Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

open bar vs cash bar

24

Re: open bar vs cash bar

  • archerstararcherstar member
    First Comment
    edited April 2013
    This question is always hotly debated, but ideas on this seem to vary by region and social circles. In the Boston area, I've been to just as many cash bar weddings as open bar, and then some in between with open cocktail hour and wine on the tables. I never show up to a wedding without cash since it's not exactly listed on the invitation what the bar situation will be. I'm having open bar for my own wedding, and that's costing us an extra 4K (it's a flat fee per guest). I certainly wouldn't be outraged if another couple couldn't or wouldn't pay for that. I would rather feel well-fed, than have them skimp on the food to pay for the bar. I can buy myself 1 or 4 cocktails if I feel the need. I sure as hell would not be happy if I went to a wedding with NO alcohol at all because they couldn't supply an open bar. While it's nice to have complimentary cocktails, I certainly don't expect it at the prices of things around here.
  • The excuses for offering cash bar are always the same...I don't want people getting DRUNK on MY dime, I have alcoholics in the family so I don't want to give them access to alcohol (even though they are adults and uncle who is a recovering alcoholic can CHOOSE not to drink), blah, blah, blah...

    Think about this...what if a bride told you she wasn't planning to provide any food to her guests because...I don't want people getting FAT on my dime or I have family members who have heart disease/diabetes/food allergies so I do not want to give them access to something that may impact their health (even though they are adults and my diabetic uncle can CHOOSE not to eat a piece of cake).  What would your response be?
    imageimage
    FruitSnack84
  • I have been to four weddings that did not serve dinner.  They chose to only have the wedding ceremony with no reception.  All four were stunning and quite personal.  In addition, all four couples requested no gifts as their thinking was they weren't spending money on a reception so they can provide for their own household items and their guests didn't have to take time off work, purchase gifts, have travel expenses or fret about wedding party expenses.

    Weddings are no longer set in stone today.  Each couple has the CHOICE to create their desired wedding regardless of so-called wedding expectations.  They are entitled to celebrate with or without concern whether it be serving alcohol or serving dinner.

    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:98d5a4fd-3376-49b4-9259-7d92287376a1">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]The excuses for offering cash bar are always the same...I don't want people getting DRUNK on MY dime, I have alcoholics in the family so I don't want to give them access to alcohol (even though they are adults and uncle who is a recovering alcoholic can CHOOSE not to drink), blah, blah, blah... Think about this...what if a bride told you she wasn't planning to provide any food to her guests because...I don't want people getting FAT on my dime or I have family members who have heart disease/diabetes/food allergies so I do not want to give them access to something that may impact their health (even though they are adults and my diabetic uncle can CHOOSE not to eat a piece of cake).  What would your response be?
    Posted by happyfor25[/QUOTE]
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:dbae5519-2847-4cfd-af7a-a3bc7380e837">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've been to a wedding where beer and champagne were provided.  If the guest wanted a mixed drink, they paid.  I didn't hear anyone complain!  I could see where an open bar could break your bank (also depending on the guests and how much they like to drink.)
    Posted by xopinkjayhawk[/QUOTE]

    This is what we plan on doing. Our families aren't much into drinking and neither are we. We'll provide the beer and wine (or champagne) and if they want anything else they can pay for it. I don't think it's rude to offer a cash bar as long as something general is offered I suppose.
    "Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale."
  • All these posts AGAINST doing cash bars make me feel so guilty.  My parents cannot afford to do all the food and alcohol for the large amount of guests we are having.  My fiance's parents are no longer living and so we are trying to do everything else so that my parents only focus on the food.  We are using my fiance's club where the drinks are incredibly cheap (most expensive top shelf drink might be $4 but most are $2).  We may do a keg, some wine and all the soda but there is going to be a cash bar for everything else. 

    And it's not an unusual practice where I'm from so maybe that's why some of the advice is different.  I'm more interested in having all my friends and family celebrate with us and have fun then making sure they drink for free.
  • Let's remember that the purpose of etiquette is to make everyone feel welcome and at ease.  If you only feel welcome and at ease if I'm paying for you to drink all night long on my dime, you won't be invited to any other party I give.  Maybe this is a regional thing, but as Texan, if I go to a wedding where there's an open bar my thought is "oh, nice."  If I go to a wedding where there's a cash bar, my though is "oh, nice."  It is not something I expect and by far not the main item I remember about someone's wedding.  And as a bride, I have much bigger things to concern myself with then if my guests are going to be so rude as to criticize the choices my family, my fiance, and myself made for our wedding.

    To the commenters who say "would you invite someone to dinner and then ask them to pay for their drink"- I always bring a bottle of wine to my hosts and thank them for inviting me.  I don't demand anything when I'm invited as a guest to someone's home.
    jennylee813
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:98d5a4fd-3376-49b4-9259-7d92287376a1">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]The excuses for offering cash bar are always the same...I don't want people getting DRUNK on MY dime, I have alcoholics in the family so I don't want to give them access to alcohol (even though they are adults and uncle who is a recovering alcoholic can CHOOSE not to drink), blah, blah, blah... Think about this...what if a bride told you she wasn't planning to provide any food to her guests because...I don't want people getting FAT on my dime or I have family members who have heart disease/diabetes/food allergies so I do not want to give them access to something that may impact their health (even though they are adults and my diabetic uncle can CHOOSE not to eat a piece of cake).  What would your response be?
    Posted by happyfor25[/QUOTE]

    <div>That it's the bride's choice and she should do what she thinks will make her day memorable to her and her fiance?</div>
  • I really don't think cash bar is that big of a deal, especially if you are paying for the wedding yourself with limited budget.  I personally think if you are paying for a person's meal, cake, non-alcholic drinks (and let's face it...you're also paying for them to walk through the door!), I don't also need to pay for a guest to get plastered.   My sister's wedding last year had a cash bar.  She provided a full range of non-alcoholic drinks as well as champainge toast.  I was a bridesmaid and I wasn't the least bit offended paying for my own drinks.  I'm doing the same for my wedding in June.  And really, if anyone complains or takes issue, I'd happily show them the cost estimate for an open bar and let them see if it is really worth the expense!  I'm sure if they are the ones complaining, they haven't bought multiple rounds of drinks for 120+ people!!

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:a8897d4d-279c-41e5-b50b-9cf52e4aaacf">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: open bar vs cash bar : You are certainly not the minority with classfying yourself as a "poor bride."  Many on these boards are or were, myself included.  With that being said, having a tight budget doesn't give you a free pass to be rude to guests.  A big problem I forsee with cash bars is that people often don't take money to weddings, at least not more than a few dollars for tips.  As such, I imagine someone going up to the bar, getting themself a glass of wine and being told it's $7.  Does that person run around trying to find money?  sheepishly return the drink?  It's a bad scene. I believe that you can properly host guests with any budget.  There is never a reason to not be a good host that I can think of. Our friends and family tend to drink at weddings, we knew this. . . . . as such, we worked a budget in a way that we had more for a bar and less for some other things.  We cut out videography, went with minimal flowers, used the centerpieces of the venue, etc. 
    Posted by kaos16[/QUOTE]



    I can see how having to return the drink would be embarrassing, but I would NEVER walk up to a bar anywhere, order a drink, and expect not to pay for it. I don't know anyone who goes anywhere without at least a little bit of cash or a credit card, in case of any emergency that they would need it anyway. To assume to not have to pay at a bar seems a bit rude to me, but that may just be based on the people I associate with. Every wedding I have been to has had either a 100% cash bar or an open bar for the cocktail hour then cash bar after.
    By providing this, you aren't forcing guests to open their wallets. It is their option to drink, it is not being forced upon them. Soft drinks are free!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:c6b50c50-4c4f-44fa-8c6b-4a670b30c735">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is it the alcohol part or just guests having to pay for any beverage that makes it such a faux pas? Like I said we'll do the 1 hour open bar, and then during dinner and rest of reception we'll provide all non-alcoholic beverages free. It's just the alcohol that will be cash. Plus the champagne toast will also be offered free. Is this just as bad? Our guests aren't huge drinkers but we figured at least they would have the option after cocktail hour if they so choose, otherwise they will be well provided with food and other drinks the entire night.
    Posted by acove2006[/QUOTE]

    I think your idea is great. If your guests are coming to your wedding, it should be because they love and support your marriage. I doubt you would be inviting people who you might think would talk behind your back if you're not the perfect host. I don't know why all the girls on TK ettiquette are so snobby. not every bride is rich and high maintenance. I say go for it, stick to your gut. You know your guests best. Congrats to you!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:f11a0e80-adbc-4fe9-8741-6f938c42604d">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: open bar vs cash bar : I can see how having to return the drink would be embarrassing, but I would NEVER walk up to a bar anywhere, order a drink, and expect not to pay for it. I don't know anyone who goes anywhere without at least a little bit of cash or a credit card, in case of any emergency that they would need it anyway. To assume to not have to pay at a bar seems a bit rude to me, but that may just be based on the people I associate with. Every wedding I have been to has had either a 100% cash bar or an open bar for the cocktail hour then cash bar after. By providing this, you aren't forcing guests to open their wallets. It is their option to drink, it is not being forced upon them. Soft drinks are free!
    Posted by futuremalyuta[/QUOTE]
    Great response! I'm not sure why oll the other people who posted on here thinks it's "extremely rude", it's not rude. I had a bunch of people bash my idea of having my guests walk on a gravel road to our ceremony. I am having my guests walk a short nature walk to a beautiful meadow where our ceremony will be. In my opinion, the girls who responded to my post about me being a bad host were the ones that were extremely rude. It seems like a lot of people who post on "ettiquette" who think everything should be served to the guest on a silver platter, are the ones that would be talking about the bride behind her back, if everythinng wasn't served on a silver platter. Not sure if that makes sense. I'm just venting.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:5600d986-d70a-436e-9844-c5dfb3bf5e9f">open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am planning on having an open bar for the cocktail hour then it will be a cash bar for the reception. Question is: Should i have an open bar for the entire reception? Any feedback will be appreciated
    Posted by gailhowie[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Maybe im too late... But I recently went to a wedding here in Canada that had an open bar for the cocktail reception then a Toonie bar for the evening, with wine on the tables for dinner. Each person paid a Toonie ($2) for their drink and the couple picked up the remainder of the bill. A wedding should not be about a free bar or a free dinner so I dont think guests should be offended when asked to help out!

    </div>
  • I was curious to hear viewpoints, but totally surprised by the results of what I've read!
    I'm from the Midwest and am having a little over 100 guests, but for my situation, it would be insulting NOT to offer some kind of alchol and yes, we are paying for everything ourselves on a limited budget too. We have also paid for all the dresses, tux rentals, overnight hotels for the bridal party and ushers as well as travel for a friend. Most of our budget is spent on good food and free non-alcoholics drinks for the duration of the evening. A cash bar is provided, but we did buy 2 kegs of beer for those who want to drink free of charge (even that was well over $500).
    We clearly noted all the details on our wedding website as well as the inserts of the invitations. Those who opt for hard liquor can then plan ahead. I think when it becomes "rude" is when there is a question or a surprise as to the arrangement. If there has been information given, signage available, and bartenders who can advise anyone ordering that only the beer is free, then I think whatever the guests' individual choice, they will be taken care of and satisfied. My opinion is that IF anyone attending thinks we are rude or cheap for our choices, well... I probably shouldn't have invited them!

  • I don't understand why having a cash bar is so "offensive"???

    We have 200+ guests coming to our wedding and there is no way we can afford an open bar. I look at it as our guests would be offended if they were weren't invited, so because our guest list is so large they should expect a cash bar. If we were looking at 100 or less people this would be different. So it's either they come to the wedding or pay for their drinks, and I feel that most people would rather be invited and pay, than not be invited at all.
  • my fiance and i are expecting a baby in 5 months. we're already tight on cash and we've pushed our wedding date from april 2014 to april 2015 because of the baby. we are paying for our wedding and honeymoon 100%.. I want to have an open bar just because it is more convenient for guests but clearly we won't be able to afford it. so I decided to provide free wine, champagne, and three free beers per adult of legal age (i'm not one of them). I'm making all of my decorations and my biological mom is going to make the dresses. :) if guests want other drinks and my venue provides it, they can pay for it. so it's available but not offered and they can still get alcohol. in other words, they don't have to buy other drinks. i am also making them pay for extra drinks because it will help keep people from getting drunk. this is a wedding not a frat party.

  • What I've never understood about this debate (and what I think many people overlook) is why people don't cut the guest list. I've been to various cash-bar, basic menu weddings where I've honestly wondered why they stretched themselves so much. For the record, I'm not saying I find it imppossible to enjoy myself if the bar isn't full, but I've always enjoyed intimate events that are well catered or informal byob picnics more than guest-funded weddings where the couple has obviously decided they'd rather have fodder for the cameras than happy feted guests. In my mind, if you can't afford to host people properly, cut the numbers on your guest list until you can afford to do so. Then have a post-wedding party / gathering at your local bar and have your friends come down. That way they're buying their own drinks but: A) they expect to do so and B) they're not getting irritated at having to pay for their own drinks at an event that they've probably had to shell out on, In summary, pps are right. You wouldn't ask someone to a dinner party and ask them to pay for their drinks. They're your guests, not sponsors of your event.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:e9d26f35-2fb4-4bac-bb1a-798d03cd1d23">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: open bar vs cash bar : It's nice to read other's input and ideas.  I have about a year and half to get my wedding together.  Not sure where we stand on the alcohol portion of the evening just yet.  My fiance wants more of a party;  I worry about people have a little too  much fun. haha
    Posted by xopinkjayhawk[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Isn't the point of your wedding for people to have fun? 

    </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:98d5a4fd-3376-49b4-9259-7d92287376a1">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]The excuses for offering cash bar are always the same...I don't want people getting DRUNK on MY dime, I have alcoholics in the family so I don't want to give them access to alcohol (even though they are adults and uncle who is a recovering alcoholic can CHOOSE not to drink), blah, blah, blah... Think about this...what if a bride told you she wasn't planning to provide any food to her guests because...I don't want people getting FAT on my dime or I have family members who have heart disease/diabetes/food allergies so I do not want to give them access to something that may impact their health (even though they are adults and my diabetic uncle can CHOOSE not to eat a piece of cake).  What would your response be?
    Posted by happyfor25[/QUOTE]

    <div>Well said... </div>
  • edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:b069feab-3b50-4c3c-a1f7-a56158b27e3b">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: open bar vs cash bar : Well said... 
    Posted by sobeidam[/QUOTE]

    Ditto. Hate to burst anyone's bubble, but the reception is part of the wedding, a party you are throwing for your guests. If you are having a cash bar, why not charge for a plate of food too? It may be <strong>your</strong> big day, but people are taking time and will most likely be spending money on you, why wouldn't you do the same for them? Oh because you're poor? How sad that you are starting your new life going for broke over your vows - good luck with that. Obviously, people are going to do what they want, tacky or not.
  • Honestly, I'm doing the exact same thing as you. I am having an open bar cocktail hour, I'm providing alcohol during dinner, but once dancing starts, it is a cash bar. Honestly no one has complained about it at all. People understand that weddings are frickin expensive and if you can't afford open bars, don't go into debt getting people drunk. I saved HALF of what a full night of open bar would have cost me...that's around a $2000 savings. I've told some friends already (who are big drinkers) about it, just to fore-warn them, but apparently I didn't need to! They just said "okay! Sounds great! I'll make sure to keep a little cash on me". Seriously, it's not that big a deal. I am providing non-alcoholic beverages for free for the non-drinkers and designated drivers though.

    Honestly, do what you want, people are there for you, not the alcohol. If it's the other way around, they shouldn't be there in the first place.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited April 2013
    I just can't believe this discussion is still open after three weeks, AND, it's still open when the whole concept is incredibly rude. Simple, if you can't host 100 properly, host 50. Just don't go "halfsies" with your guests. Do you go "halfsies" and order for them and select the place with your buddies when you go out? LAME!
  • We're planning on beer and wine all night, though there is a full bar at the venue, and if my guests so choose, they will not be stopped from purchasing a mixed drink. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:1bb87a61-23a9-4678-8c29-722389fe88bd">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am doing a cash bar for my entire reception. I understand that this technically is a faux-pax, but my fiance and I are both light drinkers. We had so many friends give us a hard time about not having alcohol at all, that we decided to do a cash bar. Our only cost is for the bartenders, which was only a couple hundred bucks. I think it totally depends on the couple/ budget. If people are unhappy, I frankly don't care. We didn't have the money to pay for people to get drunk. If they don't want to be at our wedding because we didn't get them free alcohol, then they probably shouldn't be there in the first place.  The wedding is about getting married....
    Posted by kwieskamp[/QUOTE]

    I totally agree! We are in the same boat. My fiancé and I don't really drink, but a lot of our family members wanted alcohol, so we are offering a cash bar. We will try to add that bit of information to our invites, but we feel that we shouldn't have to pay for alcohol for everyone else if we aren't drinking it ourselves. This is 2013, how many people really pay attention to etiquette anyway?
  • Do what your pockets can afford. I am having an cash bar, at my reception. The guest will have a wine toast on the beach, and each person will have a ticket for one drink, once they arrive to the reception venue. I am not trying to get anyone drunk, if they want that they will have to do it on there own!!!!!Kiss
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:2130ffe2-031b-42a5-a522-6e6db2cd5c23">Re: open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: open bar vs cash bar : I totally agree! We are in the same boat. My fiancé and I don't really drink, but a lot of our family members wanted alcohol, so we are offering a cash bar. We will try to add that bit of information to our invites, but we feel that we shouldn't have to pay for alcohol for everyone else if we aren't drinking it ourselves. <strong>This is 2013, how many people really pay attention to etiquette anyway?</strong>
    Posted by aspurlock[/QUOTE]

    Seriously, this statement makes me ragey. . . . I don't care if it's 1915, 1985, or 2013 proper etiquette will never go out of style, nor should we stop paying attention to it.  Unfortunately it seems that there are many people who agree with you which is quite disturbing.  Even in 2013 we should all be proper hosts to our guests that go out of their way to attend our weddings. . . . and that means hosting them with proper etiquette.
    daveANDkristenRebeccaB88
  • <div>If it's in the budget to go open bar for the entire reception I say do it, if it isn't then I think the open bar during cocktail hour is enough.</div><div>
    </div>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_open-bar-vs-cash-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:4f8c38ce-de75-4d5b-94bf-c66dfa8506d5Post:5600d986-d70a-436e-9844-c5dfb3bf5e9f">open bar vs cash bar</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am planning on having an open bar for the cocktail hour then it will be a cash bar for the reception. Question is: Should i have an open bar for the entire reception? Any feedback will be appreciated
    Posted by gailhowie[/QUOTE]
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I was going back and forth on this issue myself. My fiance and I do not drink at all. However, alot of our family member do drink...alot. We are going the route of a cash bar for any alcohol rather than say its a dry wedding. I feel more people would be mad if it was a dry wedding altogether with no options at all. I don't feel it's that rude because when we host parties any other time, we do not provide alcohol but people bring their own if they want it. The venue we chose does not allow outside alcoholic beverages brought in so I thought this was the best option. I will be letting guests know ahead of time that there will be a cash bar as well- this way they will have cash available should they feel they need the alcohol.
  • If you're at a DIY venue, and you can bring in your own bar/drinks, you can find your own bartender and bar stand and buy your own alcohol. We found great deals on bar stands and a certified bartender on craigslist (or you can know a certified friend) and have them serve at your reception. I work for target so getting a discount at buying bulk of liquor will work out nicely, and going to a Bevmo and buying a lot there as well is a good deal. It's working a lot better with our budget and for a 200 guest list who all love to drink, it's a good way to get best of both worlds. (: Have a great wedding! 
  • Ugh, so many people are telling you to spend a TON of money on something that doesn't really matter.  They're saying that you wouldn't make people buy wine from your house as an excuse - except you're not hosting 100+ people at your house, are you?  Not to mention the liability falls on you if you have an open bar, and someone drinks too much and something happens.

    I might get a lot of crap on here for this - but I'm doing drink tickets.  We provide 2 drink tickets, which are good any time for any drink, for every guest.  If they want more than that, they pay for it.  We think that's fair, because that's a cocktail drink as well as a dinner drink, and if they want to heavily drink, they're doing it on their dime.  And that lessens the liability for us, and puts it back on the bartender.  Not to mention that my wedding is going to be at altitude, so I don't want people drinking a ton anyway (you get drunk a loooot quicker at altitude).  

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.
  • My daughter wedding is May 4th 2013 at a very nice Country Club in RI.  We have gone back and forth with this issue and we are having appx 250 people.  Yes it is a "Party we are throwing" but you do not need people crazy drunk either.  We are having a Signature Drink at Cocktail hour and having passed wine at dinner and Champagne toast.  And this Country Club host many wedding and the trend we are total is less open bars.  Who wants the responsibility?  How many parties have you gone to and they are Pot Luck or bring your own alcohol,  We are also letting the wedding party have open bar all evening.  You go to a fundraiser and spend $150.00 on tickets and still have to pay for drinks. Yes I know it is a fundraiser but still.  And with the money we are spending we are well over the average price for a wedding in RI and we are not even going that crazy.  So I could only imagine an open bar.
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