(Closed) Cash Bar/Open Bar

posted 13 years ago in Food
Post # 47
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

We had open bar because he felt very strongly about it.  He felt that if people are traveling a long way and paying for hotel rooms to come to our wedding we shouldn’t then ask them to pay for drinks.  Whenever he had been to a cash bar wedding he got very annoyed and remembered it more than anything else.  Since I don’t drink very much, I honestly can’t tell you if I’ve ever been to a wedding with a cash bar because in all likelihood I would never have tried to order a drink and been charged!

I do think, though, that I would have no alcohol or limited alcohol rather than have a cash bar.  Tickets sound fine, two bottles of wine sound fine, lemonade, espresso and iced tea sound fine, but don’t charge your guests.  They’ve already paid a lot of money to be with you; it sticks in my craw to nickel-and-dime them at the end.

Post # 48
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2008

hi legallyengaged,

I’m Canadian too, and all weddings I’ve been to have either been open bar or loonie/toonie bar.

consider having a limited bar (such as beer, wine, signature cocktail) or playing with timing (like open bar for cocktails, closing the bar during dinner and having only two bottles of wine on the table and then coffees with dessert/wedding cake) 

Another idea is to have an open bar but with a ‘wishing jar’ next to the bar for people to toss in cash if they want. I have heard that people usually do meaning that you haven’t paid a ton and you avoid a potentially ‘tacky’ cash bar.

 If those ideas are not options, consider going with the loonie/toonie bar. I’ve never known anyone to be upset by that option. My friends went to a wedding with $6 dollar drinks and were not impressed ( and they were only invited to the dance not the dinner!) if you are doing a cash bar, to be fair you should say that on the invite- I don’t think people are in the habit of bringing that much cash.

Have you considered inviting less people to avoid a full price bar? I’m only suggesting this if you have people on the guest list who are basically courtesy invites or something. To me, having a smaller group of people who are really important to me and truly treating them as my guest is better than having a huge guest list and charging them.

Although I am by no means doing or suggesting this, I remember reading this article about a couple who were going to have a big wedding (like 240 or something) and decided to spend the same amount on  30 people. the evening was amazing. Not feasible for everyone but I think its nice to remember the spirit of that kind of idea.

Post # 50
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

LE, that sounds like a great compromise. i’m sure your guests will feel welcome and will have a wonderful time.

Post # 51
Member
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

It sounds like you have figured it out! Yeah:)

Post # 53
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2008

sounds like you’ve got a plan which is great. In my mind, its customary to have aeither an open bar or a dry wedding. you may want to look into the ‘official’ etiquette but I’ve read you should indicate that there will be a cash bar becuase peeps don’t necessarily expect to pay for drinks when they’re guests. or I guess you can leave it if there’s an ATM there.  I think your idea ot have a limited bar is a good one. You don’t have to go full out, but a little beer and wine will be much appreciated and you can be sure there will be no offence taken with that route.  congratulations and good luck!

Post # 55
Member
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I feel that this is just silly.  There are so many people on here who say don´t overspend on your wedding, don´t go in to debt, but then you´re saying, but you must buy us drinks.  I think you should do what you can for your guests, and that is all, if they really care about you they will not be offended and if they don´t care about you why are they there?  But I guess where I am from it is a little different.  I think I´ve only been to one wedding that was a complete open bar, the rest did offer a few free kegs or maybe a specialty drink, which I thought was nice, but not expected.  I always bring cash to a wedding and expect to pay for my drinks, I am being provided a night of dancing and fun as well as a free meal, I think that is enough because I care more about the couple than what they provide me.  

Post # 56
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We considered not having any alcohol at all because neither of us drink, but, it was important to my dad. It’s quite common around here to have a cash bar, so that’s what we are doing.

If we were to have an open bar it would double our venue/catering costs, and we just can’t afford that. So it was either cash bar or no bar for us.

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