(Closed) Paying for bar tab when you don't drink

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
9436 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

If you are offering alcohol you should be paying. You are hosting, you don’t ask your guests to foot the bill.

Post # 3
12326 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I totally thought this was going to be about splitting a bar tab when going out if you only order a coke or soemthing.  In that case, no!  But for the weddding, as host, whether you drink or not should have nothing to do with paying for the bar tab.  YOU may want better food, but as a guest, I rather skimp you skimp on the food and let the booze flow for me.

Post # 4
1221 posts
Bumble bee

Whatever you offer should be paid for by you, regardless of whether or not you drink. My husband doesn’t like seafood, but we definitely paid for the sea bass option at our wedding. 

Post # 5
3631 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

This is totally dependant on your social circle. Some think cash bars are a crime, others, it is totally normal. And a recent post here suggested people would prefer a cash bar (with notice) to no alcohol at all. I think perhaps if your venue is a winery, you could have a couple of bottles of their wine at the tables with dinner and a cash bar if anyone wants other things to drink. 

Post # 6
5885 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

40 people vs.2 non drinkers= pay for the alcohol.  

Post # 8
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

You will get a lot of different answers here. I’ve seen weddings with cash bar, some with open bar for a couple hours then cash bar, and I’ve heard of open bar, but never been to a wedding with one. I think it all depends on where you are located, and what the custom is to do in your area. You know your guests better than anyone else.

Hubby and I don’t drink and we treated our wedding just as if we hosted the guest in our home like we do any friday night. We provide food and refreshments and our family and friends know to purchase booze if they want it because we don’t have any in our fridge. Doesn’t offend anyone I know, but a lot of people on this board who live in a different area will feel different.

Post # 9
259 posts
Helper bee

Many vineyards don’t allow outside liquor just their own wine. That should solve all the problems since you may get wine included with your package.

Post # 11
30398 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You can choose anything along the spectrum from an alcohol-free wedding to an open bar with top shelf liquor. Whichever choice you make, you pay for.

You are the hosts. Your guests should not have to open their wallets.

If you choose to provide wine and beer and no hard liquor, that is  perfectly acceptable.

Post # 12
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
alou:  I think it would be sort of strange to get married at a winery and not have any alcohol. FWIW, we don’t drink either and still had a full open bar at our wedding. All of our friends and family drink, and we have no problems with it at all. We wanted to fully host our guests, which meant having a full bar. We aren’t non-drinkers for religious reasons, so we’re not opposed to paying for it for others. 

Post # 13
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Cash bar! I don’t ever mind paying for a drink at a wedding! It’s always a bonus if it’s free, but totally not necessary. We are doing an open bar, but again, Im never offended at a cash bar. I always bring money to every wedding just in case! 

Post # 14
7555 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
alou:  It is pretty standard at Australian weddings to offer at a minimum of beer, wine and soft drinks. Most winery packages will include this in the per person price (probably between $80 and $150 for the Yarra Valley region). 

Honestly if I was invited to a wedding that didn’t offer the basic minimum and instead expected me to pay I woukd be miffed. I would be even more miffed if I also had to pay for accommodation in the region (especially during wedding season) and then be expected to buy my own drinks.

The only exception would be an alcohol free wedding (so no alcohol at all).

Post # 15
4724 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
alou:  Personally, as long as the food is decent, I’m happy at a wedding. Cheap out on the quality or quantity of alcohol, and I’m not happy (and neither are most people I know). Personally, I think the two things that make a wedding are great music and a great bar. But that’s just me. 

In the US, most wineries require you to buy your wine from them and beer through them (liquor license and liability reasons). And they don’t allow hard alcohol. Curious as to the norm in Australia.

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