(Closed) Cash bar thoughts – regional?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 17
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’m from a very rural area in Maine.  I’ve never been to a wedding in our area that had an open bar, and never even heard of a wedding taking place around here with a fully open bar.

Cash bars are absolutely the norm here, and I think it’s regional.  We’re having a cash bar at our wedding, and everyone knows and expects that.  Most people around here (including Fiance and I) simply can’t afford to pay for that much alcohol.

On a side note, I’d love to see what would happen at a fully open bar where I live.  I think there would be a lot of guzzling as much free booze as humanly possible, and things could get pretty messy, lol.

Post # 18
Member
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

I think it’s totally regional. Of the 20+ weddings I’ve attended in the past three or four years, about six of them had fully open bars, at least 12 had beer+wine and then cash for everything else, and the rest were some mix (signature cocktail, etc).

Post # 20
Member
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Puppy Love:  Yeah I think you’re right. If that’s what’s the norm in your region and that’s what people will be expecting, then more power to you (and more money in your wallet)!

On the other hand, if you have it in the budget you could really knock their socks off- I guess you can’t lose!

Post # 21
Member
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Puppy Love:  It is very definitely a regional thing. A free bar is not a necessity in an awful lot of areas. 

Post # 24
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Puppy Love:  It’s definitely a regional thing and can even boil down to what city the wedding is being held in to what group of people is being invited.  My family back in Jax, FL is really religious so a dry wedding would be acceptable to them (not me!)  Here in Orlando there are way more open bars and it seems like it’s expected at most formal weddings.  However, a cash bar would be an oddity in both places.  We had a limited open bar at my first wedding; we served house wine, well liquor and draft beer with no complaints.

Post # 25
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I grew up in small-town Indiana, and all the weddings I went to growing up were dry.  I moved to Chicago in my mid-twenties and I’ve only ever seen open bars here.  I had never heard of a cash bar til I started looking at wedding websites.

Post # 26
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@SpecialSundae:  Isn’t what works for you and what works for your guests 2 different things?

Post # 27
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m from PA and I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar (always open bar).  I’d probably be peeved if I had to pay for my own drinks, just because of the cost of buying a gift.  Like you said though, if people are used to cash bars in your area, then I wouldn’t worry as much about it.  Maybe, if you want to play it safe, you could just offer wine & beer and only keep it open for a certain amount of time…?  Or you could keep a full bar open for a few hours and then switch to a cash bar later – That might keep people from over-drinking as well. 

Post # 29
Member
7384 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

The worst bit is that the cost of an open bar on the lowest tier (house wine, beer, and well liquors) for 4 of the 6 hours of our reception is more than our catering. : It would cost half of our entire reception! No one is going to drink that much, especially not when they have to get back to their hotels under their own power–most of our guests are from out of town.

Post # 30
Member
6386 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m originally from CA, and every wedding I went to had a hosted or open bar.  It was never a big deal for me because I don’t drink though.  I’d rather have good food/cake and no bar, but that’s personal preference.  That being said, we’re planning on having a full open bar since most of our guests drink.

Post # 31
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Puppy Love:  I to am from MN.  I am from the suburbs of Minneapolis though. In MN  I have never been to a wedding with a full open bar.  One I went to did not pay for any beverages.  Another had full open bar for one hour and then after that beer and wine. A third wedding I went to only had Beer and wine (until it ran out then it was a cash bar).  Both of the weddings where they provided beer and wine were pretty nice.

I do not think in MN it is typical to have a full open bar. For my wedding in August I will be supplying beer and wine.  I am not doing an open bar because my fiances family does not drink.  The location of our reception charges per person per hour for open bar.  We would literally waste thousands of dollars if we had an open bar. I uld consider mine a nice wedding too (country club).  None of my friends or anyone expects a fully open bar nor do I when I go to a wedding. 

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