Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2020 - Wisconsin Dells
Fiance and I are having a difficult time deciding which to do. He’s pretty set on cash bar because we don’t drink and he thinks no one should expect to drink alcohol at our wedding when we don’t drink alcohol. However I feel differently because we sort of have a destination wedding. It’s over two hours away from our city and I feel like we should be able to give people who drink at least an hour or something of free drinks who took their time and money booking a hotel room for us. What did you do or are planning to do? If you had your wedding already do you have any regrets with how you managed the bar?
Post # 2
I hate cash bars with a passion and one would really annoy me. Either provide the alcohol for your guests or make it a dry wedding. It doesn’t matter that neither of you drink, many people do.
Post # 3
My wedding was last weekend, my husband is Muslim and I got pregnant 3 months before the wedding so neither of us was drinking but we provided a full bar for our guests who drink. I don’t actually think my venue allowed a cash bar so it was provide alcohol or have a dry wedding, I vote an open bar if you can afford it.
Post # 4
I don’t drink but I wouldn’t expect my guests not to either.
We provided top shelf open bar all night for 300 of our friends and family. No regrets
Post # 5
Cash bars are so tacky. You are hosting your guests, they should not have to open their wallets. And only having the bar open for an hour sucks too. I’ve been to weddings that have done that and it’s super annoying to walk up to the bar and be told that now you have to pay when you previously didn’t.
Post # 6
You should host your guests properly as the reception is to thank them for attending your wedding. It does not matter that you and your fiance do not drink.
Post # 7
- Wedding: December 1969 - Montsalvat, Victoria
Go with what you can afford/is feasible however if I was a guest I’d much prefer an open bar than a cash bar. We just had our wedding in August and had an open bar and our guests are still talking about how great our wine/champs and cocktail/mixer options were. Have you considered having at least a limited open bar (i.e. provide beer, ciders, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and cash bar for the top shelf liquor)? Might be a good middle ground for you guys.
Post # 8
A lot of the weddings that I have been to have had a limited open bar (as suggested above). Beer, wine, soda pop, coffee are all provided. Liquor is a cash bar. I’m sure it depends on your social circles, but I think that is a good compromise.
Post # 9
It would be quite annoying to travel 2 hours to/from a wedding or stay overnight as well as having guests pay for their own drinks – hope you wouldn’t be expecting very generous gifts lol!
Post # 10
I’m curious to see how this differs in the USA/UK. I’m from the UK and the vast majority of the weddings I’ve been to have been ‘cash bars’ (assuming that means where you pay for your own drinks). As far as I’m aware that’s the norm over here and isn’t considered rude at all.
Maybe it’s different if you’re in wealthier circles, or are in circles who are known for quite big weddings, but otherwise a ‘free bar’ is a bonus not an expectation.
Post # 11
I agree. Also from the UK and cash bar is normal and not considered rude.
Usually there’s at least a welcome drink though, maybe some wine on the table, or a drink for the toasts. Some of our friends did vouchers so everyone got a couple of drinks free and then after that u pay for it yourself.
We got married abroad and had an open bar as they’d all travelled but nobody expected it.
Do whatever you can afford.
Post # 12
Cash bars are indeed normal in the UK. I don’t drink and am not offended by cash bars and my husband and I agreed to have one.
My Mom, however, really wanted to contribute to the wedding by having an open bar for everything except cocktails or spirits. So we accepted her offer.
I was really happy about it, because all our guests were very pleasantly surprised and complimentary about it. People actually drank less than we expected and we did not reach the upper limit cost we’d told the bar. I’m glad Mom convinced us.
Post # 13
What’s the norm where you live? Stick with that.
Here we put a generous tab on the bar and once that runs out, cash bar it is.
Id find a 100% cash bar very rude.
Post # 14
Of course everyone would prefer free alcohol. I really doubt you’ll hear anyone say they LIKE cash bars. A lot of bees already have strong opinions on how alcohol should be served, however, some alcohol may be better than no alcohol whatsoever. I’m not in the camp that alcohol is a requirement, and personally have yet to attend a wedding that served alcohol at all…but maybe that’s just what’s normal for my circle. I agree with PP to lean towards what’s common in your group of people. Although if you can afford it, I’d encourage you to provide an open bar in this case…because as you said yourself, guests are already paying a lot to travel to your wedding. Either free alcohol, or no alcohol…but even then, destination guests will likely be really disappointed if there’s no alcohol.
Post # 15
we did open bar. I don’t expect people to pay for drinks if they come to a party at my house so why would I make them pay at my wedding? Venue and scale doesn’t matter to me – if you host you do it fully. That said I don’t think you need to provide unlimited options either – dry weddings, beer/wine only, etc are perfectly fine but seeing anything for sale at a wedding sets off my tacky alarm.