(Closed) Cash Only Bar??? Tacky???

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Definitely nothing wrong with a cash bar! Go for it!

Post # 4
Member
1336 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Maybe you can do drink tickets for the wedding party?  I have been to a wedding where it was only cash bar all night, and honestly it’s a little disappointing, but I don’t think it’s tacky.  As long as you cover the basic non-alcoholic drinks for your guests and the toast I think you’re fine. 

Post # 5
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

You don’t invite people to your home and charge them to drink. A wedding is no different. Only offer what you can afford and completely skip what you can’t.

People will find out that select folks have special privileges and be very ticked off by it. Some will con them into spending the entire evening getting free drinks. Don’t go that route unless you want people talking behind your back about your rude planning.

If 95% don’t drink, then you have already answered your question that you don’t need to serve alcohol. Coffee, tea and soda is plenty. Most people only barely take a sip of champagne out of obligation and the rest goes to waste. It sounds like that will happen if the majority don’t drink to begin with. Can your venue provide lemonade in addition? That shouldn’t cost $1200 for 100 people, even if they drink several per hour.

Post # 6
Member
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Just wanted to add that I think this is a very regional thing – around here, it’s very common to have a cash bar, and it’s absolutely not a big deal. Where you live will probably affect whether or not people are expecting an open bar.

Post # 7
Member
1740 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

i think your idea is perfect for your wedding… there is no problem with it

Post # 8
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

Just because something is considered acceptable in certain regions doesn’t make it right. A breach of etiquette (placing your guests in a social situation that makes them uncomfortable and reflect badly on the host) is not regional. Some people may choose to ignore it though but it is still a faux pas.

Post # 9
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@ Ember – you made your point in your first post, you don’t like the idea of cash bars, so why belabour your point with a second post? That only serves to make other posters feel badly.

Post # 10
Member
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Well, I guess it’s all a matter of personal opinion. I’ve never minded when there have been cash bars at weddings I’ve attended. I know this is a pretty touchy issue here on WB – there are a lot of varying opinions! Smile

Post # 11
Member
1982 posts
Buzzing bee

Ember, I think that’s a little harsh. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with offering to get drinks for the only people that will drink. Yes, I do get disappointed by cash bars, but you know what? I (and others) still buy drinks and still have a good time. It isn’t a faux pas if it’s acceptable or expected, it’s just part of the regional culture. Wedding etiquette isn’t universal.

Post # 12
Member
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I would definitely not have different sets of rules for the wedding party and the rest of the guests.  That is really rude, because it basically says that everyone else isn’t as good as the wedding party, or you don’t care if they enjoy your reception as much as the wedding party.

It’s also my opinion that cash bars are rude, but I know others disagree.  I think you’d be better off serving no alcohol at all before making people pay for it.  Think of it this way:  If you could only afford to serve chicken, would you tell guests they could pay more if they wanted to buy a steak?  Of course not, you would just serve the chicken and everyone would be happy.  It’s the same thing with drinks.  Just serve what you can afford, and in this case that means soft drinks, coffee and tea.  But even if you do decide to have a cash bar, please please don’t give some guests free drinks and make others pay (even if the free ones are only to the wedding party).  That’s a way bigger faux pas than just having a cash bar.

Post # 13
Member
2344 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Since only 5 or 6 of your guests would really drink, would it really matter if you had a by-consumption bar? I can’t imagine that would be more than $40, though of course you would have to pay for the bartender. I just feel like, since you have such a small number of drinkers, there has to be a way you can work it out where it would be very inexpensive, but you would still look like the gracious host. 

Post # 14
Member
3285 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

since they provide soda, there’s nothing wrong with a cash bar IMO.  

I was recently at a wedding and soda was part of the cash bar which was no fun at all!  i don’t need alcohol to have a good time, but don’t separate me from my Diet Coke =)

Post # 15
Member
1045 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2008

Here in England, it’s common to put a certain amount of money “behind the bar,” and the drinks are charged on consumption and taken care of by this tab from the bride and groom.  If less than 5 people out of your 100 guests are drinking, I’m sure they couldn’t possibly drink THAT much– will your venue let you be billed on consumption?

If I were you, I would scrap the plans for the champagne toast– so much champagne gets wasted that way, even in a reception where the majority of the guests drink alcohol.

Post # 16
Member
599 posts
Busy bee

No offense, but a cash bar is a huge faux pas in terms of etiquette. There are many ways to cut costs. Have only wine and beer. Or maybe a signature drink. Or just have the bar open certain hours. But dont have a cash bar. People wont know to bring money to a wedding. I agree that a wedding is about more than drinking. And if you want I am all for a dry wedding. Just not a cash bar. And I understand not everyone feels the same way. But this is a board post and this is my opinion. Take it or leave it.

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