(Closed) Open bar/Cash Bar?? i really need your help pretty please Bee's

posted 9 years ago in Money
  • poll: half cash bar/open bar?

    $500.00 open bar is fine as long as you dont make your guest pay for the soda




    no less then a $1,000

    what no champaine toast???????? (Please comment )

  • Post # 3
    248 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I’d just do a full cash bar if you can’t afford full open bar.

    Or do open bar just for cocktail hour (will they let you just run up a tab?), and cash bar for the rest of the time.

    Post # 5
    4090 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Can you limit to beer, wine and pop only?  I don’t like cash bars for weddings.

    Post # 6
    8067 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    How much can you afford to put towards the bar?  I’d put something….it’s better having your guests buy all their drinks at least.  People won’t drink as much during dinner, and maybe 1 or 2 drinks during cocktail hour (at the most) so I think it might better to just do the $ amount.  As a guest, I’d prefer the open bar after dinner because I like to drink, dance, and have a good time.

    I’d put $800 at least into the bar before it goes to cash.  People shouldn’t have to pay for soda! Otherwise, maybe cut the liquor to save money.  I mean, a cash bar is better than no bar to me, but….not really a fan when it comes down to it.  I might as well be at a bar, in that case.


    Post # 7
    7439 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    A lot depends truly on WHERE you live and what is customary in your area.

    Cash Bars entirely (or Loonie / Twoonie Bars) … or combined with Complimentary Cocktail Hours, Champagne Toasts, Wine with Dinner are really common here in Canada… a lot more than in the USA

    (Lol, has to do with the cost of Alcohol here… Gosh I’d LOVE it if I was only looking at Beer at $ 3 a bottle… it is more like $ 5 or $ 6 here… PLUS 13% Tax and 15% Tip… GULP !!).  Hence WHY Cash Bars are so common in Canada (not to mention our very serious Laws in regards to DUIs and the chargeable offense for being the one hosting / serving someone who over consumes)

    For the most part, here, traditionally people try to make the most of the Budget they have… and what their Guests prefer.

    For my first Wedding (circa 1980) we had a Complimentary Cocktail Hour, Wine with Dinner and Champagne Toast for the Speaches / Cake Cutting.  After that when the party started, it was a Cash Bar

    For my upcoming Back Home Reception Party (following our recent Elopement) we’ll be having a Complimentary Cocktail Hour and a Champagne Toast with Cake

    This is strictly an Adults Only Night-time Party (Cocktails & Hors d’Ouevres / Nibbles – Cake & Champagne – DJ and Dancing) … so no sit-down meal this time round.

    Again, after the Cake Cutting, the Guests will be on their own, for the Dance portion.

    I think the primary thing that makes it work is that you are clear on what you are doing.  To avoid any confusion for our Guests, we are handing out “The First One’s On Us” Drink Tickets when folks arrive… and they’ll be a sign at the Bar inviting folks to try the “Signature Cocktail” etc.

    IF you do choose to not have a Cash Bar throughout the evening, then it is important that you somehow make that clear with signage… if you don’t do Drink Tickets.  Say a sign on the Bar that says… “Complimentary Cocktail Hour”… OR “The Following Drinks are On the House” (or reduced in price if you are doing a Loonie Bar) and listing them.  Similary a White Bar (all white alcohols… Vodka – Gin – Rum – White Wine) would need a sign incidating the parameters.

    Then if you do have do a Cash Bar later on, you could make another sign, that lists prices for the most standard items folks might order, and have it put up on the Bar in place of whatever was there before

    Juice or Pop (16 oz glass) … $

    White or Red Wine (5 oz pour) … $

    Domestic Beer (Bottle / Can) … $

    Imported Beer (Bottle / Can) … $

    Mixed Drinks (Bar Rail Alcohol) … $

    Mixed Drinks (Premium Alcohol) … $

    Liqueurs … $


    Anyhow you get the idea.

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 8
    6458 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Most open bars cost MUCH more than the amounts you listed.


    Also I have to ask…what is “Caz”?  

    Post # 9
    193 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    We can’t afford to supply everyones alcohol all night. So what we are doing is everyone gets a complimentary drink on arrival and then we are only having open bar for the bridal party and parents.

    Post # 10
    4394 posts
    Honey bee

    Whatever you do, don’t make your guests pay for soda. That is seriously so rude IMO. I drive hours, dress up, buy a gift, and have to pay $1 for a shot sized glass of diet coke?! That happened to me last summer. So tacky. But, beyond that I’m not as hard core as a lot of bees who think cash bars are the devil. I would say do open bar during dinner, or provide beer and wine all night but keep other drinks cash if that’s what your budget dictates. 

    Post # 11
    1946 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @miss-stacie-2013:  Please don’t do that – treating some guests better than others is extremely rude.

    Post # 12
    1946 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    1)  Just do beer and wine open bar. No liquor.

    2)  Or add a specialty cocktail.

    3)  Don’t have alcohol at all.

    4)  If that few of your guests actually drink, it doesn’t sound like a consumption bar will cost you that much anyway.

    The problem with the open bar switching to cash (other than the fact that guests shouldn’t be paying for anything to begin with) is that all of a sudden a drink that was free 10 minutes ago now costs $5.  It makes you look bad because you’re nickel-and-diming your guests who have given up their day, given a gift, and possibly traveled to be with you.  It also embarrasses guests who may not have cash with them, or may not be able to afford it.

    Also, there’s usually a run on the bar once people realize it’s going to switch to cash, so people will waste drinks.

    Post # 13
    26 posts
    • Wedding: October 2013

    My caterer actually advised us against an open bar because many people waste liquor if they lose their drink they just go on up and get a new one. Instead we’ll be doing table wine (2 bottles, red and white per table of 8 people) and a passed signature cocktail during cocktail hour.

    I’m not a fan when you have to pay for non-alocholic drinks at a wedding, maybe you can work a deal with your caterer to have a lost-cost soft drink cost. We’re having a coffee/tea station and flavoured water station (lemon/lime, mint, cucumber) all night for guests and guests can have free juice/pop from the bar. 

    Post # 14
    193 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @oneofthesethings:  Yes it may be rude for some, but that is the best we can come up with at the moment. Soft drinks will be free for the guests and as i said everyone will get an alcohol beverage on arrival and if we end up having some extra funds, sure we will put money on the bar for everyone. But at the end of the night i dont want everyone else to have drank the entire bar which at the moment is only $500 and me having to keep paying for drinks, so tacky.






    Post # 15
    1966 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @miss-stacie-2013:  isn’t this sort of offensive to the rest of the people? like they’re second class guests.

    Post # 16
    1946 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @miss-stacie-2013:  Well . . . if you’re paying for the bar, obviously you’re paying for your own drinks either way.  But regardless, it’s really, really poor form to treat some guests like kings and the others like second-class citizens.

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