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Snarky Brides

Partial Cash Bar??

So I've been reading a lot of different opinions about a cash bar and I'm still unsure what the "proper" thing to do is. My FI and I are definitely planning on paying for soda, water, tea etc as well as beer and wine. We had considered having a cash bar for the hard liquor after the first couple of hours, but apparently some people frown upon this... Any ideas?
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Re: Partial Cash Bar??

  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]Well, I know a lot, if not most, people here will get on your case about a cash bar of any kind. Personally, I don't see a problem with a cash bar for liquor if you are paying for everything else. The guests at our wedding are big drinkers and I'd never be able to afford them, which is why we aren't serving any alcohol and made it BYOB (we provide the sodas and punch). We're having the cheapest wedding possible and cut corners everywhere, so I don't really care if guests think BYOB is rude.
    Posted by Seshat411[/QUOTE]

    Your venue is letting you do this?  I was under the impression that most places will have their own servers because then they assume the liability for it.  Did you have to purchase separate insurance?
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  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]Serve what you can host.
    Posted by banana468[/QUOTE]

    Oh, and this.
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  • Skip the liquor - no partial cash bar.  If you're providing beer and wine that's great.  That should be enough for your guests. 
  • Thanks for the advice! I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to have an open bar for the first couple of hours or if the beer and wine would suffice!
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  • The proper thing to do is not make your guests pay for anything. What you can afford is fine.
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  • I'm a little frustrated with the whole cash bar vs. open bar thing.  I've been to plenty of weddings that have both cash bars and open bars.  I don't want to do it, but I think we will have a cash bar, because that's what we can afford (as everyone says - do what you can afford).  I don't want to have a dry wedding, because I want people to have fun, but I'm also not paying for people to get wasted at my event.  I want the option to be there for people if they want to drink but we can't necessarily pay for it, since my fiance and I are paying for most of the wedding.  We might do an open bar (wine and beer) while people are waiting for us to be done with pictures.  If you don't want to pay for your drink, don't buy one!  I think it's rude if people are going to get snotty that I'm not buying them drinks....if you're going to be like that, don't come to my wedding!  Sorry....a little venting there. :)

    So basically....do what you want, if someone thinks it's rude to have a cash bar, then don't come!

  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]I'm a little frustrated with the whole cash bar vs. open bar thing.  I've been to plenty of weddings that have both cash bars and open bars.  I don't want to do it, but I think we will have a cash bar, because that's what we can afford (as everyone says - do what you can afford).  I don't want to have a dry wedding, because I want people to have fun, but I'm also not paying for people to get wasted at my event.  I want the option to be there for people if they want to drink but we can't necessarily pay for it, since my fiance and I are paying for most of the wedding.  We might do an open bar (wine and beer) while people are waiting for us to be done with pictures.  If you don't want to pay for your drink, don't buy one!  I think it's rude if people are going to get snotty that I'm not buying them drinks....if you're going to be like that, don't come to my wedding!  Sorry....a little venting there. :) So basically....do what you want, if someone thinks it's rude to have a cash bar, then don't come!
    Posted by rebeccalynn410[/QUOTE]

    Um, but you CAN'T afford it.  A cash bar is not something that you can afford.  You can afford beer/wine or an open bar or nothing at all.

    The problem with your suggestion is that there's no way of writing 'cash bar' without sounding tacky because...it is, so people won't know until they get there.

    Oh, and if you seriously think that the first thing I bolded is true, then I suggest you second guess your guest list.  Either that or I'm assuming you're in college and don't have friends that have any self control.  Adults typically can handle having a few drinks without getting drunk and they know their limit.
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  • Rebecca, just because some people have a cash bar does not mean cash bars aren't rude.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It's fine to just have the soft drinks, coffee, tea,beer and wine. You could just skip the hard liquor, altogether. It will be confusing to your guests to start out paying for all the drinks and then switch to cash only for some types of drinks.
                       
  • True, people aren't getting "wasted" at my wedding...I'm 29, done with college and done with that kind of partying.  Our families aren't a bunch of drunks and neither are our friends...but I've been to open bar weddings that have had that happen.  I just really don't understand how it's considered rude or tacky to do a cash bar.  I never thought that when attending weddings with a cash bar...
  • Would you invite someone to your house and say, "Would you like a glass of wine? By the way, it will be $5." If you are inviting someone to a function you are hosting, you need to provide for them. You can provide anything you want, including no alcohol, but you need to pay for what's available.
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  • IT"S NOT RUDE TO HAVE A CASH BAR!
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  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]Would you invite someone to your house and say, "Would you like a glass of wine? By the way, it will be $5." If you are inviting someone to a function you are hosting, you need to provide for them. You can provide anything you want, including no alcohol, but you need to pay for what's available.
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]

    True...if people just put it that way, instead of saying it's rude or tacky, maybe it would make more sense to do it.
  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]IT"S NOT RUDE TO HAVE A CASH BAR!
    Posted by Labrnr[/QUOTE]

    haha THANK you!  Did you do one or are you having one?  Where did you come up with that opinion?
  • Before I came on these forums I never knew that people have goten so upset by cash bars that they left weddings. I have been to cash bar weddings and  I didn't even think twice about it. I don't think all wedding goers are are as strict about this as the knotties. Personally I have always wanted an open bar but can only afford a few hours of it. So I am going the first three hours of the wedding open bar and then shutting it down for the end but it will stay cash bar incase people still want it available. I fully realize that this is completely unacceptable to say on the knot but it's just an alternative point of view.
  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]IT"S NOT RUDE TO HAVE A CASH BAR!
    Posted by Labrnr[/QUOTE]

    Where exactly did you hear that? Because I must respectfully disagree.

    They might be very common in some areas. Doesn't make them objectively NOT rude, though, it just means people might not be offended by them. Make sense?
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  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]Before I came on these forums I never knew that people have goten so upset by cash bars that they left weddings. I have been to cash bar weddings and  I didn't even think twice about it. I don't think all wedding goers are are as strict about this as the knotties. Personally I have always wanted an open bar but can only afford a few hours of it. So I am going the first three hours of the wedding open bar and then shutting it down for the end but it will stay cash bar incase people still want it available. I fully realize that this is completely unacceptable to say on the knot but it's just an alternative point of view.
    Posted by miss.jawright[/QUOTE]

    i didn't know this was a faux pas either!!! (obviously)
  • I don't know why people insist on having the cash bar discussion here over and over again.

    I am with Banana. Serve what you can host, and only what you can host. If that means NO booze, so be it.

    I wish we could put cash bars, wishing wells, and dollar dances into the same trash bin and leave them there. Asking guests to pay for stuff is not a good thing and begging for dollars is downright degrading.

    However, a wicked combination of the a love for booze and a lack of funds for these ever expanding American weddings seems to be making all of that stuff alright in more places and for more people. Those of us who complain about it are fighting the tide.

    Scary.
  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar?? : Your venue is letting you do this?  I was under the impression that most places will have their own servers because then they assume the liability for it.  Did you have to purchase separate insurance?
    Posted by sucrets4[/QUOTE]

    We are getting married at a private residence, so we are handling all the food, decorating, etc. They know it's a bit of a drive, so we know most will be responsible when it comes to driving home, but we are offering people a place to sleep if they can't drive (there is a lot of land and a lot of our friends love to camp, so they might pitch some tents for the night).

    But other than that, people are on their own when it comes to liability (I hope). We aren't serving any alcohol whatsoever, not even champagne, so what they bring is their responsibility.
  • I see absolutely no problem with a cash bar. Many knotties have practically ripped my throat out for saying I was having one but I no longer care. Many of my guests would like alcoholic drinks available to them and we cannot afford to pay for all of them. We are doing this entire wedding on a $3,000 budget. I honestly would have NO problem attending my friend's wedding and they provide a cash bar. Heck, if I want to drink I should pay for it not have the bride and groom on THEIR day pay for me. A lot of people told me to majorly cut down my guest list then. I was outraged at hearing that. So I am supposed to knock out several of my friends and family from my wedding so I can provide free booze for others? Uh, no. That won't happen. I say go for your cash bar. Buy what you can, after that they can purchase drinks if they want them that badly. Cash bars are not nearly as frowned down upon as most people here make it sound. Every wedding I have ever been to has been cash bar. No one left because the bride and groom were "rude and tacky".
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  • Thank god, finally some people who have the same opinion!  I just asked a co-worker, and she said, "who cares if you have a cash bar at your wedding??  This is your day and people are coming to see you!  If they're pissed that you have a cash bar, then they're not there for the right reason!"
  • Here are some suggestions of what to do other than make your guests pay:

    - Cut out premium liquor (this is what I'm doing - saves a little $).
    - Have beer and wine only (and possibly a signature drink)
    - Have a dry wedding.
    - Cut down your guest list so you can properly host those who you DO invite.
    - Find a venue where you can bring in your own alcohol (will save $).
    - Cut other things from your budget, like limos, hotel rooms, professional nails, hair and makeup.
    - Push back the date of your wedding, giving you more time to save for it.

    FWIW, cash bars would NEVER fly with my family and friends, though I have seen many with just wine and beer.

    And before I hear, "I don't want someone coming to my wedding just for the booze, anyway!" - If you have the sort of circle who is used to celebrating with a drink - be it a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or dinner out - then they will simply expect alcohol and it will make their experience more enjoyable. After all, the reception is a thank you to your guests. Kind of like how inviting one to dinner and serving surf and turf over kraft mac and cheese will probably make the experience  more enjoyable. ;-)
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  • I dont see a problem with Cash bars. We are having open bar but once its gone its gone. THere are people who are coming to our wedding who drink MUCH more than we could afford and they are bringing their own as well. I think some people on here need to step back and see that its a Once in a Lifetime thing. We all cant afford lavish weddings. I have been to open bar and cash bar and didnt think any different of those involved. Times have changed and I think everyone should realize it. I have family who work in the beer business so that helps but Its YOUR wedding... DO what You WANT!!! Dont listen to people on here who do not know you or your financial situation. I had a friend who had a stock the bar shower and any liquor they didnt need or already had went to the wedding reception. HAVE FUN ON YOUR BIG DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]I dont see a problem with Cash bars. We are having open bar but once its gone its gone. THere are people who are coming to our wedding who drink MUCH more than we could afford and they are bringing their own as well. I think some people on here need to step back and see that its a Once in a Lifetime thing. We all cant afford lavish weddings. I have been to open bar and cash bar and didnt think any different of those involved. Times have changed and I think everyone should realize it. I have family who work in the beer business so that helps but Its YOUR wedding... DO what You WANT!!! Dont listen to people on here who do not know you or your financial situation. I had a friend who had a stock the bar shower and any liquor they didnt need or already had went to the wedding reception. HAVE FUN ON YOUR BIG DAY!!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted by ncole30[/QUOTE]

    Wow...just....wow.  Have you read the rest of this thread?  All of your points were already adressed.
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  • sucrets4

    I was just letting them know its their choice. Everyone is going to have their opinions on what people should or should Not do at weddings but at the end of the day their wedding. You dont have to be a snob about it. Didnt realize you were the post police. In all your properness you would think you would know its Rude to be nasty to people you dont know.
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  • ?

    It's rude to charge people for drinks at your wedding - that is the standard etiquette.

    I never said I was the post police, I'm just replying.  Is that not allowed in your world?
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  • Personally - I think a partial open bar is the best option in this case.

    Consider your location/region and your guests.  I am going to a party this weekend and it is BYOB- but if I was hosting a dinner for my relatives- I would provide.

    Location is VERY important.  In my region- the guests simply won't have the cash on them - so hope there is an ATM nearby.  But in central Illinois- I am told hard alcohol is cash.  As crazy as this seems to me- if it is normal- then you are meeting the expectations of your guests and I can't imagine them being upset.

    I would definitely make sure non-liqour is free.  $4-8 for a pop is insane- and is about the only thing that would piss me off no matter what part of the country the wedding is in.

    Also keep in mind that your wedding doesn't look like you spent in every area EXCEPT the bar.  Also make sure the WP and close family know so they can answer questions via word of mouth.
  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]It's fine to just have the soft drinks, coffee, tea,beer and wine. You could just skip the hard liquor, altogether. It will be confusing to your guests to start out paying for all the drinks and then switch to cash only for some types of drinks.
    Posted by MairePoppy[/QUOTE]

    While this point has been beaten to death, it's your wedding and it's up to you. I think that the etiquette on this particular subjects varies so much that there is no "proper" etiquette. My sister and her husband paid for their wedding, but his mother offered to pay for a cash bar because she insisted on it. On the rare occasions that she drinks anything, she abhors wine and beer and only likes mixed drinks. His family's weddings in Kentucky are so casual and inexpensive that they have them at Knights of Columbus halls with sandwiches and snacks. But they do offer full bars.

    I think that just shows that there is no "right" way to do anything. I've been to dry weddings where drinking was not acceptable behavior, weddings that provided only cash bars, and pretty much anything you can imagine. I always bring cash to weddings, just to cover any unforseen expenses, alcohol and otherwise. I try to keep an open mind.

    If you go for a full bar, you can keep it to the cocktail hour only, then offer wine on the tables, or only cover it for part of the reception. It doesn't really matter. Honestly, from the point of view of a guest, I've had as much fun at some dry weddings (for religious reasons OR not), and weddings on an extremely tight budget, as I have at elegant, overboard weddings that would rival anything you see on Platinum Weddings.

    Seriously, I went to one extravagent wedding in a fancy NYC club in which the cocktail "hour" was a 2.5-hour affair on a cruise ship, and the ceremony was a 6 hour affair that included a full gourmet menu, multiple bands, and probably cost over $300,000...I'm probably underestimating that, too. The bride and multiple people in the WP were so tense the whole time that it was palpable, and it set the tone for the whole thing.

    How much your guests enjoy your wedding is dictated more by how relaxed and fun the whole affair is. It's not about what you offer them...it's really about celebrating and enjoying the day, and that can be done equally well on $3,000 or $30,000 or $300,000. Don't stress too much.
  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar?? : haha THANK you!  Did you do one or are you having one?  Where did you come up with that opinion?
    Posted by rebeccalynn410[/QUOTE]


    Had one at my first wedding, 16 years ago.  Only wedding party and parents had open bar.

    This time I am getting married and having reception at our home, we are buying beer and wine, plus non-alcoholic drinks, only to save the liqour license application headache.  Guests are more than welcome to bring hard if they want.
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  • In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar??:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Partial Cash Bar?? : Where exactly did you hear that? Because I must respectfully disagree. They might be very common in some areas. Doesn't make them objectively NOT rude, though, it just means people might not be offended by them. Make sense?
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]


    I heard it inside my head as I was writing it!

    If people aren't offended by them, that makes them not rude.
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