African American Weddings
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Cash Bar

At first we weren't going to have a bar at the wedding but there is one inside our venue if people were interested. We then decided on a cash bar but now after seeing the article about what guests like and dislike I am unsure which way to go. What do you all think about cash bars? Is any one having one? Do we go with an open bar (and risk breaking out budget)?

Re: Cash Bar

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    adgenyaadgenya member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm not a fan of cash bars at weddings, but I do understand that people do them for budgtary reasons. Can you do a limited bar of just beer and wine or can you host an open bar for an hour or two?
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    edited December 2011
    HI!  IMO I would not do a cash bar.  If you venue allows see if you can stock up on your own liquor...it may be cheaper in the end if all you have to do is find someone to serve it.  I think a couple of brides on here may have went that route.  For my wedding an open bar was a MUST for me and FI...so sad to say but our budget was based around that...LOL!
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    adgenyaadgenya member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    *sorry, budgtary=budgetary
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    edited December 2011
    I'm actually having the same problem. My venue offers 2 hr open bar in my package. However I'm trying to decide if we should pay for the other 2 hrs or turn it into a cash bar. I figure if I'm feeding you a great meal and giving you a favor hell you can pay for a drink or two. I've been to two weddings this year and both had cash bars.
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    edited December 2011
    I think the etiquette is cash bar for engagement parties is OK.  For weddings, I heard it is not in good taste. Can you come up with signature drinks (wine, beer, cosmos, lemon drops, etc.) and then at least it limits you having to buy all types of liquor that may not be used that night?
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    edited December 2011
    I would probably try to do a limited bar instead of an open bar.  Maybe a signature drink, a beer, and couple of non-alcoholic drinks.
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    edited December 2011
    Leaving ettiquette asides and speaking as a wedding guest, let me tell you i was pissed last weekend at my FBIL wedding in Canada because of their cash bar. I don't go to a wedding to get wasted but i by the time we got to the reception, i was ready for my glass of wine. I didn't have cash on me (my fault i don't walk around with tons of cash and they didn't take cards but still) and they were no signs that it was a cash bar. So i ordered my drink and he told me how much it was....So Unless you let people know ahead of time and they can bring cash...which will be tacky... I say use MrsT advise. Ask if you can stock the bar on your own and buy liquor at a lower price.... or do wine and beer only... or no liquor at all. I wouldn't suggest breaking the bank because of this so do whatever you can afford...just not a cash barSorry so long but  this is still a fresh "wound"
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies, it is all good feedback. We cannot bring in our own drinks but I'll have to see about the other options. I have been to receptions with cash bars, another with signature drinks, and some that had none at all and it never bothered me but I am not a huge drinker either. I'll have to look and see what we can do.
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    edited December 2011
    Open bar is included with our pp price, but we're reducing that price even more by having just beer and wine (and a signature drink for the cocktail hour) as our open bar. Most people we know drink beer or wine anyway, and so long as it's free, they don't really care. Also, if it's included in your price, try eliminating the champagne toast. most people don't even drink it but for the two sips. It's saving us 12/pp to take it out! that's 12 bucks pp for two sips of champagne and the rest wasted! If you get creative with it, there can be a solution so that you don't have to have a cash bar.And whatever you do, don't do drink tickets.
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    tonyaandjerrytonyaandjerry member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    i just went to my brother's wedding this past Friday. The cash bar sucked. FI and I didnt have cash on us and had to walk across the street to and ATM. Like the pp's I was not a fan and need of some sort tof drink.For ours we are going to just to beer and a signature drink.
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    adgenyaadgenya member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I figure if I'm feeding you a great meal and giving you a favor hell you can pay for a drink or two. The reception is your gift to the guests. It's a way of thanking them for being a part of your day and celebrating with you. Keep in mind, your guests have given up the day, traveled, and bought you a gift (some might have even bought new attire for your wedding). Asking them to dish out more money to celebrate your day with you could be a little much. As a guest, I'd rather have a great meal and a free drink or two over a favor.
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    edited December 2011
    I say this - times are hard. as long as you mention at the bottom of the reception info **cash bar** I do not see a problem with it. There are pleanty of receptions that have "no bar". A bar is NOT neccessary, it is a luxury that alot of people cannot afford. I cannot afford an open bar, so we are bringing in our own beer and wine. If people have a problem with it, oh well. We are there to celebrate, not get wasted. But I am defnitley putting the word out that we will not have "hard liquor" we will only have beer and wine and if people want to have a drink before or after the reception somewhere else, that is fine with me. And this is "striclty" my opinion. GL with whatever you decide to do.. I also like the signature drink idea that pp through out there for you.
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    edited December 2011
    I see where you all are coming from! I guess I'm just looking at it from a financial standpoint! Some people come to weddings to eat and drink and don't bring a gift! So is it ok to just cut off the bar at a certain time?
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    edited December 2011
    miss2mrs. - EXACTLY!!! Alot of people come to the wedding with no gift, and that is unfortunate! Of course it is ok to  cut the bar at a certain time. Do what the heck you can afford to do. Consider your finaces and your guest as much as you can, but the most important thing is that you can only do what you afford and if haing no favors get's you a bar, than  go for it..
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    adgenyaadgenya member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh, I definitely understand the financials of it all. It sucks that booze is so freakin' expensive and that people would simply attend to get a free meal. For me, I think it's okay to cut off the bar at a certain time. Simply serving beer and wine only or a signature drink are aslo perfectly considerate solutions. Don't get me wrong, I have definitely been to weddings with a cash bar and will be attending my older bros wedding in November, in which they will have a cash bar and I will have no complaints.  
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    ddyoungddyoung member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Unfortunately our venue doesn't allow us to 'sell' alcohol on the premises so we have to do an open bar or no bar and please believe I am not trying to pay for my uncles to drink, because they can drink! We can bring our own though so we are thinking about a signature cocktail, wine, and champagne. And by 'we' I mean I because my FI wants Crown too lol. We went to a reception a couple weeks ago that had no bar and the groomsmen all stopped at the liquor store beforehand lol and everyone still had a grand ol time.  I think at the end of the day it really depends of course on your budget, but also on knowing your audience and and how important or expected the liquor aspect of it is to them (whether it will really change the atmosphere that you're going for) HTH good luck!
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    aquarius125aquarius125 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are having a siggy drink during cocktail hour as well as non-alcoholic and we are putting 1500 on the bar which will not open untilil after the dinner is served and we start with the dancing and once it runs out. Cash bar starts and I personally think that it is ok!
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    edited December 2011
    I like aqa idea. My friend did a consumption bar? She had each quest receive  2 or 3 drink tickets each, and once your tickets are gone no drinks, only water, pop and tea available.


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    bridecharismabridecharisma member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm new to this board, but thought I would give my opinion. People say you shouldn't do a cash bar, but from a " I don't want credit card bills after my wedding, but still want to drink" perspective. I think its fine.  The last 3-4 weddings I've been to have done either no alcohol or a cash bar. No one compained, that I heard. If you having a lot of uptight people then maybe no bar is better. But if your people are down to earth and understand this is a recession, you just gave them hor deaurves, lots of food and cake and maybe even other desserts they can pay for their own drink. Another option is coupons for one complimentary drink, then the rest is on them. You can do this just for your bridal party or for everyone (this is what I'm considering). Therefore you followed ettiquette, it was their choice to drink more.
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    edited December 2011
    Can you do signature drinks or a alcoholic punch served with beer and such....
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    adgenyaadgenya member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    i like aquarius' idea! that's a good one.
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    divadivine25divadivine25 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If a bar is not in the budget then dont worry about it. The reception is your gift to your guests, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Ive attended several "dry" receptions and was perfectly fine with it.
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    edited December 2011
    FI and I have decided to do an open bar after the dinner. During the cocktail hour we are doing non-acholic (excuse the mis-spelling) drinks.
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    edited December 2011
    I like aquarius' idea too!I have a different situation, my reception is at someone's home, so we can do whatever with liquor.  HOWEVER, I don't want to provide a whole lot because people have to drive (and the house is back in the cut with winding roads lol).  I don't know how we're going to control that.
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    aquarius125aquarius125 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Nita- as an event planner I highly suggest that you ask  the homeowner to get a 'party policy' added to the HO policy. It's just a one-day policy that will not hold you or the homeowner liable if something should happen to a guest if they do chose to drink and drive. It's very inexpensive. Alot of venues require it or they will add it to your rental agreement. Just a thought!
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks again ladies. I am using this information to create a list of questions to ask our venue. It in a hotel ballroom so I know that will limit us in some areas but there may be other options.
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    edited December 2011
    I'm late but in response to your original question:I do not like cash bars at weddings.  I went to one a few months ago and there was one. I left my purse at the hotel since I didn't think I needed it.  It would've been nice to have a heads up so I could've been better prepared. Like the article said 'after all we are shelling out (travel expenses, gitfs, etc) to be a big part of your day...."I have a open bar.  Some options can be well liquor, reduce amount of time, and/or limiting choices.
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    withmikewithmike member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I had a cash bar and it worked out just fine.  I didnt have to pay for others to drink liquor.  I paid enough, and they had all the soft drinks they could drink included, so if they want to buy liquor thats on them.  I dont think I have to pay for it:-) JMO!
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