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

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 91
Member
1180 posts
Bumble bee

No. I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar. Ever.

Post # 92
Member
1231 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

NY/LI Bee here – Open Bar is the norm. 

Post # 93
Member
3791 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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maritimebride2016:  Upper midwest, and cash bar is very normal around here. It’s rare that something is completely an open bar for the ENTIRE reception. However, you may have a cash bar and a couple kegs of beer (free). Or, an open bar for a few hours and then a cash bar.

That is what we did… we had an open bar for about 3 hours, and then it switched to a cash bar. We also had a free keg of beer.

Post # 94
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

 I’m in Detroit,  and open bars are the norm. If someone around here had a cash bar, I think people would consider it tacky and cheap. I would be embarrassed to ask people to pay for any part of my reception,  even their own drinks. 

Post # 95
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

SoCal open bar. Especially if you are keeping people on a boat for hours to get to your wedding. Buy their drinks 

Post # 96
Member
3106 posts
Sugar bee

I live in the Caribbean; no cash bar here.

Post # 97
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - St.Matthews Church, Hants, UK

UK bee. I think open bars would be considered dangerous here – both financially and for your guests health.

Been to several where the bar ran out of multiple types of alcohol and the guests just moved to something else and carried on. It was quite common to make £5k on the bar ($7000 approx) for a 100 person wedding at the hotel I worked at – noone wants that added on their bill. Sometimes the hosts put money behind the bar (opening for a certain amount of time). The most I saw was £2k and that was gone in about 90 mins. 

Post # 98
Member
13567 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I’ve never been to a wedding that had a cash bar. I’ve been to too many weddings to count, all over the US as well as several in countries or regions where some people say this is the norm. The budgets ranged from modest to generous. 

This doesn’t necessary mean open and unlimited. There might be a glass of butlered wine at cocktail hour and a glass of champagne or wine served at the tables for a toast, for example. Or the bar might close after cocktail hour, close early, or offer only wine.

There is not this idea that unlimited access to alcohol whether free or for a price is some kind of entitlement. 

Post # 99
Member
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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SithLady:  I’m also from Maine and this has been my experience. This year I will be going to my first open bar wedding, but it certainly is not the norm. Cash bars are accepted here, and nearly every wedding Ive been to have taken place at a VFW ha-ha!

Post # 100
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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vblanch:  Yup. Mainers love their VFWs (or similar halls)! We have weddings, funerals, family reunions, bean suppers, everything there! With a cash bar!

 

ETA: I’m not surprised to see that Maine’s philosophy on bars is similar to what many Maritime Canadians have described.  We tend to be similar types of people!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by SithLady.
Post # 101
Member
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: Saint Domingue

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maritimebride2016:  Wisconsin, a keg of beer is normally provided along with soda and anything else is available for purchase.  Oh, and usually champagne is served for a toast.  I’ve never been to a wedding with an open bar.  Nothing at all tacky here about a cash bar. 

People on here seem to forget not everyone comes from the same cultural, financial, geographical background and it gets so old.  

Post # 102
Member
448 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Another from the UK here. Never know an open bar, but not been to many weddings. A cash bar is completely normal and expected. I’m having an open bar purely because we’re having a destination wedding and I didn’t want to ask people to pay for anything on the actual wedding day, given they’ve paid a lot of money to be there in the first place. Most of our guests were still surprised and they all seem excited. We are big drinkers and so are our family and friends. The British drinking culture is a fine thing to behold haha.

Post # 103
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee

I’m in the Canadian prairies and cash/subsidized bars are definitely the norm. A friend of mine gave everyone 2 free drinks then it was cash for the rest of the night (other than bridal party). We plan to either do that or a $2-3 bar with a couple bottles of wine on each table and free pop/water/coffee. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding with an open bar.

Post # 104
Member
1140 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Mid-Atlantic, grew up in the Northeast, have attending weddings in the Southeast. Always open bar.  Sometimes just beer and wine, but I’ve never seen a cash bar at a wedding.

Post # 105
Member
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I live in Ontario (Canada) and have never been to a wedding here that wasn’t cash bar. That’s all age ranges, different types of venues, different socioeconomic statuses… Just never. I always expect to pay. We’re going to three other weddings this year and I know for a fact they’re all cash bars. But alcohol is also twice (or more) as expensive here as the US so I wonder if that plays into it? I’m always shocked by how cheap liquor is in the States. With that said, the only open bar wedding I’ve been to was in Atlanta! 

We’re doing an open bar and just serving beer and wine. Everyone’s been pretty surprised to hear that we’re not charging! 

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