(Closed) Open Bar vs. Cash bar- Advice

posted 10 years ago in Food
Post # 32
Member
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

i would never never never never have a cash bar.  alcohol is more important to me than centerpieces or flowers or the dress.  i am adjusting my budget accordingly.

i know i’m probably in the minority on that and those are just my feelings for MY wedding.  i have been to plenty of non-total open bar weddings and had a fabulous time.  as a guest, i would personally prefer beer and wine to a cash bar.  or even just a signature cocktail.

Post # 33
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

we have a limited budget as well – so we are doing a LIMITED open bar – aka beer and wine (getting a keg and some wine) and a signature drink… so if they want somethign other than what we are offering, tough cookies. not my job to give them a huge wide range of whatever they want nor am i paying for friends and family to get wasted. my job is just to host “something” and what i can afford!

Post # 34
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

do what you feel most comfortable with, your guests know you and your financial situation probably and will understand..who cares what any one else thinks! i never go to a wedding expecting alcohol to be free…

Post # 35
Member
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

We figured it would be either a complete open bar (with wine and beer), or no bar at all. With our budget, it’s going the no bar route 🙁

Post # 36
Member
1963 posts
Buzzing bee

Just a note of kindness and caution: Please don’t judge open bars or those who imbibe to the tune of 3+ drinks.  I can drink a ton of wine and not be “wasted.”  I also don’t think that those who choose open bars are paying for the friends to get wasted.  They are paying to suit the varying tastes of their guests.  If you can afford it, great.  If you can’t, fine.

Post # 37
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’d just get a few kegs and offer free pop all night. 

Post # 38
Member
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I’m expecting about 200 people for my ceremony/dinner parts of the day, then we’re inviting other friends tot he dance part of the reception… So if we did a cash bar, that would be absolutely insane and probably cost more than the wedding itself for us to do an open bar. So we are doing a cash bar. I think that’s the most cost effective for us. We’re providing 1 or 2 kegs, and when that is gone, it will be cash bar. We’ll also have wine since I’m not a fan of beer…

Post # 39
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We had a ‘hosted’ bar in which we spent $1500 on it, after which it turned into a cash bar.  This was a great solution for us, because a true open bar would have been around $3000. With only 85 guests, it lasted until about an hour before the reception was over.  At that point, we were given the opportunity to add more money on to it or just let it go to cash bar.  I’m pretty sure that about 6 people drank the majority of it and were WASTED- one girl even threw up in one of our prop booth hats, so we decided to cut it off.  It was great because it prevented guests from getting too out of control (with the exception of construction hat girl) and we spent what we were comfortable with.  I’m so glad that we didn’t do an open bar because we would have been wasting money.

Post # 40
Member
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

The thing about an open bar is that it really doesn’t have to be as expensive as one thinks, depends on the venue really. Do not pay a flat fee per person, request to pay for consumption, i.e. you only pay for what gets consumed. Then choose the alcohol carefully. Go for cheaper wines and beers, no need to do top shelf liquor. You can also forgo wine service at dinner and just have people get all their drinks from the  bar, also skip the champagne toast and just let people toast with whatever thay are drinking. These are all the best ways I know of to keep costs of alcohol down.

Post # 41
Member
7299 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Tswife4ever: If you can’t afford it, have a dry wedding. There is nothing wrong with going a few hours without a drink. And if you or his family complains, tell them to pitch in for the bar.

Post # 41
Member
5 posts
Newbee

We are having an open bar during cocktail hour. Enough for the average person to have 2-3 drinks. We are having a champagne toast and wine service during dinner. All beer, wine and alcoholic drinks throughout the night are cash. My future husband is a little upset as he thinks it is tacky not to have an open bar. My dad is paying for a good portion of the wedding and is against the open bar bc a) we arent here to get everyone trashed and be liable for their bad decisions and b) he is the chief of police in his home town and will be having some work friends there- he is under constant scrutiny. I agree with my dad but also understand where fi is coming from. We have discussed a 2 hr open bar hosted by my fi and i for wedding party only and that may be the compromise we make. Wish us luck! =)

Post # 42
Member
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I didn’t serve any alcohol at my wedding and it wasn’t a budget concern. If people want to get drunk or drink alcohol, they can do it on their own dimes. I provided a ton of food and drinks and the party rocked until midnight, so I don’t think anyone minded.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by  kellyk1214.

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