(Closed) Cash bar with champagne toast and sodas/juices… Okay? Reprehensible? Waffles?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Open bar sodas/coffee/juice/tea, champagne toast, and cash bar for alcohol? Would you be upset?
    I don't drink, so I wouldn't mind this one bit : (9 votes)
    7 %
    I do drink, but I wouldn't mind this at all : (38 votes)
    31 %
    I would mind this some, but it wouldn't be a big deal : (24 votes)
    19 %
    I would be pretty annoyed : (22 votes)
    18 %
    I'd be surprised and pissed! : (8 votes)
    6 %
    You should at least offer an unlimited wine option, or else it'll be kinda crappy : (21 votes)
    17 %
    I want to know this too, so this will be my poll answer :P : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    2587 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

    Cash bars are perfectly okay over here in the UK, so I say go for it! Hell, if there was free tea, coffee and juice, I’ve got friends who would go bananas for that! 😀

    Post # 4
    443 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    It really does depend on your region and your crowd.

    Amongst my crowd, your initial plan would be perfectly acceptable and at least the bare minimum of what should be offered.

    I’d say do your math and if you can work the wine/beer into your budget that would probably be best otherwise no big issue. Perhaps look at doing a sangria/punch option per table or maybe a signature cocktail instead of wine. Even if people aren’t big drinkers, weddings tend to be an occasion where they will make an exception.

    Post # 5
    510 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I think you should at least offer 2 or 3 glasses of wine/beer per person and then move to a cash bar if necessary.  Or cash bar and put some mony into it yourselves and when that money has been used up to start charging. 


    Post # 7
    39 posts
    • Wedding: June 2013

    In my opinion it is rude to charge ‘guests’ for anything. 


    Again, not snark, just my opinion, but it would be similar to the guest writing the gift check at the reception based in how good the food and drink was.  

    Post # 8
    510 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @yanamari:  Most weddings I go to (in the UK so this is very normal), we have a welcome drink or two  straight after the ceremony then two glasses of wine with dinner and a glass of champagne/prosecco for the toasts.   Then it’s a cash bar (cash bar all along for spirits/beer normally).

    Some weddings we have been given vouchers to exchange for drinks at the bar, and some it’s been free flowing wine throughout dinner but not after.

    I love open bars so we chose a venue we could take our own, but i don’t resent paying for drinks at my friends’ weddings at all.  My opinion is they are your guests and you are hosting them (being a guest at a wedding is expensive too!) so a few drinks provided is polite and those that want to drink a lot can use the cash bar for the remainder of the evening.

    Post # 9
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    most people on our guest list asked “is it open bar”

    it may bother a lot of people. so since we are trying to go cheaper we are doing our own alcohol (if your venue/ caterer lets you) its cheaper. we are just buying cases or beer/wine. and only having beer & wine.


    Post # 10
    13248 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I think hosting beer and wine is a good middle ground.  While I generally don’t agree with cash bars, and have not attended any weddings that haven’t included an open bar, I can understand how expensive it gets.  But at the same time, I think you need to give some alcoholic option, and I think offering both wine and beer is a good middle ground.

    Post # 11
    11419 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    As you plan to do, My Darling Husband and I had amazing food at our wedding and had an open, non-alcoholic bar that featured unlimited sodas, juices, and iced tea. We offered a choice of champagne or non-alcoholic, sparkling cider for our toast; however, that was the only alcohol present and available at our wedding. Our guests still had a fabulous time and raved about our wedding.

    Post # 12
    5423 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 2012

    Where I am located an open bar is pretty standard.  But I wouldnt be offended or put off by a cash bar.  Then again, I havnt been to that many weddings.

    Post # 13
    1399 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I think this option is fine. You’re hosting a party, and people should be thankful for whatever you provide. Since you don’t have a lot of big drinkers, this should make them content. Maybe you could find a way to put a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine on each table? That way people could have a glass or two, but you wouldn’t be blowing your budget on booze?

    Post # 14
    757 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think if you are super concerned about it you should do what your venue suggested. You can just tell them like “provide alcohol up to $2000” or whatever, and then beyond that it becomes cash bar. It sounds like your crowd isn’t made up of big drinkers, so as long as you put in at least enough for one drink per person you should be fine. 

    That being said, I drink at weddings, but I wouldn’t be offended if there was a cash bar. I would just like to know in advance since I almost never carry cash on me. 

    Post # 15
    4046 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    If you have a cash bar, I just want to know so I can bring cash with me. I often travel with just credit cards.

    Post # 16
    3885 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think it’s far better to provide beer and wine the whole event than to put in, say, $2200 then go to a cash bar. It’s much easier to communicate to guests what to expect when you’re consistent about it, rather than changing the rules midstream.

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