(Closed) Cash Bar vs Open Bar?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 32
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m in the UK and we are having a cash bar, it’s normal here but even if it wasn’t I’d be very reluctant to have an open bar because it’s just open to abuse. If people want to get drunk they can spend their own money doing it!

Post # 33
Member
6533 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

You’ll get a lot of negativity towards cash bar on the bee! but I think it’s fine. Most guests would rather have and pay for alcohol than have no alcohol at all. 

Post # 34
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

You know your guests better than anyone here.  That being said, in my opinion, a better option would be a signature drink, an alcoholic punch or a beer/wine bar.  This allows everyone to have the same level of drink available to them.  (I personally never take cash to a wedding and would be SOL at a wedding with a cash bar.)

Post # 37
Member
5521 posts
Bee Keeper

@FutureMrs_KRC:  I’m in the UK. We’re spending a crazy amoutn on alcohol. way more than most people here spend, but can’t stretch to an open bar due to the prices.

I agree that it totally depends on where you live, and the social norms in that area and in your social circle. If you have never attended a wedding with a cash bar, then it is likely that most of your guests also haven’t; hence, they may find a cash bar rude. Otherwise, I don’t see an issue, though I would provide at least some free drinks to guests, be that by way of a limited tab, or beer and wine or soft drinks, etc.

Post # 38
Member
2265 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@FutureMrs_KRC:  Yes, cash bars are tacky.

as the hosts, you get to decide what to serve, but you are also obligated to pay for it.  It is rude to ask your guests to take out their wallets at your event.

Post # 39
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee

“aren’t our guests supposed to come mainly to celebrate with us”

NO

Honestly, more problems are created by this line of thinking than anything else. You are the HOST. They are the GUESTS. The onus is on you to throw a celebration thanking them for being part of your special day and the creation of a new family. That’s what a reception is. You thanking them for being there, not the other way around.

Host the best party you can, but do not make your guests pay anything. If you have to limit it to beer and wine, that’s fine.

Post # 40
Member
1364 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m in Canada, and booze is hella expensive here. 

When people come to my house I supply wine, and always have my fridge stocked with beer, but people bring what they want to drink. If someone wants to drink rye all night, they bring their own (I stock rye at my house, and would gladly give it to anyone who came over, but guests just bring their own). Likewise when we go to someone’s house. Usually the host provides the wine (especially if it’s a dinner) but all the other guests will bring whatever they want to drink for the night. 

Weddings are not like this. It’s open bar or nothing. At least where I’m from/in my social circle. (I understand it’s different regionally). I’ve been to one cash bar and it was a nightmare. These people aren’t in my normal social circle, and are quite a bit younger then me, but almost every single guest made comments about the cash bar and literally every guest was gone by 10pm, reception was supposed to go until 2am. It just isn’t done where I’m from. 

Personally if I couldn’t afford the open bar (and that’s understandable as they are expensive, ours was just over $5000), I would host a brunch wedding with complimentary mimosas and that’s it. I’d love to attend a brunch wedding

Post # 41
Member
56 posts
Worker bee

@MrsGolden2Bee:  Agreed.

If the people you’re inviting actually care about you they aren’t going to want you to be in an uncomfortable situation financially just so they can get drunk. Wine on the table is enough. 

 

Also, I don’t get how having an open bar with just wine and beer saves money. Aren’t people still going to drink the same amount of drinks regardless of what kind of alchol is served?

Post # 42
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@sarahfw:  Beer and wine are significantly less expensive than liquor – do you not know this?

Post # 43
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@FutureMrs_KRC:  I’d be cautious about the hosted-bar-changing-to-cash idea.  One of two things will happen:

1)  People WILL know it’s changing to cash and load up on the booze.  That’s what I would do.

2)  People WON’T know it’s changing to cash, and will be both surprised and unhappy that a drink that cost their friend $0 five minutes ago is now costing them $8.

Either outcome is bad.

Post # 44
Member
56 posts
Worker bee

@oneofthesethings:  Not where I’m from. In BC mixed drinks and beer are about the same price, and a glass of wine is usually a bit more expensive.

Post # 45
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@sarahfw:  Really?  Well what do you know!  I learn something new every day.  

Post # 46
Member
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@FutureMrs_KRC:  We were on a budget, too- but after talking with our parents to see how they felt about things– 

we hosted a FULL bar– all hard liquor, beer, wine, etc…from 5:15-6:45, so 1.5 hours.  Then we hosted beer + wine the rest of the night, and hard liquor was cash after that.  

My concern was that a few guests (who we love dearly) would take advantage of the hard liquor– not intentionally take advantage, but potentially forget that thier friends are covering the WHOLE tab, and we don’t have completely endless pockets LOL  There are a few who are not married and LOVE to party….so we had to draw the line somewhere.

Absolutely no one was offended, we had a cute chalkboard sign (not too big, not too small) that informed our guests and then was taken down shortly after that started.

We had so many compliments on our wedding!

 

I do think drink tickets kind of suck– if you can’t afford to host alcohol of some sort for all of your guests throughout the evening, you probably need to cut your guest list.  

 

 

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