(Closed) Is a cash bar normal where you live?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 47
1733 posts
Bumble bee

I am in Iowa- it’s completely normal here. No one wants to pay for people getting drunk on their dime.

We are having a bottle of wine on every other table (15 bottles, otherwise a bottle on every table is A LOT). Then unlimited soda and a 1/2 keg. Anything else is cash bar.


Post # 48
5136 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

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maritimebride2016:  open bar is the norm where i am (NYC)

Post # 49
1347 posts
Bumble bee

Australia – I didn’t realize cash bars were even a thing until I joined weddingbee…

Post # 50
1617 posts
Bumble bee

Northern New England – cash bars are pretty normal here!

Post # 51
146 posts
Blushing bee

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maritimebride2016:  PA here. I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but it’s definitely something you encounter (excluding Philly area). Because I’ve been to them before, I’m not offended when I end up at one, more just surprised. I personally think it’s appropriate, if you know your guests drink, to offer something – even if it’s just a basic beer or wine or 1 bar drink or something. To me, you’re hosting a party and it’s the host’s responsibility.

That being said – if it’s normal for your crowd, I see no problem having it. The only problem, IMO, comes in when it’s not something your guests would be used to and they end up surprised by it.

Post # 52
3625 posts
Sugar bee

NJ and have never seen one.

Post # 53
939 posts
Busy bee

NE US here. I don’t think I have ever been to a cash bar wedding. 

Post # 54
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m in Orange County, CA. All the weddings I’ve been to have either been dry(moms side of the family doesn’t drink). Dads side has been cash. And all our friends who have been getting married either do drink tickets which I hate, or partial open. we opted for partial as request of my FIs mom lol plus 3k is a lot. Cocktail hour, wine on table, champagne toasts is provided. Plus we will have little bottles as our favors

Post # 55
423 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I have been so fascinated with the cash/open bar debates on this board. I am in the Apalachin region of Kentucky and live in a county where you couldn’t buy alcohol legally until this year.  If there is alcohol at a wedding at all it is a cash bar. However it’s much more likely the wedding will be dry. Even the very high end high dollar weddings I’ve attended have had cash bars. The only weddings I have attended that provided any alcohol at all were out of town.

To be honest the most fun I have ever had at a wedding was my cousins and they had a BYOB wedding. It was the the poster wedding for rustic elegance before it was cool. 


Post # 57
809 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

In fact I’m going to a wedding in a couple of months that is ‘open bar’ but they won’t have spirits. Now I love G&T, and can’t drink more than one glass of wine. I would be happier paying for what I actually wanted to drink!!

Post # 58
629 posts
Busy bee

In Texas – Big no, no.

I have been to true “Open Bar” weddings with all spirirts and I have been to “Beer and Wine Open Bar” and they were both great!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by misspenny2010.
Post # 59
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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maritimebride2016:  you should add a poll!

I have lived in texas, Boston, and now southern California, all in very large metro cities. I have been to many wedding and never been to a wedding with a cash bar. Once I attended a wedding that switched to open beer and wine only after cocktail hour, at which time guests could purchase drinks with hard alcohol, so maybe that sort of counts? But every other wedding has always been full open bar. 

Post # 60
3974 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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maritimebride2016:  SWFL and there is a bit of a mish mash in my circle. I find that it is typically a “limited” open bar, meaning that people will supply X amount of alcohol themselves, they’ll offer a limited selection, they’ll pay for X amount of the bar tab and then once that’s up it will turn into a cash bar. I’ve been to many, many weddings and I think I’ve only paid at one, but I will tell you, I was disgruntled at all hell.

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