(Closed) Cash Bar

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
767 posts
Busy bee

Not in the UK my dear! The US bees will tell you it’s tacky, but in England it’s accepted.

Drink with the meal and a glass for toast is a good call, though. That’s what we’re doing for ours!

(and letting our guests know drinks prices so they have enough cash!) x

Post # 4
5622 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re going to get alot of mixed replies. Cash bars are frowned upon by many on the bee.

With that being said, I’ve been to weddings that had a cash bar. They did drink tickets and paid for 2 drinks for everyone. After that, you had to purchase your own. Nobody complained or seemed unhappy with it. I didn’t drink either of my drinks and gave my tickets away.

Is there any way you can host your own bar? [Buy your own alcohol]. Your money will go alot further this way.

We are opting for a DIY bar. We’re going to have around 12 signature drinks with ingrediants on hand, and beer/wine on hand. We’ll also have sparkling champagne and cider on each table for toasts.

Post # 5
6533 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

This all depends where you live. It seems to be totally fine in UK, it’s pretty accepted in Canada but it’s mostly Americans that think it’s bad. 

Post # 6
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Carolekins:  I have been pondering the same question and decided that if the guests who are coming to your wedding are close enough to you to make it through the cuts (lol) then they are people will understand that the decision to have a cash bar wasn’t out of selfishness but out of the fact that alcohol for an entire wedding is ridiculously expensive and therefore not a possibility for A LOT of couples. (My best friend wanted to do open bar for just an hour and her venue quoted her $2000 for just that hour!!! Crazy!)

We’ll be buying a certain amount of beer and wine (enough for everyone to drink for cocktail hour) and then it’s a cash bar.

I am also looking into a DIY bar and just hiring a bartender(s) for the night.

Good luck! 🙂

Post # 7
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Have drink tickets to give each guest a drink or two on you, then do the rest cash but let people know that! The biggest fauxpas with cash bars is not knowing its happening when you show up 🙂

IMO Even though I’m from an area where open bar is the norm (and I’m doing an open bar) I think cash bar is acceptable as long as guests know in advance, most will simply adjust their gift to you to cover the cost of their drinks, but if you’re not expecting any gifts anyways it shouldn’t be a problem

Post # 8
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Depends where you are.  Cash bars were the norm in my area, although open bars are becoming a little more common.  Personally I don’t have a problem with cash bars, as long as you are hosting at least non-alcoholic drinks like sodas.  Any additional you can host -beer/wine/toasting is great.

My fiance and I could afford an open bar but we’re still leaning toward just hosting beer and wine and soda and doing cash bar for the rest – we don’t want to promote excessive hard-alcohol drinking like we expect would happen an open bar scenario.

Post # 10
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This is a weird to me. On one hand, people think cash bars are tacky. BUT I cannot tell you how many DRY receptions I’ve been to where people would say “If they didn’t want to pay for alcohol, the least they could have done was have a cash bar.” I think you should always give your guests the option to drink if they want, but if you don’t want to pay for it, the only way to do that is a cash bar, so I think it’s fine. I think your guests would rather have a cash bar than a dry reception!

Post # 11
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Cash bars are totally the norm in my area (midwest).  We have huge families and there will probably be around 300 people at our wedding so a completely open bar was out of the question.  My mom is hosting some wine, my future in laws are hosting a couple of kegs and a certain amount of the bar and once that limit is reached it will be a cash bar.

Post # 12
30 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

Totally fine in the UK! I’ve been to many weddings with a cash bar – never bothered me! I’ve also been to weddings with the ‘first drink free’ tokens – it worked well and was a nice gesture. I’d suggest putting on the invite somewhere that the first drink is on you, so your guests know to bring some cash without you actually having to say that it’s a cash bar.

Post # 13
2121 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

if youre going to do this i would tell people in advance, and also let them know if they can pay with cards or if theres an ATM nearby

as my sis went ot a wedding straight from work (fri night wedding) and no cash points on the way… only to discover it was literally a cash bar – as in, cash only no cards. and no ATM

i would make soft drinks free and have a drink for the toast

Post # 15
2152 posts
Buzzing bee

@Pinkmoon:  It is certainly not acceptble throughout Canada.  I have only ever been to cash bar weddings that are in small town Ontario.  It is certainly not acceptable in my circle to charge guests for any part of your hospitality.


Post # 16
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

UK = acceptable

Australia, Canada, America etc = unacceptable

Looks like you live in Essex so you are fine 🙂

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