(Closed) Cash bar thoughts – regional?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 47
4145 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Puppy Love:  I have rarely been to a wedding that has an open bar, or even liquor at all. In my experience in Seattle, only the most expensive weddings have an open bar, and they are never cash. Most people host beer, wine and water or soda. I think the reason that people don’t do a cash liquor bar, is because if they feel they need liquor beyond the beer and wine they are already providing, then they are paying for it because they want it. 

Post # 48
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Central Florida for me and I’ve been to MOSTLY open bar weddings. 1 cash bar, 2 beer & wine (one had a signature drink too), & 1 dry (awful. I MUCH would have preferred a cash to a dry)…I think in my circle/family, if the only option to actually get to have alcohol is a cash bar then bring it on! No judgement unless it’s dry lol I always bring money for bartender tip anyway

Post # 49
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve been to over a dozen weddings in Michigan (all over the state), 1 in DC, 1 in Baltimore, 1 in Vegas, and 1 in Raleigh, NC.  Not one has had a cash bar; or at least only a cash bar.  A few have hosted beer and wine only, or beer, wine and a signature cocktail, or beer and wine and cash liquor.  The one in Vegas had a full open bar until a certain dollar amount was reached and then it became cash.  But all have hosted some sort of alcohol.

I understand that if you are on a super strict budget, you might not be able to host any sort of open bar.  I might be slightly annoyed, but I’d understand.  I know some people would prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding.  However, if you have a designer gown, lavish flowers/decor, chair covers, 5 course plated dinner, then I’d be miffed at your blatent disregard for your guests.


@Puppy Love:  Also, $325 for a keg?  Is there liquid gold in there?  Is it a full keg?

Post # 52
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Puppy Love:  In that case, I’d say go for it 🙂  I’m sure everyone will survive regardless.  It’s your wedding, so you should end up doing what you want and feel most comfortable with.

Post # 53
1608 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Totally regional. Even in my town its a complete split. The majority of weddings I’ve been to have had open bars, but it’s also common to have cash bars. Actually, my cousins had a toonie bar where they gave 5 drink tickets to everyone, and then after that all drinks were a toonie :). Not out of the ordinary at all. 

Post # 54
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Being Italian, if I had a cash bar there would be a mafia style uprising. Cultural differences!

Post # 55
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

No wedding I have been to in the Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans area has had a cash bar so I’m thinking it’s regional. Almost all of them have had open bars even if it was only beer and wine. There was one wedding with a dry bar for religious reasons.

Post # 56
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I live in a Beach town in California. I have never been to a wedding that didnt have a full open bar. I have heard of beer/ wine only from friends, but luckily have never been to one. 

Post # 57
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m from the East Coast of Canada and I’ve never been to a wedding with an open bar, nor would I expect it. I don’t go to parties and expect alcohol, I always bring my own. This is where I get confused when people say the wedding is about “you” but in all actuality it is about the guests and making sure they are comfortable apparently. Some comments mentioned spending thousands in other areas but not on drinks, I don’t expect a bride to come in a $100 dress, have no decorations, cake, etc. just so I can have a drink…that is absurd!

My Fiance actually joked last night that we probably don’t have open bars here because east coasters drink too much and the cost would be insane! Either way, it is every couples choice on where they allocate the money in their wedding. I think people should show up, be happy and just have a good time!


Post # 58
5622 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m from a very small town in indiana. I’ve been to both weddings with cash bars, and without cash bars. Nobody complained about either.

The only time I’ve been at a wedding and heard muffled complaints was when there was NO BAR AT ALL.

I think if you are having a cash bar, that you should warn your guests, either on your website or word of mouth – Some guests don’t bring cash, and I think that’s the biggest kicker!

That being said, my aunt had a cash bar, paid for the first $500 worth in drinks, and then it was cash after that. I didn’t mind. The people who planned to get shitfaced, got shitfaced, and the people who drank moderately, still drank moderately.

We are however, doing a full bar. We have opted one with full call service, as well as juices, fountain sodas, and water.

Post # 59
88 posts
Worker bee

I have lived all over the US and have been to all kinds of weddings. Most recently, two in MA and RI that had a full open bar, one that had an open bar for cocktail hour and then a cash bar after.  The weddings I’ve been to in NY and NJ have been open bar. 

We are doing a cash bar for many reasons, mostly financial, but also because my side of the family are all recovering alcoholics and no one is going to be drinking anyway. We are paying for the wedding ourselves and cannot afford to have an open bar.  Of the weddings I’ve been to with an open bar, the families had a lot more money and the couples were not paying for the wedding themselves.  Our friends and families all know it will be a cash bar and no one has said anything negative.

Post # 60
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’m from Kansas. Most common is open beer & possibly wine and cash for liquor.

Post # 61
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Every wedding that I’ve been to has had a cash bar – I’m from Quebec, Canada. They’re very common in my area. Usually, 2 bottles of wine (1 red, 1 white) is supplied for each table but after that people buy their own drinks. 🙂

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