(Closed) HOUSTON brides – Cash Bar?

posted 8 years ago in Houston
  • poll: Is a cash bar COMMON for Houston weddings?
    Most of the Houston weddings I have been to have been cash bar. : (4 votes)
    8 %
    Most of the Houston weddings I have been to were open bar. : (38 votes)
    79 %
    Other? : (6 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 4
    Member
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 1991

    Just because you and your Fiance are non-drinkers doesn’t mean that the two of you can ignore the obligation you have to host your guests.  We are both vegetarians, but will still served meat at the wedding because we cared about our guests’ enjoyment.

    Think of it this way:  if someone comes to your house for Christmas or to watch a football game or for a dinner party, you have an obligation to give that person food and drink. You  don’t charge them per drink.

    If you’re trying to save money, consider a beer and wine only reception.  Or consider having a fixed tab (where the first $2000 or so is on you, then anything beyond that is a cash bar).

    But, yes, I think cash bars are tacky.  A week later, all anyone will remember about your wedding was that you were the people with the cash bar.  The only time I’ve seen it done in Houston was at a brunch wedding reception.  Even then mimosas were free and anything beyond that was cash. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    681 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2018

    We provided beer and wine to our guests throughout the reception. My sister’s wedding will be open bar. Most of the weddings I have been to in town have been open bar.

    Definitely consider what’s appropriate for your group of friends and not just the area. Houston is extremely diverse! And in the end, do what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with. No one can fault you for making a decision based on those two things.

    Post # 6
    Member
    2742 posts
    Sugar bee

    Please do what you can and what fits your budget. If you cannot add an extra 2k to your wedding budget due to alcohol, then don’t add it. Why should you care if people gossip about you that you had a cash bar at your wedding? Is that what they are going to be thinking 10, 20 years down the line? I believe people should do whatever their budget fits and if your budget doesn’t fit alcohol, then so be it. Come to think of it, I checked out places in Houston, the cheapest I found was $21pp for 4hrs and since I am expecting 200 people, add that and the gratuity and it comes to a pretty penny. I’m taking a hatchet to my guest list though!!!

    Post # 7
    Member
    136 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I used to work in wedding catering, and I’ve been to tons of weddings here, and I have to say that every one of them was an open bar wedding unless it was dry for religious purposes (usually Baptist weddings, from what I’ve seen).  I would say, though, that you should do what works for you.  Who cares what people are “used to”?  It’s your wedding and your money!

    Also, if you’re really, really worrying about people missing the alcohol, what about a coffee bar (toppings?  Flavored syrups?) or a punch bar (mix your own flavors?  different fruits?) or something kinda cool like that?  If there’s something to drink besides the standard water and iced tea, especially if it’s interactive, maybe they won’t think about it as much…

    Post # 8
    Member
    165 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    From what I gather on here, open bars almost seem like a regional thing. I’m from Canada and the only wedding I have ever been to (out of approximately 15-20 with couples ranging in age from early 20’s to late 30’s) with an open bar was a tented event in the bride & groom’s backyard.

    That being said, I personally resent how people think cash bars are “tacky”, and I most certainly would not remember a wedding with a cash bar as a bad thing. Open bars tend to be very expensive, and I don’t personally feel it should be a built-in obligation for the bride & groom to pay for this, and risk that people will take extreme advantage of such a thing. To compare a cash bar to making someone who comes to your house pay for a drink you offer them is ridiculous – you absolutely cannot compare the two.

    If you are set on offering something, a fixed tab could be an idea. A growing trend I am seeing includes the option of one drink per guest included in the “dinner” price per person, or a bottle of white & bottle of red wine on the tables. I feel this breaks it up nicely – offers a “free” drink (or two) but not footing the bill for everyone.

    Bottom line: do what suits your budget. Open bars can break the bank. If it’s not financially possible, don’t sweat it. I’m sure your true friends will be glad to simply share in your day, regardless of whether you are funding their alcohol bill.

    Post # 10
    Member
    681 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2018

    I think that sounds great. The signature drink and champagne toast are really nice additions!

    Post # 11
    Member
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 1991

    @HisButtercup: I actually think a dry wedding is less tacky than a cash bar wedding.  There’s something that doesn’t sit right with me when you have guests messing with cash and borrowing money from people because they didn’t expect to need cash (we very rarely carry cash – pretty much debit card only – so we would need to leave to go to an ATM or borrow). It just creates a negative mood.

    As for remembering it, when I think back to all the weddings I’ve been to, the first thing I remember is if someone did something embarrassing (fell down walking the aisle, really horrible singing, etc).  Then I remember if I didn’t get enough food (hors d’oeurves only for a 5-10 PM wedding reception)  or alcohol (cash bar).  If none of those are a problem, then I do tend to remember the wedding (usually the cake, the layout of the room, and the dancing).  I’m not trying to be petty, but that’s just how it sticks out in my mind.  Talking to others, they’re the same way.

    As for a tight budget – trust me, I can relate.  But if you’re having an evening wedding, there are certain things that you must afford, otherwise you need to cut guests or save more.  One is food, another is alcohol.  You can get by without a DJ (using an iPod) and even with an amateur photographer, but to be a proper host, you need to be able to provide food and alcohol. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    37 posts
    Newbee

    I have been to many weddings in Houston and San Anontio, and only one was a cash bar (in San Antonio–and I won’t use the “T” word, but I will say that guests seemed a little “surprised” by it).  However, I have been to several dry weddings in Houston.  I agree with CoffeeHound that a dry wedding is better than a cash bar.  And I think having a champagne toast and signature drink is perfectly fine–I wouldn’t have a cash bar on top of that.

    Post # 13
    Member
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 1991

    @piper: Yeah, that does sound nice.  Signature drink + champaign, then just non-alcoholic drinks.  You’ll just need to have a lot of that signature drink because people will really down it if it’s the only alcohol available. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    1011 posts
    Bumble bee

    The weddings that I have attended in Houston were either dry (perhaps with a champange toast) or open bar.  The open bar, like mine, may have had very limited options, however.  We only offered 2 kinds of beer, white wine and red wine.

    Post # 15
    Member
    165 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    @evalague – absolutely fair! I skipped right over the part you had written about the champagne toast – I agree totally! You should not have to sacrifice the time of your wedding, or “other costs” – ie, DJ – to accomodate an open bar. Stick to your priorities, and don’t let anyone judge you or bully you with “the T” word – free alcohol, at least to me, certainly is not what makes or breaks a wedding; and you should never be forced to give up things that are important to you or be made to feel like you must have an open bar to have an evening reception – that is completely unfair.

    If you are having reservations about any “awkwardness”, maybe try to include it in the program in a subtle manner – ie – “Reception with Cash Bar” – to give your guests a heads up. If you have allotted time for photos after the reception, it will give any unprepared guests a chance to hit the ATM.

    Post # 16
    Member
    103 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    @CoffeeHound – if you’re having an evening wedding, there are certain things that you must afford, otherwise you need to cut guests or save more

    are you kidding me?

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