(Closed) Open Bar vs. Cash Bar- What are you doing?

posted 11 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Open Bar or Cash Bar- What are you doing?

    Full open bar for the whole reception

    Open bar for cocktail hour- then cash bar

    Cash Bar only

    We are setting a cash limit and once that is surpassed it goes to a cash bar

  • Post # 47
    Member
    318 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    We are doing a “hosted bar.” We will pay for all beer and wine but guests must pay cash for hard liquor.  I think its a nice medium that saves us money but also us to provide alcohol to guests

    Post # 48
    Member
    289 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    Full open. In our circles, cash bar would just not be cool. We can manage it, so it’s not a big deal. We’re lucky that our venue allows us to purchase our own alcohol, so we’ll save a little there.

    Post # 49
    Member
    67 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    We did the per person charge for an open bar. Our venue charged us 16 a person for everything but premium liquors, however the day of the ended up letting our guests have everthing including premiums such as grand marnier.

    We have lots of drinkers on both sides and the inlaws thought we were nuts for paying the 2 dollars extra per person for liqour instead of just beer and wine. (They said there side was just beer drinkers and wouldn’t touch the liquor) We proved them wrong in the end when everyone was all about the liquor and said it was the best wedding ever.

    So do what you want.

    Post # 50
    Member
    261 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    Ive been to a wedding with an open bar and really didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t feel offended that I had to pay or thought they took the cheap way out. We’re having an open bar but our wedding will have less than 40 people there so our pocketbook won’t be hit too hard.

    Post # 51
    Member
    67 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    We’re going to have an open bar starting at dinner.  However, we aren’t going to sweat quantities (we’ll be getting our own liquor licence and buying our own booze), so if something in particular runs out during the night, then the guests will just have to chose from what is available!

    We’ve also made our own wine for the tables at dinner, which seriously helped to keep the booze budget down.

    Post # 52
    Member
    137 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    We are doing open bar for beer and wine up to a certain dollar amount. Our venue has expensive food and liquor so that’s what is in our budget for alcohol. Most people drink either beer or wine and if they don’t then they can still get their drink of choice, they just have to pay for it. If we could afford it, I’d love to do a full open bar the entire night, but it’s just not going to happen. Our caterer said that many people don’t expect open bar anymore because of the liability involved; maybe that’s just a Minneapolis thing though. 

    Post # 53
    Member
    514 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2011

    I strongly believe it’s rude to ask guests at a party to pay for their drinks. If you can’t afford it, then you can go with something like just wine/beer. Or just punch. Even having to pay for sodas feels weird to me.

    Post # 54
    Member
    2297 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We had two receptions:  a luncheon after the ceremony in Massachusetts, then an at-home reception in DC.

    At the luncheon, we had the restaurant serve champagne for a toast, and put bottles of red and white wine on the table.  We told them that if guests asked for hard liquor, we would pay for it, but the servers were not to suggest it.  In the end, no one asked.

    At the at-home reception, we were initially going to have a cash bar.  However, the venue owner (who knows our crowd) says they wouldn’t buy enough alcohol to cover the cost of a one-day liquor license.  He therefore offered us an open bar for 60 people for five hours for $250, and we accepted.  (Apparently, no license was required if guests didn’t pay for admission or pay for drinks.)

    Post # 56
    Member
    25 posts
    Newbee

    I voted open bar because there is no limited bar option.

    We are buying our own alcohol and providing wine, beer, and a signature drink.

    Post # 57
    Member
    6377 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2011

    We’re having a limited open bar (beer, wine and soda) for the entire reception and a champagne toast. I’m still debating on whether or not to add a signature drink. 

    We went to a wedding last year that had a cash bar and they didn’t even accept credit cards. That was pretty terrible. To all the bees having a cash bar, I would totally either make sure your venue will take credit or let your guests know ahead of time. I can honestly tell you that almost everyone who attended this wedding was pretty peeved that they had to get back in their cars and drive for 10 minutes to the nearest ATM. Us Upstate, New Yorkers apparently don’t ever carry cash.

    Post # 58
    Member
    554 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2009

    i would be incredible offended by a cash bar. It’s your day and you’re inviting guests you care about, so don’t be tight and pay for them!!! 

    If you are concerned about finances, I’d suggest keeping it to beer and wine. (ppl can pay for spirits) 

    You will end up paying off the wedding but trust me.. your guests will never forget the bad experience if they have to pay for alcohol at your wedding!!

    Post # 59
    Member
    113 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    If me and my Fiance could afford an open bar, we would do it. But since we are paying for the wedding ourselves, its cash bar all night.

    Post # 60
    Member
    92 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    Full, open bar.  It’s part of our wedding package, and just something I wanted to offer to our guests.  They’re all staying on site at the hotel where we’re having the wedding, so nobody will be driving after, and our friends and family aren’t the type to go overboard.  I personally would never ask my guests to pull out their wallets at a party that I invited them to.

    Post # 61
    Member
    137 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    If my package didnt come with open bar all night, I would have only had it for like 2 hours! So dont feel bad if you decide to go with out. People come with money to weddings either way and if they like to drink, they will drink! 🙂

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