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Offbeat Weddings

Cash Bars

Ok. So this bothers me. Where I am from, Nova Scotia (Canada), cash bars are what we do and the norm. It's not "passing the buck" to your guests, it's giving them a choice - drink or don't. In the US, alcohol must be cheaper than what it is here because a 2-4 of beer here is over $50.....not all of us are millionaires or take on loans and second mortgages for our weddings. 200 guests + 50 cases of beer + 15% tax = insanity!
Cash bars also serve a very useful purpose - they cut back on drinking and driving!
This is just my 2 cents and bash away...I already know its coming!
darlinganastasiamel&josh2015
«13

Re: Cash Bars

  • We're considering doing a toonie bar. Torn between a toonie bar and an open bar - have to see where we're at after the rest of the deposits and such are paid.

     

  • WonderRedWonderRed member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    I have zero problem with the fact that there are different norms in the rest of the world.   Not everyone has to do things the same way we do in the US.   I wouldn't do a cash bar here but also wouldn't ve offended by it at all if it were customary in someone else's country.    We're doing full open premium bar, plus a signature drink for four hours (the max our venue will allow) and it's $32 per guest, which is indeed pricey.  We opted to keep our guest list at 30-35 people so we could afford to swing the higher end venue.  
  • I'm from Ontario (Canada) and cash bars are the norm here too...
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  • I see nothing wrong with cash bars. I think people use weddings as an excuse to drink excessively so yeah, it is definitely a way to cut back on drinking and driving. 
    We are hosting soda, water, beer and wine (because we drink a lot of wine)
    I would rather be able to invite all of my (large) family and have a partial bar than invite half and a full bar.
    RaineH[Deleted User]LittleWohlscheid

  • WonderRed said:
    I have zero problem with the fact that there are different norms in the rest of the world.   Not everyone has to do things the same way we do in the US.   I wouldn't do a cash bar here but also wouldn't ve offended by it at all if it were customary in someone else's country.    We're doing full open premium bar, plus a signature drink for four hours (the max our venue will allow) and it's $32 per guest, which is indeed pricey.  We opted to keep our guest list at 30-35 people so we could afford to swing the higher end venue.  
    Alberta, Canada here - Cash bars are the norm here as well. And $32? I would jump for joy if I could find that. Open premium bar around here runs $60-$70 per person and up. 
    bahamabride2015

  • WonderRed said:
    I have zero problem with the fact that there are different norms in the rest of the world.   Not everyone has to do things the same way we do in the US.   I wouldn't do a cash bar here but also wouldn't ve offended by it at all if it were customary in someone else's country.    We're doing full open premium bar, plus a signature drink for four hours (the max our venue will allow) and it's $32 per guest, which is indeed pricey.  We opted to keep our guest list at 30-35 people so we could afford to swing the higher end venue.  
    Alberta, Canada here - Cash bars are the norm here as well. And $32? I would jump for joy if I could find that. Open premium bar around here runs $60-$70 per person and up
    HOLY CRAP!!!!!
    browndaysha
  • mimiphinmimiphin member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2013

    I have been to countless weddings, all of which were cash bars. (Wait I lied, one was an open bar, in Arizona but the damn bartender didn't know what a rye and ginger was!!) So all the weddings I have been to in Canada (BC and Alberta) have been cash bar (or toonie or drink tickets).  

    What I get my knickers in a knot over is when I have to pay for pop!

    My advice to other Canadians is keep your head down (and stick on the ice) with this issue. If I went to a wedding here I wouldn't even blink that it was cash bar, that's just how it's done. I personally love toonie bars, all you need to bring is a roll and your set for the night! 

    Lavaskin, Just out of curiosity where in the states are you from? (I know it's not Canada since hardly anyone No one orders a Jack and Coke up here)

    Also Booze is a hell of a lot cheaper down south than up here.

     

    Grumbledore- I love you, you know I do, I still think you should get sainthood but I'm gonna put a Canadian spin on this.

     

    Ok. So this bothers me. Where I am from, Nova Scotia (Canada), cash bars are what we do and the norm. It's not "passing the buck" to your guests, it's giving them a choice - drink or don't. In the US, alcohol must be cheaper than what it is here because a 2-4 of beer here is over $50.....not all of us are millionaires or take on loans and second mortgages for our weddings. 200 guests + 50 cases of beer + 15% tax = insanity!
    Cash bars also serve a very useful purpose - they cut back on drinking and driving! (FYI I disagree with this)
    This is just my 2 cents and bash away...I already know its coming!
    1. Is it rude to have a cash bar?   No
    2.  Why? Because your wedding reception is a party, most if not all parties that we have up here in the north are limited drinks (some pop/beer/wine) and/or BYOB

    3. But, if people want to drink, shouldn't I accommodate them and allow them to get a drink on their own dime?  Again BYOB
    4.  But, everyone I know had a cash bar! Why shouldn't I? If it's normal, it can't be rude!  I haven't been to a Canadian wedding without one! It is a cultural/location thing I guess

    AussieCat42blondeejLittleWohlscheid
  • I don't mind cash bars. We were debating between a toonie bar & an open bar and eventually decided on an open bar. I am definitely not opposed to toonie bars or cash bars...they're kind of the norm here...
    mimiphin
  • In most places in Canada, I know for sure in Nova Scotia that is not allowed. Our liquor laws are really tight. When you rent a venue you have three options - open bar, cash bar and no bar. If you choose open bar, you are looking at min. $2000 for about $150; for cash bars, you have to use the bartender provided by the venue, and there booze. No outside booze, no substitutions.

    I'm sorry but spending more than I make in a month on one night of drinking for my friends and family, not gonna happen. I'm doing a cash bar, as in most places in Canada, it is the norm.
    mimiphin
  • So tell me/us, what is this "toonie bar" some are mentioning? Just curious.
  • jenn77b said:
    So tell me/us, what is this "toonie bar" some are mentioning? Just curious.
    My understanding is that a toonie bar is a bar where drinks are $2 for guests (the rest of the cost is paid for by the hosts). A "toonie" is a $2 unit of currency, thus the name.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • jenn77b said:
    So tell me/us, what is this "toonie bar" some are mentioning? Just curious.
    My understanding is that a toonie bar is a bar where drinks are $2 for guests (the rest of the cost is paid for by the hosts). A "toonie" is a $2 unit of currency, thus the name.

    Yes, a toonie is a $2 coin. And yes, guests pay a toonie per drink, host pays the difference.
  • I'm in NB (hello neighbor!) and cash bars are unheard of here too. After reading on the knot how it was such a huge no no, I started asking around. When I mentioned an open bar people laughed and thought I had lost my marbles.
    mimiphin
  • I won't be having an open bar OR a dry reception because I don't trust my guests to stay if there's no booze or to have moderation if it's all on my bill. Beer and Wine and Soda will be provided by us, and they can pay for the harder stuff. They will still probably be irresponsible with the B,W,S but I'll at least save some money. The condescending FAQ will not guilt trip me into following someone else's idea of good etiquette. It's not coming out of your pocket. I'd rather thank my guests in other ways than alcohol. 
    image
    darlinganastasiaLittleWohlscheid
  • Megusler said:
    I won't be having an open bar OR a dry reception because I don't trust my guests to stay if there's no booze or to have moderation if it's all on my bill. Beer and Wine and Soda will be provided by us, and they can pay for the harder stuff. They will still probably be irresponsible with the B,W,S but I'll at least save some money. The condescending FAQ will not guilt trip me into following someone else's idea of good etiquette. It's not coming out of your pocket. I'd rather thank my guests in other ways than alcohol. 
    I'm genuinely curious here - I've seen other people say the same thing. If I thought any of my guests would leave if I didn't provide alcohol, it would probably make me rethink my relationship with that person. If someone put drinking (and/or getting drunk) as more of a priority than celebrating with me, I honestly wouldn't want them at my wedding - there are plenty of other people that I could invite instead that would be happy to be included in the WHOLE day, not just the free booze part. The guests know that they're invited to celebrate a wedding, not a cinco de mayo or st patricks day party, where drinking is the entire *reason* of celebrating...
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    darlinganastasiagrumbledorerom1212
  • Cash bars are standard here in the UK. I've never been to a wedding with an open bar although its normal to have some bottles of wine on table during meal. I've also never seen an option to pay per head for an open bar, B&G would have to just pay at end of night for everything that had been ordered at bar.


  • I'm from Maine, USA. Cash bars are also the expectation in this region. I'm starting to struggle with the way many folks who feel passionately that all beverages available at or near a wedding reception should be complementary cut discussions off and completely disregard the reality of different regional customs. Or, rather, it is my observation that the majority of people posting seem to be from the US and many rigidly refuse to accept the fact that things could respectfully be different and acceptable 500, 1000 or 2000 miles away.

    I also have to say, I see many folks post that their venues offer included unlimited drink hosted bar options. Not a single place we researched in our region offered this. Every venue we approached a offered per drink hosted option. Prices ranged $4-8usd per beer, $6.50-12 per mixed drink, $6-8 per glass of house.


    [Deleted User]
  • casey8784 said:
    Megusler said:
    I won't be having an open bar OR a dry reception because I don't trust my guests to stay if there's no booze or to have moderation if it's all on my bill. Beer and Wine and Soda will be provided by us, and they can pay for the harder stuff. They will still probably be irresponsible with the B,W,S but I'll at least save some money. The condescending FAQ will not guilt trip me into following someone else's idea of good etiquette. It's not coming out of your pocket. I'd rather thank my guests in other ways than alcohol. 
    I'm genuinely curious here - I've seen other people say the same thing. If I thought any of my guests would leave if I didn't provide alcohol, it would probably make me rethink my relationship with that person. If someone put drinking (and/or getting drunk) as more of a priority than celebrating with me, I honestly wouldn't want them at my wedding - there are plenty of other people that I could invite instead that would be happy to be included in the WHOLE day, not just the free booze part. The guests know that they're invited to celebrate a wedding, not a cinco de mayo or st patricks day party, where drinking is the entire *reason* of celebrating...
    I'm sure everyone's situation is different, but for me I've been to dry weddings that always seem to end earlier than planned on. I've never been to an open bar wedding actually and I've never seen there be an issue with that either. I personally also have to take into account the fact that I'll be getting financial help from parents and I'm not personally involved with every single guest invited due to them being distant relations or work friends. I want to provide something, but not enough to bankrupt myself and my parents. The wedding reception is about so much more than the alcohol that I doubt anyone that shows up is really going to be desperately offended that they can't drink the entire bar that night.
    image
  • BlergbotBlergbot An enchanted land member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    Imo, it is much more rude to have a dry wedding and not offer your guests any alcoholic options (unless you want to have a dry wedding for religious/personal reasons) than to have a cash bar. And I am an American! Obvoiusly, having a free beer/wine option is ideal, but if I went to a wedding and they had no bar because they couldn't afford one, I'd be bummed. I'd prefer to pay for a drink or two. And yes, I think this may promote more responsible drinking. I've been to a wedding that had free signature drinks (one per guest, with a drink ticket) and I did not find it rude. I was happy they had something. Maybe someone else at that wedding was offended, but I was just happy to be there to celebrate with my friend, not to judge her.
    SuperSweet2014blondeejlebeers
  • I feel better knowing I'm not alone in this LOL
  • CamiSeleneCamiSelene member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2013
    I'm out west here in Canada and cash bars are the norm here too... never been to an open bar, ever! We considered doing a toonie bar but our venue only gives us the option of cash or open so we will be doing a cash bar too (with a bottle of wine on each table). As for the liability thing, my FH and I will be contacting our local SADD and MADD groups who provide rides for anyone that needs it. That way, should our guests need a ride home, they can call the number and don't have to worry about paying for taxis.

    Anniversary

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    ohannabelleAussieCat42
  • I live in Manitoba and everyone does open bars here. I've been to 20+ weddings and only one had a cash bar and everyone was shocked.
    southernbelle0915
  • Odd, I have never been to a single open bar here next door in Saskatchewan and neither has anybody I know.... guess it must be a regional thing.

    Anniversary

    BabyFruit Ticker

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  • Has to be a regional thing. I have never been to anything but a cash bar in the Maritimes and I've been to some swanky weddings!
    CamiSelene
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