(Closed) The Great Bar Debate!

posted 10 years ago in Food
  • poll: Pick Your Poison
    Open Bar : (123 votes)
    45 %
    Cash Bar : (23 votes)
    8 %
    Cocktail Hour Open Bar : (18 votes)
    7 %
    Beer/Wine/Signature Drink : (96 votes)
    35 %
    Dry : (5 votes)
    2 %
    Other : (7 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 32
    1051 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    We’re doing beers based on our heritage – Irish & German – and wine based on our honeymoon destination – Australia=) 

    I personally would never charge for anything at a wedding, so I would never have a cash bar.

    Post # 33
    2194 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    We’re doing an open bar because, despite the fact that my wedding is formal and will be held in a place that could very well make my wedding feel a bit stuffy, I want guests to let lose and get on the dance floor.  I think having drinks available all night will help with this in a way nothing else could!  Also, I really like variety and personally would get sick of just drinking one thing all night, so open bar it is.

    Post # 34
    1955 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

    Open bar.  FH’s parents gave us money specifically for this, otherwise it would have been beer, wine and a sig. cocktail!

    Post # 35
    2410 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    We will have an open bar.

    Post # 36
    5670 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I understand why people do fully cash bars because of the cost but I hate them. It is so expensive to go to someone else’s wedding. After I get a new dress, Fiance gets a new suit or even just a shirt and tie, we give a gift, and if we have to stay we are broke. And now we have to pay for our drinks. I was in a wedding that cost me over $500 to get dressed, I had to stay two nights, and then we didn’t even get a drink (well besides cocktail hour).

    Okay now that I gave my reasoning LOL, we are doing an open bar. We were originally just going to offer beer and wine but at our venue there is only a $3 per person between just beer and wine and full open bar.

    Post # 37
    711 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    We are having a cash bar with a couple bottles of wine on each table and 4 free drinks per guest. We wanted it to be as close to an open bar as possible but we still have a budget. Out in the country we know our guests can drink a lot. One of our groomsmen usually drinks 15 or more and so do most of our friends attending.

    Post # 38
    2775 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    We’re having an open bar.  It was never a question, as open bars are customary where we live.  Were we not able to afford alcohol we would have cut back to beer/wine or skipped it altogether rather than have a cash bar.  In my opinion, it is appropriate to throw the party you can afford and not ask guests to subsidize what you cannot afford.  That said, I’m sure I’d feel differently if cash bars were the norm at weddings I’ve attended.

    Post # 39
    655 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    You know what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately? People saying they are only going to do beer and wine–not liquor–so that people won’t get drunk. What the?? The people who’ve said it, like me, are from Wisconsin, where if people are drunk, it’s often on beer. I think it’s a weird point of view. Of course shots get you drunk more quickly if you do them in rapid succession, but in all the weddings I bartended, at only a few did people actually take shots.

    As for the original question, I think that offering the most you can without breaking the bank is ideal. Just know that at an open bar, everybody suddenly drinks only top shelf 😉 I hoped for beer, wine, and a signature drink, but my in-laws (who generously offered to pay) preferred beer and wine only.

    Post # 40
    1001 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    People will get drunk at a wedding no matter what kind of booze you provide.  Even if it’s a dry wedding, you’ll still have people sneaking in a flask.  So I don’t understand that logic either.

    I always get annoyed on these types of threads because the open bar people come across as so self-righteous.  It’s probably where I’m from, but I never expect the entire evening to be free.  I expect to pay for a few drinks and maybe parking, and of course I will buy a new outfit and bring a gift.  I would never begrudge someone for throwing the kind of shindig they can afford.  I’d rather be invited and have to pay for a drink, than NOT be invited at all.

    Post # 41
    2702 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    we’re getting the 5 hour premium bar open package, cuz we need it to meet our minimum spend amount

    Post # 42
    118 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We are not having any we both come from a conservative family. , let’s just say some of his family members like the bottle a little to much and his female cousins under the influence forget that they are not a pole dancers!

    Post # 43
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Thanks Chillmer.  I almost never respond to these types of threads because I am one of the few people having a cash bar but my wedding budget is also $6,000 top to bottom.

    I know people always say don’t invite the guests if you can’t afford to pay for the drinks but that would limit soo many people that we want there.  I’ve gone to several weddings with cash bars and never have had an issue with it.  I can’t see my friends being upset with it either.  I guess it’s all about your perspective.

    Post # 44
    115 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    For me its unrealistic to do an open bar.  My guests will be heavy drinkers, especially on my mans side.  Most of his friends are in bands and party like they were still kids….I couldn’t afford to have the open bar.  I’m thinking that for the first hour I’ll have beer and wine only and I’m going to make sure there is a cap on that just in case.  Also, I’m going to make sure the bartender knows who’s in my wedding party, because their drinks will be on me.  I do like the sounds of the signature cocktail thing tho.  hmmmmm

    Post # 45
    3761 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    It is included with our venue but even before that my Fiance and I wanted a beer and wine reception.  My dad really wanted to do a champagne toast so that was added. 

    We kinda wanted to do a signature drink (just one cocktail) but our venue doesn’t have a hard liquor license. 

    I think this is plenty, if they want more then beer/wine then hopefully they brought a flask.  Your wedding doesn’t need to be a bar but you should provide for your guests.

    Post # 46
    75 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Open Bar!  People travel a long way, pay for airfare and hotel, sit through the ceremony and give you expensive gifts –  the two things you can give them in return is good food and free drinks.  My sister’s husband insisted on a strictly vegetarian (no seafood) dinner, and no drinks.  The lack of meat and drink made the guests grumble – not a good atmosphere for a celebration!  It was the only wedding I’ve been to where the guests couldn’t wait for it to be over.  A little money for liquor would have gone a long way in making the guests happy, especially because the meat issue was one the groom wouldn’t budge on.

    My fiance and I don’t drink, and neither do his parents.  But we’re having an open bar all night because we want our drinking guests to have a good time.  Not the premium alcohol, but everything anyone could want to make a mixed drink.   

    We’re DIYing invitations, reply cards, table cards, thank you cards and flowers to help offset the money we’re spending on other details like the open bar and favors people will actually use.

    Even if you only do an open bar for the cocktail hour, or just beer/wine/signature drink for the entire evening, you should pay for it.  Nothing says tacky and cheap at a wedding more than a cash bar!

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