(Closed) no host bar?

posted 11 years ago in Reception
Post # 32
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

In my area the cash bar or partly hosted bar is the norm. I always bring money and plan on a cash bar, if I get a drink for free than that’s great, but if not it’s never a big deal. We are putting $2000 to the bar, when it’s out then it is a cash bar. A champagne toast is also included and a tea and coffee service. I have never even been to a wedding with a full open bar. The more expensive weddings I have been to had a bar limit and then went to cash, or had free drinks for just cocktail hour.

Post # 33
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’m a little tired of the “if the people came to your house, would you charge them $5 for every time you filled their glass?” comparison.

Here’s the BIG difference between people coming to my house and hosting an open bar at your wedding.

Glass of soda: At my house, this would cost about 25 cents per glass. At my hosted open bar, this costs $3-$4 per glass.

Bottle of Beer: At my house, this would cost a little over $1.00 per bottle. At my hosted open bar, this costs $4-$6 per bottle.

Glass of Wine: At my house, about $3 per glass. At my hosted open bar, $5-$7.

Cocktail: At my house, about $3 per glass. At my hosted open bar, anywhere from $5-$10.


So I’m sorry… paying for alcohol for a hosted bar is NOT equivalent to providing drinks for a house party. If I decide to celebrate my birthday at a bar with friends, I don’t buy all of my friends’ drinks, just because I’m hosting the party.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few that gets to buy their own alcohol to supply the venue, the costs of liquor are really high, and therefore not affordable for some people. 

We are putting a set amount towards the bar, and when that runs out, it becomes cash bar. If the guests are that concerned or turned off by it, they can gladly come to my house the next weekend, and I’ll provide them with their free drinks. 🙂



Post # 34
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We’re having a cash bar, but we are hosting the pop/juice/coffee etc for the night. Plus theres a glass of wine with dinner for everyone. I agree that if possible it’s nice to do an open bar, but it’s literally no where close to being in our budget, and rather than postpone our wedding another year or two to save up enough to buy everyone alcohol, I’d rather get married when we are ready to. I think hosting juice/pop is a good compromise though because that way people aren’t limited to water, but if people really want alcohol then that is their decision and they can purchase their own drinks.

And again, I’ve never been to a wedding or heard of a wedding in my area that had an open bar, so I don’t think anyone is expecting one anyways.

Post # 35
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

we are having an open bar. My personal opinion is that unlike food, people CAN survive for 5 hours without alcohol, so if you can’t afford the expense I think you could do without.  I never bring money to a wedding so a cash bar would be an inconvenience to me.

I understand the home analogy and totally agree. wthe translation is NOT literal. The point is, if you invite someone into your personal space, be it your home or your wedding, you wouldn’t charge them for dinner and drinks whereas if you were meeting up for a casual dinner at a restauarant people would expect and be prepared to pay.  I’m sure it varies by region.restaurasomething, peopke wiuld EXPECT and be prepared to a

Post # 36
5839 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m having an open bar but I made room in the budget for it an it was a priority for me. If its not in your budget so be it but I do think it would be nice to spread the word to your guests. I never bring cash to weddings. I went to my first cash bar wedding recently and while I would never do it, I understood why they made their decision and had no problem paying for my drinks.

Post # 37
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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Thank you!  I also get tired of that comparison, as it’s simply untrue.  Unless you’re lucky enough to be at a venue that will allow you to supply the booze and bartender yourself (or you have an unlimited budget), comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges. 

We will be providing wine for the tables, as well as champagne for cocktail hour and the toast.  We’re also hosting “soft” drinks.  Everything else is cash bar.  I wish we could afford to host the whole thing but we just can’t, as we’re paying for the wedding ourselves and just don’t have the extra $5,000 it’ll take to pay for an open bar all night for our guests.  The price for an open bar at our venue is per head and given the fact that the majority of our guests aren’t heavy drinkers and we’re having a Sunday evening reception, the per head price would be throwing money down the drain. 

I think we’ve struck a fair compromise with what we’re providing vs. what we’re asking our guests to cover if they want it. 

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