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

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 106
Member
3102 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

NJ – open bar. I’ve been to one event/wedding that had a cash bar in over 30 years. Sadly the whole wedding was not great from a guest perspective. There weren’t any drinks of any kind for at least 2 hours but the groom’s bridal party brought in some beer and soda – for themselves. Need I say more? 

Post # 107
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Iowa – beer/wine is very normal

Post # 108
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2016

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maritimebride2016:  Wisconsin and it’s 50/50. Some venues don’t allow you to supply your own alcohol and then charge you an outrageous amount for a keg of beer.  I get married this fall and we have to do cash bar because we cannot afford to do otherwise. We have to have 1 bartender for every 50 guests and each bartender has to make $75/hr in alcohol sales (soda not counted)and us buying a keg from them to have free for guests does NOT get counted towards that price. We have 200 guests which would mean they have to spend $300/hr which won’t happen with an open bar. 

Post # 109
Member
358 posts
Helper bee

NYC/NJ here and I’ve never been to a cash bar wedding in either state.

Post # 112
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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maritimebride2016:  Your wedding sounds like it will be lovely! I’ve always loved those short bay cruises, they’re so much fun. 

Post # 113
Member
677 posts
Busy bee

Midwest US cash bars are the norm. I’ve been to very few weddings with an open bar. Usually when having a cash bar there will be a couple of free kegs of beer.

Post # 114
Member
1979 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

New Jersey – open bar only.  Cash bar is considered bad hosting here. 

Post # 115
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Ontario, Canada and we are having an open bar..that being said my fiancé have been to a couple weddings with “toonie bars” that seem to be a good happy medium for people that think straight up cash bars are tacky. We chose to have an open bar because that’s what we wanted since our main goal is for our guests to have a good time and we are 24 and most of our friends like to drink. I personally don’t care either way, if there’s an open bar that’s fantastic but either way we are still going to have a great time 🙂

Post # 116
Member
254 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

North Carolina—I’ve mostly been to weddings with full open bars. It’s considered tacky to make your guests pay for their drinks here.

Post # 117
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee

No cash bars that I’ve seen. I’m in the DC area. 

Post # 118
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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maritimebride2016:  Cash bar is normal where I live (MN, USA). I’ve never been to a wedding that had an open bar, but have been to weddings that offered drink tickets, free drinks for the bridal party, free drinks during cocktail hour, etc. 

We are having free drinks during cocktail hour, free drinks on a party bus for bridal party when we take photos, getting 1-2 kegs and 20-30 bottles of wine, and doing a champagne toast, and I feel that this is plenty enough. 

Obviously an open bar is nice, but it is expensive, and I’ve never gone to a wedding expecting any free alcohol. 

Post # 119
Member
17 posts
Newbee

Pittsburgh and Baltimore – open bars, without a doubt. It’s expected. An invite touting a cash bar would be met with groans. And quite possibly a “no” for the RSVP, with the assumption it’ll be a boring, stuffy party. Interesting to see how different places have a different view though! Good post! 

Post # 120
Member
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Northeast US. I’ve been to a mix, including multiple weddings that were open bar during cocktail hour, then cash bar for the reception.

 

ETA: I suspect this is more class-based than location-based (at least within the US). Its wonderful if you can afford to buy alcohol for hundreds of people but those who can’t still deserve to have a wedding!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by jz0909.

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