Post # 1
We are planning a destination wedding in Savannah, GA so everyone will be coming in front out of town. Because of this, we are only able to invite our immediate families and wedding party to the rehearsal dinner.
The dinner will be held in a large private room at a restaurant that actually has it’s own bar. We would like to invite all of our guests to join us after dinner for a welcome party.
Unfortunately we only have about $500 left to host a cocktail hour for our 80-100 guests.
So I need your help. Is it ok to host a party but with a cash bar? Or should we have a $500 tab that will switch to cash bar after that is used up? This means that it is possible that not everyone will get a free drink before the tab runs out and we can’t afford appetizers.
* Or we could do passed hor d’oeuvres and champagne (hosted) + cash bar.
If we do have a cash bar – how do we word this on the invitation?
Post # 4
I don’t think that it is ok. But I do think you could not offer booze. I think you could have quite a lovely party without alcohol. But you cannot properly host any party and then charge your guests for a portion of that hospitality.
Post # 5
@andielovesj: Thanks but alcohol must be available in one way or another. It’s Savannah (known for drinking), it’s in a room with a giant beautiful bar, it’s at 9:00pm. It would be a huge tease to not have it.
Post # 6
Is there somewhere else nearby that you could host a small party? Inviting guests for appetizers and making them pay for alcohol after you and your bridal party have clearly had dinner there isn’t the greatest impression. Could you perhaps opt for a pizza place that would have a homey atmosphere where your money would buy a lot of pizza, pop and beer? I think less elegant but more welcoming might be a better way to go.
Post # 7
I voted for hor d’oeuvres and cash bar. I think instead of a hosted welcome party, you can consider this more as a meet and greet. Guests can stop by, say hello, chat a little, and buy a drink at the bar if they want to hang out.
Post # 8
@Cappugcino: Actually it would not be clear that we had dinner there. The room will be cleared after dinner and cocktail tables set up. It’s a welcome party – a chance for everyone to stop in and say hi when they get into town. We have already paid the deposit to rent the room for the night. We’re not going somewhere else.
Post # 9
I think you need to talk to the venue and see what they can provide to fit your budget and if they will work with you a little more. I think based on your options, you need to provide the most to your guests who are not attending the dinner and especially if you choose one where not everyone might get a drink or an appetizer, it seems like its more of a meet and greet than something you should even send invitations for.
Post # 10
Something we’ve done for friend’s – one of the bridal party shoots an email saying “we will meet for drinks at X location, starting at X time” Much like just going to a bar with everyone.
If you want to do formal invitations, you could say “join us for champagne and snacks” it’s somewhat understood cash bar.
Post # 11
Cash bar and host hor dourves is perfect. Or maybe something where, soda, is free? I see nothing wrong with a cash bar. I think sometimes when things are open bar people abuse it.
If it’s not in your budget don’t worry about it.