(Closed) Cash bars…

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

East Coast…never heard of a cash bar until the bee 🙂

Post # 19
Member
7551 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

@Miss Jackrabbit:  I do think it’s hard for some people to understand that other cultures are different. I once posted about having a cash bar and someone told me I should cut my guest list if I couldn’t afford to provide a free bar for all my guests!

I agree! Most of the American bees seem to say the same sort of thing, cut everything but you have to have an open bar! Cut family from your guest list, but don’t whatever you do cut free booze from your reception! I personally would rather have family all there than pay for fewer people to have unlimited alcohol. But I guess everyone has different priorities.

Post # 21
Member
1364 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Where I am, cash bars are NOT the norm. I’ve never heard of another local bride having a cash bar, nor have I ever been to thst kind of wedding. 

I will have 130 guests at my wedding, and I’m expecting the bar to cost about $4500-$5000. For me, I wouldn’t have started planning the wedding unless that was a cost I could afford. (just my personal feelings). We are also purchasing the wine for the dinner tables (instead of having the venue provide that) and that is costing an extra $775 for 150 bottles of wine. The drinks vary in price from $4-$7

Post # 24
Member
1845 posts
Buzzing bee

I live in New Husband and have seen both. On Friday I attended a birthday party in a house and there was a cash bar! People were told to BYOB and had the option to buy mixed drinks the birthday boy made. He only charged $2-$3 a drink though.

Post # 25
Member
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have been to over a dozen weddings in Michigan, 1 in Baltimore, 1 in DC, and 1 somewhere in North Carolina.  I have NEVER been to one that was a full cash bar.  One of the weddings had just beer + wine, 1 or 2 had beer + wine + signature cocktail, and one had beer + wine+ liquor cash bar.  The rest were open bar.

We had an open bar at our wedding (in Southeast Michigan) and paid about $13 per guest for the standard house bar (this included unlimited beer, wine, basic liqour, and pop, juice, and mixers).  We also bought a keg for $175, but that was because I’m a beer snob and wanted to serve something besides Miller and Bud.  We also had 230 people at our wedding.

I’m usually in the camp that finds cash bars in poor taste (well at least in the US where it’s common for venues to provide alcohol packages).  I think serving some sort of alcohol (even if it’s just beer and wine) part of being a good host.  I would never invite someone to a party at my house and charge them for drinks.

Having said that though, I understand people can be on VERY tight budgets.  So if I know you are on a shoe-string budget, I’ll understand and I’m not going to be offended if you have a cash bar.  However, if the bride is wearing a designer dress, has eleborate flowers/decor, a 5 course meal, chiavari chairs, uplighting, etc. and a cash bar, then I’m going to be extremely annoyed.

Post # 26
Member
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Culturally, I’d be disowned if I went with a cash bar. It would be perceived as being extremely rude to your guests.. however I am Italian and the gifts given are very generous which reflects the cost of your plate and bar. Most large halls here have all inclusive packages which include an open standard or open premium bar. 

I would say it’s more of a social/cultural thing you need to be concerned about. I look at it this way – many of my guests will be giving me hundreds of dollars as a gift – they certainly would not be doing that if it didn’t include a ton of food and free drinks.

Post # 27
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@barbie86:  Totally the norm. A $20 and a mini flask are essential accessories for weddings. Cash bars are a lot of fun-both paying for people as a gesture, and doing secret shots with the bride/groom in the bathroom. 

Post # 29
Member
8066 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I have been to both but I haven’t been to a wedding with a cash bar in about 8 years or so.  So I would say open bars are more common.  But then again most of my friends like to drink so they make sure to make that a priority for their guests I think.  Many of them included liquor and a few were just beer and wine.  My drink of choice is wine so I am happy regardless.

Many places I’ve been to weddings at allowed the bride and groom to buy the alcohol themselves and bring it in for a bartender to serve…so if you can find some place that lets you do that aroun d here I think it is really inexpensive actually. 

Post # 30
Member
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

@barbie86:  When looking around venues, I only saw one place that did an £x per head for unlimited drinks, but that was only for during the meal. Once the meal and toasts etc. were done, and the evening part of the reception started, then the bar became a cash bar.

Post # 31
Member
910 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Here its kinda 50/50. Ive been to a few cash bar weddings which were ok. Ive been to open bars and those are fun too. Ours is beer wine and a signature cocktail. Its also at 1:00. Open bar would run $20 a person so for my 150 person wedding would be $3k. We decided against it because FIs side of the family is LDS. So at oeast 40 of those people wouldnt drink at all so a waste of like $800. You cant just pay for some and not for ones who u know wont drink. Its all or nothing. My family are all beer and wine drinkers and so are Fiance and I. So thats how we made our decision:)

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