October 2014 Weddings

Cash Bar

So how do y'all feel about cash bars? One of our preferred vendors is offering me a $300 cash bar! Everything include including the bartender!! But our guests will have to pay...we can put money in the "reserve" for example $500 for our guests to go up and get drinks and then once that reserve is gone then they have to pay! What are y'all thoughts?

Re: Cash Bar

  • BlergbotBlergbot An enchanted land member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    The ladies of TK do not look kindly on cash bars. Please visit this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/995381/cash-bars-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-place
  • jules3964jules3964 member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited May 2014

    I think having money in a "reserve" would be very confusing for guests. If someone went up to get a free drink early, and then had to pay for a drink later, that could make for a very awkward situation if they weren't expecting to have to pay.

    Just have the wedding you can afford. If you can't afford alcohol, you don't have to provide it.

  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Don't do it. Think of your reception as basically a party you are hosting in your home. You don't charge your guests for their drinks when they come for dinner right? Your reception is the same. If you can't afford to pay for a full bar or a limited (beer and wine only) bar then you are better off not having one at all.

  • ashwiseashwise member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Bad question to pose on TK.  Just do what you want and can afford.  If you're still looking for advice talk with your BM, not here....just a word of advice. 
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  • Okay thanks @ashwise your're a real peach!
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    If you cannot afford to pay for the full bar or even a beer/wine bar, you could put a bottle of champagne and sparkling cider on the tables (if there's anybody under 21) so you can still get your champagne toast.  I'm not sure how TK feels about that, I know I went to one wedding where they did that and I was not offended.

  • @Dignity100
    that would be perfectly fine - so long as there was not a cash bar later.  If that's all the alcohol there is (enough for everyone to have a glass) then great!

    Enjoy the champagne toast :)
  • smalfrie19smalfrie19 Home of SB XLVIII Champs member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Please only host waht you can afford. Do not charge your guests 
  • mrscatymrscaty Philly member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    I'm confused. What does the $300 go towards then? Is that to pay the bartenders? I'd skip the cash bar and just do beer and wine if you're worried about cost. 

    Also, how big is your wedding? We are having a small wedding and a consumption bar so the venue (a restaurant) will just give us the bar bill at the end of the night. If they are saying you can have a reserve, why not look into this if your budget allows?
  • rsbloomrsbloom member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I agree with PP that's weird that they're charging you for a cash bar.  Yay it's ONLY $300 and that doesn't buy your guests drinks!  

    Some college friends of mine had a wet cocktail hour and then a champagne toast.  During dinner guests could purchase alcohol if they wanted, or stick with lemonade, iced tea, and coffee.  There was a mad rush at the end of the cocktail hour as people tried to get last drinks before they had to pay. Hardly anyone bought drinks after that because they didn't want to pay.  

    The cash bar option my venue had was we had to have our guests meet a minimum amount or we would have to pay the rest.  But we're hosting beer, wine, and soft drinks.
  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    It is never appropriate to asks your guests to open their wallets at a wedding reception.
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  • Lauramae980Lauramae980 member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited June 2014
    My venue offered a similar thing. We are paying $25 per guest for alcohol, doing wine and beer. The venue mentioned that when this reserve runs out then it would become cash bar. I thought long and hard and have decided that that is confusing and unfair. I'm a slow drinker myself. My FI can easily have three drinks before I finish one. If I was a guest then I would get one free drink and he would get three. That seemed unfair. I'm going to start putting aside a little each week for this expense now. I don't think we will go over much since it's a daytime wedding, but I really don't want my guests to have to pay for anything at the reception. I'm telling the venue to keep track and at the end of the event give the bill to me. My family is paying for the reception, but I am covering this.
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  • An idea: I was at wedding last month where they had bottles on the table. It was a help yourself type situation and worked well. It seemed a very economical and simple solution.
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