(Closed) Cash Bar

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
7112 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it would be fine. Just make sure guests know what’s going on so they can bring appropriate cash.

My only concern with offering some free and some charged alcohol is how to make sure your guests don’t get confused. Tickets would do that, although I’d probably lose my tickets so that’s not my most favorite plan. You could also provide beer and wine and have cash for liquor. Or, have the free liquor served at the tables and the cash liquor served from the bar – I like this idea better than tickets, personally.

But, in the end, so long as people know what’s going on I think you’ll be fine!

Post # 18
Member
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Carolekins:  absolutely acceptable in the UK. dont worry about it!

Post # 19
Member
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Carolekins:  Prepare yourself for a firestorm of opinionated bees my dear. I would cut favors and flowers before alcohol, but I’m reading now that you are in the UK and that’s the norm supposedly? I’m here in the states and in the south where it would be considered tacky.

Post # 20
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am doing a cash bar. I just can not afford to have an open bar. My Fiance and I have huge families who are all big drinkers. It would cost us a fortune to pay for all the drinks our family will want to consume. We are paying for a toast and that is it. 

Post # 21
Member
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I agree with people who said to at least give your guests the option to purchase drinks as opposed to no alchohol to begin with.  I’ve been to wedings with an open bar, a cash bar & no bar & by far, the worst is no bar!  It’s always a treat when a drink or two is purchased for you, i.e. a drink ticket. But when I go to a wedding, I usually assume there’s going to be alchohol & with all the free food, music, and whatever type of entertainment you’re providing, paying $5 or $10 dollars for a drink or two is not a big deal. 

I understand why an open bar is popular if people can afford it, but anyone who complains about not having one either has no idea how much weddings cost, or has so much money that they can’t understand what it’s like to not have loads of money and therefore they can afford to pay for their own drinks!!

When searching for wedding venues, we went with a place that would allow us to provide our own alchohol.  We’re getting two kegs of beer and about 5 cases of wine for under $1000 (you can go a lot cheaper but we’re winos!!)  That’s for about 200 guests.  If we went the direction of paying for a bar it would have been at least twice that.  If you have the option of providing your own alchohol, definitely go for it!  And if you hve the option & can afford to pay for a cocktail hour our one or two drinks per guest, that would be great too.  And if not, people who care about you and show up to your wedding because they love you, should understand how expensive it is and still enjoy themselves, have a great time, and not judge you!

Post # 22
Member
2468 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We had a cash bar at my wedding (paid for the toast though) and the venue just opened up tabs for whoever so they didn’t have to pay in ‘cash’ despite it being a cash bar. Everything worked out fine and everyone had fun 🙂

Post # 23
Member
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It really depends on where you live and what is considered the norm. I live in jersey and have never been to a wedding that did not have an open bar. Most consider a cash bar or tickets to be tacky.  I would suggest maybe doing wine, beer and a signature drink to keep the cost down. Or only having the bar open for 2 hours. Something along those lines. 

Post # 24
Member
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@andielovesj:  I live in BC, Canada and it is totally acceptable here…I say go for it…tell people perhaps that you are doing wine with dinner and then there is a cash bar…:)

Post # 25
Member
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Although I live in Canada (where cash bars aren’t as common as they are in the US), I had never thought cash bars were that tacky until I came here on the Wedding Bee. I don’t think it’s a big deal if the hosts want to limit the amount of drinks their guests can have because it can definitely get out of hand and expensive. That being said, if I wanted to restrict the amount of drinks my guests had, I would perhaps give guests 2-3 tickets each for a drink of their choice, and then anything after that is on them. 

side story related to a cash bar: one of my friends was a bridesmaid for her best friend, who turned out to be a huge bridezilla. The original plan was to have a open bar, but at the wedding, when the bartenders alerted the couple that they were approaching the couple’s apparent “maximum spend” on alcohol, they halted the open bar and announced it would be from then on a cash bar. Needless to say, guests felt a bit insulted and slowly started trickling out (at this point it was probably 10pm). The bride had paid extra for her photographers to stay longer and now that people were starting to leave, there wasn’t any point, and so they had the emcee announce that they were going BACK to an open bar. Now THAT’s tacky. 

Post # 26
Member
465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t see the big deal about a cash bar.  I’ve only been to one open bar wedding in my life, and even then it was limited to a few hours.  It was a nice perk, but I would have been fine without the alcohol.  

I say go for it!  I’m having a cash bar at my wedding, and I make no apologies for it.  

Post # 27
Member
537 posts
Busy bee

I’ve only ever been to open bar weddings, but I guess it depends on the custom drinking styles, and traditions of the people you’ve invited and the location of you wedding. I wouldnt have a cash bar, but do what you need to. No one who really cares would want you to go into debt over drinks.

Post # 28
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m in Canada, and cash bars are definitely the norm. Between be, my friends, and my family (and there friends) we’ve never been to, or heard of an Open Bar. I’m sure it happens, but likely only from those who are very well off.

As some PP’s had said it would definitely be better to offer a cash bar, than no bar at all 🙂 

Post # 29
Member
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think if it’s understood that cash bar is standard for your region, then it’s fine.  There’s a lot of national/regional stuff on the Bee that is confusing – too many options.  Go with what’s traditional for your friends/family, just let people know ahead of time so they bring enough cash.

 

Post # 30
Member
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

If a cash bar is the only option over NO bar, DEFINITELY do a cash bar! I’ve been to mostly open bars, a couple beer & wine only bars, and one cash bar. I didn’t mind the cash bar at all! I was invited to one where I didn’t even know it was going to be a dry wedding and was taken aback. I guess some people are told it’s better to have no alcohol than a cash bar but I STRONGLY disagree. I ended up turning down the invite because of it (we were just acquaintances and it was a bit of a drive to get there anyways)

 

Post # 31
Member
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Totally accepted in my area 🙂

The last three weddings I attended were cash bar.

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