Post # 1
Here’s how the alcohol will flow through the evening:
Cocktail hour: full Hosted (Open) Bar
Dinner: Wine served with salad & entree. (Either closing the bar during dinner or turning it to cash)
Rest of the evening: Cash bar.
Hive, do you have ideas of how I can tactfully communicate this to our guests? Or if I need to? I’m not very keen on slapping a ‘CASH BAR’ line on our invites. Is bar signage the answer?
For reference, there is an ATM in our venue, so if the clock strikes Cash-Bar-time and guests still want to drink they don’t need to go far at all. Still, I don’t want it to come as a shock to Great Aunt Milfred when she pops up for a fresh White Russian.
Post # 3
It really should be done via word of mouth, and people will find out. There is no proper way to word that where you won’t offend someone.
Post # 4
I agree word of mouth is best, if anything – it’s not the type of thing I think is appropriate to communicate on an invitation or something like that.
Personally, I always take some amount of cash and/or ATM and credit cards with me when I go somewhere, even if refreshments are likely going to be provided for me at no charge. I’ve always thought it was insane to go out somewhere, even to a wedding, without having money on hand just in case (even aside from the drink issue, it’s good to have in case other emergencies come up). And since the practice of hosting bars at weddings varies so much depending on the custom in the area and the people throwing each particular wedding, I never just assume that drinks will be fully paid for. Hopefully your guests will be the same.
Post # 5
I agree with the PPs, that it should mostly get circulated by word of mouth. As long as folks know that there’s a cash bar, they’ll be happy to see the hosted portions.
I wouldn’t put anything on your invites directly, but if you have a wedding website, maybe you could include something like ‘There will be a hosted bar during the cocktail hour, and hosted wine with dinner. The bar will remain open after dinner for those who would like to purchase drinks.’ or something of that nature. I think that’s the wording we’ll be going with, or some variation of it.
Post # 6
I don’t see how letting people know they might want to bring cash would be offensive.
Although because you have an ATM at your venue, I think it’s okay to just let them discover it themselves. Your mc could say something tactful about it when the bar changes from open to cash.
Post # 7
I think it would be best to put this on the website.
It really bothers me when weddings have cash bars and there is no communication about it. If its a full cash bar, I prefer it to be printed on the reception card.
You actually might consider writing hosted cocktail hour, cash bar avaliable after dinner on a reception card, in small writing at the bottom.
I’ve shown up at weddings with no cash because I was under the impression it was an open bar.
Post # 8
Thank you, ladies!
I think we’ll opt to get it started via word-of-mouth and rely mostly on that.
Maybe place a sign on the bar when it turns to cash?
ETA: and make note on the reception page of the website.
Post # 9
I wouldn’t bother with a sign unless you feel you absolutely must have one. Guests are not stupid and they will figure out what is going on without signs and other assistance.
Post # 10
I always bring cash with to receptions, just in case. And generally my brothers and I (we have a lot of cousins that just got married) will “draw straws” on who will go up to the bar and just ask what the deal is. I always come with the frame of mind that it is a cash bar, and am always pleasently surprised when it isn’t!
Post # 11
how about something along the lines of “complimentary beverages available until…”
Post # 12
If you really do want something in print, I like what @MASPA had suggested!
Post # 13
I like the online option the best.
Personally I hate it when I go to a wedding and we’re getting ready to sit down for dinner. So we go grab a drink from the bar and find out the bar has already closed for dinner! That’s my biggest pet peeve at weddings. I guess it’s common in the area I live in now but I’ve only ever been to weddings with full open bars, all throughout.
Post # 14
I added this information on my wedding website. =)
Post # 15
Hey so I want to invite you and your fiance to our house for dinner. The thing is, after dinner, I’m going to start charging you per glass for the wine I’ve been serving. Don’t forget your gift to the hostess and see you soon!
Post # 16
Leave it off the invitation and let the bar staff tell the guests.