(Closed) To open bar, or not to open bar?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
Member
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My mom and I were trying to decide if we should do open bar or pay per drink. I have a lot of underage people coming to the wedding who are to old to be considered a “kid”. Our main deciding favor was how much it costs per drink. Soda is $4, beer is $7 mixed drinks are $11 etc. We decided to have an open bar so there weren’t any surprises the day after the wedding & did a little math. Hopefully that made sense. 

Post # 17
Member
1320 posts
Bumble bee

The cash bar thing is definitely regional…I would never do a cash bar but I’m from the Northeast US where I feel like more is generally expected AND given for weddings (only open bars, gifts for both rbidal showers and weddings, etc.) The only option for alcohol at my venue is a full open bar. 

Paying by consumption only makes sense if you think the drinkers at your party won’t drink a lot. Like a PP said, if the drinkers in her situation drank more than 3 drink, it breaks even with the cash bar. You should do that calculation considering the 20 or so non-drinkers.

I know most of our friends drink 2+ drinks per hour regularly, so they would make up for 20 non-drinkers for sure. 

Post # 18
Member
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
dublingirl:  same in UK its’s 100% the norm. I dread to think how much my wedding would be costing me if I had to pay for the alcohol during the evening party for my friends and family! Good lord! Haha

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by londonbee123.
Post # 19
Member
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

dublingirl:  same in UK its\’s 100% the norm. I dread to think how much my wedding would be costing me if I had to pay for the alcohol during the evening party for my friends and family! Good lord! Haha

Post # 20
Member
7567 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

It really depends on what the norm is in your circle. While I don’t think it’s ever an acceptable option, it’s certainly more common in some places.

A cash bar would have never been an option for me. I just really believe in hosting my guests in the way I consider to be proper, and that meant lots of great food and plenty of alcohol. FWIW, DH and I don’t drink but all of our family and friends do – our reception was a thank you to them. It all goes back to priority and what’s most important. Hosting our guests 100% was important to us, and so we would have picked our guest list accordingly to make sure that was able to happen. Thankfully we were in a position to not need to trim our list down thanks to my parents generous contribution. Prior to that, we were planning the size wedding we could afford while still going all out on the things we felt important.

In your case OP, I’d do the open bar. Maybe you can talk to the venue about the situation and come to a compromise – where maybe if you have 100 adults, but 60 don’t drink, you could split the difference and and call it 70 adults?

Post # 21
Member
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

View original reply
starfish0116:  I agree, where I am in Australia I think a cash bar would be very uncommon – every wedding I have been to has included beer and wine. It is expensive (although not as expensive as an open bar) so you plan for it when making your guest list – ie only invite as many as you can afford. For better or for worse that’s the way it is. 

Post # 22
Member
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

It is my personal opinion that a cash bar is not fine. You are asking your guests to come and enjoy themselves, they are already paying for a gift for you and possibly travel expenses. Give them a drink or two!

Consumption is the way to go – if you can. Where int he world are you located?

Post # 23
Member
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

View original reply
futuremrsgerson:  Can you do a consumo/cash bar and have them give you the bill/tab? If most of your guests won’t be drinking, you probably won’t be spending $50ish per person in drinks. That way you can save some $ and have the added convenience of your guests not paying for their own drinks.

Post # 24
Member
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My brother and sister in law got married on Saturday and they did a cash bar BUT the bill was paid for by them, not the guests and was based on consumption. As far as the guests were concerned it was an open bar (they did not include most top shelf liquors just house) and it was MORE than fine. Almost everyone drank A LOT and they still saved compared to the open bar option/ paying per person.

Post # 25
Member
3302 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

As previously mentioned, a bill for alcohol consumption might be the way to go. I am always astonished that so many people do cash bars. You expect people to travel, dress up and buy you a present and you can’t get them a drink?

In my area a cash bar would be seen as cheaping out – big time. As 

View original reply
MrsBuesleBee:  said, sorry, not sorry.

Post # 27
Member
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Even if your venue charges per head most allow you to set up a cash bar and then you can pick up the tab.

The topic ‘To open bar, or not to open bar?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors