Wedding Etiquette Forum

Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option

I will start out by saying that I am not a fan of cash bars at weddings. I don't like when guests have to pull cash out of their own pocket during a hosted reception.

My reception is being held at a golf course that has a fully stocked bar. In order to keep costs reasonable, we are hosting beer (miller lite, yuengling lager, and a craft beer), three varieties of wine (red, white, blush) and a rum punch as a signature cocktail.  We feel like this covers a wide variety of tastes. 

My venue asked me at our last meeting if we would like to have the full liquor bar open as a cash bar.  My initial reaction is no, but my dad and FI say yes. They don't think many people will take advantage of it, but they don't see a problem in the option. 

My question is it tacky/wrong to give guests the option of purchasing drinks that aren't hosted? 

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Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option

  • Wait, where's the influx of biitches coming in here as quick as they can to shout the TK party line?  Isn't there a prize for whoever says it first?
  • Watch your language, AE.

    Kimberly -- strict etiquette says to serve only what you host.  Guests are not supposed to pull out their wallets during the reception.
  • You get the prize, Mica!

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:c7fe3019-6b8d-40f5-b6d4-0723f3c162bd">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]You get the prize, Mica!
    Posted by abcdejones[/QUOTE]

    Well, aren't you clever.  **pats head**
  • Grits8812Grits8812 member
    First Comment
    edited January 2012
    abcdejones-  I believe you were the first to flock here. Just saying.  That deserves another pat on the head.


    It is frowned upon here for any kind of cash bar, but if that is what works for everyone I think it would be ok since you have so many options already, it isn't like they are required to pay for any kind of alcohol.  You know your guests better than we do, so if they are the type of crowd to be ok with it, go for it.
  • Grits, I know MO is a little behing on the learning curve and doesn't have the greatest school system in the states, but I did say that it was whoever "flocked" (by the way- one person can't flock...but we'll blame that on school system again) in here with the classic TK party line.

    *pats head*
  • I would think it's better to just offer what you can afford to offer. Some guests might take advantage of the cash bar option while others might not be able to. (maybe won't have the money with them, or at all)

    Host what you can.

    I don't think it looks right to have guests spend money at a reception, even if it's their choice.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:af3ebdd5-376b-4864-a4da-4fa3164c0ec6">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]Grits, I know MO is a little behing on the learning curve and doesn't have the greatest school system in the states, but I did say that it was whoever "flocked" (by the way- one person can't flock...but we'll blame that on school system again) in here with the classic TK party line. *pats head*
    Posted by abcdejones[/QUOTE]
    Haha.  Alright.  <div>
    </div><div>I'll leave it at that.</div>
  • Like Mica said, strict etiquette says host what you can afford and guests shouldn't have to open their wallets.

    You have to decide if you will offend your guests more by having them open up their wallets for something that is available but not hosted, or not having the option to buy what they would prefer.  I'm not a beer or wine drinker, and picky on my cocktails.  I wouldn't be offended if you could only pay for what you could afford, but I would at least like to be able to buy what I do like. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:e842b67a-d7ba-485a-9f09-5d8239028fdf">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]Wait, where's the influx of biitches coming in here as quick as they can to shout the TK party line?  Isn't there a prize for whoever says it first?
    Posted by abcdejones[/QUOTE]

    It's called the Ettiquette board for a reason. If you want to follow the rules of ettiquette, they are very clear. And people want to know them, so we tell them. By definition, questions have a right answer and a wrong answer. So sue us if we know the right answer.
  • Bahaha.  Don't wet yourself with how worked up you're getting.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:f7b42817-9323-47ea-9548-9f10ae2be383">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]Bahaha.  Don't wet yourself with how worked up you're getting.
    Posted by abcdejones[/QUOTE]

    Seriously?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:f30e6aaa-8f1a-4000-9abf-ddfa05296286">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option : Seriously?
    Posted by LittleMissCutiePie[/QUOTE]
    Pretty childish if you ask me.  She won't be getting on anyone's good side comming here and calling everyone biitches right off the bat.  <div>
    </div><div>But whatever.  </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_hosted-partial-bar-cash-bar-option?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d98645e2-dd20-49b9-83cc-c9e8df29a253Post:f452ef17-17f8-44ae-ae8c-5d671685debd">Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hosted Partial Bar with Cash Bar Option : Pretty childish if you ask me.  She won't be getting on anyone's good side comming here and calling everyone biitches right off the bat.   But whatever.  
    Posted by Grits8812[/QUOTE]

    Pretty sure she doesn't care. 
  • Serve beer, wine and rum punch. You don't need all the other options if you can't afford them. There's enough variety here.
  • Would you serve chicken and fish, but offer filet mignon to those who wanted to pay for it?  No, you probably woudn't.  

    The beer, wine, and rum punch sound great.   I would ask the bar to close for other drinks during that time.  It would be nice if they could cover up the other bottles (might prevent people for asking for something that they see behind the bar), and maybe have a sign saying what drinks are hosted.
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  • I think you have great options available for your guests. I think if I were in your guests shoes, I would like to have the option to buy a drink I wanted if I didn't want the free ones. (Like a few others said.)

    I think it is kind of a grey area, since you aren't making them pay for anything and offering multiple choices. In my group, it would be totally acceptable.
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  • edited January 2012
    Honestly, if I were a guest and didn't like the drinks hosted, I would like the option of purchasing a drink I would like.  I would not think less of the hosts because they are already hosting beer, wine, sig. drink and non-alcoholic beverages.  I actually think you are covering all bases with your selection, but there will always be that one person who would rather buy their favorite drink than not have it available at all.

    My reception is at a restaurant, and I'm hosting just like you (beer/wine/sig.drink).  I can't stop my guests from a) asking for another type of drink from the bar at the reception area or b) going to the main bar of the restaurant and ordering their drink there.
  • I don't really get worked up about cash bars like a lot of people do, but I just think it's confusing when somethings are hosted and others are not.  I don't want to have to read a sign when I get up to the front of the bar that tells me what I can have for free and what I have to pay for.  I think you have enough options.  Just host what you are planning on and don't give the option for cash bar on the rest.  
  • Hosted beer and wine is a fine option. Some people do want more and if it is available for purchase, why not? I know it is not strict etiquette but I believe having attended weddings like this that is an option that works well.
  • I have been curious about this too. We have been thinking of only hosting a keg or two and wine, but otherwise if people need or want something else besides that they can get it themselves. And I was planning on having the MC let everyone know what was provided. I have gone to weddings like this before and found it to be just fine. But thought I would see anyway!
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  • If the full bar is stocked and in view, but your guests can't get it, then that would suck. As a guest, I agree with PP's and would prefer to at least have the option to buy something if I didn't like what was offered (although your options are plenty and appealing!.) It might get kind of fuzzy trying to communicate that to your guests though, you would need some sort of bar menu that specifies what's hosted.

    That being said, there is nothing wrong with just hosting what you can afford and leaving the options at that if you're at all uncomfortable with the cash bar option. If a guest gets upset because they can't get their favorite cocktail, that says nothing about you. GL!
  • I can't drink any of the options you have listed so i would love to be able to purchase what i can drink. 
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  • I think you are all good.  If you don't have a  etquette particular crowd, and they are more laid back.  I'd do it, in fact my venue offers this option and we very well may do the same exact thing.  However, i would definitely have a cute sign somewhere stating what you are hosting and NOT list the option to buy.  If they ask, awesome, let them pay but I wouldn't advertise it.

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  • If I went to a wedding that offered only beer and wine - I wouldnt be able to get anything, i dont drink either and I would prefer to pay for my own drink than have nothing.
    Dont advertise it..but if a guest asks, they should be allowed.
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