crazy over the top with a cash bar?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: what would you prefer?

    i dont care if i have to pay as long as they are happy with a beautiful wedding

    no way i want the booze

    i find it rude

    i dont care either way

  • Post # 46
    Member
    702 posts
    Busy bee

    Maybe it’s because im from the U.K. but here it’s normal to get a few free drinks, normally it’s a welcome drink (prosecco/champagne) a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and then a toast drink (prosecco or champagne again) included in the day but if you want something other than those drinks (and whatever you want to drink in the evening) then you pay for it, I would be VERY surprised if i Went to a wedding and was not charged for any drinks. It’s really not a thing here!

     

    so did they not supply any drinks at all? If not that would be really weird! 

     

    EDIT: Having read through the comments, yes I agree it was tacky!! Our wedding comes to £9k total, if we had a fully paid for bar it would double our wedding costs and we just can’t afford it, not that anyone here would expect it anyway, but when you’re spending that much money you should have an open bar, no one spends that kind of money and can’t stretch to an open bar, it would be a fraction of the total cost

    Post # 47
    Member
    3069 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2000

    Your poll didnt seem to cover my point of view which is:

    Make  sure there is booze (wine and beer are fine with me.) If you won’t pay for it, so be it.

    But if you expect me to give up 6 hours on a Saturday night for your pretty princess party,  you had better make sure I have alcohol available to aid me sitting through all of that.

    Post # 48
    Member
    119 posts
    Blushing bee

    Just curious what you guys are spending on open bars? I have 360 guests and am not sure how much alcohol I can cover. But apparently it’s extremely tacky to have a cash bar? Just want to get an idea.

    Post # 49
    Member
    9883 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    It’s inappropriate to have a cash bar at a lavish wedding.  In my circle, cash bars are frowned upon in general, but having something over the top without an open bar would get some serious side eye from me.

    Post # 50
    Member
    193 posts
    Blushing bee

    My problem with cash bars is, unless it’s super normal and expected in your friends group.. who carries cash?!

    (I’ve only experienced a single cash bar.. I don’t know if other guests were surprised but everyone from my friends circle was. It was very literally cash only and no one had cash.  It was kind of surprising too just because the groom, who is our friend, is suuuuuch a wine afficionato. The reception was very much wine themed, with crafted centerpieces made from wine bottles and escort card holders made from corks, etc..  but meanwhile none of us could get a glass of wine, lol!)

    I have to agree if the wedding was very lavish it’d add some saltiness.. 

    Post # 51
    Member
    93 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    I wouldn’t care. I’m not a big drinker, so it wouldn’t bother me. Actually, I read your post and thought “Hey, that’s a pretty good way to reduce the number of wedding drunks!” My least favorite part of all the weddings I’ve been to have been the relatives who just keep drinking until they embarras themselves. I’m just doing wine and beer at mine (maybe, probably) because tipsy people make me really uncomfortable, and it’s my wedding, so I don’t want to be uncomfortable. It’s the one place I’m being totally selfish. Everything else, for me, is fairly negotiable. 

    Post # 52
    Member
    5712 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Cash bars are so rude. When’s the last time you had someone over for dinner and asked them to pay for a glass of wine? It’s the same principle. When a cash bar is coupled with a lavish wedding it says the couple is selfish. The fear of drunk guests is a pretty weak excuse.

    I don’t even drink, but I’d really disdainful of this and it would definitely affect the amount of money I gave the couple. I’ve been to lots and lots of weddings and know only one person who had a cash bar but it was a really stripped down affair at a VFW hall. My husband was appalled, he didnt even know cash bars were a thing. Among family and other friends it’s just not done ever.

    Post # 53
    Member
    243 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    In Northern Minnesota cash bars are also the norm. If any alcohol is free it’s keg beer, along with pop and, of course, water.  My fiance doesn’t drink, and half of his immediate family doesn’t drink, so I can’t expect him to want to provide over-the-top cocktails when he doesn’t see it as a necessity to have a good time.  We are providing keg beer, wine, and pop because I find this route easier than hiring a cash bar.  But, to answer your question, I have been to weddings with only a cash bar and never though anything of it, I bring cash to weddings for that reason.  My gift is already sealed or wrapped and find it tacky to change that out based on having to pay for bar drinks.

    Yes, wine glasses for a cash bar is odd though… so are any personalized favors unless they are can koozies.

    Post # 54
    Member
    427 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    Like 

    View original reply
    sunburn, I don’t even drink and I still find it rude. Also people need to stop acting like the only alternative is a fully open bar. The rude part is asking your guests to pay for anything. If a complete bar is too expensive, offer beer and wine. Lots of people do that, and while some people may prefer liquor, at least there is a free option. 

    Yes, weddings are expensive, but your priority should be making sure the guests are having a good time, otherwise why invite them?

    Post # 55
    Member
    4577 posts
    Honey bee

    View original reply
    sharpshooter :  you don’t carry a credit card in case of an emergency?

    Post # 56
    Member
    5891 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2017

    I absolutely hate cash bars. 

    View original reply
    tulip502 :  yes it will be tacky to have invited 360 guests and not cover the alcohol for them. Budget that your guests will have 2 drinks during the first hour at the reception and then 1 drink per hour thereafter, minimum. Alcohol will account for 10-20% of your wedding budget. If you can’t afford it then cut down your wedding guest list. 

    Post # 58
    Member
    119 posts
    Blushing bee

    View original reply
    lifeisbeeutiful :  I wouldn’t cut down my guest list just because I might not be providing enough alcohol for them, I think it would be more rude to not invite some guests than to not have an open bar. I will be providing beer and wine but wasn’t sure about mixed drinks. 

    Post # 59
    Member
    4873 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    alfalfasprout10518 :  Yes I’d be totally wtf if everything was super expensive and fancy but guests would have to fork out for a glass of wine. Cash bars are not done where I come from. Most wedding venues here don’t allow you to to opt out of a per person drink package including alcohol. They were at the minium 60pp for six hours at most venues.

    I’d understand if it was against their religion if they opted to go this route but maybe they were concerned that lots of people would get completely drunk at their wedding. I went to a wedding about 7 or so years ago and the grooms side of the family got completely trashed to the point of being me being embarrassed for them because their behaviour was uncouth for the venue and occasion it was. The grooms father wet himself because he was so drunk. (He was in a kilt which made it worse because he went traditional and no fabric existed to at least catch it) he then passed out sprawling along the table next to the dance floor with his ass cheek and back view of his hanging nutsack on display!!

    Maybe this couple knew that issues existed with open bars and certain guests. I wouldn’t do a cash bar to circumnavigate a potential situation like the wedding I mentioned above but maybe they have a moral objection to alcohol or know what can happen with their particular crowd because if they splashed out on everything else it doesn’t sound like  budget was a factor in their decision to go cash bar. 

     

    Post # 60
    Member
    318 posts
    Helper bee

    I’ve been to weddings where it’s open bar for a set amount of time, like for the first two hours or before the reception started (as welcome drinks) and then turned to cash bar. But bottled wine was on the table throughout the evening.  I feel if you can’t afford an open bar, or if you know half your guests don’t really drink, at least wine/beer is a suitable option.

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