Post # 1
Last weekend I had my “details” visit with our venue, where we went over our preferences for food, decorations, yada yada. And then we got our estimated bill.
And…it was our budget. Our total budget.
Obviously we’re currently in the process of cutting some things back: no more lanterns (the venue wanted $400 to hang them, and wouldn’t let us bring our own), scaling back our catering, loosing the chavari chairs I’d requested for the head table.
And…and this is the one I have a question about…perhaps changing our hosted wine bar into a cash bar.
Our invitations are already printed, but they specifically direct people to our wedding website, where I could make a specific note about the state of bar if I wanted to. If we went that option, it would save us about $1500, and make (with our other changes) the final number a lot more manageable for my family.
So what do you think? Is it to late to turn our hosted wine bar into a cash bar? Hardly anyone knows what it would be like either way, and I can easily make a change on our wedding website. Thoughts?
Post # 3
Guests should not be expected to open their wallets at the reception for any reason. Is there something else you can cut back so that you can afford a hosted bar? Also keep in mind that many people do not like wine of any kind. Offer what you can afford to pay for yourselves and skip what you can’t. Either way, the guests don’t need to know beforehand the type of alcohol selection (or none at all) or what type of dinner you will be having, unless they are required by your caterer to make selections beforehand. They should (and most will, at least in real life) accept graciously whatever you offer and keep any comments to themselves.
Post # 4
maybe host a cocktail hour and have cash bar following? you have to have a wedding you can afford!
Post # 5
How exactly did this happen? Did you not ask prices before you made your plans? Did a lot more people than you expected RSVP? Did the venue change the deal?
Post # 6
@CorgiTales: I am wondering this too.
That said, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. You could also ease back on the food to be able to provide a beer/wine bar or host a cocktail hour. (For example, go from two sides to one or from beef to chicken.)
Post # 7
@sweetredthing: Well we can’t afford to have an open bar, so we’re going to have 3 bottles of wine per table and provide them water, assorted sodas, and coffee. But will still have a cash bar for people that want to drink hard liquor. I do feel bad and even a little embarrassed about it, but can’t really do anything about it. We’re having about 200 people and we can’t cut the guest list, cause almost 90% of guest list is a relative.
I think if you haven’t mentioned that your having an open bar, just don’t mention nothing regarding the bar.
Post # 8
I just went to a wedding that had a cash bar and no one cared. The Bride and Groom provided water, tea, coffee, lemonade, sodas and sweet tea. Anyone, who wanted alcohol went and bought it. No worries.
I wouldn’t mention on your website that you’re having a cash bar. I don’t think it’s necessary. We didn’t know before the wedding and it didn’t matter. No one had a problem with it and the wedding was a lot of fun. Hope this helps.
Post # 9
@CorgiTales: all we’re having is 3 hors devoures options and a fruit plate, to start. The problem came then the venue tacked on a 2K gratuity, which caught us all by surprise. (My mother swears she was told about it, my father swears he was not)
Originally we were going to be able to bring in our own wine, but they had some management changes during our engagement and policy changed a little. It wouldn’t be so bad but we have to pre-order, and they usually do that at 2 drinks per person, at $6 a glass. So while we would probably get a lot back, it’s completely determinate on how much people decide to drink that day, which isn’t something that we can really bank on financially.
@Selene221: literally all we have left to cut is food; the site fee covers the area, the tables, linens and chairs for the ceremony and reception. We’re having an iPod reception, my dress was bought secondhand and a friend is marrying us for free. Any other extras have already been removed, and frankly, there weren’t that many to begin with…the things I mentioned in my post were just some fun things that we decided against as soon as we found out the cost.
@bride2be0511: Our catering package (hors devoures and fruit) provides gratis water, lemonade, tea and coffee, thankfully. We’re kind of in the same boat guest list also; it’s already a smaller wedding (about 120 people) and most of that is family.
@Mollytov: Can you do that? I’ve never heard of that before.
Post # 10
@FutureMrs.M: It does help, thanks! I’m also hoping that since our wedding is in the afternoon that people won’t be in the mood to drink as much as they might be if the reception was in the evening.
Post # 11
@sweetredthing: I’m confused. If the only food you are having is 3 appetizers + fruit plate for 120 people… how is the GRATUITY 2k? That sounds super super fishy to me. As does the change in policy on bringing your own alcohol. Did you sign a contract with them when you booked the place that laid out your rights? It sounds to me like they’re trying to change the game on you and you need to stick up for yourself to get what you initially agreed to!! My venue is trying to do the same thing to us but I’m fighting it. I’m not paying a dime over what I initially agreed to pay.
Post # 12
First off, why do all of you feel bad for not being able to provide an open bar? I fyou can’t, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
With that said, I wouldn’t do a cash bar. I would do what you can afford and think people should be content with what you are offering. If they don’t like it, then too bad. If you want, ask about an additional punch to add to the drink list. That shouldn’t cost much more if you want a little more variety.
Second, I never carry cash to a wedding. If I wanted to buy alcohol and walked into a wedding where I didn’t know it was a cash bar, I would be miffed without advanced notice. However, if I were provided only certain beverages and had no choice but those, I would not be miffed at all!