(Closed) Cash bar thoughts – regional?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 3
6263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am from New Jersey. Every wedding I have been to here in NJ or in NYC has had premium open bar. I have never been to one with a cash bar. I think it is a regional thing.


ETA: i dont think I look down on it. I am just not used to it and didnt know that people did it.

Post # 4
4173 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m from Colorado, what we usually see here is an open bar serving beer and wine…after all, Colorado is the Napa Valley of beer!

Post # 5
2143 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

I’m from the Chicago suburbs and I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar – always open bar.  I guess I wouldn’t mind if that was the setup but I would appreciate being told beforehand rather than being surprised when I go to order the drink.

Post # 6
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@gelaine22:  +1 for Philly and Atlanta…never heard of a cash bar until the bee.

Post # 7
6835 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I live in the Rocky Mountains and have never been to a wedding with a cash bar, although I have been to a couple dry weddings – ICK!  (This does include a few East and West Coast weddings.)  Most of these have been somewhat informal affairs where the couple buys cases of wine, a couple kegs, and a bunch of liquor bottles.  A few have been fancy with full bars at super ritzy venues.

I would way rather go to a beer/wine wedding than one with a full open cash bar.  So that’s what we’re doing 🙂

Post # 8
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar. I have been to some with wine/beer/champagne only.

Oh and I’m on the East Coast. 

Post # 9
764 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m from Minnesota and I’ve been to one wedding in Chicago, one in the Twin Cities (Science Museum!) and one in San Diego.  All three had full open bars.  They were all family weddings though and fairly extravagant- the MN one was the least so and I remember that they had tip jars out, although drinks were paid for.  Unfortunately, I was under 21 for all three.

Post # 10
7384 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

All of the weddings that I’ve been to have either been dry or cash, except three: one the bride and groom’s families made their own wine specifically for the wedding, one was a reception only and the bride and groom specifically saved money for an open bar, and the third was beer and wine only with a very small guest list. There was one where the Bridal Party and their +1s drank for free, so I had a couple of drinks, but that was it. 

Most people expect cash bars here–we brought it up with our friends/family, and they all said they’d rather have a cash bar than no bar. We’ll probably do consumption service (or put $x on the bar and they can go until that runs out), but we won’t know until closer to the wedding.

ETA: These weddings were in SW Michigan and northern Michigan.

Post # 11
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am from rural Kansas and the weddings I have been to are generally cash bars, with maybe a free keg. I even went to one recently where every couple/family brought a bottle or six pack of something to stock the bar. People don’t seem judgey about it either way.

Post # 12
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

From Minnesota:


NEVER have I been to a full open bar wedding.


Most weddings around here host beer and wine and some have a cash bar option.  It is probably a regional thing.  I know when we were planning our wedding (110 guests) if we wanted open bar, it would have added $7500 to the bill.  The venue cited extra insurance and tax as the culprit.  Minnesota does like to tax the heck out of people….


Post # 13
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m in New England and I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar. I was always under the impression that a wedding is a party that you are hosting, and you would never ask your guests to pay for anything at a party normally! Unfortunately, I think that one would be judged for having a cash bar around here. I agree with @lolot, if you can’t afford full open then beer/wine is a MUCH better option than cash (and I would be perfectly happy with that as a guest).

I quite literally did not bring my wallet to the last wedding I went to. When I was asked for ID in the hotel tavern at the after party, I was like “oops, didn’t even think to bring my wallet…” Luckily my Fiance and his buddies were happy to bring me drinks anyways. Lesson learned- from here on out I need to remember to at least bring my license!



Post # 16
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Puppy Love: People here get really snarky about not having a full open bar. Do what works for you and your guests and ignore the bees.

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