(Closed) Why are cash bars tacky?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 63
Member
7294 posts
Busy Beekeeper

holy crap – infinity posting!  sorry about that!!!   the website wasn’t loading, so i hit submit again. but apparently it posts anyway even if it doesn’t load on my page!

Post # 64
Member
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@aliavenue:  Alcohol is not a necessity and, like you said, if its that important why not just BYOB?

I think there are a lot of venues out there that won’t let you bring your own booze (or food!) in or out. I think it’s probably a liability thing for some, whether that’s “Hey, the bride brought Everclear and now people are going crazy,” or “Hey, the bride brought potato salad made with expired mayonaise and now people are getting sick.”

I think probably what we’re going to end up with here is that some people Just Do It Differently. And yes, certainly I would probably quirk an eyebrow if everything was SUPER lavish, but we were paying for drinks. But while I like free booze as much as the next person…with the weddings with cash bars that I’ve been to (most of them), I would just assume that they cut corners where they had to. If they’re my friends and family, and if it would have been a hardship, I guess I would rather them have that money to start their lives together. 

 

Post # 65
Member
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’d first like to say that we will be having a full open bar. However, I definitely don’t find cash bars tacky. Everyone keeps saying that it’s like having people over for a dinner party and then asking for them to pay for drinks. I don’t get that correlation. They are paying for drinks. You are more than welcome to have a lemonade, a ginger ale, some chocolate milk,  some soda pop, or any non-hooch drink available.. Alcohol isn’t a necessary drink. I do believe that the host should pay for food and drink.  The host IS paying for food and drink. People keep saying “But I paid for gas, and a present! I drove for 2 hours!” And you got a free meal and some good entertainment. This isn’t a house party, this is a wedding at a venue. They acknowledge that they can’t afford alcohol and have kindly offered another option. Most cash bars aren’t free for the couple either. They had to pay so you could have the option to drink.

I guess I just don’t get this line of thinking. I truly do not mean to be rude in any way, however… These people aren’t strangers. You know them. They love you enough to invite you to their wedding. They want to fellowship with all their loved ones. They can’t afford alcohol but still have tried to make some sort of accomodation. Can’t we try to look on the bright side? I think that it’s easy to get stuck on the principle of the matter. But the principle of the matter sometimes needs to give way for kindness. I am not having a cash bar. But I know for sure that I will commit some sort of faux pas at my wedding. Most of you likely will also. And all any of us canm do is hope that our guest will understand that we did our best for them and had love in our hearts. I don’t know about you but I would hate to think that anyone I love could walk away from my wedding thinking that my best efforts were tacky. I dunno… It just seems so mean.

Post # 66
Member
2583 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@janie-janie:  I guess I don’t understand how having alcoholics isn’t an excuse… the more people drink, the higher the alcohol cost is going to be. When you have a lot of alcoholics or a lot of people who will party it up and get drunk, then the open bar is going to cost WAY more than if people are just having a couple glasses of wine or something. FI’s friends will get completely trashed- I already know it. I don’t want to pay for getting them so drunk they puke (which isn’t an unreasonable possibility). I also have a lot of alcoholic realtives, which is a huge reason we’re having a semi- cash bar (free drinks during dinner). If they want to be drunk, they can do it on their own dime.

Post # 67
Member
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@littlelucygoose:  We are doing the exact same thing, one hour open bar and then cash bar after that.  We are also providing water, tea, and lemonade all night long so its not like there wont be anything to drink thats not provided.  We are on a tight budget and he has several faternity brothers that would drink us out of every cent we have, so we are limiting it to one hour and they can pay if they wish to continue.  It is not at all rude or tacky.  You are providing it to them to enjoy themselves, not to get it-faced drunk. 

My question is are you telling your guest this?  Will it be announced at the wedding? 

And most of the time cash bars mean cash or credit cards…everyone has one or the other!

Post # 68
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

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@MlleBrielle:  Why should I have to cough up money to drink at YOUR event?”

Why? Because you will be the one drinking it. You don’t HAVE to drink, you just want to drink. Its a luxury no an necessity. & no one should be percieved as tacky because they didn’t find it necessary to pay for your alcohol.

In my opinion: This is a wedding, not a party, not a bbq. Its about to people beginning there lives together and celebrating with their friends and family in a way that they see fit. When you attend the wedding, its not about you. You should trust that those involved have done eveything they could to make it joyful experience and if that doesn’t include alcohol its not the end of the world. So do what’s right for you. People that love you will have a good time regardless. Just let them know ahead of time if they may need to bring some cash.

 

Post # 69
Member
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I shouldn’t have hit submit twice. Double post 🙂

Post # 70
Member
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Also, I am a bit amused by the “you’re hosting guests, you would never ask them to pay for anything!” line of reasoning. While I DO realize that a wedding is more formal than a house party, and more of an expenditure for everyone involved  — again, broke-ass student here, but it’s very common in my circle to throw potlucks, or for the host to front pizza and beer, but everyone chips in a little bit to mitigate the cost.

Again, I know that a wedding is NOT a Super Bowl party (although I bet that some grooms would much prefer it), but I guess that the entire idea of “hosting” is a bit more casual in my circle of friends. 🙂

Post # 73
Member
13905 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@jayebaby:  You make some good points, but I believe that it really depends on your guests.  If I were to tell my family that I was even considering a cash bar, they’d be horrified and I’d be ridiculed.  Cash bars just aren’t done in my family because it’s seen as incredibly rude.  Other groups may feel differently, and that’s fine.  All of the weddings I attended growing up were full open bars; I never even realized people did cash bars until I moved south, and started seeing “Cash bar” on invitiations or wedding websites, and was horrified.  I honestly couldn’t believe someone wouldn’t budget for alcoholic beverages at their weddings.  Now, after being on the Bee, I know it’s done, but personally, I disagree with it.

Post # 74
Member
2701 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

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@Ms. Damask:  I’m not saying you need an open bar to have a great wedding. I’m not saying that at all. And a wedding is a big party. It’s a celebration about two people who fell in love.

Having a wedding means you are hosting a party; a celebration. There are people who like to have a glass of wine to celebrate. I don’t think it’s weird to say that alcohol would be at a celebration. And since I am throwing a celebration, party, wedding, whatever you want to call it, I should provide alcohol for my guests to enjoy.

Post # 75
Member
10283 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

In some areas and circles, hosted bars are expected. We couldn’t afford to have a full open but we had to atleast offer our guests a limited open bar (with a cash bar for liquor) so that there was some alcohol provided throughout the entire event. Not doing this wasn’t really an option for us. My mother nagged me up until our rehearsal about adding on the full open. She wasn’t willing to up her contribution (nor did we ever expect her to) so we couldn’t swing it.

To be completely honest, I don’t like cash bars. I’ve been to weddings with them before and dealt with it but that doesn’t mean that I was thrilled to have to buy my own drinks. It’s even worse when the couple gives no notice of the cash bar and the venue doesn’t accept credit. This has happened to us before and it was a royal pain in the ass having to leave the reception to find the nearest ATM just to buy a glass of wine.

If you can’t afford to host a bar then don’t but you should be prepared to have some less than enthused guests. Then again, if cash bars are the norm in your circle then you shouldn’t have any issues. I look at weddings as a grandious dinner party. I wouldn’t expect my guests to BYOB if I was hosting an event at my home, so I don’t expect them to have to pay for their drinks (sans hard liquor) at my wedding. 

Post # 76
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

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@abbie017:  I tend to agree.

I bought a cheaper dress, DIY’d most of my flowers, and cut back everywhere to ensure that my guests had great food, great drink and a fantastic experience.  

 EDITED: I cut back on things that didn’t add to my guests’ experience.  

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