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Reception Ideas

What exactly is a cash bar?

I always assumed a cash bar meant that the guests pay for the alcohol, but soft drinks are free.  I was watching Four Weddings last night, and all of the guests were responsible for paying for all drinks except water.  So, when people talk about cash bar here, does that mean all drinks or just alcoholic drinks?

P.S.  I'm not trying to start a debate as to whether a cash bar is appropriate or not.  



Re: What exactly is a cash bar?

  • There are varying dgrees of it, but any time the guest has to open their wallet and hand money to the bartender in exhange for a drink, whether they're paying full price for all drinks, a dollar for alcohol, or paying for liquor but not beer and wine.
  • In my experience cash bars mean paying for all drinks.

    But, I think you can customize with your venue. You can pay for soft drink, or alcholic drinks or both, or neither.

    The last wedding I was at, the only free drink was water, : /

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2010
    It depends on just how cheap the hosts are.  Sometimes you pay for everything, sometimes soda/tea is free, sometimes beer/wine is covered and liquor is cash.  
  • I hate answering these questions because then people start attacking.  Cash bars can vary.  I have never been to a wedding with a cash bar that made you pay for anything other than water.  I think that is horrible to only offer water.  I've seen some that offer pop or maybe beer and pop for free and you pay for the rest.  At my reception we are having a cash bar.  Beer, signature drink, soda, and tea are all free.  If the guests want something other than those choices then they pay for what they want. 
  • In Response to Re: What exactly is a cash bar?:
    [QUOTE]I hate answering these questions because then people start attacking.  Cash bars can vary.  I have never been to a wedding with a cash bar that made you pay for anything other than water.  I think that is horrible to only offer water.  I've seen some that offer pop or maybe beer and pop for free and you pay for the rest.  At my reception we are having a cash bar.  Beer, signature drink, soda, and tea are all free.  If the guests want something other than those choices then they pay for what they want. 
    Posted by ndnikki06[/QUOTE]
    I have no intention of attacking anyone.  When I saw the episode that I mentioned in the OP, I was truly taken aback.  I've never been to a wedding with cash bar.  So, I always assumed when people here are talking about it, they meant that the guests pay for alcoholic drinks, not soda, iced tea, and other non alcoholic drinks.  
  • In Response to Re: What exactly is a cash bar?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What exactly is a cash bar? : I have no intention of attacking anyone.  When I saw the episode that I mentioned in the OP, I was truly taken aback.  I've never been to a wedding with cash bar.  So, I always assumed when people here are talking about it, they meant that the guests pay for alcoholic drinks, not soda, iced tea, and other non alcoholic drinks.  
    Posted by Goldlie11[/QUOTE]
    Yea, I've honestly never seen one that only paid for water.  I've only been to weddings with cash bars.  Usually the host covers some liquor though along with soda.  Thank you for not bashing me this time! 
  • megk8ozmegk8oz member
    2500 Comments
    edited May 2010
    It actually never occured to me that somebody would be so incredibly cheap that you'd have to charge for soft drinks (And I'm not going to lie, I hope whichever bride that did this lost). But pretty much, if a guest needs to pay for any type of beverage, that's a cash bar.

    Although, I would stick around if I were being charged for booze and just not drink booze. If I'm paying for a coke, I'm not staying past cocktail hour ... and I'm pretty sure I'd be taking my gift with me.

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  • I had no idea people had such strong feeling about their liquor!  LOL!  All of our drinks were free to our guests, but we limited the alcohol to beer and wine.  I can't believe someone would be so upset with a bride and groom to actually leave and take their gift with them just because they had to pay for a drink.  Not much of a friend then, huh?  Weddings are expensive and the food and drinks are the major cost for most people.  Drinking water or paying for a drink won't kill ya, people! LOL!
  • Sarahlynn, weddings are expensive for the guests, too.  They may be taking time off from work, traveling, staying in a hotel, purchasing attire and buying a gift.  A reception is a hosted event and the hosts should only offer what they can afford - and if that does not include alcohol, then they should have a dry wedding.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: What exactly is a cash bar?:
    [QUOTE]I had no idea people had such strong feeling about their liquor!  LOL!  All of our drinks were free to our guests, but we limited the alcohol to beer and wine.  I can't believe someone would be so upset with a bride and groom to actually leave and take their gift with them just because they had to pay for a drink.  Not much of a friend then, huh?  Weddings are expensive and the food and drinks are the major cost for most people.  Drinking water or paying for a drink won't kill ya, people! LOL!
    Posted by Sarahlynn79[/QUOTE]

    Just because you are friends with someone doesn't mean you should just put up with behavior like this.
    I too would take my gift and leave.  If I discovered that a "friend" was so greedy with their wedding that they weren't even covering soft drinks, it would seriously change my perception of that couple, and question why they invited me at all.  If you don't care enough about me as a guest to host me, then you aren't going to miss me.  
    Weddings are expensive, but they are not mandatory.  If the host can't afford it, they need to scale back.  You don't just invite a bunch of people and mistreat them.
  • We went to a friend's wedding a couple of yrs ago and it was a cash bar, even for soft drinks. And they didn't let anybody know either, so a lot of people had to leave to go get $. And the food sucked, so it wasn't a very fun wedding.

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  • Most people I know don't take a ton of cash to weddings. Since most people would expect that drinks--soft drinks or otherwise are going to be provided.  I usually take a few ones to tip the bartender and a $5 bill in case we need something on the way home.  I'd probably walk out of a wedding where I had to pay for even a cup of pepsi. And if I had to go get money, I don't know that I'd come back.
    Crosswalk
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I look at it this way... if these people were a guest in my home for dinner, would I make them all chip in to pay for the bottle of wine I'm serving with dinner?  Would I make them get a Coke from a machine in my living room if they wanted it?  Would I tell them sorry, all I have is water to offer you since I can't afford to buy enough pop for all of you?   Hell no.  Same way with any other party.  If I invited you, then I'm responsible. 

    Of  course... it's always rude for a guest to complain about what is or is not being offered.  Accept or decline gracefully, but to complain about what is or is not offered is just petty and childish. 
  • Hahaha, respect?!?!  You should just be grateful that you were invited.  Just like someone else said above.  You  never complain about what you DON'T get.  Its childish!  While your ripping up your check, are you pounding your fists on the ground saying 'Gimmy Gimmy Gimmy!' ?

    And you don't complain about what you don't like!  I would never say how much I didn't like your dress or hair or how the food sucked.  That's RUDE!!!  Its the HOSTS decision to pay, not pay, invite not invite, do pretty much whatever they want.

    I get it, you think  your entitled to something because you spent a little money on an outfit.  Had you hair done, make-up, whatever.  Then after all that, have to cough up a little extra cash as a gift too.  AND even if you did take you gift and go home, you'd still expect a Thank You card.  

    Seriously, I'm over this whole The Knot thing.  I thought this would be a fun site where we all gush about our dresses and flowers.  But really its been a non stop flame fest.  People just rip each other up for their ideas.  I'm appalled.  Bunch of snotty brats dressing up for their pretty pretty princess day and how much my wedding is better than your wedding...GROSS!
    knottie477f934e57c0425c
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