Post # 1
There are about a million posts on these boards about cash bars and whether or not they are tacky.
The prevailing attitude on the boards seems to be that there HAS to be alcohol at the wedding, and therefore the options are have free alcohol or have guests pay for alcohol. Because people have this attitude, they do something that is considered poor etiquette, and charge their guests for drinks (I know people disagree with this, but I swear Emily Post and Miss Manners are on my side.)
I honestly just do not get it. I’ve been to lots of weddings where I neither expected nor received alcohol of any kind. The wedding wasn’t ruined for me. I still had fun, talking and laughing with my friends. Why on earth are weddings all about the booze? I don’t really see what’s so wrong with a dry wedding, if alcohol is out of budget.
Post # 3
I much rather attend a dry wedding then a wedding with a cash bar. That’s just me though.
Post # 4
i dont think alcohol is ‘required’, per se. But I think each bride knows her guests. I had a ‘cocktail reception’ so clearly, open bar. But if I had something before 3, i probably would have served champagne only, or no alcohol at all. I think the decision to serve alcohol depends on a lot of factors, but I definitely vote for the dry wedding over cash bar.
Post # 5
I actually don’t like weddings that have alcohol! There are way to many people that act like huge fools, including the bride and groom. I would much rather go to a dry reception. I do have a problem with running out of drinks! Eek, people will definately want more than 1-2 glasses of punch, water, or whatever for a big/long reception and I don’t want to pay to drink more!
Sorry, I don’t think many people make this error, but the last wedding I went to didn’t even have enough punch for guests to have more than one glass and you had to pay for anything else, including water! I didn’t bring cash (I don’t drink so even if I knew it would be a cash bar I wouldn’t have, but pay for water?!)
Post # 6
I’d much rather go to a wedding with a cash bar than a dry reception. Unless of course it was a daytime wedding.
Might just be my social circle, but I’d be really really surprised if any of my friends or family decided to have a dry reception. I think if we made the choice to go dry, our family/friends would not be fans of it. I always bring cash to weddings, to me it isn’t a big deal at all, and I have yet to hear someone complain at a wedding about paying for their own martini or something. I don’t expect the bride & groom to provide me with drinks. The only necessary thing, in my mind, is food. I’d only be offended if things were clearly out of balance, like a 10k dress and no hosted bar options.
The more and more I read weddingbee the more it seems that this is really specific to our own region & culture.
Post # 7
I don’t think its "necessary" per se, because it depends on your group of guests. For us, it is non-negotiable, its a part of everyday entertaining in both our friends and family. So, for that matter, if it is an evening wedding than a bar is expected among our guests.
I think that it is such a hot button issue that people immediately think its necessary but honestly, it all depends on your guests and your lifestyles.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2020 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman
I think if you want to have a ‘dance party’ type reception (which we did), alcohol is pretty critical. In my experience, it’s hard to get a lot people to dance without it. If you aren’t having dancing, or are just having slow dancing, I don’t think not having alcohol is a big deal. It all just depends on the type of reception you want to have. If you don’t want to serve alcohol (or can’t), you just have to look at how that might affect your guests and adjust your expectations for the vibe of the reception. Of course, you can still have a great time, it just might not turn into a ‘dance party.’ I just hate to see the bride & groom dissapointed that the dance floor is empty when there is no alcohol available.
Post # 9
Alcohol is not necessay at all. But if you’re going to provide refreshments for your guests, then do so. Would you charge them per drink if you were having a cocktail party at your house?
Post # 10
There really can’t be any sort of blanket rule on this question just because, as many have said here, it really is dependent on the couple, their families, and their guests. If y’all aren’t drinkers or there is a history of alcoholism in the family, then dry reception is clearly the way to go. I don’t think any guest would find it objectionable that someone who is either him- or herself a recovering alcoholic or has family in that position would choose not to spend $$$ on alcohol at their wedding. However, some families and friends (like mine, for example) are drinkers and will expect that at a wedding, and a dry reception would NOT fly at all. It really does depend on the lifestyle of the couple, families, and guests.
Also I agree with kitten that alcohol can be a key component if you’re looking for that "dance party" vibe – not that people need to be wasted to dance. There are just a lot of people who may need to loosen up a bit to feel comfortable gettin down on the dance floor!
Post # 11
I don’t believe that it is necessary but the answer to this question relies on the audience.
For my sister’s baby shower, my parents decided to make it a dry party… WOW, that did not fly with the guests at all. They were bugging my parents the entire night, which ticked me off since it was a baby shower. Unfortunately, that is my family. Some of them "have" to have alcohol to have fun.
Post # 12
I would prefer to have a cash bar over a dry wedding.
I’m Irish and it would be completely unheard-of in my family to have a dry wedding. I also can’t imagine any of my friends having a dry wedding. In many cultures alcohol is just part of any celebration. It drives me nuts that people who don’t drink think that having alcohol at an event will turn people into raving lunatics. Every event that is hosted by my family and friends (birthday parties, house warmings, Saturday night get-togethers) has alcohol and people don’t act any more crazy than they would sober.
Post # 13
I would say providing a cash bar is a more acceptable plan than having no alcohol available for those who want it.
Post # 14
I don’t think it’s necessary. I think it depends on the couple, the family, and the guests. I know people who would frown on having alcohol at a wedding and I know people who would be upset to have a wedding without alcohol. Each couple has to decided what works best for them.
Post # 15
Giving this post more thought…I would say that not offering a cash bar is equivalent to treating your guests like children. A wedding is an adult social event. Adults have the right to chose whether or not they would like to drink alcohol. I personally would not want guests to feel like they are at a child’s birthday party.
Post # 16
@heathaah … so, since I don’t drink, would you consider me a perpetual child? I choose not to drink, and I think that choice extends to what I will serve my guests.
@ amandopolis, its not even a budget question for me… so obviously I think its fine not to have it 🙂