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Offbeat Weddings

Cash Bars

2

Re: Cash Bars

  • Hello neighbors to the north (Canadians! <3 ) I live in Minnesota and have rarely if ever seen an open bar either. Mine will be a cash bar as well.
    LacyHolly
  • I've never been to a Canadian wedding, but I wouldn't be outright offended if I went to a wedding where there was one.


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  • I don't know if it's a background (ethnicity) thing maybe? I'm Canadian as well but have never been to a cash bar in my life. I'm from Quebec so the bulk of weddings we go to are in Quebec or Ontario and no cash bars in sight. The most I've seen is the open bar closing at 1 am. Anyone I've met here would find a cash bar really offputting.
  • Blergbot said:
    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.
    I find it interesting that dry weddings are thrown under the bus along with cash bars, for the same reasons, in that they are seen as rude to guests.  I am having a dry wedding myself, aside from wine for the toasts.  I'm not purposely trying to be rude to guests - I'm having an afternoon wedding, it's in a church basement and they really fought us for including alcohol, so we had to compromise with just limited wine.  If some of my guests think I am rude for not "properly hosting" them by having alcohol, so be it.  With alcohol, no matter where you are and what etiquette says, you will offend someone, it seems.  Cash bar, open bar, toonie bar, dry . . . something is apparently rude about every single option.  It is inevitable, so let's stop beating ourselves up about it and do the best we can to have a nice wedding where the guests are happy.  
    imageimage
  • @kerbohl I think having an afternoon wedding, especially at a church, are a different ball game. I wouldn't expect much alcohol.


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  • Here in NJ, i couldn't find a venue with an open bar for under $80 a person. It is insanely expensive, so we are adjusting our guest list. My fiancé and I are also fortunate enough that both of our families are helping with the cost. If family wasn't helping, we would probably elope due to cost. 
  • Glad to hear its not just me. I'm in Ireland and we don't do open bars. At all. Ever. We're covering wine for the wedding and thats going to cost $1300 for 150 guest, I can't begin to imagine how much a full open bar would be, given that there tends to be approximately 12 hours of drinking at the average Irish wedding.
    Being constantly insulted by other posters really puts me off these forums. Is it really so hard to understand that their way is not the only way.
    CamiSeleneblondeejKRD2014LittleWohlscheid
  • Im not against open bars. If you want one and can afford it, great. i am against peoples' attitudes that such a thing is an obligation and that no other way of doing it is decent.

     

    lavaskin (an everyone else who thinks a cash bar is acceptable if not preferable)....you are obviously using your common sense and being smart but for some reason a lot of people on this website and on the internet think a cash bar is "rude". I even saw a post once where someone said if you have a DRY wedding it's not rude, but a cash bar is VERY rude. Makes no sense.

    We are eloping because we kept coming a few thousand over our budget no matter how many small things we cut out. My boyfriend refused to cut out the open bar, as did his mother...they for some reason think the single most important life event for a human being is to be able to offer everyone you know free alcoholic beverages of your life time.

    eyeroll...

     

    So yeah rather than including everyone we're eloping.

    I wish we'd be more like Canada.  Whether or not someone choose to (or is financially capable of) providing friends/family with free, unlimited alcoholic beverages is NOT a barometer of human decency. Im sorry, it just isn't. If one more person gives me their idiotic spiel about why offering alcohol (THE ONE VERY EXPENSIVE AND POTENTIALLY LIABILITY-INDUCING thing about a wedding) as a MERE OPTION via cash bar as a "Rude" practice, i am going to scream.  There are a lot of people out there who are scared sh*tless of what people will think of them and would rather adopt that silly "custom" and toss common sense out the window.

     

    If you cant afford an open bar or don't want one, then don't have one. Being "rude" for one night and having common sense for the rest of your life will get you further in life anyway. 

     

    blondeejPepperallyCamiSelene
  • If you can't afford an open bar, don't have one. That doesn't mean you need to have a CASH bar. These are not the only two options, believe it or not.

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    [Deleted User]southernbelle0915
  • Really, give me another option because I would love to hear it.
  • Really, give me another option because I would love to hear it.
    Let me preface this by saying that cash bars really are a regional thing, and I don't get heated up about this either way. But other options include:

    - a brunch wedding with just mimosas and bloody mary's
    - an afternoon wedding where people are less likely to drink
    - beer and wine only
    - beer and wine and a "signature drink" (this is pretty much what we did)
  • Ok. I'm not having my wedding during the day so that kicks off those first two ideas. As for "beer and wine etc.", that would also still cost a small fortune. A case (24 bottles) of beer in Nova Scotia is $50+....that's insane when you take into account 150 guests. If people want to drink, it's on their dime, not mine.

    I'm happy with my choice of a cash bar.
  • There are three options, all work great in my mind:

    1.  Open bar.  Pros: You're giving all your guests unlimited free alcohol.  Who doesn't love that?  Your guests will enjoy the lack of cost to them and you will be lauded for your generosity.  ay loosen people up as it is a "social lubricant". Con: expensive, people may drink more than they normally would.
    2. No alcohol. Pros:  Not everything in life needs alcohol, or drunk people, so celebrating a marital union sans spirits makes total sense. It may also make sense if you want to avoid issues arising from big drinkers. Also great if you or your family isn't big on alcohol, for personal or religious reasons. Also big one: big cost diverted.  CONS: Alcohol can be tasty, and fun so sometimes no alcohol is less fun. You may end up disappointing the people who wanted or expected alcohol.
    3. Alcohol available, but cash required.  Pros...you get the pros of alcohol for those who want it without the big bill or risk that some people may overdo it. People will likely already have cash at the wedding if they expected to drink alcohol, as even at an open bar you should be bringing money to tip the bartender.  If not, ATMS are in abundance. Con: you've disappointed people who want free alcohol.  To that I say, big whoop. 

    There you have it folks, all three are GREAT OPTIONS depending on your needs, wants, preferences, financial circumstances, type of wedding, type of crowd, etc. 

    in other words anyone who wants to try and say any of those is "bad" is being downright silly because my dears life just aint that simple!
    LittleWohlscheid
  • hoguekhoguek member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited February 2014

    Everyone loves an open bar, but that's not always doable and it'd be rude to judge a couple on whether or not they picked up the bill for your unlimited drinks. People want to go to a wedding because they care about the people getting married, not to drink themselves silly (or, at least, that's how it should be -- sad if it isn't). If people want to do an open bar, cool, if not, whatever.

    I think most people also don't know about the liability factor in open bars either -- we've been advised by venues that if we have an open bar, we are also basically obligated to provide transportation home for all our guests (via cabs, bus fare, etc) because if they get in an accident, we are liable. Well, that right there doubles your cost and stress level -- no thanks!

    There are lots of options when it comes to drinks at events beyond host and no-host. Beer & wine free, booze paid option. Or subsidizing each drink by a set amount (what is called a partial-host bar) -- this sounds much like the toonie bar option. Or you can do drink tickets, where people get a set number of free drinks via ticket and then pay for additional themselves, thereby making it a predictable lower cost for the hosts.

    I guess I understand the argument that receptions are a thank you gift for attending a wedding (although I'll admit that this whole construct makes me blanch -- people should be there because they want to be whether they get a party thank you or not).

     

    Our situation kind of circumvents this argument, as we are marrying in the courthouse where only our family is attending and paying for a dinner with wine afterward for them and a couple of our very closest friends (approx 25 people total); so in a sense this would look more like a traditional "rehearsal dinner" does except it's the actual wedding/ceremony part and is much cheaper than catering for 100+ people. Then the next night, because so many people told us they want to celebrate with us, we rented a venue and are providing snacks and dessert for everyone, but are having a cash bar. We consider it a way for all of our friends to be involved instead of just some, and since they aren't attending the wedding itself, it's not really a thank you gift at all but a simple celebration party to take the place of a night at the bars. I see this as a good compromise that honestly seems to fit all the guidelines of proper ettiquette (even though I don't really think those guidelines are right anyway, and I'm sure a thousand Knot members would beg to differ). 

  • I'm from BC, Canada, cash bars are the norm here. Usually, the host provides a bottle of red and white wine for each table, and the rest is a cash (toonie) bar. Sometimes champagne or a signature cocktail is also provided, for toasts. Open bars get out of hand fast around here!
    mimiphin

  • I'm from BC, Canada, cash bars are the norm here. Usually, the host provides a bottle of red and white wine for each table, and the rest is a cash (toonie) bar. Sometimes champagne or a signature cocktail is also provided, for toasts. Open bars get out of hand fast around here!
    They are way more expensive in Canada than in the states, I'm not spending my whole wedding budget on an open bar.

  • Most weddings I've been to do free beer and wine, but liquor is cash. We were more than likely going to do that but our venue offers up a beer, wine and 2 signature drinks package. This was in our price range so we are doing this and closing the rest of the bar. We figure having 2 different cocktails plus beer and wine is plenty of options for one night.

    However I think all this etiquette argument is silly. If in your area the "social norm" is to have a cash bar.....then have a cash bar. You know your friends/family/guests better than strangers on the internet. I do think that having wine or something at the table is just being a good host, but that's just me :) Do what ya gotta do and have fun on your wedding day!
    biggrouchLittleWohlscheid
  • I'm very grateful to have found this post, because I was feeling like the lone a**hole over here.  I can't afford an open bar.  Would love to, but I already cut my guest list in half so I could afford paying for everyone's dinner and dessert.  My reception venue is Dave and Buster's, and removing the bar is not an option.  I suppose I could have picked another venue, but this is the place I wanted because I love the games (yes, I'm paying for the game cards).  If the friends/family I invited are going to be hateful because I couldn't afford their booze, well then that's on them.  Attending my wedding is a choice too.
    LittleWohlscheid
  • caitlinmcacaitlinmca member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    I have to admit, I've never been to a wedding with a cash bar. All of the weddings except for the most recent have been completely open bar on the bride and groom and I'm from Ohio. Most of them have been beer and wine provided, others have had a full bar with beer, wine and liquor, and the other had open bar beer and wine being served and attached to the reception venue was a small restaurant and bar and if you wanted liquor for that wedding you could go and pay cash/card but that was on yourself. I have also been to a completely dry wedding on a Sunday afternoon at 1 PM and that was not my favorite, I came home and opened a bottle of wine for myself.

    Fiance and I's wedding will be hosting an open bar with beer both domestic and imports and wine 2 reds and 2 whites along with water, pop, tea, and coffee.
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  • Thank you so much to my fellow Canadian brides for reiterating that I am not insane or being superbly rude by having a cash bar at my wedding! I'm from Ontario, and I've never been to a wedding with a full open bar in the 15+ weddings I've attended. Cash bars really are the norm here.

    After spending some time on the forums here, and seeing how vehemently people were against cash bars, I did research into how much that would cost at our venue. Paying 75+$ per person (above and beyond the ~100$/person price) is just not realistic or possible. We will be paying for a signature drink during cocktail hour, wine during dinner, as well as sparkling wine for the toast.
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  • I've been to only 2 fully open bars.. and yes people got smashed because of it.  At every other wedding I've been to just like if I were to go out for the night paying for your own really affects how much you drink.

    We are hosting beer, and soda. (Family does not drink wine) I posted this on another thread but got jumped on.. we were told by a FEW venues that if we have a open bar we then are liable for people if they drink and drive. In fact a few of the places limit kegs/drinks.

    I've never even  thought about it when I've been at a wedding. I guess I'm looking more at the bride and groom whom I love then if they are giving me free drinks.

  • I've been to only 2 fully open bars.. and yes people got smashed because of it.  At every other wedding I've been to just like if I were to go out for the night paying for your own really affects how much you drink.

    We are hosting beer, and soda. (Family does not drink wine) I posted this on another thread but got jumped on.. we were told by a FEW venues that if we have a open bar we then are liable for people if they drink and drive. In fact a few of the places limit kegs/drinks.

    I've never even  thought about it when I've been at a wedding. I guess I'm looking more at the bride and groom whom I love then if they are giving me free drinks.

    If you can only afford to host beer and soda, then just host beer and soda. That's perfectly fine. Hell, a dry wedding is perfectly fine. 

    What's not fine is offering someone something and then charging for it. That's like having a buffet with a carving station. When guests ask for a piece of meat from the carving station, the guy says "here you go, that'll be $8". WTF? No. Just don't offer it if you can't afford it. 
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  • onikisuenonikisuen member
    Seventh Anniversary First Comment
    edited August 2014
    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!
    1. Is it rude to have a cash bar? Yes.  Bullshit.

    2.  Why? Because your wedding reception is a thank you gift to your guests for attending your wedding, and no one should be expected to pay for any part of their own thank you gift. Also Bullshit, a reception is nothing more then a party. If you wanna buy drinks for everyone, go for it I'm sure they'll appreciate it, but there is nothing wrong with letting them pay for themselves. Sure, its rude to not offer ANY drinks, but soda water coffee are usually included with the meal costs so its not like they won't have anything. Alcohol is expensive, and when you provide it for free people tend to over-indulge. If a cash bar still seems wrong then why not offer a BYOB option (if your venue allows it) or do a partial bar (read beer and wine only) and let them pay for anything beyond that. 

    3.  But, I can't afford to pay for all of my guests to drink! There is no rule that says you have to provide alcohol at your wedding reception. Yes, many people like to drink, but you are planning this thank you gift for your guests and you should plan what you can afford and host it graciously. If that means you serve a simple dinner and non-alcoholic beverages, that's okay. Just make sure that whatever you do serve is not paid for by your guests.  Doing a partial bar service is also fine, even if its a partial service with an optional cash upgrade for guests, or having a BYOB option (if your venue allows it).

    4. But, if people want to drink, shouldn't I accommodate them and allow them to get a drink on their own dime? No.  You can, but your guests should not be so rude as to expect anything specific at your reception, other than a meal (if it is a mealtime) or some refreshment (if it is a non-mealtime), so while I understand your desire to make them happy, this is not something that should even come up. If you are hosting your reception properly, (Properly?! What is this "properly"?! You are throwing a reception, period, end of story.) Your guests should not need to supplement what is provided with anything additional. We all need to be able to act like adults and expect other adults to act like adults.
    5.  But, everyone I know had a cash bar! Why shouldn't I? If it's normal, it can't be rude! We almost all know at least one couple that has done this. You shouldn't because you know better and it's so avoidable. Just because something is common, does not mean it is not rude. Tradition or commonness is not a good reason to be rude.  And it is perfectly fine as long as you let your guests know beforehand. 
    6. Okay, how about we have an open bar for cocktail hour and then switch to a cash bar? Or continue hosting beer and wine but switch to cash for hard liquor? This isn't a good idea. You want to avoid cash bars, as we already know, and you also want to avoid changing what is available and confusing your guests/making them uncomfortable. You want to avoid this because, remember, you are hosting this party as a thank you gift to your guests. Their comfort should be of the utmost importance to you.  That is perfectly acceptable, so long as you let your guests know beforehand, so they have an opportunity to bring/get the funds if they want to continue drinking.  Also, setting things up this way encourages guests to eat, dance, and mingle instead of lurking at the bar
    7. But, I had a last minute change of circumstances and now I can't afford to host what I originally planned - surely my guests will understand! It sucks when plans change - when someone has an unexpected medical bill, a death in the family, a major car repair, anything that can set you back financially is an unneeded stress, especially when you are in the home stretch of wedding preparations. But take heart - what your guests will definitely understand is if you opt not to serve alcohol at your wedding due to a last minute change in financial circumstances. And if a guest holds this against you, the guest is being rude, not you.  (Nope, no issues with this one. Although, I will add that if you explain your circumstance to the caterer/venue/bar staff they will help usually help you to limit the menu and bar. It does them no good to see you go bankrupt over this event.)
    8. But, it's not my job to get my guests drunk! I don't even like drunk people! Then have a dry wedding. Having a cash bar will not keep people from getting drunk. Just stop by a regular bar sometime for confirmation. Having a cash bar for this reason is insulting to your guests and a very poor excuse. 
    9. But, if I can't afford to host an open bar all night and I am not comfortable having a dry wedding, what other options are there? Luckily, there are other options. How many of these are available to you depends on your venue, so consider this at the very beginning when you are researching venues. If you are locked into a venue and have a change in financial circumstances, do everything in your power to get your venue to adjust accordingly. The options available to you are: hosted beer and wine all night, open bar without top shelf liquor, limited bar with specific options (say, a couple of beers, a couple of wines, and a couple of signature drinks or specific liquors with mixers). Whatever you choose, make sure it works for your venue and make sure there is signage posted on the bar with the available drink options so that your guests do not have to guess what is available.  Many venues will let you customize a bar package if you ASK (I cannot stress that enough. Do not hold back, you are paying them for a service, if you want something ASK. We... ahem... they are not mind readers, and the worst that can be said is no) also a partial cash bar or BYOB option would work as well.
    10. Okay, I hear you, but I still think my reasons are special/circumstances make it okay/you don't know anything about me/etc. Listen, no one here can stop you from doing as you please. We're not the wedding police. We're just here (being busy-bodies, trying to run everyone else's life by our ideals) trying to give and receive the best advice possible so that we all have great weddings and our guests have a great time and leave happy. What you do it ultimately up to you. There's no reason to try to justify rude behavior - if you insist on having a cash bar, so be it. But consider the advice above - it was written by someone who has no reason to lie to you.
  • Thank you so much to my fellow Canadian brides for reiterating that I am not insane or being superbly rude by having a cash bar at my wedding!

    Not insane: following your own area's traditions, and of course trying to be considerate towards people's feelings wherever possible

    A little insane: Going on the internet, hearing a bunch of strangers say that they think what you are doing is rude, freaking out and hosting a way more elaborate party than anyone you know because you're afraid of people judging you

    Probably pretty insane though I understand the temptation: Trying to convince said internet strangers to waver in their own long-held, cohesive system of social mores and beliefs
  • biggrouch said:
    Thank you so much to my fellow Canadian brides for reiterating that I am not insane or being superbly rude by having a cash bar at my wedding!

    Not insane: following your own area's traditions, and of course trying to be considerate towards people's feelings wherever possible

    A little insane: Going on the internet, hearing a bunch of strangers say that they think what you are doing is rude, freaking out and hosting a way more elaborate party than anyone you know because you're afraid of people judging you

    Probably pretty insane though I understand the temptation: Trying to convince said internet strangers to waver in their own long-held, cohesive system of social mores and beliefs
    It seems people are only excited about their "local traditions" when they stand to benefit financially (e.g. not hosting your wedding, dollar dance, honeymoon jar, etc.). People never seem to be all gung-ho about "local tradition" when it means they spend money. Funny how that works...
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    hellohkbcaitlinmcagrumbledore
  • @southernbelle, I mean, you're right in some ways and I did smile at your post, but let's be serious: People get SUPER INTO spending money on their local traditions. The big white wedding dress is an absurdly expensive cultural tradition (like a typical wedding dress is selling for many times what it would cost if it were in a different color and sold for a different occasion). The dinner + dancing reception (as opposed to punch and cake) is an absurdly expensive local tradition. Spending thousands of dollars on a multi-layer cake is an absurdly expensive local tradition. The monogrammed napkins instead of just buying regular freaking napkins. The "Just Married" limo that the bride and groom sometimes hire to take them around the block if their reception and ceremony are at the same site, just for fun -- seriously, I've seen this one.

    The difference is that the philosophy on this board is generally not to criticize people for spending their own money in the way that they want -- which is a lovely attitude, don't get me wrong. But that's why people don't tend to get all introspective or vocal about what cultural baggage they're carrying that makes them want to buy a white lacy dress or a giant tiered cake. They just, ya know... do it.
  • @bigrouch - So a B&G are fine spending a bunch of money on everything you listed (dress, limo, dinner/dancing, multi-layer cake, etc.) but they can't host the stuff they're offering to their guests?

    The point about a cash bar is very simple. If you can't afford it, either find a way to do so (cut out the limo, etc.) or don't offer it. Do you ever go to a wedding and they have an up-charge for something? Like there's a buffet and you say "I'll try some of the beef", they serve you and say "ok, that'll be $10". No. That doesn't happen because it's ridiculous. If the couple can't afford to host beef, they just don't have it. Same concept with booze. It's ridiculous to charge people for things you should be hosting. Can't afford it? Don't offer it.

    Also, if I go to a wedding and there's a cash bar, I look around at all the unnecessary shit they spent money on and I'm judging hard. Like, oh you can afford chair covers, roses/lilies, limos, 2 photographers, uplighting, etc. but you want to charge me for shit you're offering? Ok.....
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    Kahlyla
  • caitlinmcacaitlinmca member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2014

    biggrouch said:
    @southernbelle, I mean, you're right in some ways and I did smile at your post, but let's be serious: People get SUPER INTO spending money on their local traditions. The big white wedding dress is an absurdly expensive cultural tradition (like a typical wedding dress is selling for many times what it would cost if it were in a different color and sold for a different occasion). The dinner + dancing reception (as opposed to punch and cake) is an absurdly expensive local tradition. Spending thousands of dollars on a multi-layer cake is an absurdly expensive local tradition. The monogrammed napkins instead of just buying regular freaking napkins. The "Just Married" limo that the bride and groom sometimes hire to take them around the block if their reception and ceremony are at the same site, just for fun -- seriously, I've seen this one.

    The difference is that the philosophy on this board is generally not to criticize people for spending their own money in the way that they want -- which is a lovely attitude, don't get me wrong. But that's why people don't tend to get all introspective or vocal about what cultural baggage they're carrying that makes them want to buy a white lacy dress or a giant tiered cake. They just, ya know... do it.

    @bigrouch - So a B&G are fine spending a bunch of money on everything you listed (dress, limo, dinner/dancing, multi-layer cake, etc.) but they can't host the stuff they're offering to their guests?

    The point about a cash bar is very simple. If you can't afford it, either find a way to do so (cut out the limo, etc.) or don't offer it. Do you ever go to a wedding and they have an up-charge for something? Like there's a buffet and you say "I'll try some of the beef", they serve you and say "ok, that'll be $10". No. That doesn't happen because it's ridiculous. If the couple can't afford to host beef, they just don't have it. Same concept with booze. It's ridiculous to charge people for things you should be hosting. Can't afford it? Don't offer it.

    Also, if I go to a wedding and there's a cash bar, I look around at all the unnecessary shit they spent money on and I'm judging hard. Like, oh you can afford chair covers, roses/lilies, limos, 2 photographers, uplighting, etc. but you want to charge me for shit you're offering? Ok.....
    Yes, we get into into tradition, but if we can't afford it as southernbelle0915 said, we find a way around it to properly host our guests still. My FI and I's wedding ceremony and reception is at the same venue, are we having a limo or some type of "special vehicle" for our us and our bridal party, hell no because its in 1 location and its not needed, We aren't doing chair covers, I'm DIY'ing most of my centerpieces, and my mom paid for my dress and my FI is getting his tux basically for free from the tux rental place, all we have to pay is virtually $20-40 dollars and that's a "damage" charge.

    Our vases are being loaned to us by my boss at work(hospital) (also designs and bakes wedding cakes on the side), shes also making our cake instead of us having to be gouged by a wedding cake baker working out of strictly a bakery. The tradition of saving the top tier of your wedding cake, am I doing that..absolutely not, I'm cutting that tier and serving it at well to save money, why save it for a year later when I know it will more than likely be forgotten, be gross as can be, or I'll need freezer space for something else and I may just end up throwing it out.

    For dinner, we are doing a chicken and beef entree for adults with a kids meal that comes with chicken fingers, and fruit cup, dipping sauce and 1 other thing to keep prices on the lower end, no seafood items and we don't have any veggies.

    I'd rather properly host my guests with a dinner, dancing, and a bar that they don't have to pay for. 

    Edit: and for save the dates: I did an etsy file for 15 dollars took it to a mom and pop local copy shop and printed 70 save the dates for 20-25 dollars. After envelopes, it only cost roughly 50 dollars compared to a wedding site like wedding paper divas or a strictly wedding website. I'm doing the same for our wedding invitations. We are doing a 1 page program that only lists FI and I's name, the date, the location, parents names, grandparents names, officiants names, bridal parties names and a thank you note. My dad has a professional printer at his work that I found out about and said he could print them for free and design them if I bought the paper. Just another way not to spend hundreds of dollars on save the dates, invitations and programs when you can find other ways around it.
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    southernbelle0915
  • onikisuen said:
    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!
    1. Is it rude to have a cash bar? Yes.  Bullshit.

    2.  Why? Because your wedding reception is a thank you gift to your guests for attending your wedding, and no one should be expected to pay for any part of their own thank you gift. Also Bullshit, a reception is nothing more then a party. If you wanna buy drinks for everyone, go for it I'm sure they'll appreciate it, but there is nothing wrong with letting them pay for themselves. Sure, its rude to not offer ANY drinks, but soda water coffee are usually included with the meal costs so its not like they won't have anything. Alcohol is expensive, and when you provide it for free people tend to over-indulge. If a cash bar still seems wrong then why not offer a BYOB option (if your venue allows it) or do a partial bar (read beer and wine only) and let them pay for anything beyond that. 

    3.  But, I can't afford to pay for all of my guests to drink! There is no rule that says you have to provide alcohol at your wedding reception. Yes, many people like to drink, but you are planning this thank you gift for your guests and you should plan what you can afford and host it graciously. If that means you serve a simple dinner and non-alcoholic beverages, that's okay. Just make sure that whatever you do serve is not paid for by your guests.  Doing a partial bar service is also fine, even if its a partial service with an optional cash upgrade for guests, or having a BYOB option (if your venue allows it).

    4. But, if people want to drink, shouldn't I accommodate them and allow them to get a drink on their own dime? No.  You can, but your guests should not be so rude as to expect anything specific at your reception, other than a meal (if it is a mealtime) or some refreshment (if it is a non-mealtime), so while I understand your desire to make them happy, this is not something that should even come up. If you are hosting your reception properly, (Properly?! What is this "properly"?! You are throwing a reception, period, end of story.) Your guests should not need to supplement what is provided with anything additional. We all need to be able to act like adults and expect other adults to act like adults.
    5.  But, everyone I know had a cash bar! Why shouldn't I? If it's normal, it can't be rude! We almost all know at least one couple that has done this. You shouldn't because you know better and it's so avoidable. Just because something is common, does not mean it is not rude. Tradition or commonness is not a good reason to be rude.  And it is perfectly fine as long as you let your guests know beforehand. 
    6. Okay, how about we have an open bar for cocktail hour and then switch to a cash bar? Or continue hosting beer and wine but switch to cash for hard liquor? This isn't a good idea. You want to avoid cash bars, as we already know, and you also want to avoid changing what is available and confusing your guests/making them uncomfortable. You want to avoid this because, remember, you are hosting this party as a thank you gift to your guests. Their comfort should be of the utmost importance to you.  That is perfectly acceptable, so long as you let your guests know beforehand, so they have an opportunity to bring/get the funds if they want to continue drinking.  Also, setting things up this way encourages guests to eat, dance, and mingle instead of lurking at the bar
    7. But, I had a last minute change of circumstances and now I can't afford to host what I originally planned - surely my guests will understand! It sucks when plans change - when someone has an unexpected medical bill, a death in the family, a major car repair, anything that can set you back financially is an unneeded stress, especially when you are in the home stretch of wedding preparations. But take heart - what your guests will definitely understand is if you opt not to serve alcohol at your wedding due to a last minute change in financial circumstances. And if a guest holds this against you, the guest is being rude, not you.  (Nope, no issues with this one. Although, I will add that if you explain your circumstance to the caterer/venue/bar staff they will help usually help you to limit the menu and bar. It does them no good to see you go bankrupt over this event.)
    8. But, it's not my job to get my guests drunk! I don't even like drunk people! Then have a dry wedding. Having a cash bar will not keep people from getting drunk. Just stop by a regular bar sometime for confirmation. Having a cash bar for this reason is insulting to your guests and a very poor excuse. 
    9. But, if I can't afford to host an open bar all night and I am not comfortable having a dry wedding, what other options are there? Luckily, there are other options. How many of these are available to you depends on your venue, so consider this at the very beginning when you are researching venues. If you are locked into a venue and have a change in financial circumstances, do everything in your power to get your venue to adjust accordingly. The options available to you are: hosted beer and wine all night, open bar without top shelf liquor, limited bar with specific options (say, a couple of beers, a couple of wines, and a couple of signature drinks or specific liquors with mixers). Whatever you choose, make sure it works for your venue and make sure there is signage posted on the bar with the available drink options so that your guests do not have to guess what is available.  Many venues will let you customize a bar package if you ASK (I cannot stress that enough. Do not hold back, you are paying them for a service, if you want something ASK. We... ahem... they are not mind readers, and the worst that can be said is no) also a partial cash bar or BYOB option would work as well.
    10. Okay, I hear you, but I still think my reasons are special/circumstances make it okay/you don't know anything about me/etc. Listen, no one here can stop you from doing as you please. We're not the wedding police. We're just here (being busy-bodies, trying to run everyone else's life by our ideals) trying to give and receive the best advice possible so that we all have great weddings and our guests have a great time and leave happy. What you do it ultimately up to you. There's no reason to try to justify rude behavior - if you insist on having a cash bar, so be it. But consider the advice above - it was written by someone who has no reason to lie to you.
    Aren't you a peach.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    casey8784tcnoble
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