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Cash bar or no bar?

FI and I are debating about the bar. I think a cash bar is soooo tacky. His brother did it at his wedding so he feels it's OK.

I'm curious, if you had to choose between a cash bar or a dry wedding non-alcoholic beverages only), which would you choose?

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Re: Cash bar or no bar?

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    I think cash bars are so tacky, so do a dry wedding. Are you serving wine with dinner or doing a champagne toast or anything?
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    If it was a cash bar it would still be a dry wedding for me because I tend not to get any drinks then. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_cash-bar-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:5dd25f2e-4ab6-4639-b2ea-1f614f95c292Post:c4886932-4d8d-4bc8-b890-e8be92615ec0">Re: Cash bar or no bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If it was a cash bar it would still be a dry wedding for me because I tend not to get any drinks then. 
    Posted by mysticl[/QUOTE]
    Ditto this.  I'm a cheap bastard.
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    I would say dry wedding.  If you do have a cash bar, then you run the risk of a guest getting nasty because they got cut off by the bartender, and throwing a fit, much like I have seen in bars while on a night out. 

    If your guests cannot hold off drinking for a few hours, then they do not need to be at your reception, IMO.

    PS - I am opting for a dry wedding too!
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    In FI's family a cash bar seems to be OK. But I think it would be seen as very tacky to a lot of our guests, and personally I would feel embarrased. Plus I don't want people to feel like they have to pay for attending our reception, when a lot of them already had to pay coming from OOT.

    I may have found a solution thanks to our hotel wedding coordinator. For the cocktail hour we're sticking to beer and wine open bar, starting at 4:00pm. Then during dinner the bar is closed, but we get a champagne toast and glass of wine with dinner. Guests can choose another glass of wine, and we're charged by consumption. The reception is from 5-9pm. The event coordinator at the hotel suggested that a wine and beer bar could open up again at 6:30, after dinner, and stay open until 8:30. She said that by MA law they have to close the bar half an hour before the end of the event. We would be charged by consumption. If people want hard liquor, they can go to the hotel bar and buy drinks there, but it won't be offered at the reception. I'm liking this idea!
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    Like PPs it would be a dry wedding for me if it were a cash bar.

    Your solution sounds good to me if it means your guests won't be charged.  At that, even if you did have a dry wedding with no cash bar, your guests could wander off to the hotel bar to grab a drink if they really wanted it.
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    OP,That is a perfect solution.

    Abby why do think that a cash bar would cause the bar tender to cut people off?  If they've had too much to drink the bar tender will (or at least they should) cut them off regardless of it being cash, open, or consumption.
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    I am OK with cash bars.  It is fairly common here to host the alcohol through dinner and then switch to a cash bar for the dance. 
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    I am doing a cash bar.. I know it can be tacky and some consider it rude, but at the venue we chose its a certain price per person regardless of whether they drink or not and very VERY few people in FIs family drink and half of his family think drinking is unnacceptable so I can't justify spending 3500$ for very few people to drink. We ended up doing cash instead of dry because FI does drink as does most of the wedding party and we wanted the option to be there. So I would just consider whether it is worth some people maybe thinking it is tacky and rude or if some would rather they pay then have no alcohol at all?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_cash-bar-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:5dd25f2e-4ab6-4639-b2ea-1f614f95c292Post:cb3e7ad7-00f6-4857-a5c4-f9f14d56b015">Re: Cash bar or no bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If your guests cannot hold off drinking for a few hours, then they do not need to be at your reception, IMO. PS - I am opting for a dry wedding too!
    Posted by AbbeyS2011[/QUOTE]

    I disagree with this, and I see it frequently on TK.  Weddings are social events, a lot of people drink socially.

    Personally, I would enjoy a cash bar over a dry wedding. 
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    I voted cash bar...  I myself, am having an open bar, but if I had to choose between not drinking at a wedding, and paying for a drink, I'd pay!  I'm pretty shy/quiet and alcohol always tends to open me up and I'd have an awesome time that way! lol  If it was dry, I would probably leave early b/c I don't dance or anything.  I've only been to 2 weddings in my life - 1 was open bar (couldn't drink b/c I was DD for my FI, he was BM), and the other was only beer - didn't drink there because I hate beer, hate wine also. 
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    I've actually never been to a wedding that had an open bar. Every wedding I've been to has either been beer provided and pay for drinks or just a cash bar. It is a PITA to have to pay at wedding but I don't expect people to pay for my drinks.
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    I went to a wedding with a cash bar and I couldn't even get a glass of water.  Sooo soooo soooo cheap.  To make matters worse they didn't even tell us in advance that it was a cash bar!! Go dry, it will be classier that way.


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    edited August 2010
    I would prob not stay long at a dry wedding. I know it is sad but I am honest a bout it. I would always prefer to buy drinks. Heck I wouldn't even be offended by it! I never carry cash IRL but for weddings I always make sure to hit the ATM. Even if it isn't open bar, how do you tip your bartender!!?? I cant believe there are so many people on here saying have no bar.
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    I voted Cash bar. We are having a cash bar at our weddding and told people before hand so they know if they plan on drinking to bring some money, so they dont get there expecting an open bar. Everyone seemed fine with it. We are paying for our own wedding and it was just way to much money to have an open bar, we decided to spend our money on things we thought were more important. We are paying for soda and water and the toasts
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