Post # 1
Need some opinions! We are having a 4 hour reception and I’m not sure how to do the bar.
Cash bar? (everyone pays for their own drinks)
Open Bar? (We pay bill ahead of time based on how many people attend)
Tab Bar? (We pay after the reception based on how many drinks were drank?)
Every guest coming to our wedding is from out of state so I don’t think I want to do cash bar (seems tacky to me to ask people to drive across the country to our wedding and not have free beer at least….so I’m thinking that one’s out.
Open Bar…..Am I asking for trouble by allowing people to drink for 4 hours for free? I want people to remember our reception not be completely wasted!
Tab Bar….Can I trust a bartender to keep an accurate count of drinks?
If we pay for the alcohol, it is tremendously cheaper per drink than if people were paying for their own drinks ! (Just another thing to consider)
Another option a family member suggested is having an open bar for the first two hours and then opening it to a cash bar for the last two hours. Is that tacky??
What’s everyone else doing for alcohol at their receptions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank YOu!!!
Post # 3
We had an open bar and actually got money back. People didn’t go crazy with it. If you want to have an open bar for part of the time and then switch over, that’s fine but you should let people know since most people don’t carry cash anymore.
Post # 4
I think you should just have an open bar. People don’t go crazy at open bars just because they are there. There will be a lot of time spent eating, dancing toasting etc, so it should be fine.
Post # 5
We are getting married in a garden/mansion at a local park. We have to buy an alcohol permit and we are providing the alcohol. It’s going to be the middle of the day so we are providing wine, beer, water, soda, punch. If people want something harder then they can get it for themselves at the optional after party. ^_^
Post # 6
We’re putting down a certain dollar value on the bar that we think will cover people for our reception, which is in the afternoon so people won’t be drinking too much anyway, as well as having wine on the tables. After that limit is exceeded, it’ll become a cash bar. I don’t want to go ‘open bar’ just in case people drink a lot and we get stuck with a bill we can’t afford.
Post # 7
We had an open bar – I’ve actually never been to a wedding that didn’t have one.
Post # 8
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: Good point, didn’t even think about the cash thing. No one I know carries cash! Great advice, thank you!
Post # 9
@jenroh1984: we were allowed to bring in our own booze. So we bought a bottle of white and red wine for each table and then about 800.00 worth of alcohol (beers, spirits etc) and put it behind that bar…and then it was open and free for everyone…we ran out of some kinds of stuff but had a few leftovers…it was great!
Post # 10
Oh, this is one of the most controversial topics you could have brought up. We did open bar – it’s the only option at our venue, and we also don’t think it is ok to charge guests for things at a wedding. But it’s really regional from what i’ve gathered on other explosive threads on this topic. Some places a cash bar is the norm.
Post # 11
We’re having a limited open bar with wine, beer and champagne. Guests can drink as much of that as they want, but it saves us from footing the cost of liquor.
Post # 12
We are doing a toonie bar! With this we get the host (open) bar prices and everyone has to pay $2 for their drinks and we will pay the difference. Its a happy medium and this way people wont be wasting their drinks or over consuming.
Post # 13
We had an open bar with two signature cocktails, beer, and wine. People were plenty satisfied. I’ve been to one VERY large wedding that was open until dinner and then became cash and another one that was drinks provided until the tab hit a certain amount, and then turned into cash. The rest have been open. which is quite standard here.
Open bar is always well received when you’re traveling, though =]
Unless you’ve got an entire fresh-out-of-college-fraternity-house there, people don’t get ridiculous.
Post # 14
Wow, thanks everyone for the great and fast responses! My dad has been making me feel like an open bar is just an invitation to have people puking at my reception. But good points above…there’s gonna be a lot of other things going on and it’s not like people are gonna be just getting wasted the whole time, mostly everyone I know is a responsible drinker.
Post # 15
@crayfish: Yea, I went to a wedding out of state one time and spent a lot of money on gift and getting there…and didn’t even get a free beer! lol little disappointing!
Post # 16
@jenroh1984: WEll i have to agree with your dad in a way. I live in Vancouver which you THINK would be filled with some classy people *laugh* But i went to a wedding on grouse mountain and it was open ba….the BROTHER of the GROOM took tons of drinks and hid them all around the venue so he could have free drinks later (it was open bar for four hours and then full price) and he was pretty drunk…but what i found more hurtful was he took advantage of the open bar like that…i mean in the end it was FREE for him but it cost his brother over 3,000.00!!!
Someone puked at my wedding to. I was thank ful i didnt hear about it on the day of, it wasnt till a couple days later and MORE thank ful that only my sister and another girl were there when this girl got sick…so the situation was covered up pretty fast and no one knew the wiser.