Post # 1
So, originally Fiance was totally against a cash bar. He thought it would be a weird thing to have because all the weddings in his family have open bars. I thought it would be a good way to save some money since Fiance and I don’t really drink. We would probably be able to split a 6 pack on our wedding day. If we have provide the drinks I am only providing beer and wine. I have seen my family weddings with liquor and everyone gets WAY too sloppy.
My family has protested the “no liquor” rule and said they will bring their own airplane bottles and drink outside. I have already warned everyone that it is again the venues policy and they will be asked to leave (not by us but by the venue) – so that is on them. If majority is planning on breaking the rules anyway – should we just have a cash bar? I don’t want to waste my money on all this beer and wine that Fiance and I will never use. We don’t drink wine and only one to two types of beer.
Post # 2
“I thought it would be a good way to save some money since Fiance and I don’t really drink”
Yeah, it’s your wedding, but the reception isn’t just about you. It sounds like your guests are party drinkers, If you want your guests to have a good time, have a bar. I personally think cash bars are tacky, but if your guests are willing to sneak duty free bottles, then they will likey appreciate the cash bar
Post # 3
As the host, you are responsible for paying for refreshments. Guests should be provided for equally, and not have to take out their wallets. This is a private party, not a bar or a restaurant.
Besides,beer and wine are alcohol, last I checked. If your family cannot deal without having their own preferred drinks for a few hours time, while being hosted by someone else, then they have big problems.
Post # 4
I vote open bar all the time. Unless it is a LDS wedding!
I have been to cash bar weddings (with wine served during dinner) and, honestly, we have snuck in our own booze, hidden it under the table, stolen wine from other tables, drank outside or in the car, etc. So that’s obviously not ideal.
Generally my opinion on a cash bar is that the bride and groom want us to come celebrate them. The least they could do is provide a drink or two! Plus, I’ve likely purchased a new dress, might have travelled, and bought them a gift. Loosen the purse strings and serve drinks. If you have a good bartender, they will be able to moderate the number of drinks each person is having and avoid any sloppy situations.
The theme of our wedding was taking care of our guests and ensuring they felt our love and appreciation that they would spend a day celebrating us. We didn’t want anyone to worry about a thing and that included serving all drinks. With the pace of the day and the timing of dinner, opening of the dessert room, and serving of the late night snack, all guests were provided plenty of food to go with their drinks, so that’s something to keep in mind.
At the end of the day though, it’s up to you.
Post # 5
Personally, I find cash bars to be tacky. And PP is right – the reception isn’t just about you. You host a reception to celebrate your marriage and to thank all of your friends and familiy for attending and its a party for everyone to enjoy.
That being said, if finances are of concern, then have just beer and wine. Anyone who’s going to turn their nose up at ANY kind of open bar is a tart. If finances are REALLY a concern, then do drink tickets for each place setting to keep the costs more managable.
Post # 6
I don’t know how anyone here can answer this for you, you have to do what works for you.
To DH and I, our wedding was the biggest party we’ll ever throw and we wanted to provide an open bar to our guests because a) it was within our budget to do so and b) it’s the norm here. I have never attended a wedding with a cash bar myself.
I think it’s selfish to say that you would be wasting money on drinks for your guests, that is a big part of a wedding. I hardly drank on my own wedding day but that wasn’t the point!
Post # 7
Having beer and wine available is not a cash bar, that’s an open bar and I think that’s just fine. You may not drink it, but your guests will. If you have the hard liquor, you can have that be cash. You just have to make sure that your guests can have access to drinks. We went to a wedding that was a cash bar only and we snuck our own liquor in. If they had beer and wine available, we wouldn’t have. The reception isn’t just about you, it’s about your guests too so I would make beer and wine available. Even if you don’t drink it.
Post # 8
I know its not all about me but I have been to a couple weddings without any alcohol because the bride and groom don’t drink and I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Even with the open bar – drinking in the car, bringing in prohibited types of alchohol, etc. will be happening. The venue said they would call the police – I really don’t want that happening on my wedding day because people couldn’t follow the rules for a 3 hour reception.
Post # 9
I don’t think I will be wasting money on drinks if people actually drink them. But if we spend 600-700 dollars on beer and wine and everyone brings their own liquor and doesn’t drink the beer and wine – then that is wasting it. We are only having about 80 people including Fiance and I and about 30 of my family have already said to count them out – they will bring their own.
Post # 10
Like everyone said, the reception isn’t just about you. It’s a thank you to guests who have taken time out of their day to come see you get married. I had less than a glass of wine on my wedding day, and DH doesn’t drink at all. But we still had an open bar. You wouldn’t invite someone to your house for dinner and ask them to pay for every drink they had.
It’s ultimately your decision though.
ETA: I do think that no alcohol at all is slightly different than having a cash bar. To go back to my analogy of inviting people over for dinner – if I don’t provide alcohol, maybe thats a disappointment to some, but it’s not necessarily rude. But asking my guests to pay for their drinks is.
Post # 11
I am just the same as you are regarding how I am with drinking, and how I feel. So I hate having to say, you are being painted into a corner by your guests.
I think you have to have the open bar. Even if you had a cash bar, they could still get as drunk as possible. You would feel even worse if a major number of your guests spent the reception in the parking lot, and were asked to leave.
It is sort of spending more money for a better result.
Post # 12
I don’t drink as well but I’m having an open bar because I want my guests to be happy and enjoy the party. Guests spent money to get to your wedding (whether for outfits, gifts, driving, whatever). I’d think if you could find a way to make it happen, they’d be appreciative.
Post # 13
I respect your opinion. I’m thinking at this point none or open is the only options we have. Either way its going to be a big mess.
Just so i understand, you think we should have an open bar with liquor or with just beer and wine?
Post # 14
Well if you are going to serve wine and beer, but know they want liquor, why couldn’t you provide that to them? Serve the cheapest possible liquor and don’t have as much wine and beer? You can also do a consumption bar where the server will only open what is necessary.
Another suggestion, if your family has as big of problems as you are saying, why not elope or do something even smaller? It seems like you might enjoy something like that better.
Post # 15
Can’t your venue do a consumption bar? That way, you’d only pay for what your guests actually drink and then on top of that, you have the right to say to the bartender, “once we hit $750 of booze, that’s it, open bar is closed”. My friends did that and it ended up being much cheaper than simply an open bar. The bartender just rang up each drink as he made them and the til kept track of what had been ordered.