Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

open bar vs cash bar

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Re: open bar vs cash bar

  • Wow, the customs and traditions board has a whole lot of really rude people who don't know how to properly host their friends and family.  Cash bars are rude, and yes, they are tacky, folks.  Any excuse you try to feed yourself to justify charging your guests to have a beverage at your wedding is bogus and ridiculous. 
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  • I am amazed at the number of people who think it is perfectly acceptable to charge guests for drinks at a wedding you are hosting for said guests!  You don't charge people when they come to your house for dinner, right?   This is the same thing, just on a larger scale. 

    A cash bar is rude and selfish.  The way I see it.....you want the pretty dress, the pretty bouquet, the pretty centerpieces, etc.....but when it comes to your guests, screw 'em.....let them pay for their own damn drinks, right?

    If providing alcoholic drinks is that important, adjust your budget elsewhere or cut back your guest list.  It's really quite simple.  Priorities, people.  Sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too.
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  • God, these people are so tacky! Everyone thinks they are a special snowflake! "Well I'm poor and young and having a huge guest list, so etiquette doesn't apply to me!" Newsflash: no one cares. What they will care about is having to fork over more money at your special day because you couldn't be bothered to properly host your party. Cut your guest list, scrimp on your centerpieces, whatever. Just don't expect people to have to pay for part of your wedding.

    Also, I hate the "I don't want people getting too drunk at my wedding" excuse for not having an open bar. It is SUPER condescending to make personal decisions for your guests (such as whether to get tipsy at a party) because you deem them incapable of doing so for themselves. Just be honest, you are too cheap to properly host.

    I went to a wedding with a cash bar and everyone completely judged the couple for making them pay for drinks at a hosted event. No, they don't have issues with alcohol, they have issues with rudeness. I hated spending $20-50.00 extra on a wedding I had already spent 100s on. And yes, I know I didn't need to drink, but the bar was sitting there with a bartender and most people like a drink at a party. Saying otherwise is lying to yourself.

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  • Joy2611 said:

    As host, you are taking on the responsibility of properly hosting.  This means that no one should open their wallet at your event. At your entire event.

    Look at your budget. What can you afford?  Wine and beer only for the entire reception?  Fine.  A signature drink for the entire reception?  Good.  Can't swing any alcohol for the whole reception, go dry.

    What is not good: hosting part of the bar and offering the rest as cash.  Never do this.  Host what you can afford for the entire night and don't offer anything else at cash or otherwise.

    I agree with you however for me personally I'd rather shell out money for alcohol then not have it at all.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.
  • Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

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  • Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

    Why would a dry wedding piss you off?  I've had a lovely time at dry weddings.  They didn't last as long as ones where the libations flowed, but they were fun and more importantly, I was hosted properly.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited May 2013

    Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

    Sorry, OwningAHome, but you're not entitled to expect alcohol at any wedding.  You have no valid reason for anger if the couple choose not to offer it at all except your own rude expectations-regardless of where you live.
  • hordolhordol member
    First Answer 5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2013
    I have been lurking/occasionally posting on the Knot long enough to know the etiquette on this, and I agree hosting alcohol is something everyone should strive to make part of their budget, because it is weird to charge your guests for anything.

    That being said, I'm not offended by cash bars or partial hosting. I know it's against etiquette, but I never side eye anyone for doing it. I usually don't drink if it's not free, anyway, so I really don't understand how it's any different than if it wasn't offered at all. As long as you are hosting something, your guests do not have to open their wallets. When they do, it's their own choice. I guess I would just rather have the choice.

    I know I'm in the minority here.

    ETA: The "you are requiring your guests to open their wallets and you wouldn't do that if you invited them to your house!" reasoning is silly for many reasons, the main one being no one is requiring your guests to do anything. *rolls eyes* No one is forcing them to have an alcoholic drink. Like I said, if alcohol isn't hosted I usually just don't drink it, and no one has ever come up to me and insisted that I order a drink at the bar and spend my money.

    Second--no, a wedding is not "just like inviting people over for dinner." It's not. It's vastly different. That is a gross comparison that doesn't make a lot of sense. It is similar at best.
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  • Jen4948 said:





    Jen4948 said:

    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.



    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.


    Sorry, OwningAHome, but you're not entitled to expect alcohol at any wedding.  You have no valid reason for anger if the couple choose not to offer it at all except your own rude expectations-regardless of where you live.


    If I want something to drink and I am giving a couple money for their wedding they could at least provide me with alcohol... Even if its beer and wine only. Weddings are not cheap to attend and they often require travel and taking time off work, so no I dont think its asking to much to provide that for me when I'm inconveniencing myself to attend a wedding.

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  • Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

    Sorry, OwningAHome, but you're not entitled to expect alcohol at any wedding.  You have no valid reason for anger if the couple choose not to offer it at all except your own rude expectations-regardless of where you live.
    If I want something to drink and I am giving a couple money for their wedding they could at least provide me with alcohol... Even if its beer and wine only. Weddings are not cheap to attend and they often require travel and taking time off work, so no I dont think its asking to much to provide that for me when I'm inconveniencing myself to attend a wedding.
    You should be grateful for whatever the host provides.   Alcohol is not required.  If you are inconveniencing yourself to attend a wedding, you could always decline.  No one is forcing you to go.  

    You have a very entitled attitude.  Do you expect filet mignon and lobster at weddings too?
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its

    Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

    Sorry, OwningAHome, but you're not entitled to expect alcohol at any wedding.  You have no valid reason for anger if the couple choose not to offer it at all except your own rude expectations-regardless of where you live.
    If I want something to drink and I am giving a couple money for their wedding they could at least provide me with alcohol... Even if its beer and wine only. Weddings are not cheap to attend and they often require travel and taking time off work, so no I dont think its asking to much to provide that for me when I'm inconveniencing myself to attend a wedding.
    BS.  Regardless of how much you want to drink or are giving someone else to attend their wedding, you are never entitled to alcohol.  Grow up.


  • Jen4948 said:
    Owning, that may be your personal preference, but you have no right to expect alcohol at all at a wedding-let alone that the couple are rude to their guests collectively by having a cash bar just so you can have it.

    I think cash bars are very rude- but I would be more angry at a dry wedding then one with a cash bar- not saying I would like a cash bar. I wouldn't. That would piss me off, but no alcohol would piss me off even more.

    And where I live, virtually no one has cash bar or dry weddings, so I think it's in my right to expect a Long Island wedding to have an open bar b/c most do.

    Sorry, OwningAHome, but you're not entitled to expect alcohol at any wedding.  You have no valid reason for anger if the couple choose not to offer it at all except your own rude expectations-regardless of where you live.
    If I want something to drink and I am giving a couple money for their wedding they could at least provide me with alcohol... Even if its beer and wine only. Weddings are not cheap to attend and they often require travel and taking time off work, so no I dont think its asking to much to provide that for me when I'm inconveniencing myself to attend a wedding.
    Attendance and gift giving at weddings is not in exchange for booze, entertainment, or anything else. You are there to support the couple getting married. I'm really disappointed by this post.

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  • I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

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  • I have never been to a cash bar wedding. I would be pretty upset if I was. I don't expect to have to pay for anything at a party, so I don't bring any cash. But then again, I also only go to weddings expecting NOTHING in return.  I made the adult decision to travel far and wide for people that I love...not for free booze.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its

    I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

    If you read this thread and this forum, you'd know that's not the case.

    Most people do NOT prefer to have cash bars than no alcohol at all.  Those who do have rude expectations.  Nobody is entitled to alcohol at a wedding.   They are entitled to FREE whatever is served.
  • Jen4948 said:

    I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

    If you read this thread and this forum, you'd know that's not the case.

    Most people do NOT prefer to have cash bars than no alcohol at all.  Those who do have rude expectations.  Nobody is entitled to alcohol at a wedding.   They are entitled to FREE whatever is served.

    Yes, on this forum and thread it is not the case, but IRL it is. I have asked. Many people. Even before I was planning and was just attending. Most, if not all, prefer to have at least the option of alcohol. While it may be against etiquette, brides must also know their guests and how they may respond and what they would like. Because, even if it is against etiquette but makes your guests happy, I think you have to go with the whole making guests happy since ultimately that is the whole purpose behind etiquette.

     But you are right, on these boards it is a HUGE no-no with no exceptions. Like i said, we are having an open bar, but weddings I have been to in the past have been cash bar for all but beer, wine and pop.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited May 2013

    Jen4948 said:

    I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

    If you read this thread and this forum, you'd know that's not the case.

    Most people do NOT prefer to have cash bars than no alcohol at all.  Those who do have rude expectations.  Nobody is entitled to alcohol at a wedding.   They are entitled to FREE whatever is served.

    Yes, on this forum and thread it is not the case, but IRL it is. I have asked. Many people. Even before I was planning and was just attending. Most, if not all, prefer to have at least the option of alcohol. While it may be against etiquette, brides must also know their guests and how they may respond and what they would like. Because, even if it is against etiquette but makes your guests happy, I think you have to go with the whole making guests happy since ultimately that is the whole purpose behind etiquette.

     But you are right, on these boards it is a HUGE no-no with no exceptions. Like i said, we are having an open bar, but weddings I have been to in the past have been cash bar for all but beer, wine and pop.

    Not even "in real life" do more people have a preference for cash bars over no alcohol, and even if that were the case, it does not negate the rudeness of making guests pay for provisions offered by hosts.  You want to offer alcohol, then grow up and pay for it.  The subset of people you know does not constitute "real life."
  • Jen4948 said:

    Jen4948 said:

    I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

    If you read this thread and this forum, you'd know that's not the case.

    Most people do NOT prefer to have cash bars than no alcohol at all.  Those who do have rude expectations.  Nobody is entitled to alcohol at a wedding.   They are entitled to FREE whatever is served.

    Yes, on this forum and thread it is not the case, but IRL it is. I have asked. Many people. Even before I was planning and was just attending. Most, if not all, prefer to have at least the option of alcohol. While it may be against etiquette, brides must also know their guests and how they may respond and what they would like. Because, even if it is against etiquette but makes your guests happy, I think you have to go with the whole making guests happy since ultimately that is the whole purpose behind etiquette.

     But you are right, on these boards it is a HUGE no-no with no exceptions. Like i said, we are having an open bar, but weddings I have been to in the past have been cash bar for all but beer, wine and pop.

    Not even "in real life" do more people have a preference for cash bars over no alcohol, and even if that were the case, it does not negate the rudeness of making guests pay for provisions offered by hosts.  You want to offer alcohol, then grow up and pay for it.  The subset of people you know does not constitute "real life."
    Actually this does constitute real life for ME. Those people are in MY real life. And again, I couldnt care less if its a cash or open, WE are doing OPEN. And I think I did say while it is against etiquette, sometimes you have to look to your guests to decide what is right for you.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    Jen4948 said:

    Jen4948 said:

    I have been to only ONE wedding that had an open bar. Every guest that was there was prepared though for a cash bar. The weddings that I was at that were cash bars, had a list of prices and what drinks were available. Pop, beer and wine was free, anything else was pay. I drank when it was free, and had pop when it wasnt. I was in no way offended and have honestly never met anyone IRL that was ever offended or had anything negative to say about cash bars. I agree, I think most people would prefer the option to buy their drink of choice than not have it at all. I am of that sort. I do not like beer or wine, and I try to not drink pop. I have a choice when at a cash bar. Either pay for my lovely amaretto stone sours, or drink sprite or water.

    And, despite the belief that usually people who defend cash bars are having them, we are having a 4 hour open bar. It will be closed during dinner and that is all. If I had to have a cash bar though, I know my friends and family would be find with it and still drink if they wanted to.

     

    (please excuse any typos or grammar issues, had minor surgery today so Im on some pretty good meds :)  )

    If you read this thread and this forum, you'd know that's not the case.

    Most people do NOT prefer to have cash bars than no alcohol at all.  Those who do have rude expectations.  Nobody is entitled to alcohol at a wedding.   They are entitled to FREE whatever is served.

    Yes, on this forum and thread it is not the case, but IRL it is. I have asked. Many people. Even before I was planning and was just attending. Most, if not all, prefer to have at least the option of alcohol. While it may be against etiquette, brides must also know their guests and how they may respond and what they would like. Because, even if it is against etiquette but makes your guests happy, I think you have to go with the whole making guests happy since ultimately that is the whole purpose behind etiquette.

     But you are right, on these boards it is a HUGE no-no with no exceptions. Like i said, we are having an open bar, but weddings I have been to in the past have been cash bar for all but beer, wine and pop.

    Not even "in real life" do more people have a preference for cash bars over no alcohol, and even if that were the case, it does not negate the rudeness of making guests pay for provisions offered by hosts.  You want to offer alcohol, then grow up and pay for it.  The subset of people you know does not constitute "real life."
    Actually this does constitute real life for ME. Those people are in MY real life. And again, I couldnt care less if its a cash or open, WE are doing OPEN. And I think I did say while it is against etiquette, sometimes you have to look to your guests to decide what is right for you.
    Don't expect us to endorse something that is against etiquette just because you specifically "looked to your guests to decide what is right for you."  Your "looking to your guests" didn't make it polite or something we will endorse.
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