(Closed) Cash Bar: "Not Having Cash" Excuse

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 151
7583 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Having a cash bar is like inviting someone to stay at your house for the weekend but making them go up to the corner store if they want a beer with the dinner you cooked. It’s not at all the same as your houseguest offering to pick up a bottle of wine to share on their way to your house (which is actually very nice manners). 

Post # 152
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I rarely carry cash. Both of our paychecks are directly deposited. We do usually bring cash to a wedding just in case, and we know which of our favorite restaurants are cash only. 

I would be very surprised if someone in my circle had a cash bar. They were more common when we were attending weddings right out of school and everyone was super broke. Even then, I thought it was in poor taste. I also think BYOB parties are tacky. Same thing, IMO.

The best compromise to me is beer and wine only, provided by host. 

Post # 153
153 posts
Blushing bee

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Apple_Blossom:  I never ever have cash on me card only.  Cash bars are. Terrible because  oat people do to carry cash these days

Post # 154
6104 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

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oneofthesethings:  that’s great that you had that experience but my venue did not ask me. The bartenders put them out themselves. Same with everyone else I know. That’s just how it’s done in my area. Not sure why it matters so much to you though.

Post # 155
446 posts
Helper bee

I almost never have cash on me. I live in an area where a store that doesn’t take credit or debit cards is unheard of. I have to consciously remember to get cash when going to something like a fair or carnival that is cash-only. I keep $3-5 worth of quarters for parking.

I don’t necessarily think it is rude to have a cash bar, but you need to TELL people you are having a cash bar — I think it is rude to just expect that everyone will show up with enough cash on them to drink without warning people they’ll need to pay.

Post # 156
2386 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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IzzyBear:  I’m just saying that the hosts are in control, NOT the vendors. You’re acting like there’s nothing you could have done. You easily could go to the bartenders and ask them to put the jars away and let them know you’ll be taking care of gratuity. You’re paying? It should be the way you want it. It’s not going to matter to them who pays the tip.

Post # 157
771 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

If ever you’re invited to a British wedding, make sure you have some cash. It’s normal here. An open bar is very rare and only really done if you are absolutely rolling in it. I think sometimes on this site we’re a little USA-centric.<br /><br />I’ll be having a typical cash bar. We do provide an arrival drink, wine at the table and all the food… just not the drinks for the rest of the night!

Post # 158
27 posts
  • Wedding: February 2002

I rarely carry cash, as Is the norm among my friends and family.  If I am going to a wedding though, I bring a little cash for tipping bartenders, valets, etc.  

I will answer the second part of this without bringing any opinion regarding a cash bar, per the OP’s request:  

I have been to weddings in every part of the country and several other countries.  I have experienced open bar, limited bar, beer/ wine only, dry weddings, and (once) drink tickets.  Never have I experienced a cash bar.  Therefore, it would not occur to me to bring more than $20 or so for tipping to a wedding.  

i would be taken aback and unprepared if I got to a wedding and was then told I needed to pay for a drink.  I’m not sure if, at that moment, I would find it RUDE (that’s a harsh word), but it would be an unpleasant suprise and would definitely start the night off on the wrong foot.  

Post # 159
1501 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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spiffanee:  It’s bc ppl don’t want to pay for drinks. They wanna get sloshed on someone else’s dime. That’s why cash bars and drink tickets are “omg rude.”

Post # 161
594 posts
Busy bee

I rarely carry cash. I’m paranoid about getting mugged, losing my wallet, etc – you can cancel credit/debit cards, but if that cash is lost, you’re not getting it back. I usually only have a few ones and some change. If I’m going to a flea market or thrift store or anywhere I know is cash only, I bring it; otherwise, nope.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by SexyCatLady.
Post # 162
4025 posts
Honey bee

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Apple_Blossom:  I actually don’t carry cash on me. Rarely will I ever have $2-3 in cash. I just don’t do it. Credit cards are taken just about everywhere and it’s must safer for me to carry only cards. 

Now, if I were going to an event that explicitly stated “cash only” then I would bring cash. If I was notified ahead of time for a wedding that it was cash bar and I wanted to drink, then I would bring cash. But if it wasn’t stated, then I guess I wouldn’t be drinking. I don’t go to wedding expecting to spend money (other than the gift), so my guess is most guests don’t. Obviously, the norm is typically to mention it on the invitation, but I have been to some weddings where it didn’t mention it.

Post # 163
14054 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I never, ever carry cash. Even our farmer’s market takes credit cards these days, so I have no need for having cash, ever. 

I think cash bars are inappropriate because a guest shouldn’t have to pay for the host’s inability to provide beverages.  The “I don’t carry cash” excuse doesn’t carry much weight with me, but cash bars are very rare in my circle so I’ve never tested out your theory. 

Post # 164
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I have cash on me maybe 1/3 of the time. When I deposit money in the bank, I usually keep about $20 worth of cash, but when that money’s gone, it’s gone until some more cash crosses my path for some reason or another. (And I mostly get paid by check.) I almost never go to ATMs.

Post # 165
1338 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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Apple_Blossom:  I hate carrying cash. I almost NEVER have cash on me. Somewhere in my purse, I think I have an emergency money, but honestly, I have no idea where it is, or which purse it’s in (I switch purses frequently).

For a wedding, I’m even less likely to carry cash. I usually have a wristlet, or something similar, to carry my lipstick, maybe some powder. I might carry my phone. But honestly, why do I even need that. I don’t usually take pictures, I’m too busy having a good time.

I have a little less of an issue if I’m warned about the cash bar beforehand, at least I can plan ahead. The few weddings I’ve been to with cash bars, I was not warned ahead of time. Most people at the wedding were not warned ahead of time – at least two, we asked and told they were not cash bars – and so no one had cash. No one. The places did have an ATM, but if you only had credit cards, not debt, you were out of luck.

So yes, I think it’s VERY rude and tacky to not only have a cash bar, but not inform people of it.

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