(Closed) Opinions on Cash Bar

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Future Couture: Can you do something in between? I.e. serve just wine and beer? Just put bottles of wine you bring yourselves on the table?

Have a signature cocktail for cocktail hour only then limited wine & beer afterward?

Personally I never bring cash to a wedding, so if someone had a cash bar I wouldn’t be able to drink because I had no money.

Post # 4
Member
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Do you want opinions? Your post seems like you have already decided and won’t budge.

 

If you do (want opinions), I personally like to drink a lot and my family is a BIG drinking family, so having a cash bar would be totally unacceptable. I would make it a priority to have some free alcohol available, even if it is just cheap beer and/or wine, especially if some people are travelling a long way to get there. I find that people feel jipped if they spend a lot of money getting to a wedding and then have to pay for their drinks. But hey, only you know your budget, your friends, and your family, so do what you have to do.

Post # 5
Member
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Personally, I hate the idea of a cash bar. It is not the norm in my social circle or in the area where I live. I would never invite people to my home and have them pay for food and drinks so why would I host an event somewhere else and ask them to pay for it?

I always suggest that people do a brunch or luncheon wedding if they cannot afford to pay for an open bar. That way, people are not likely to drink as much and you can get away with just mimosas or a signature drink and champagne for the toast in addition to juices, coffee, tea, etc.

Post # 6
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

Most people will tell you this all depends on what is normal in your circle.  I’m not a fan of cash bars, but perhaps it’s normal for your friends and family and they wouldn’t be surprised by it?  Although, I’m from Mass as well and had my wedding there.  Of all the weddings I have been to in Mass I have never seen a cash bar.  It’s always been full open bar.  Like the prior poster I almost never have cash with me at a wedding so that would be a real bummer.  I think if you can swing it providing at least beer and wine would be a good idea.

Post # 7
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Cash bars are the norm here – it’s a treat when I attend a wedding where the alcohol is provided.  If you can’t afford to provide it, then don’t.

As a guest, given the option of cash bar or no alcohol, I would prefer a cash bar and I’ll pay for my own alcohol (I wouldn’t be offended in the least).

Post # 9
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I agree with the above posters. It all depends on what’s normal in your area. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a cash bar in my area, as it’s just not the norm here. If there was a cash bar at a wedding, I’d be more than a little annoyed. Again, just my opinion though.

Post # 11
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

If you plan to provide some sort of alcohol, I would provide beer and wine (those are probably less expensive than a signature drink).

Post # 12
Member
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Oh, and if you are definitely having the cash bar, please let people know by word of mouth (or on the reception card if it is acceptable etiquette in your social circle) so that they can arrive prepared with cash on hand and not have to leave to find an ATM.

Post # 13
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@KathyNYC2011: My husband and I paid 100% for our wedding and reception and served limited alcohol like you are suggesting. It worked very well for our guests and budget 🙂

Our venue required us to pay per person for “mixes” that included soda so we invested in top shelf vodka to get the most from our mixes.

Post # 15
Member
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@Future Couture: That sounds like an opportunity for a  brunch if it is early afternoon (prior to 3pm)! Are you doing a buffet or seated meal? Have you chosen your menu yet? Brunch can be less expensive as it combines inexpensive breakfast foods (pastry, eggs, bacon, potatoes) with fresh fruit, cheese and a few hot entrées (crab cakes, chicken, ham, beef, fish or pasta, waffles, etc.) and sopme cold sides (potato salad, pasta salad, garden or caesar salad, crudite, etc.) and some desserts (tarts, pies, cake, mousse, cookies).

Post # 16
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Future Couture: have you explored the idea of a beer and wine package? or maybe a signature drink or limited bar menu? 

Ive always found cash bars to be tacky but a good fried of mine got married and she and her husband are born again Christians who do not drink at all and they chose to have their wedding at a resturant where the bar was located outside of the reception room which gave people the option of purchasing their drinks… so in hind site it wasnt really a cash bar persay and I thought that was fine.  On her wedding website they stated they would be having a dry reception but the venue did have a bar accessible… so again I do think that cash bars are tacky but in the case of my friend I felt the way she executed the idea made it alot less tacky, esspecially since the bar was in a separate location so it kind of made it not apart of the wedding, if that makes sense

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