(Closed) Cash Bar – yes or no?

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

“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
Member
12323 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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
Member
2037 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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
Member
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

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
Member
901 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t know how anyone here can answer this for you, you have to do what works for you.

To Darling Husband 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!

 

 

  • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  danier.
Post # 7
Member
1580 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

oreopaloozamrs:  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 # 10
Member
1497 posts
Bumble bee

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 Darling Husband 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
Member
2424 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

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
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

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 # 14
Member
2037 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

oreopaloozamrs:  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
Member
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

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.

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