(Closed) Cash Bar vs. Dry Wedding

posted 11 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Cash bar or dry wedding?
    Cash bar (Let's say, without the "something extra".) : (97 votes)
    75 %
    Dry wedding (Absolutely NO cash bar.) : (33 votes)
    25 %
  • Post # 32
    2297 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    I would call your attention to this recent survey on the issue. The results were as follows:

    Are you irked if there isn’t an open bar at a wedding reception?

    Beer and wine are fine, so long as they keep flowing freely. 38%

    A full, open bar is a must, but I understand if that’s too pricey. Cash bar is fine. 23%

    I get annoyed if there isn’t a full, open bar. No excuse for that. 15%

    Dry weddings are just fine with me. 8%

    I don’t mind paying for beer and wine. 8%

    No booze, no me. 5%

    A dry wedding is a pain, but I’ll deal. 3%

    So, if you host just beer and wine, and don’t allow for cash purchases of liquor, 38% of your guests will be ticked with you (the 23% who want a full bar even if it is a cash bar, and the 15% who think there is no excuse for not having a full, open bar). If you supply beer and wine, and have a cash bar for liquor, you may actually end up with a lower number ticked with you. (The 38% who are fine with just beer and wine, and the 23% that are happy with a cash bar, are potentially ok with this, and you just have to worry about the 15% who think there should always be a full, open bar.)

    So yes, under standard etiquette, having a cash bar is bad. But if more of your guests will be upset by “hosting only what you can afford” than by having a cash bar for what you cannot afford, perhaps those etiquette rules are out of date?

    We struggled with this issue for a long time.  Fortunately, a few days before the wedding, our venue offered us an open bar for 60 people for five hours for $250.  We leapt at that one, which eliminated the dilemma.

    Post # 34
    1150 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    Cash bar. I’d rather at least have the option to get something if I want it. If I went to a wedding where they had a cash bar, I totally wouldn’t judge either, because I know exactly how expensive it is to put together a nice party! 

    Post # 36
    858 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @JenniMichele, I was speaking in general. Asking your guests to pay for something you can’t afford is considered bad etiquette, but people do it anyway and say they don’t care about etiquette “because it’s outdated” which it is not and it is in place to prevent awkward social situations so does not change for anything. There is no reason for any guest to be ticked off because a host chooses not to provide alcohol (regardless of the reason – religion, money, personal issues with it, etc). You don’t have to like the decision but getting ticked off and badmouthing the hosts (behind their backs obviously) is uncalled for.

    Post # 38
    858 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @Jenni, I would agree with that. At the same time, badmouthing someone and politely pointing out an error (without being snarky or bitchy) are different, though some translate them to be the same. But as I said, even knowing what is good etiquette, some people will still do whatever they want and screw what anyone else thinks because how dare anyone say they are wrong.

    Either way, the whole debate is something that will never be resolved no matter tactics are used because no one can possibly begin to agree on anything where it is concerned.

    Post # 40
    777 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    SO and I are not drinkers, personally I would rather there be no alcohol (as I think SO and I are going to do at our own wedding) that being said, i wouldn’t mind a champagne toast, but it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things

    Post # 41
    554 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    Old thread but since it’s been bumped I’ll add that as a guest, I would always prefer a cash bar over no alcohol (if we’re talking about an evening, dancing reception). I do think that etiquette and guest preferences are at odds here. It’s often stated that from a host’s perspective, it’s far better to have a dry wedding than a cash bar. But I firmly believe most guests would prefer having the option to buy a drink or three over no alcohol at all. An open bar was a must for my own wedding but I’ve been to cash bar weddings and it’s not like I boycotted the bar. Smile

    Post # 42
    767 posts
    Busy bee

    oh hell no, i’d be a bit miffed if i went to a wedding and i didn’t even have the option to buy my own!

    cash bar all the way.

    Post # 43
    498 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I think providing a bottle of wine per table and then having a cash bar is an acceptable solution. To have a cash bar and not provide anything is kind of tacky (I hate to use that word, but I can’t think of a better one).

    I would be kind of bored at a dry wedding. I would probably leave earlier than I would a wedding with alcohol (open or cash bar).

    The topic ‘Cash Bar vs. Dry Wedding’ is closed to new replies.

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