(Closed) Cash bar? Open bar? Soft drink "bar"? What should I doooo?

posted 8 years ago in Food
  • poll:

    Provide alcohol during the meal and cocktail hour so that they don't over do it.

    Provide open bar

    Provide open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer.

    Provide an "open bar" of just soft drinks.

    Have a cash bar.

  • Post # 3
    1461 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    You’re going to get a million different opinions. 

    Know your guests, everyone on the Bee has totally different lifestyles. Some people expect for there to be an open bar at every wedding…however I have rarely been to a wedding with an open bar.

    Go with your gut. 


    Post # 4
    4192 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    Nothing wrong with keeping it light- I like the manager’s suggestion of “open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer”

    Post # 5
    11515 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @FutureMrsSarah:  be prepared – this is a VERY touchy subject and you’re quite possibly going to get an earful from some people.


    Personally, I think that if you’re providing drinks for the cocktail hour and dinner, having a cash bar afterwards is just fine (most of the weddings I’ve been too have been this way) especially if most of your guests don’t drink.  If you can afford to have a modest selection available as an open bar then by all means – you could also put a time limit on the bar (open for cocktails, closed for dinner, and then open for an hour or 2 after dinner) that way people can still enjoy a few libations should they choose too but you’re not giving people enough time to really get out of hand.

    Post # 7
    920 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    The cash bar is not a good idea as guests don’t and shouldn’t be expected to pay for anything at a wedding.  I recommend the soft bar, with just beer, wine, and champagne.  Guests expect to have alcohol (not agreeing but that’s how most are).  This would help in keeping guests from getting complete hammered when compared to the open bar.  How’s your budget on this one?  If you are on a budget, just serve what you can afford.  I would recommend keeping the alcohol flowing all night if you can.  Guests tend to leave early if they aren’t drinking (if they are drinkers).

    Post # 8
    10627 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    Many people who are not big drinkers but like to have one or two prefer mixed drinks to beer or wine.  If you decide to not offer everything, but some alcohol, I would recommend at least doing a signature drink along with the beer & wine.

    Post # 9
    1409 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I picked the bar with beer & wine, that should make everyone pretty happy. And maybe have some more sangria available too haha, says me because I love it 🙂 But I also think since no one you’re close to really drinks, a cash bar for alcoholic beverages or just drinks with liquor, if that’s an option,  would be fine. 🙂

    Post # 10
    1070 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I agree with your manager an open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer sounds like a great compromise.  You can also just ask the bartender not to over serve people.  Ask him to simply hand a water instead of a drink to guest who are visibly intoxicated.


    Post # 11
    747 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn

    We decided to provide beer and wine during the cocktail hour and dinner. If someone wants to do shots of Patron they can pay for it. We are doing it this way to discourage people from drinking too much. I do not want to be driving drunk people back to their hotel rooms on my wedding night. We are providing many non alcoholic options that will be available all night.

    Post # 12
    337 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    as a guest i would like to have the choice to drink alcohol and would be dissapointed if there were not any at all or if i had to pay.just having beer and wine is good,thats what i had and my friends and family are drinkers and love to party.we had beer and wine served for 5 hours and no one got drunk,a little tipsy but not drunk. 


    if the guest wanted other then beer or wine they had the option of buying it

    my Fiance (at the time)husband is not a drinker and we had plenty of people there who did not drink,but we took in to consideration of the ones(including me)who do drink.




    Post # 13
    3099 posts
    Sugar bee

    @FutureMrsSarah:  Where I am from, and in my opinion, having a cash bar is NEVER the answer!  I’d just do beer and wine if I were you.

    Post # 14
    906 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    No matter what, I suggest having the “open soda bar.” Personally, in your situation, I would do a wine and beer bar by consumption. Particularly since your guests are unlikely to drink much, they won’t drink you into the poorhouse but the option for a glass is available, should they prefer. 


    That said, these are your friends and guests, and if they won’t miss the alcohol, then save the money and just give them water/soda/juice.


    Post # 16
    3723 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @FutureMrsSarah:  If very few people will drink, I’d do the beer, wine, soda route. Otherwise you are paying per person for items likely not to be consumed.

    Disclaimer: I’m usually very PRO open bar but considering your circumstances, I’d do less than open bar.

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