(Closed) The BEST Way to do a cash bar…

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 18
Member
11735 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

hate the ticket idea always. I think a good compromise is full open bar during the cocktail hour (including liquor) then having liquor being cash bar after (while still providing open bar for beer/wine/etc.)

Post # 19
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m going to go against the crowd here and say do beer/wine/sangria free all night including cocktail hour, and have the bartender charge for liquor drinks all night. Communicate on your wedding website or reception details that it will be a cash bar so that guests know to bring cash. Changing the rules midstream so that vodka is free during cocktail hour but costs $7 or whatever after dinner is confusing and cumbersome for guests. I can guarantee you someone will remember the negative feelings of not being prepared to pay for their second round a lot longer than they’ll remember having to pay for vodka at all.

If you’re buying the booze instead of having it provided by the venue, though, then I would do beer/wine/sangria only, all night, and not have any alcohol at all. There’s something a little not-quite-right about paying for the bottle of tequila then collecting cash from your guests when they want a drink, and putting the cash in your pocket.

Post # 20
Member
4499 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

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@fishbone:  +1

I really think you guys are providing a generous alcohol selection & don’t need to provide hard liquor at all, at least not at any extra expense to you. I understand wanting to provide the option, though, so I would also just have the hard liquor be cash bar throughout the entire event. That way it’s clear & consistent all night, and you save some money.

I’ve been to a handful of weddings that are just beer & wine, no sangria, even, and it’s lovely! I never feel deprived at all. You guys are going above & beyond!

Post # 21
Member
4753 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

first, “cash bar” implies ALL booze will be purchased so this is not a cash bar- but rather “limited open bar”

the best way is to spread word of mouth (or on website) that “hard alcohol is available for purchse and beer/ wine will be provided”

 

Post # 22
Member
9795 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Glad you’re not doing the ticket thing!  As someone else said, it reminds me of bars in college that had “ticket night” and you would pay $10 cover fee and get your free drink tickets.  I would put it on your website and then maybe an additional small sign at the bar (“hard liquor available for purchase after 7pm”) or whatever.

Post # 24
Member
9795 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@mrsmilam13:  So does the venue allow you to bring in your own alcohol/liquor?  Or are you/they buying it from the venue?

Post # 26
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

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@fishbone:  +1

Our venue was very accommodating about setting up a limited open bar where we hosted beer, wine and lemonade, while other beverages were available on a cash basis.

With what you’re describing, will it be apparent to your guests that you are bringing in your own alcohol? If so, I agree that it’s going to seem really chintzy to charge for any of the drinks.

Post # 27
Member
9209 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@mrsmilam13:  You know your crowd the best but I caution you against open bar during the cocktail hour only. I went to a wedding (work friend) that did this and basically quite a few guests stockpiled alcohol (as in got whiskey on the rocks hold the rocks etc) during the free bar and then just ordered soda the rest of the night to add to their stockpiled liquour and others just drank as many free drinks as possible of the hard stuff which led to some very drunk and messy guests before dinner was even served. A lot of guests also left early as their drunk buzz wore off.

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