Post # 1
Hey guys, new dilemma for me.
Money is very, VERY tight at this point. There is no way we can do an open bar or consumption bar unless someone wants to volunteer to pay for it (figure they would have by now). We are paying for almost everything ourselves and haven’t got any wiggle room left to open it, so we have to do a cash bar. I know, it’s tacky, but there is nothing we can do.
I’m just looking for the politest way possible to tell people that they will need to bring cash for alcohol. We are putting wine on the tables with dinner, and I am going to try to surprise guests with one drink ticket on the day, but they’ll need to pay for everything else. So far, on the Additional Details section of our invitation, I’ve wrote: “Wine will be provided with dinner; beer, mixed drinks, and spirits will be available for purchase in the reception area during cocktail hour and after dinner.” Is this acceptable? I am not thrilled about it, but my hands are tied. 🙁
Post # 3
Would you consider having an open bar that provided only non-alcoholic selections such as sodas, sparkling waters, juices, lemonade, and iced tea instead? Etiquette does not require hosts to provide any alcohol at all, and you are already generously providing wine for your guests with their dinner.
Post # 4
I think the simplest most effective way is to wrtie something like ” full cash bar available” on the invitation. I would place it at the bottom, near the reception information.
Post # 5
I really don’t think you have to lay out the details in the invitation. A simple statement after the ceremony info saying ” A reception of diiner and dancing to follow. Cash bar available. ” If when that date comes, you are able to provide wine and/ or drink tickets then that will be a mice surprise for your guests.
Post # 6
@Brielle: +1. A host should graciously provide what they can and wish to, and a guest should graciously accept.
Post # 7
If you can’t afford alcohol, don’t have it. Don’t make guests pay for anything. Offer what you can afford.
Post # 8
@classyashley: I don’t see anything wrong with providing what you can afford but giving guests the option to purchase something additional if they wish.
I’d rather buy my own alcohol than have no alcohol at all at a function.
Post # 9
@Sevyn: I think its perfectly acceptable
I’m in the UK and had never heard of an open bar till I came on the bee. I’ve been to lots of weddings over the last few years and have normally been provided with wine at the meal and a toasting drink of the guests choice for the speeches. After that you pay for your own drinks,its not tacky,its the norm here IMO. Thank goodness because weddings are costly enough.
Post # 10
@katieandtheo: I agree. I would not be offended if I attended a cash bar. I think it would be polite to let your guests know before hand, so they can plan accordingly.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
I think that line sounds polite and fine on the website! As long as I know to bring some cash I am not offended by cash bars. I get that weddings are expensive, and I’d rather be able to buy a drink or two than not drink! That being said, a very good friend of mine had her wedding at her church where her father is a pastor, and reception in a beautiful tent in the backyard. No alcohol at all, and we had an awesome time!!!!!
Post # 12
Cash bars in my area are quite popular. About half the weddings I’ve been to have had them. I would much rather there be a cash bar than no alcohol at ALL.
Can you pay for everyone to have 1 or 2 drinks on you? You can buy drink tickets at party city.
Otherwise, I would say add a little blurb about it as pps have said, under your reception information, or even on your website if you have one.
Post # 13
@Lindarella: It is pretty normal here as well (Australia). I’ve been to a lot of weddings where wine/juice/water has been provided and then anything else you can buy if you wish. I’ve never heard of anyone being offended by it, weddings are EXPENSIVE.
Post # 14
@trixiesrockets: +1 that sounds like it wouldn’t annoy my southern sensibilities
Post # 15
I would say wine, dinner ans dancing to follow. Cash bar available. Cash bars are not very popular around here so I would want to know ahead of time that I need to bring cash.
Post # 16
Your wording sounds good for the website, but a little long for the invitation details. I would just leave it as “There will be a cash bar.” if you want a sentence or “Cash Bar Available”.