Post # 46
@andielovesj: This is my experience as well.
Pretty much all of the weddings I have been to have either been open bar or “open” wine and beer. I’ve never been to a purely cash bar. I have been to one wedding with tickets.
I’m not going to weigh in on the tacky or not…because I do think that it has something to do with what your friends and family “do”. I AM going to say that if your parents have pointed out that it’s a host issue for them and they are insisting on an open bar, that they might be trying to tell you that in your social group, the drink tickets will not go over well.
The drink issue, for me, is all about hosting. I didn’t want my guests to have to worry or pay for anything once they got to my wedding. I sacrificed the dress, flowers, etc. in order to make sure that my guests’ comfort was the main focus. For me, that includes providing wine and drinks.
Post # 47
@girlwiththeredhair: That would be me. I almost always notice that the people commenting that all the weddings they have been to are cash bars are usually from Canada. And I only noticed this because the idea of a cash bar is pretty much unthinkable in my neck of the woods, so if someone had one it would be a rare event.
Dry weddings are more common at home because some of the religions round our way believe any drinking is a sin.
Whether it be social circle or geography, the OP should still find out what IS customary, if for no other reason guests need to be aware if they should bring money or not.
Post # 48
personally i am not a fan of drink tickets or cash bars, I feel that if guests are coming to celebrate with you, the least you can do is provide drinks and food for them. I agree with PP that if I were attending a wedding at a brewery, i would certainly be excited to sample the beer varieties and feel disappointed if i had to limit myself based on the allotted tickets. Can you trim the budget elsewhere, I’m sure the brewery has great character and less decoration would be needed! Just an idea…
Post # 49
I’ve been a server at plenty of weddings that did tickets, and it’s also an option at our venue as well. I think they’re totally fine if they’re common to the area (cash bars with a few hosted kegs or a few drink tickets is very common here *midwest, near Canada*) and I’ve never been to or worked at an open bar wedding. I think it’s a nice compromise to provide your guests a few free beverages but limit the hit to your budget.
The dinner host comparison thing has a point, but, I also don’t host dinner parties where I provide 8-12 beers for people or half a bottle of wine (or more) per guest. Drink tickets are basically the equivilent of hosting x # of beers, and those who want to drink beyond that can buy their extras. I don’t see a problem with it.
Post # 50
I had a hosted bar, with tickets. It was a compromise between my parents and my husband. My parents wanted a full, open bar but my husband was worried about certain people making a scene by getting too drunk.
We had wine with dinner, and people were not able to buy drinks at all (extra tickets were handed out if someone didn’t look trashed). I don’t know if it really helped as there were so many tickets that there were tickets left on every single table. It may have at least been a good reminder to people though, we wanted them to have a good time but the tickets might have kept them in check and tracking how much they already had!
I don’t know if your budget would allow you to do the same or not.
Post # 51
I am a Canadian Bee and I have never been to a cash bar reception or seen a drink ticket so it is not the norm in canada. I have only seen open bars at the wedding I have attended here in Ontario as well as down east where alot of my family is from.
Post # 52
As for weddings I’ve been to I’ve seen a wide range, open, dry, wine at tables only, wine at tables & cash bar, toonie bars. I don’t think I’ve been to one where all drinks had to be paid full price for though, they were either discounted (toonie bar) or at least some wine was provided.
Post # 53
Drink tickets are not tacky.. It’s complimentary. Like the pop, only less! Those who don’t like em… pass em to buddy a few seats over.
Post # 54
Agreed. I’m not having a cash bar and I have never been to one that has been either.
Post # 55
We did drink tickets! We bought everyone one drink because that was what we could afford and nobody had a problem with it!
Post # 56
I have a really big problem with charging guests to attend a wedding. Guests are traveling, giving a gift, and likely staying in a hotel. It’s expensive to throw a wedding, but it’s also expensive to be a guest. I really feel that the reception is for the guests, and it’s our duty as brides to make sure they have a wonderful night. Cash bars/drink tickets are just cop outs, in my opinion. Do beer and wine and a signature cocktail, or just passed wine with dinner.
Post # 57
@pinkandsparkly: 100% agree (Could be that I see you’re from Boston, and I grew up outside Worcester, so we had the same wedding atmosphere/etiquette mumbojumbo!). I think cash bars are rude, to be honest. On top of buying a dress, gift, getting to the wedding, giving up an entire day to be with the couple (maybe even travel expenses to get there, time off from work, etc), you now want me to pay for my drinks? I actually get really miffed about cash bars..and if someone gave me a drink ticket, I’d feel like I was back in those college networking events that Career Services held (and bribed you to come to with “two drink tickets!”).
The whole point of a wedding reception is to have a big party to celebrate. When you host any sort of party, you don’t charge your guests for their beverages, whether they be alcoholic or not. When I have a dinner party, I don’t offer complimentary soda and water, and give tickets at the door to redeem for alcohol. I think it’s cheesy, and asking for people to be uncomfortable/put off.
Post # 58
@Katy Liddell: I saw a tv wedding show once where the bride and groom purchased 3 tickets for everyone (let’s say 300) and instead of putting them at table (which is a little… er… unusual?) they kept them behind the bar. They basically pulled a ticket for every drink they served and once the bar reached 300 drinks, they converted to a cash bar. It was nice because you still pay for 3 drinks per person, on average, but you don’t have to worry about people having to bring tickets up to get a drink.
Also, funny that all the other Canadian’s say that cash bar is common. I’ve been to lots of weddings and never seen a cash bar or drink tickets before!
Post # 59
@nycbrde2011: Good to know i’m not the only Canadian who has never seen a cash bar or drink tickets!
Post # 60
I haven’t been to many weddings but a cash bar is not the norm in my neck of the woods. I do not think it is tacky to hold a cash bar or provide tickets. If I host a party I provide some alcohol but my guests bring alcohol as well especially if they want something specific. It’s my wedding….my goal is not to pay for my guests to get drunk. For those brides who have a large brudget, that’s great! I would have a host bar too but unfortunately I can’t afford that. I would rather spend my money on my dress, flowers, etc… than on alcohol. But that being said, alcohol doesn’t pay a big part in my life so I view it as less important.