaining about rudeness at weddings? I’m sure all those brides thought everything was just fine.
And your reasoning is not sound. Of course they’re there to celebrate with you and not just for a free meal. All those same people would have come if there was only cake and punch (which is totally fine!). The idea, which VERY FEW people seem willing to understand, is that the hosts actually HOST, which means PAY, for everything. If you can’t afford to offer something, don’t offer it!!! I have no idea why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.
Post # 71
@BrideToBee2014: It’s completely off topic, but where is your wedding, I am getting married at the Sandbar.
Post # 72
@BrideToBee2014: Can you not scale back in other areas? Guests don’t care about decor, favors, uplighting, blah blah blah – they care about food and drink. So save your pennies on things that don’t matter and put them toward the party.
Post # 73
@oneofthesethings: because i had a small wedding (60pple).. and everyone, I mean everyone at the wedding I had a close relationship with and talk to all the time. I talked to my friends and family about the cash bar before the wedding. It didn’t phase them as unusual. They all understand that alcohol is not necessary to have fun. They also knew that alternative was no alcohol… and they all agreed cash bar > no bar. But I’m not here to argue. I was here to support the op in what I thought the situation was. But I misread what she was planning.
Post # 74
@Woodstock: I have to disagree with you.
First, you can’t really say that it went over fine or no one minded you had a cash bar just because no one complained – most people aren’t going to complain to you or let you know they were put off by something at your wedding.
Secondly, the fact that guests don’t appreciate being asked to subsidize part of your reception doesn’t mean they’re only there for the free booze – it merely means they have the nerve to expect to be treated like guests and not customers.
We recently attended a friend’s wedding and they had a cash bar. We didn’t complain, we were there to because we love them and wanted to celebrate with them and no other reason – but we also minded the cash bar.
Post # 75
@fishbone: I completely agree. It’s one thing to do cash bar and have open bar but to do both? I’d say do one or the other.
At our engagement party we payed for unlimited domestic beer and wine but all other drinks such as shots or mix drinks guests had to pay for. As for our wedding we will be doing open bar (it’s included in the price per person per plate).
Post # 76
Well I know for a fact that no one minded since.. all my family has had cash bars in the past… and the friends I did invite are close enough that I had a discussion with them about it before I even decided! Like instead of asking a random group of people on the internet… I asked them what they thought! I talked to them about pretty much everything wedding related!! As for the ‘oh you should have cut back on other expenses…” well I did. I cut everything back to bare bones including but not limited to: printable invites, the cheapest meal option, the cheapest venue I could find in the area, cutting the guest list to invite only close relatives (ie aunts and uncles but no cousins) and 8 friends, no favors, cheap dress, and thrift shop shoes I glamed up… 🙂 People have to understand that when you have a small budget… you’re not going to spend half of said budget on booze!