(Closed) we can’t see eye-to-eye on the bar options

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
4024 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We hosted wine and keg beer, and bottles/cans of beer up to a certain price point, but mixed drinks and bottles/cans of beer after the price point was up to the guests to buy. Most drank keg beer though, and we had left over

Post # 4
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I think if you do rail drinks, beer and wine that is enough to satisfy pretty much everyone. That’s what we did. I did see one or two people with a “premium beer” ie: Corona, during the evening though and I did feel bad about it knowing that they had payed for it. However, it was just easier to do it this way. Most people will be happy with rail liquor too but of course there will always be the exception.

Post # 5
375 posts
Helper bee

While I agree with you that an open bar is the way to go, the fact that there is an easy way to go around it makes me lean towards compromise.

What about printing up little cards for the tables (2-3 per, depending on how many people at each) or a note on the menus if you’re going that route, which has the beverage options available on it. The types of beer and wine and maybe a signature cocktail or two. You could even go call or premium on the cocktails if you agree to just provide only a few and not break the bank. MOST folks are going to order from what’s most easily available, after all.

For those that want something more, they can exit to the bar and order it on their own. Is it ideal? No, but it really is a happy medium. You’re still providing them with a decent level of beverage service that most would be happy with but providing a pay option for others.It’s still better than not doing it at all!

Hang in there!

Post # 6
14497 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We did a open bar beer/wine and guest had to pay if they wanted anything else.  For most people beer or wine will do and they will be happen enough to consume that when provided.  If they are *really* that picky and need a mixed drink, then they didnt mind paying for it.  Most my guest had no problem with beer/wine, and maybe only 2 or 3 that I noticed paid for something else.  As long as some liquor option is available, I think its ok for guest to pay for anything more.

Post # 7
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m completely on your side.  Where I come from guests are never asked to pay for anything at a wedding, not even “upgrades”.  I think next time you guys are around someone who shares your view point, (a family member or friend from where you’re from), casually bring up the issues and get their opinion.  Get him to understand that it’s not just you being difficult, but it’s a cultural/regional norm.  Since your side is the side that is traveling and spending the most money, I would explain that it would be rude to make them pay for things, especially because they are not expecting to.

Post # 8
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think if you just tell them rail drinks, beer and wine are available, they should be fine with it. And honestly, if they REALLY want a top shelf drink, they shouldn’t have a problem paying for it. Sorry, but I agree with him on this. If you have an open top shelf bar, your bar tab is going to be crazy expensive

Post # 9
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m of the camp that it’s an all or nothing thing. I wouldn’t ever ask people to pay for anything after traveling and coming to my wedding. But I think it depends on the families. For example my FI’s family wine would be fine, but my family is more of beer liquor people. So just beer/wine wouldn’t work for me.

Post # 10
10573 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

What about having a bar menu listed somewhere for what you are providing (at tables or by the bar) but let the venue know that if someone asks for a premium drink, they may pay for it.  As long as you’re not advertising other stuff is available it’s ok.  Unless someone is super picky, they probably won’t ask.

Post # 12
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

While im all for open barbut  i went to a wedding recently that had and open bar from cocktail hour through dinner then it was a cash bar – by that point everyone was kinda tipsy and didnt mind the cash bar but honestly i dont bring money with me to weddings and i would be totally upset if all i had was my debit card – luckily i had my husband in tow.

i say go beer and wine only if you want to keep it cheaper.

I offered beer, wine and house liquor at our wedding (the liquor was thrown in last second by my dad, we originally opted for just wine and beer) and i had people still go to the hotel bar because we didnt have the brand they liked….

Post # 13
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I don’t like the taste of beer or wine, but I like mixed drinks.  As a guest, I’d much rather have the option of buying a mixed drink, even if I have to pay for it.  I’m ok drinking just soda or water, but I don’t see what’s so bad about having the option there.

Post # 14
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I agree with you. Guests should not have to pay for anything when they are a guest at your wedding. It’s like when you invite guests over to your house for dinner. Do you serve them dinner and then hand them a bill for their drinks? If you beer and wine is what you can afford in your budget then you should just offer beer and wine this is perfectly acceptable. I think that if guests have to leave the room to get a drink other than what is offered would deter them from wanting anything else.

Post # 15
3265 posts
Sugar bee

@cardus: I am 100% on your side, and etiquette is too.  You shouldn’t ever allow guests to pay for any portion of your hospitality.  On the flip side, guests should accept what hospitality is offered them without needing to upgrade.  No one needs Grey Goose vodka, they can make do with the Sminoff and have just as good a time. 

At every wedding I’ve ever been to I would have loved to have a meal cooked by Woolfgang Puck, but I didn’t need it to have fun.  Instead I took the hosts rubber chicken marsala dinner, and ate it with a smile on my face.  Offer whatever you want/are able to afford without charging your guests.

If I were you I would lay down the law with Fiance, that under no circimstances would I have a wedding with any kind of cash bar.  End of discussion.  If you are really generous, you could offer him a veto that he could cash in at some point later in the planning.

Post # 16
4824 posts
Honey bee

As a New Englander, I side with you generally.

But as long as you are providing something (beer and wine), I say go ahead and let them have some hard alcohol if somebody wants to specifically ask for it. I don’t love the idea, but it is a good compromise over an all cash bar.

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