(Closed) Spinoff: The Childless Wedding and The Bee Contradiction

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 91
2507 posts
Sugar bee

Gsxr06:  what northeast do you live in?? I live in the northeast (of the US) and it is certainly NOT customary to have cash bars. Open bar is the norm. 

Post # 92
916 posts
Busy bee

Frankly, I will not have kids at my wedding. I think individuals who claim, “Oh, you must not like kids that much then” are being completely obtuse and narrow minded. I’ve worked with kids from high school, and still am currently. I’ve worked with age ranges from 4-15. I really enjoy kids, and what they bring to an environment. However, if you have alcohol at a wedding (which you bet I would, because I’m the type of person that likes a couple of drinks to get the party going) then that is not the right environment for them. There’s a number of reasons that I don’t think weddings are appropriate for children. For one thing, many young children do not have fundemental comprehension skills. This means if they feel like screaming at the top of their lungs during the vows, guess what? They will. That leads into my other point-I’ve seen more careless parents then careful. There are more parents out there who SHOULDN’T be parents then ones that should. I simply cannot trust parents, especially in my and SO’s family (who thinks anythiing they give birth to can do no wrong) to control their child. I wish I could, but I’ve been proven wrong time and time again. The other factor is cost. No, I don’t want to pay for little jimmy to have a set at the table, and eat half his chicken fingers, when I can invite a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. There are plenty of vendors who won’t offer price reductions for children. There are plenty of settings that aren’t safe for children. The last factor is the complete lack of thought. Kids do stupid things. They run around, they knock things over, they trip, they fall, they scream, they throw tantrums. As a kids who got hauled to weddings, I HATED them. I thought they were so boring. Most kids won’t even want to be there. 

So to some previous posters that have hinted you don’t like kids if you don’t want them there, no, that’s narrow minded. I love kids, I will have kids some day, but just as I don’t think it’s appropriate to bring your child to a bar, I’m not having them at a wedding with alcohol. And if a parent is too, “Oh, I couldn’t POSSIBLY let someone else watch my angel. I will NOT go where my child is not welcome!” you’re right, your child is not welcome. That was my decision. Now it’s your decision what you want to do about it. I think it’s a great time to get AWAY from your kids. Too many parents forget about themselves when they have kids, and it’s not selfish to want a night to yourself. But the ball is in their court, and their decision, and if they decline, so be it. They probably would have been miserable without their kid there, and I don’t want miserable, unhappy people at my wedding. 

End of rant.

Post # 93
1977 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

beebee1983:  It is actually ok in UK to have a cash bar. I think you mean in your specific area. At our wedding our guests will have two glasses of champagne or a cocktail and then wine, water and juice on the table. If they then want to go and do ten shots then they know they have to pay for it. I’ve never been to a wedding here with an open bar.

Post # 94
2921 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I find both these topics very interesting but I don’t think you can compare having a cash bar to having a child free wedding at all.

The Bees always say to have the wedding you can afford and to know your guests.  If cash bars are totally acceptable and the norm in your area – go for it.  If they’re not – and if it’s going to cause a big deal with your guests if you have one – then find a way to afford something, whether it just be beer and wine or a full out open bar.  In my area, open bars are the norm and you’d probably get a side eye if you have a cash bar and your guests aren’t expecting it.  I don’t know why this subject is brought up every other day?

As far as kids at weddings, I have seen my own friends struggle with this issue, and even though I’m not engaged, my boyfriend and I have discussed this already.  His entire family lives out of state and he has several nieces and nephews, so it would be really unfair, IMO, to ask them to travel to our area and not invite their kids.  Having kids does change the vibe of a wedding.  It’s not wrong to want a “fancier” event, nor is it wrong to want a more “family friendly” event.  There’s no right answer to this and I feel bad for couples that get a lot of slack from guests because their kids aren’t invited.  I think people sometimes get so wrapped up in their kids and in their own little world that they sometimes forget what life was like before they had kids.  I also find it funny when those same people that are bitching about leaving their kids home were the same ones that insisted on a child free wedding when they got married.

Post # 95
5161 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

ClaudiaKishi:  Yup. I mean I grew up in an area where it was perfectly acceptable to have fundraising events for your wedding, with tickets to purchase for entry, cash bar, and tickets to purchase for auction prizes. In fact, people looked at them as a great excuse to party, and everyone from great grandma to your cousin’s friend’s sister’s classmate could be there. I know there are a few Canadian prairie bees on here who know what I am talking about. I was always rather weirded about over idea and certainly anywhere else I go, in person or on the Internet, this is “the worst and rudest thing ever”. But eh, there, it’s perfectly accepted as normal, even if one personally does not want one or like the idea. 

I have been to both open and cash bar weddings over the years. I don’t see an issue with cash bars as long as notice is given ahead of time so people can choose whether to bring cash. The cash bar weddings I went to also all still had wine on the table or something, but anything else was cash.


Anyway, we had a childfree wedding. We also have a childfree life. It was a very small, intimate wedding, and not only was if not kid friendly, we just plain did not want kids there. Not everyone thinks kids are always cute and adorable, and I have many anecdotal stories of kids who disrupted wedding ceremonies and vows, ran around like screaming banshees at reception dinners, and so on. Some people like the atmosphere of a wedding with children, some don’t. I don’t. None of our own family and friends, invited or not, had any issue with it, and I grew up in a family where I went to a lot of family weddings as a child myself. Of course, we also didn’t invite any adults we thought got start running around screaming like banshees either.

Post # 96
12292 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Gsxr06:  Actually, a polite host should not permit guests to tip at a private affair any more than they’d allow them to pay for drinks or food. There’s not a reputable catering venue around here that allows this. Tips are included and you’ll never, ever see at tip jar at the bar. 

Hosting etiquette is more consistent universally than some people believe. Just because something has become common or even the norm in some circles does not mean that the relevant etiquette is outdated or nonexistent. Etiquette is not the same thing as tradition, either. Dollar dances are not accepted by etiquette, but they are traditional in some cultures.

Charging guests for refreshments is relatively recent practice and has more to do with saving money than tradition. 

There are still plenty of people in all of those places who host all the food and drink at their parties. Unfortunately, the perception is that etiquette is for the well off, since they are the only ones that can afford it. Host what you can afford is not a regional concept at all, though. 

Post # 97
4241 posts
Honey bee

RayKay:  I have a few Ontario friends who have had those parties- I think they call them stag and doe? A joint party where you buy tickets to go, raffle tickets, there are door prizes and a cash bar, etc. To my East Coast sensibilities I’m like “uhh…what?” BUT I realize that for their friends and family, they love them and look forward to them. Because it’s normal!

Cash bars are normal in my area, so you just bring cash to the wedding if you want to drink (or a cooler in your trunk, bahaha)- everyone knows and no one is surprised. I also had wine on the tables at my wedding and people were pretty pleased and excited.

That’s why I find these posts so funny. People talking with such authority over what a “good host” does and how anything else is offensive and rude….while they do other wedding things I consider to be pretty rude, like making their wedding party pay for their outfits. But “that’s what’s expected!”. Well, in other places a cash bar is expected. Some people just can’t see the world outside of their own little bubble I guess.

Post # 98
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I don’t think cash bar and BYOB are equivalent: I can’t just bring along my own wine I bought a month ago when it was a super good sale, I have to pay for it there. 

Part of finding the right venue is finding out how much you can afford at said venue. Then making a bunch of decisions based on that. We found a venue where we can both have children present and have a fully hosted bar.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  babeba.
Post # 99
1305 posts
Bumble bee

I mean, common etiquette states that a host pays for their guests’ food and drinks. Tradition does not equal etiquette. Etiquette is fairly universal – you invite, you pay. And that includes tips. 

Post # 100
12292 posts
Sugar Beekeeper


“I hear what your saying, about hosting your actual guests, but why is it okay to say I can only afford to invite Adults to the wedding, but not okay to say, I can only afford to put $2000 towards the bar tab”

Your assumptions are backwards. One makes up the guest list first. Then and only then do you plan the party you can afford. Children are guests, like any other. First you decide whether or not to invite children. It’s OK to limit your guest list to children of siblings only, for example. Then you find a way to provide refreshments at no charge to anyone but the hosts.

That might mean serving punch only, it might mean serving one or two glasses of wine, or a champagne toast only. It might mean hosting an open bar during the cocktail hour only, or closing it early. An open bar for the duration of an event is not some kind of entitlement. 

You also said your family would be mad if you had an open bar at the expense of having children. Again, this is backwards. You invite children or you don’t at your discretion. If you additional guests and that impacts what you are able to offer at the bar, then you offer what you can afford. 

Post # 101
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Gsxr06:  I live in the North East as well and have never been to a fully hosted bar. I guess it would be rude if you created the expectation of an open bar, and then surprised people with it then people could be upset and find that rude. But I always go expecting to pay for my own alcohol (or plan to not drink) and if something is covered, it’s an awesome treat!

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