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

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 61
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I’m in Canada and i’ve never attended an open bar wedding. Though I have to admit, i’m in my mid 20s and most of my friends need to have budget weddings. I’ve been to two cash bar weddings, and two BYOB! 🙂 Both were fun!

Post # 62
1305 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015


View original reply
maritimebride2016:  NYC- open bar. That’s what we had and I personally have never been to a wedding with a cash bar.

Post # 63
3080 posts
Sugar bee

I come from of family of non-drinkers. The last wedding we attended, my husband and I split one coke from the bar, for the whole night. I’m guessing that most are open bar (northeast USA), but I’ve been to some where I’ve only seen wine on the table, or wine, beer, and wine coolers. Some venues don’t allow hard liquor, or so I’ve heard.

Post # 64
4584 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I live in D.C., but have lived in NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, and SC. Open bar is the norm unless the couple is having a dry wedding for religious reasons. I would cringe a bit if I was invited to a cash bar, and would definitely not think to bring cash unless it was stated in advance.

Post # 65
1740 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
maritimebride2016:  Not normal here where I live (or in US anywhere as far as I know) But if your other friens had them, then at least those friends can’t be upset, right? 

Post # 67
35 posts
  • Wedding: January 2018

U.K. Bee it’s pretty standard here to have wine on the tables and for toasts etc, and cash bar. ive never been to one that was an open bar.

Post # 68
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

BC, Canada- most weddings ive been to has been a ‘$2 or $3 bar’ which is usually half of the cost of what the actual drinks are.. being that people can buy drink tickets.. i have been to one open bar (it was a riot.. holy never again lol), and been to one full cash bar ($7-9 drinks) — thats def one that we left early, or kept going back to our hotel room upstairs because honestly if you have you and your significant other it can be quite an expensive night if you are both drinking- We might do a ‘toonie bar’ which is just a $2 bar. but that is a very normal thing here in canada. 

We are also providing all wine 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by daydreaming00.
Post # 69
1077 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

SF Bay Area, open bars.  

Post # 70
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

UK, never been to a full open bar wedding, would love to though! 

Cash bar weddings I’ve been to have a welcome drink, wine on tables over dinner and a glass of fizz for toasts so you get a good amount of drink included. One Indian wedding I went to had so much wine on tables I never bought a drink all night. 

Also been to a couple of farm weddings where they’ve done a booze cruise to France then had a donation box on the bar. They get to cover some costs and guests get a drink for a pound, win win! 



Post # 71
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think it depends more on a mix of Socioeconomic Status and rural vs suburban vs urban factors.  

I live in the sticks on the Delmarva peninsula.  Cash bar is normal for the most part however couples who are more established and/or they are of higher socioeconomic status will have open or partially open bars.  

Young Couple #1- Bride still in college(Philly Area)- Champagne toast, otherwise dry wedding

Young Couple #2- Both recent college grad (NW PA)- Cash Bar

Older Couple #1- Paramedic and nurse in their 30s- Open Bar

Older Couple #2- Day care worker/manual laborer- dry wedding

FWIW, we had open beer, wine, and signature cocktail BUT my parents were paying.  It was by consumption and came to around $1k.  Whole wedding was around $9k (without rings/honeymoon).  If DH and I had paid, wedding would have been significantly smaller/different local and we probably would have done DIY bar.  

Post # 72
177 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve seen both at formal events and it’s usually a function of the couple’s/family’s income.  I’m pretty much happy with whatever folks provide.  I wouldn’t consider a cash bar tacky unless other elements of the wedding were over the top (e.g., flowers flown in from New Zealand, bride has 3 dresses)

Post # 73
3526 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
maritimebride2016:  I’m from the Maritimes too and I’ve never seen a wedding that wasn’t cash bar. 

Post # 74
10286 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

No, but if I went to a champagne only or wine and beer only, I wouldn’t care.

I don’t drink very much because I don’t like how I feel the next day, so maybe I’m not the target demo. But the bottom line is, IDGAF. if a couple does the best they can to host people, I’m happy.

Post # 75
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

View original reply
maritimebride2016:  NYC- open bar is the norm. I’ve had friends and family get married in NY/NJ/CT/PA/DC/VA and I’ve never seen anyone have a dry wedding or a cash bar.

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