Post # 17
We’re doing an open bar for the whole reception – our friend owns one of the best restaurants in town known for their wines, drinks, and food. We’re not asking anyone to pay for their food and we’d certainly not ask them to pay for the drinks My thoughts generally are: if you’re going to have an open bar then keep it that way, especially if you are having guest pay for their plates.
I’d agree with @lezler’s though: Beer and wine should be kept open, but hard liquor can be put on a cash bar later on in the night if you really want to. OR, alternatively, you can select a few “free” hard liquor drinks, like margaritas or something else, and anything other than that is paid for by the guest.
Post # 18
We did open bar: beer & wine only. We’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar, so we didn’t give it a second thought.
But if its a case of a cash bar vs. no bar at all, go for the cash bar. I’d rather have the option to booze at a wedding vs. no option at all 🙂
Post # 19
I had a full open bar but if Darling Husband and I had payed for the wedding ourselves (which we obviously didn’t) and wanted to have a big wedding I would have considered cash bar or a cap on the bar expenses.
Post # 20
@lezlers: that was us too. We sprung for three types of wine and two kegs (guiness and Pyramid Hef) and anything else was on the attendees. I’ve been to plenty of beer and wine weddings, but it was nice that our venue could offer nicer stuff too. We also had a champagne toast.
Post # 21
I am doing a beer and wine open bar. For cocktail hour they get juice bc my family has a lot of alchol problems and I dont want a bunch of drunks running around befor the first dance, speeches, ect.
At dinner i will serve one glass of beer or wine and one glass of champagne. Then after that open bar.
Post # 22
- Wedding: June 2011 - Calgary Opera Centre
A caterer I talked to suggested an open bar, but putting out a nice jar with a sign saying something like ‘honeymoon fund’ or ‘bar by donation’. Then, people can pay nothing if they want, they can throw in a $20 and not think about it the rest of the night, they can throw in $2 for every drink they have, really it is up to them. But the option of having the jar there does earn you back some (I don’t think it would ever be all!) of the cost of the open bar.
I’m still not sure what we’ll do. 🙂 My parents are all for open beer and wine, but don’t want spirits. As a girl who hates beer, and never orders wine in bars, just mixed drinks, I don’t like that idea, but it is their money.
Post # 23
We’ll be having a Cash Bar. It would be nice to have an open bar but it simply isn’t in the budget. Our caterer will serve tea/water/lemonade. Just make sure you note it on your website, your invites and by word of mouth. Our friends and family have all been very supportive.
You can always give everyone 1-2 drink tickets and have them pay for anything additional.
Post # 24
Just a question- for all the people who are saying open bar is “Just how its done around here,” what are you referring to? A certain city, suburbs vs. metropolitan area? Please advise.
Post # 25
Neither because he aren’t having any. The only bar that we are having is a candy bar. lol
FH and I don’t drink, our parents don’t drink, and we don’t believe people need alcohol to have a good time. Plus, my Daddy is a minister and since he is paying for it we def. aren’t going to have any. I would think that it would be arkward for a minister to be paying for everyone to get drunk. lol
Post # 26
We did beer, wine, and a signature cocktail. It was much cheaper than a full open bar and guests still seemed to enjoy themselves.
Post # 27
@WB2011: I’m not 100% sure what I’m referring to. I’ve been to weddings in So Cal, MD, and NC. All with open bars. Everything from a catholic mass to a 15 min outdoor non-religious ceremony. Maybe it’s a “coastal” thing?
Post # 28
I voted full open bar for the entire wedding even though that is not precisely what we are doing & even though cash bars or toonie bars are the norm locally.
We’re just going to do beer & wine & a limited amount, since it’s going to be a shorter* afternoon function and not a whole night of drinking and dancing.
if we were going to do the typical st down dinner/dancing wedding we’d be having a cash bar, no question. It’s just too expensive otherwise.
Post # 29
@WB2011 – My Fiance is from the NJ/NYC/Long Island area, where open bars are “just how its done”. I am from MA, where I have never seen a full open bar all night.
Post # 30
I probably should have clarified a little more:
There are MANY different ways to pay for an Open Bar. Some places allow you to purchase your own alcohol, and they serve it. Some give you a set dollar amount per person, per hour or for the night (i.e. like $20 a person for the evening). And some places (like where we are having our reception) charge you BY THE DRINK. So we are taking $5.00-$10.00 per drink. If each person has a 2 drinks during cocktail hour we are talking between $1400- $2800 for just the hour. I know that some people see it as HORRIFYING to ask people to pay for drinks but basically this was our only option… we are on a budget.
Thanks to those who are supportive! Sometimes we have to make tough decisions about wedding stuff. And Fiance and I didnt want to go into debt over this….
Post # 31
I see you’re from MA– in my personal experience, weddings in MA are generally open bar for cocktail hour and cash bar after. Where I’m from down in CT (near NYC) it’s always full open bar again “it’s just the way it’s done” here– also it was built in to our per head price automatically so you can see how common it is.
I think you’ll be fine! My Fiance is from MA and I went to school there so we’ve been to a couple weddings that way. My sis who got married in Sturbridge, MA had a hard time getting the venue to agree to a full open bar so my guess it isn’t as common in MA.