Post # 1
Fiance and I are getting super close to the wedding (yay!), but also super close to our budget limit (boo!). We’ve decided against doing the original idea of an open bar because of expenses, but are really hesitant to the idea of a cash bar because of how much negativity there is toward it.
BUT I have heard several ladies on here mention that they are giving their guests “drink tickets” and then after they have used them up the bar turns into a cash bar.
How does this work, and how did it go for you?? This would be a great compromise for us!
Post # 3
i’ve been to a wedding where they had open bar (just beer and wine) for 2 hours (cocktail and dinner) and then after that it was cash bar – or if you wanted liquor you had to pay for that as well from the beginning. i honestly didn’t mind paying for drinks after the first 2 hours. so maybe you could do something like that?
Post # 4
We have 3 hours of open bar…there’s a cocktail hour with open bar, then it is shut down for dinner, and then 2 more hours of open bar during dancing and then we still have up to 3 1/2 more hours for dancing which will be cash bar.
My best friend did drink tickets for her wedding and it was absolutely fine. When you found your seat there were drink tickets on your plate and you just went to the bar to cash them in. I think we each had 3. Then after that I’d have had to continue paying for drinks but I was informed the best man had a stash for certain people. It was actually a great way for her to keep people from getting out of control too. Wish I could do it just for my brother in law lol.
Post # 5
@Oribel013690: You give them tickets, similar to raffle style. People who don’t want there’s can give them to to others but it usually keeps the bride and groom’s cost down, because they are only paying for 2 or 3 drinks per person instead of an open bar cost.
Post # 6
No. Please no.
@totheislnds: good suggestion
Post # 7
I’m doing wine at the tables and drink tickets. No cash bar, when they drink tickets are gone, they are gone (unless handed some more by our parents). We aren’t doing it to reduce costs but to reduce excessive drinking. It will also reduce costs though, because I’m guessing people will be more careful with their drinks; no taking a sip from a drink, setting it down somewhere and going to get another drink. I’m hoping it works out well!
Post # 8
We had wine on all the tables (and tons left over lol). We gave all of our guests 4 drinks tickets that were in a little card holder type thing. It went over really well. ALl my of family and friends are big drinkers and there was no way we could afford an open bar (even for 2 hours lol). THe people who didnt drink gave their drink tickets to those who did. Plus there were 3 kinds of wine that were free. It worked really well for us!
Post # 9
@s_h_e_l_b_s: That’s encouraging! Glad to hear it worked out for you.
Post # 10
There are a few different ways you could offer your guests something without doing the full bar.
You could limit it by time, and by what you offer as mentioned above. The problem with that vs. tickets is you still won’t have an exact cost ahead of time to make sure you can cover.
Where I’m currently selling weddings, most of my brides (and likely myself included) will have a set dollar amount. The bar is open (either full or more often beer and wine) until that amount is reached. This way you know going in exactly how much it will cost you, you aren’t dealing with tickets (and check with your venue, some places won’t allow that), your guests are still treated to something and it’s pretty easy for the venue to keep track of as well.
Post # 11
can you do just beer and wine instead of on open bar? I would rather have free beer/wine for the entire night then cocktails if my choice was to pay after X time.
Post # 12
Due to money, we are doing drink tickets. We are buying everyone their first two drinks. But we will also have wine on all the tables as well. We made these cute little tickets:
We get married in 3 days so I will let you know how it goes 🙂
Post # 13
I think you should offer what you can afford to which may be a limited selection, a time period of open, or punch or whatever.
I do not think anyone should ever give out more tickets to people then what the # free is. It just makes it seem like an A and B list situation. Oh Mary you are a really close friend you get 3 drinks, but you Sally, you are only a 2 drink friend. Sorry about that.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies!
@totheislnds: We have thought of this option as well–just having the bar open for a few hours and then turn into a cash bar, or paying ahead a certain amount of money, and after that amount is exceeded it turns into a cash bar. But I see a couple problems with this:
If we leave the bar open for a few hours, people may still be careless with their drinks, or drink excessively to try to get as much in before the bar turns cash. In this case we may end up paying more than our budget allows anyway. Some people may also not want to drink before dinner (I never do, because being hungry and drinking makes me feel sick), so some people may get way more drinks than others, which isn’t very fair to me 🙁
I feel like offering drink tickets will really cut down on waste while also allowing a fair distribution of drinks. And people who would rather not drink can give theirs to someone else!
@s_h_e_l_b_s: That is really encouraging!
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2011 - Hunter's Ridge, Princeton, IL
@Tswife4ever: Woot! Congrats on your upcoming wedding!
@Oribel013690: I don’t hate drink tickets AT ALL (they’re given out at events, why not at a wedding?) and I would appreciate going to a wedding that told me the drink policy upfront. There is NOTHING worse than going up to a bar without your purse because you *assume* it’s going to still be free, then you get hit with an amount after they’ve made the drink. And where’s your purse?! Awkward.
I say just go with drink tickets & don’t worry about what the other people think about it! If our venue allowed that, we would be ALL OVER IT. 🙂
Post # 16
I have been to weddings where they had drink tickets and it was fine. I say do it if that is what the budget calls for.
Maybe you can ask some people to spread the word that it will be a cash bar.