Cash bar vs Open bar

posted 2 months ago in Reception
Post # 46
Member
623 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

ariesscientist :  a bit of a generalisation! I had an open bar in the UK for 160 people and not one person got drunk and people actually drank less than we’d budgeted for! Depends on the crowd, it can work! Agree that it’s not expected here though, and also about bridesmaids dresses. 

Post # 47
Member
623 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

futureslindy :  I do know vegetarians who only had vegetarian food at their weddings. I wouldn’t expect people to serve anything that was against their moral values. Their veggie food was delicious.

Meat wasn’t an optional extra of course. 

Post # 48
Member
305 posts
Helper bee

ericaleesi :  What does you two not drinking have to do with the rest of the guests?… you are throwing a reception to thank you guests.. so thank them

I truly hate cash bars, your guests aren’t responsible for funding your wedding.

 

Post # 49
Member
448 posts
Helper bee

I mean, you wouldn’t say “my fiancé and I don’t like desserts, so we’re going to charge $1 a slice for cake.”

that said, it’s the Midwest, and cash bars are fairly common so people will probably be fine with it. Drink tickets would be nice.

Post # 50
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

ericaleesi :  You need to provide some type of alcohol even if it’s just beer and wine. That should be ok but a cash bar is so lame. 

Most people drink. I went to a dry wedding and no one stayed past 8:30. We all headed to the bars. 

Post # 51
Member
6846 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’ve been to a lot of Midwest weddings and none of them had cash bars–some of these generalizations are ridiculous.

Host your guests. I can’t eat bread, I’d still serve bread at a dinner party. If you want to keep the costs down provide beer, wine and perhaps a signature cocktail or two. 

Post # 52
Member
2714 posts
Sugar bee

The only thing worse than a dry wedding  is “drink tickets”.  

Sounds like a country fair.

Post # 53
Member
127 posts
Blushing bee

My husband and I don’t drink but we had an open bar at our wedding. Just because we don’t drink we didn’t think that our guests shouldn’t. We had a destination wedding in Ireland so we wanted an open bar with Guinness on tap as well.

Post # 54
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - London, UK

 I’m in the UK where cash bars are the norm. Even though I find open bars great I do not see the logic of some of the arguments against cash bars. For example, comments like “Let your guests have unlimited free alchohol or don’t have a bar at all”, or “Don’t have any alchohol if you can’t afford it” come off as snobbish and rude to me, and they don’t even make any sense. A lot of people cannot afford open bars, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better for their guests not to have the option to buy alchohol in the bar if they wish to (which most over here do and is considered completely normal). A lot of people want to drink at weddings and would be disappointed if they were not able to get their own drinks, just because for some reason “if you can’t have an open bar it’s better not to have any alchohol at all”. I think it would be hard to find wedding guests in the UK (which is quite a booze friendly country) who would actually think ” I wish they didn’t have a bar at all at this wedding since it’s not open bar, it would be better if there was no possibility to buy any drinks”. Over here it’s very common to offer guests for example two welcome drinks, then wine during dinner, then maybe a champagne toast, etc and then cash bar. My own wedding was open bar all way through, but I happily pay for any drinks as a guest because a lot of people would not be able to afford a wedding with an open bar. And anyway, what they can afford or not / exactly how they spend their budget is not something I choose to focus on during a wedding – a wonderful celebration of love. On the other hand,  I myself for example feel that it is very inappropriate to have your bridesmaids pay for their own dresses which is common in the US, but I respect that over there people see this as normal. Each place has it’s own norms.

Post # 55
Member
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - City, State

ericaleesi :  bee this is SO regional. Where I live in the Midwest I have NEVER been to a wedding with an open bar; even at “high class”, expensive weddings. We will be providing drink tickets for close family and the bridal party, and MAYBE a tab for an open bar up to a certain (lower) amount, but our wedding will be 500 people so it’ll go fast. Go with your gut and your regional norm on this; cash bars are NOT rude. I would be annoyed however if I went to a wedding and didn’t have the option to drink at all… I would much prefer an open bar to no bar. 

Post # 56
Member
3072 posts
Sugar bee

attorneytobee :  “We will be providing drink tickets for close family and the bridal party…”

Establishing a distinction among your guests is in itself rude.

Post # 57
Member
2911 posts
Sugar bee

attorneytobee :  what part of the Midwest?  Because I have had the opposite experience and have never been to a cash bar wedding.  And I’ve been to weddings in multiple Midwest states.

 

Post # 58
Member
1862 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

attorneytobee :  I live in Western NY.  I have seen people do all sorts of things here.  My conclusion is that, if you want to have people stick around after cake to dance, you need an open bar.  It doesn’t matter if it is a full bar or beer/wine only.  But people won’t pay for drinks at a wedding.  Most people don’t even carry enough cash to do so if they wanted.  I once attended a wedding where the bride sat in the middle of the empty dance floor and cried about how no one was dancing at her wedding.  They were charging $8 for a beer.  But, late nights and dancing are not important to everyone.  It depends on your priorities, I guess.

Post # 59
Member
836 posts
Busy bee

I’m from the southern midwest and have been to several weddings with open bars. I had an open bar at my wedding. It’s just not a big deal in my circle so I say do what is common for your group. But a dry wedding is just no fun honestly 

Post # 60
Member
230 posts
Helper bee

sharpshooter :  agreed. I have tone of family and friends in Chicago area, and have been to more than a dozen weddings. Everything from super fancy to backyard bbq, I’ve never seen a cash bar. I would hate to pay for drinks — I wouldn’t be expecting it and most likely wouldn’t have cash on me.

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