Post # 16
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
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
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 # 19
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 MrsBuesleBee:
said, sorry, not sorry.
Post # 26
Thanks everyone for your help! We’re still early in the process of finding a venue, but this could be a deciding factor when we decide who to go with. I think I’ll find my top three venues (most of which are full service) and then analyze the cost of an open bar vs. consumption.
For everyone’s reference, we will be getting married in the Charleston, SC area! Originally we were thinking DC/MD (where I live), but it’s just too expensive here.
Post # 27
Even if your venue charges per head most allow you to set up a cash bar and then you can pick up the tab.