(Closed) To a bar or not to have a bar

posted 8 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
4886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

What are your options?  I mean, do you have to use the venue’s bar or are you asking if you should somehow create your own, or not do one at all?

Post # 4
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@FutureMrsRiley:  Do your family & friends drink much?  Mr. Cappugcino and I decided not to have any alcohol because we really don’t drink, our parents can’t for medical reasons, as well as a number of guests.  Only two of our guests drink at all and they’re not the sort that would be upset if there wasn’t alcohol.  So we’re forgoing it altogether

Post # 5
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Maybe a compromise – do like cocktail hour as an open bar and then after dinner have cash bar?  I know cash bars arent the best idea, but if there are going to be a mixure of drinkers and non-drinkers, atleast it will cut down the expense.  Sadly weddings have turned into what your guests would want and not what the Bride and Groom want.  We are having a Destination Wedding so I dont have to worry about this – but I would have a bar.  At the very least is there a “public” bar on the grounds that people could use in case you decide to not have a bar??

Post # 6
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

My family is a large Irish one so no bar isn’t an option for us lol. We were think about buying the liquer ourselves and then hiring bartenders to save some money. Plus we get to take home the leftovers! lol

Post # 7
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@FutureMrsRiley:  As a guest I like to be able to have a glass of with my dinner, especially at a festive occasion like a wedding reception.  If you can afford it, people will really appreciate the bar.  Limiting it to beer & wine is perfectly acceptable.


Post # 8
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

A lot of people would enjoy the beer/wine option, but if it is too expensive, it is too expensive. You don’t need to go into debt liquoring up your guests- especially if you two aren’t going to be drinking at all! You could always do fancy non-alcoholic beverages like lemonades with real fruit or some nice looking mocktails.

Post # 9
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think it would be better to have a beer/wine bar than no bar at all, I think people expect it.

I went to a dry wedding in a hotel once, the bride said that most of her family/friends didn’t drink, but half the wedding guests had flasks and spent the night in the bar, rather than the reception room. I imagine that type of scenario is probably common at an alcohol free wedding. I personally don’t think the bar is the place to try to save $$.

Post # 10
40 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

@CrazyCoffeeGeek:  im in Scotland and the idea of a wedding with out alcohol would be a big no no 

But a cash bar it would have to be !!

Post # 12
882 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Aside from religious reasons, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t have a bar. I guess it’s just the norm from where I am from—I had never been to a dry or cash bar wedding and honestly never even heard of anyone I remotely know having one. I didn’t realize it was pretty common until I navigated my way to this site. 

I guess I am under the assumption, that if you are going to have a celebration, have some alcohol for your guests. If you can’t afford it, then cut the guest list. 

You’d never invite someone over your house for a party, and not feed them or give them drinks, or ask them to pay for food and/or drink.

So why—as the host of a wedding, would you not provide a bar or expect your invited guests to pay for it?

It’s completly baffling to me.  


Post # 13
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

DEFINITELY have the bar if you can afford to. You are correct in saying that guests want to enjoy drinks at a wedding reception. Beer and wine would be far cheaper than a full bar, so that could be your compromise.

Post # 14
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@BrooklynWife:  Actually, if I have a party, I do have guests BYOB or food. It’s pretty normal by me. I know, not the point, but just showing it can happen. I never expect the host of a party of any kind to foot the entire bill, which is why I’m not put off by a cash bar, personally. But, I’m probably in the minority with this way of thinking.

Post # 15
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

The only dry wedding i’ve ever been to everyone left really early to go out to a bar together. That aside, there’s just something really wonderful about that champagne toast or about sipping a lovely glass of wine while catching up with family and friends and hitting the dance floor!

Post # 16
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Open bar was definitely not an option at my wedding because of cost and my mom, who was footing the majority of the bill, would definitely never have gone for a cash bar. The week before our wedding when we were meeting with our venue coordinator, my mom (who had attended a wedding a few days before of a coworker at the same venue) gave her a list of things she noticed at the coworker’s wedding that she didn’t want at mine. One of those was a tip jar on the bar. She said it was “tacky” (I know, that’s WB’s favorite word lol). The coordinator, being from a tiny bit of a different culture than us (I say tiny because we share the same religion and cultural aspects of our religion, but not being from the same country) said many guests that are from her country actually expect this. Just an example of how culturally different even things like bar etiquette are. Anyway, back to the point, we did have a wine/champagne/beer bar and it seemed to go over well. I knew my guests would NOT be ok with having a dry wedding and I was even worried they wouldn’t be satisfied with the wine/beer. In the end, I think everyone did enjoy it and the drinks were great. 

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