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Etiquette

Cash Bars - Everything you need to know in one place

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Re: Cash Bars - Everything you need to know in one place

  • NYCBruinNYCBruin member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited December 2013
    I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this. I don't see it as rude to my guests in this particular scenario, and my guests don't see it as rude either, knowing my family. In fact, most of my guests don't drink at all and would be confused if my parents hosted a bar. Can't speak for the family friends on my FI's side because I don't know them and don't even know if any of them are coming, but if they see it as rude, that's their choice and I respect it. The venue is a moot point, as the wedding is two months away and paid for. Even if it weren't, I'm not going to "fall out of love" with the only venue that actually had what I was looking for to meet an etiquette standard that most guests won't be judging me on. This is my family's event and they're hosting it in a way that's appropriate and reflective of who they are, which I don't have a problem with. I do have a problem with going over their heads and hosting the bar myself. Being involved with providing alcohol for anyone is not something they'd ever, ever be okay with, and they'd never let me forget it. That relationship is more important to me than a handful of people I'll never see again side-eyeing me with an etiquette stick up their ass. But I realize that I'm the unpopular opinion on this board and that's totally fine with me. Just trying to throw out another perspective since I don't believe in blanket statements like "cash bars are rude in every single scenario ever."

    But thank you to everyone who had respectful comments. I'm always up for a healthy debate. As for the not-so-respectful comments, just keep in mind that you're posting on an etiquette board so... being nasty is just counterproductive.

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    1.  You have no way of knowing if other people find it rude.  I know most regular posters here would never ever say anything to the couple with a cash bar, but they would reevaluate their relationship/change the way they thought about them.  Just because no one speaks up, doesn't mean no one is offended.  For all you know one of the posters talking about how they think cash bars are rude on this anonymous board is invited to your wedding.

    2.  You keep referencing your parents not being ok with hosting the bar.  YOU hosting the bar doesn't involve them.

    3.  I still can't believe that your reason for not wanting to pay for the bar yourself has to do with upsetting your parents.  If your parents were SO against alcohol, why on earth did they ok a venue with a bar?

    4.  Have you even attempted to talk to your venue about closing the bar?  Why not offer to pay them extra to close the bar?  That way your parents are happy and you're not being rude.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    southernbelle0915PrettyGirlLostdoeydoPolarBearFitz
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    melisansserif  free of charge for your guests?  Is the bar in the same room as your reception?  Technically, if your guests have to leave the room to go to the bar, then it's fine.  They should be happy with what your hosted, but you need to host non alcoholic drinks. If someone has to pay for a diet coke (or whatever soft drink/ juice etc.) then that's unacceptable.  
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    PrettyGirlLostperdonami
  • How can I turn off notifications to this post? I get a popup and an icon with each new post...I'm not the OP. Anyone else have this problem?
  • I've been to one wedding with a cash bar... a cousin I wasn't particularly close to.  I have never said anything to her (or her parents, who hosted) - but definitely side-eyed it and we did leave earlier than we would have if it was properly hosted.  The wedding and reception was at a winery... so everyone expected to enjoy some wine, nobody expected to pay for it themselves.

    I've been to a dry morning wedding, which was lovely.  We had cake and punch and it was a shorter party, but it was great as it is.

    Even if you don't think your guests will mind - they do.  They might not ever say anything to you, but I guarantee some (if not most) will be offended.
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostaurorajanettedoeydo
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    NYCBruin said:
    I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this. I don't see it as rude to my guests in this particular scenario, and my guests don't see it as rude either, knowing my family. In fact, most of my guests don't drink at all and would be confused if my parents hosted a bar. Can't speak for the family friends on my FI's side because I don't know them and don't even know if any of them are coming, but if they see it as rude, that's their choice and I respect it. The venue is a moot point, as the wedding is two months away and paid for. Even if it weren't, I'm not going to "fall out of love" with the only venue that actually had what I was looking for to meet an etiquette standard that most guests won't be judging me on. This is my family's event and they're hosting it in a way that's appropriate and reflective of who they are, which I don't have a problem with. I do have a problem with going over their heads and hosting the bar myself. Being involved with providing alcohol for anyone is not something they'd ever, ever be okay with, and they'd never let me forget it. That relationship is more important to me than a handful of people I'll never see again side-eyeing me with an etiquette stick up their ass. But I realize that I'm the unpopular opinion on this board and that's totally fine with me. Just trying to throw out another perspective since I don't believe in blanket statements like "cash bars are rude in every single scenario ever."

    But thank you to everyone who had respectful comments. I'm always up for a healthy debate. As for the not-so-respectful comments, just keep in mind that you're posting on an etiquette board so... being nasty is just counterproductive.

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    1.  You have no way of knowing if other people find it rude.  I know most regular posters here would never ever say anything to the couple with a cash bar, but they would reevaluate their relationship/change the way they thought about them.  Just because no one speaks up, doesn't mean no one is offended.  For all you know one of the posters talking about how they think cash bars are rude on this anonymous board is invited to your wedding.

    2.  You keep referencing your parents not being ok with hosting the bar.  YOU hosting the bar doesn't involve them.

    3.  I still can't believe that your reason for not wanting to pay for the bar yourself has to do with upsetting your parents.  If your parents were SO against alcohol, why on earth did they ok a venue with a bar?

    4.  Have you even attempted to talk to your venue about closing the bar?  Why not offer to pay them extra to close the bar?  That way your parents are happy and you're not being rude.
    This was exactly what I was wondering.  Most businesses understand the need to provide alternatives to keep business, like being able to close the bar for a morning wedding like yours.  As you said, most people wouldn't expect to drink at a morning wedding, so it is a very appropriate time to have a dry event.  Maybe you could (if you haven't yet) try to contact the venue to ask if there is any way to pay a little extra to close the bar.  That should make everyone happy.  Your mom might even be more happy that she's not hosting an event that serves alcohol at all.

    You don't have to make the attempt, obviously no one can make you be a polite hostess.  But keep in mind that even though you think all your guests are above being judgemental about something like this, pure statistics say you're wrong.  Most of the people telling horror stories about wedding receptions with cash bars on here say they never said a word to the bride or groom but they do judge.  If someone threw you a surprise party in your honor then handed you a bill for it, you would probably be offended too.  Especially if they expected you to pay in cash, right then.  And you will probably be too busy making the rounds, dancing with your FI and trying to grab something to eat at the reception to notice whether or not your guests are comfortable.

    PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • I find it hilarious when people use substance abuse as an excuse to be a crappy host/hostess. 

    My uncle married a woman that was Mormon. Her parents were paying for the wedding. Being Mormon as well, they were against having alcohol at the reception. My uncle very politely informed his soon-to-in-laws that he would pick up the entire cost for the open bar. And he did. And everyone was happy, especially the guests who didn't have to pay for their drinks. 

    And I find it really hard to believe that there are so many venues that refuse to close their bars. I call BS on that one. Like someone else said, if having a dry wedding was really important, you would have found a venue that would honor your request. 
    Agreed. As someone who worked with people with addictions for a long time, they would be pissed to be blamed for your rudeness. These people already have enough issues with self-esteem, depression, and relationships. If they found out that you were also blaming them and their issues and pinning them as the cause for why you can't properly host, would be a huge blow to most and would probably screw them up more. Because what's more reassuring than knowing that everyone at the party has to pay for booze because of "you"?
    PrettyGirlLostPolarBearFitzchiualover
  • Before I started looking at american wedding sites i'd never heard the term 'cash bar'. i have never been to wedding where the bride and groom paid for the entire bar for the entire night. Generally they cover a drink on arrival, and a glass or two of wine during the meal and thats what i'll be doing. No one would expect not to pay for drinks, its definitely not etiquette here(Ireland).
    Sometimes i wish I lived in america- engagement parties, bridal showers, wedding registries sound fun, as do outdoor weddings, but the whole cash bar thing makes me glad our culture does things different
  • My family is Irish. (Mom's dad was born in Sligo. ) They had low key receptions that were often in the home but the drinks were hosted.
    southernbelle0915
  • thank you very much. many congratulations to you for not understand that in different countries different etiquettes apply. for example, here a bridal shower or wedding registry would be terrible etiquette. i'm not arguing with your culture or way of doing things, merely pointing out that it is different to mine and i have no intentions with arguing with anyone about that
    [Deleted User]PennyBlossom2311jenniferurs
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    thank you very much. many congratulations to you for not understand that in different countries different etiquettes apply. for example, here a bridal shower or wedding registry would be terrible etiquette. i'm not arguing with your culture or way of doing things, merely pointing out that it is different to mine and i have no intentions with arguing with anyone about that
    Yes, we hear things like that a lot from brides on here.  We horrible Americans/North Americans are just ignorant of other people's cultures where this rudeness is perfectly acceptable.  Most of the time there is someone also from that country or culture who contradicts them that it's not "the culture" it is the bride being rude who probably was hosted poorly by her friends (where she got the idea) so that makes her rudeness ok.  I'm not saying definitively that everyone in Ireland isn't doing exactly what you're doing but since a good portion of my family as well as my husband's family is Irish and would never dream of forcing their guests to pay for drinks at an event they're hosting...

    xhellokitty[Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2013
    double postedness

  • I have a question about this. My FI and I are going to be providing red and white wine, a beer, and a signature cocktail, along with soda, water, and juice. We were talking about this with some of our friends and they asked if we were going to have any vodka, rum, ect and we said no that we couldn't afford that. They said that they would be willing to pay for their own drinks if we gave them that option. So would it be considered a breach of etiquette to have a limited cash bar at the request of some of our guest?
  • Wow. I've never even heard of a cash bar at a reception before except for benefits!

    I don't even know what I would do if someone asked me for money at a wedding.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I have to say I don't consider them asking as a breach of etiquette. We're friends. We can say anything to eachother.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited December 2013
    jdluvr06 said:
    I have to say I don't consider them asking as a breach of etiquette. We're friends. We can say anything to eachother.
    Etiquette applies to everyone and is not "personal opinions."  So the criteria here isn't that these people are your friends.  It's that they're doing something that nobody should be doing-whether they're your friends, your boss and co-workers, total strangers, or whatever kind of relationship they have with you-or none.  They're asking IS a breach of etiquette whether you agree with that or not.

    Is it not a breach of etiquette for your friends to belch in your face and not flush your toilet when they use it, just because they're your friends?  Of course not.  The rule about cash bars functions exactly the same way.   People being your friends does not make their rude actions not breaches of etiquette.

    Nobody is entitled to expect alcohol at a wedding-even alcohol they have to pay for.  And nobody is entitled to expect their guests to open their wallets for any reason at their wedding-if you don't want to pay for what they're trying to buy, don't make it available.  It's as simple as that.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • jdluvr06 said:
    I have to say I don't consider them asking as a breach of etiquette. We're friends. We can say anything to eachother.
    I don't think their first question (will there be hard liquor served?) is rude in and of itself. 

    But the follow up question (asking you to have a cash bar so they can drink liquor) IS rude. It's rude because they're basically saying they aren't satisfied with what you're hosting and they want you to treat the rest of your guests poorly so they can drink liquor.

    I understand you're really close with them and they don't mean this to slight you. They're just being honest that they'd rather drink liquor and you're understanding of that because you love them. It's still rude though.
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    PrettyGirlLostaurorajanetteperdonami
  • I guess you're right Southernbelle. I guess I just don't consider it rude because we are really close. My reception is going to be really informal so I'm thinking of telling them that if they want to bring some hard liquor they can, because I don't care either way. Lol. Honestly we probably could have afforded an open bar but we decided to save that money for Peru.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    jdluvr06 said:
    I guess you're right Southernbelle. I guess I just don't consider it rude because we are really close. My reception is going to be really informal so I'm thinking of telling them that if they want to bring some hard liquor they can, because I don't care either way. Lol. Honestly we probably could have afforded an open bar but we decided to save that money for Peru.
    Don't do this until you check with your venue 1st!  They could loose their liquor license and insurance.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    doeydoperdonami
  • jdluvr06 said:
    I guess you're right Southernbelle. I guess I just don't consider it rude because we are really close. My reception is going to be really informal so I'm thinking of telling them that if they want to bring some hard liquor they can, because I don't care either way. Lol. Honestly we probably could have afforded an open bar but we decided to save that money for Peru.
    Don't do this until you check with your venue 1st!  They could loose their liquor license and insurance.

    It's all good. The venue is my uncle's horse farm.
  • jdluvr06 said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    I guess you're right Southernbelle. I guess I just don't consider it rude because we are really close. My reception is going to be really informal so I'm thinking of telling them that if they want to bring some hard liquor they can, because I don't care either way. Lol. Honestly we probably could have afforded an open bar but we decided to save that money for Peru.
    Don't do this until you check with your venue 1st!  They could loose their liquor license and insurance.

    It's all good. The venue is my uncle's horse farm.
    You might want to read up on social host and liability laws in your area. 
    image
    NYCBruin[Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostperdonami
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    jdluvr06 said:
    I guess you're right Southernbelle. I guess I just don't consider it rude because we are really close. My reception is going to be really informal so I'm thinking of telling them that if they want to bring some hard liquor they can, because I don't care either way. Lol. Honestly we probably could have afforded an open bar but we decided to save that money for Peru.
    This is the line that is drawn between being a poor host and a good host.  A good host puts his guest first. Are you within your rights to have a dry wedding or a limited bar to remain within a budget?  Absolutely.  But when you expect your guests to open their wallet to keep cash in your own, you become a bad host.

    **When I use the term "you", I do not mean YOU, jdluvr06.....I am speaking in generalities.
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostFran1985
  • tcnoble said:
    @tanlines&;wine have you not read ANY of this thread?? It doesn't matter if your guests are on the Forbes list of wealthiest people. How much money they make does not determine your ability to properly host them. Your reception is a thank you to your guests. Wealthy or not, there's nothing that they should "take care of."
    This 100%. Etiquette completely aside... @TanLines&;Wine who the heck are you to judge all of your guests financial status'? That is incredibly presumptuous of you. To you how much money is "good money", and why on Earth do you think that just because your guests make "good money", they would want to spend it on alcohol at an event that you are hosting?


    KeptInStitchesPrettyGirlLostdoeydo[Deleted User]
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