(Closed) Wedding Invite…how to say 2 drinks on us, then no-host bar?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
708 posts
Busy bee

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@Mrs. Dragon:  I’d say, do what is common in your area / circle of friends… 

If everyone includes the info about a cash bar at a wedding, iclude it as well, so people bring enough money.. 

If everyone hands out drinking tickets with the invitation, do so as well. 

if you’re comming from an area like @MrsGolden2Bee, then just leave out the info. 

Don’t feel bad about it! Of course I ‘d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer an open bar. But I think it’s the right choice for you. Stick to your budget. I don’t think you owe any of your guests an intoxication. 

ETA: I’d much rather have 2 drinks on you (and pay for the rest myself) then be at a dry wedding!

Post # 18
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Mrs. Dragon:  I would spread the word that it was going to be a cash bar with drink tickets. Also I’d put it on your wedding website. If your wedding is not huge it should be pretty easy to get the word around and your parents can help. I have a close friend that did this and no one cared, however it was a more casual wedding. Very very fun wedding thought, perfect for their personality and no one questioned why because the groom was still in grad school. I would definitely go for the ticket route because they are easily reconizable at drinks! At this wedding I think the tickets were at each plate.

Post # 19
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Ditto that I would always prefer two drinks than none. 🙂 If you tell us there’s a cash bar, and then we show up to the wedding and “surprise, you get two drinks” Whoo-hoo! Agreed that tickets are going to be a lot easier to manage than stones. Nice idea, but I think the execution could get a little tricky.

Post # 20
5538 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

Socially acceptable things vary widely by regions and social circles so don’t get too hung up when people from other areas don’t agree with what may be accepted in yours. I think putting “Cash Bar Available” is okay then people can have two free drinks when they show up. I think just having them at the table is easier than in the mail, people won’t remember to bring them. As a host you are required to not make your guests go hours with nothing to drink, that does not mean you have to supply endless booze for them. People can take the two free drinks and drink non-alcoholic the rest of the night or buy their own.

Post # 21
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

The key is whether or not cash bars are standard in your area/social circle. If they are, you don’t need to say anything, as people will bring money. If they aren’t, then as others said – give them a heads up that they will need to bring some money. 

I don’t think you specifically need to let them know about the 2 drinks on you – as long as you convey that when they get there. And then it’ll be more than they are expecting, which will be a good thing!

I think the glass stones idea is cute, but you need to ensure that it’s very clear what they are for!


Post # 22
7172 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@Mrs. Dragon:  I wouldn’t put it on the invite (about the 2 drinks).  I would add to the reception card (assuming you have a reception card) “No Host Bar”.  Or, if it’s on the invite itself, something like:  Dinner Reception, No Host Bar.

That way, those who want to drink, will bring cash.  At the wedding, you could decide how to hand out drink tickets or stones, or whatever (you could easily have them distributed with seating cards).

Another way you could do it is a hosted bar for 1 hour… that’s usually a little less confusing than drink tickets and often ends up about the same (unless you have really heavy drinkers)

Post # 23
9947 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

This Question always gets a WIDE range of replies…

As Co-Hosted Bars vs OPEN BARS are not common in the USA like they are in other places… particularly Commonwealth Countries where Liquor is uber-expensive, and Receptions go a lot longer (8+ Hours not being unusual)

In Canada, Co-Hosted Bars are pretty common.  No one thinks much about it really.  The easiest way is usually to have a Complimentary Cocktail Hour – Wine with Dinner – or Bubbles for Toasting (what we call Loonie or Twoonie Bars where drinks are subsidized tends to be more complicated)

If you are going to provide just 2 drinks, then the easiest route is usually to hand out a Drink Ticket (typically at the event when people are welcomed… or at their place-setting / with their escort cards).  I suppose you could do the same with the glass pebbles, but you might want to attach them to a card that has an explanation for their use.

Hope this helps,

PS… To answer your Original Question… you don’t put anything on the Invitations etc.  Because to speak of money is seen to be rude.  You hand out the Tickets at the event, or hang up a sign (“Complimentary Signature Cocktails” … OR “Beer & Wine Bar” etc that also clearly lists the prices of other items.  If you provide Wine with Dinner, or Bubbles for Toasting, no explanation is required).


Post # 24
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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@Mrs. Dragon:  

FWIW- I’d rather pay for my own drinks than go to a dry wedding. I don’t think it’s rude at all. My brother bought 2 kegs of nice beer and a few bottles of wine for his wedding. Any hard-A drinks were cash bar. When the beer and wine ran out, it was cash bar too. It worked really well. I didn’t hear anyone complain about it.

Post # 25
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Could you just offer beer and wine all night and if guests want a “harder” drink they’ll need to pay? Regardless I wouldn’t mention that guests will be paying for their own drinks at an event you’ve invited them to on the invitation.  

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