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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

  • I went to a wedding recently where the bar was all cash aside from two beer kegs that ran out at around 9 pm. Even soda was cash. It was really uncomfortable to watch the grooms grandpa walk up to the bar and have to pay for a coke. Aside from that the only things that werent cash were water and lemonade. It was very odd. The overall wedding was fun, but I couldnt believe that they didnt even host wine? I dont drink beer, and even if I had it would have probably run out sooner. So I didn't drink the entire night. It kind of made for a strange wedding experience.
    The thing is you host what you can afford. So, if all they could afford was water and lemonade, there really isn't anything wrong with that. However, it was rude to have other drink options available for guests to pay for. 
    grumbledore
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    perdonami said:
    I went to a wedding recently where the bar was all cash aside from two beer kegs that ran out at around 9 pm. Even soda was cash. It was really uncomfortable to watch the grooms grandpa walk up to the bar and have to pay for a coke. Aside from that the only things that werent cash were water and lemonade. It was very odd. The overall wedding was fun, but I couldnt believe that they didnt even host wine? I dont drink beer, and even if I had it would have probably run out sooner. So I didn't drink the entire night. It kind of made for a strange wedding experience.
    The thing is you host what you can afford. So, if all they could afford was water and lemonade, there really isn't anything wrong with that. However, it was rude to have other drink options available for guests to pay for.   Guests should not have to pay for other options.  If the only free options the hosts could offer their guests on their existing budget were water and lemonade, they should have cut something else out of their budget and offered more drink options to their guests.
  • tcnobletcnoble member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    perdonami said:
    I totally agree with the above! And @perdonami, this will probably get me in trouble here, but I would absolutely pass on the fine to the offending parties in the event that you did get slapped with one.
    Yeah, I thought about that too but if they don't agree to pay then fine my FMIL is stuck with the bill because her credit card is on file with the venue and then we will still be paying it (which is why I keep arguing to just offer it, its not like we won't end up paying for it one way or another). As of right now, the DJ offered to help enforce no flasks if he sees them and we are spreading the word to some of our guests who want to bring flasks. 
    How will your guests even know what you are hosting until they arrive? They won't have the want/need to bring flasks if they don't know what is offered until they show up. They'll just have to be happy with what you are hosting, as they should be.
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  • tcnoble said:
    How will your guests even know what you are hosting until they arrive? They won't have the want/need to bring flasks if they don't know what is offered until they show up. They'll just have to be happy with what you are hosting, as they should be.
    You bring up a very good point. I am mostly concerned with some family members I have already discussed some of the wedding plans with. And so far, as some guests have mentioned they intend to bring a flask (before they even knew hard liquor was not going to be available) I have asked them kindly not too. 
  • perdonami said:

    Look, I'm from the notoriously boozy state of Wisconsin, and yeah, some people would rather pay for alcohol themselves than go to a "dry" wedding. But those people can go jump in a lake. They're being shitty if they think getting buzzed is more important than celebrating the marriage. If they don't care about the couple, they can skip the wedding and go to a damn bar. If booze is so important to them, they can (and will) bring a flask. 
    Not at my wedding unfortunately. We are hosting different types of beers and wines, but no hard liquor. My family has a bit of a drinking problem and can't just be happy with what is being hosted and has been threatening to bring flasks.. I wouldn't care but our venue has a very strict policy on no outside food or drink and we can get a $500 fine per violation. I also refuse to allow a partial cash bar. 

    Still not hosting hard liquor (FI won't let me as he doesn't want to spend any more money) and I am hoping my guests will appreciate what is being hosted and not smuggle any flasks in. 
    I really hope for you and FMIL's sake that no one brings a flask with them... but is there a reason to be concerned they could still get drunk off wine and beer?
    image
  • Oh, they will get drunk but they aren't satisfied with what is offered and want to smuggle in hard liquor as I won't, and at this time, can't host hard liquor. 

    FI keeps telling everyone there is a bar downstairs where you can order whatever you want, its really starting to piss me off. Im about to just pay for it and tell FI its his fault for advertising the cash bar downstairs. 
  • I went to a wedding a few years ago where everyone was drinking their own booze in the parking lot. In the rural places it actually common place for people to bring their own booze to weddings. In the city cash bars are common. I wish more places had a flat rate for open bar but its non-existent here and I'm not sure why. Friend of mine was at an open bar wedding where everyone got completely plastered and ordered drinks just to try them (if they didn't like them they'd leave it on the table and get another one). sigh.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    I went to a wedding a few years ago where everyone was drinking their own booze in the parking lot. In the rural places it actually common place for people to bring their own booze to weddings. In the city cash bars are common. I wish more places had a flat rate for open bar but its non-existent here and I'm not sure why. Friend of mine was at an open bar wedding where everyone got completely plastered and ordered drinks just to try them (if they didn't like them they'd leave it on the table and get another one). sigh.
    As cash bars do nothing to stop people from getting drunk if they choose to get drunk, they're still rude for the same reasons they've always been rude-guests should not be expected to open their wallets for any reason at a wedding, whether it's to buy drinks, pay for parking, or any other reason. Trying to control alcohol consumption with cash bars merely punishes those who do not drink to excess, or even at all, while doing nothing to stop drunkenness and it makes you (generic) look like a bad host.
    PrettyGirlLostgrumbledore
  • I went to a wedding a few years ago where everyone was drinking their own booze in the parking lot. In the rural places it actually common place for people to bring their own booze to weddings. In the city cash bars are common. I wish more places had a flat rate for open bar but its non-existent here and I'm not sure why. Friend of mine was at an open bar wedding where everyone got completely plastered and ordered drinks just to try them (if they didn't like them they'd leave it on the table and get another one). sigh.
    This is why I can't stand consumption bars.
    And I've heard of servers/bartenders going around to the tables and picking up unfinished drinks while people were up and dancing. The guests would come back to the table and find their drink gone... so they would go get another drink. Great for the venue's profits, bad for the host's pockets.
    Venues that charge a flat rate per person are the way to go in most cases, so I hope the places in your area start looking into that option.
    image
    perdonami
  • Me too. A flat rate would be much more sensible.
    perdonami
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Meh I thought I wanted a flat rate bar but after finding my venue only did consumption, I crunched some numbers and found we should come out ahead with consumption, even though there will definitely be a lot of drinking. That said we are most likely doing a couple kegs,  a couple kinds of wine, and a signature drink or two. 
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    tcnobleperdonami
  • tcnobletcnoble member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Flat rate vs. consumption is a know your crowd thing. We would pay $45 a head for open bar... but knowing that we have guests who won't drink at all, or not drink much, we would likely end up spending $2-3k OVER what we expect to do based on consumption. Yes, we are worried about people abusing the open bar, but are prepared to pay the tab regardless.

    The bar is all about what YOU can afford to do to host your guests, be it flat rate, consumption, or partially hosted. No, cash bar is not an option.
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    pinkshorts27grumbledore

  • tcnoble said:
    Flat rate vs. consumption is a know your crowd thing. We would pay $45 a head for open bar... but knowing that we have guests who won't drink at all, or not drink much, we would likely end up spending $2-3k OVER what we expect to do based on consumption. Yes, we are worried about people abusing the open bar, but are prepared to pay the tab regardless.

    The bar is all about what YOU can afford to do to host your guests, be it flat rate, consumption, or partially hosted. No, cash bar is not an option.
    That is very true. If you are positively sure the majority of your guests are nondrinkers, then a flat rate could be a waste of money. But if you know you have a lot of drinkers, then a flat rate could work out in your favor. And then, of course, it sometimes depends on what the flat rate is.

    I wouldn't even consider a cash bar. If you can't afford to have it at your wedding, then why would you have it at your wedding?
    image
    tcnoble
  • tcnobletcnoble member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    tcnoble said:
    Flat rate vs. consumption is a know your crowd thing. We would pay $45 a head for open bar... but knowing that we have guests who won't drink at all, or not drink much, we would likely end up spending $2-3k OVER what we expect to do based on consumption. Yes, we are worried about people abusing the open bar, but are prepared to pay the tab regardless.

    The bar is all about what YOU can afford to do to host your guests, be it flat rate, consumption, or partially hosted. No, cash bar is not an option.
    That is very true. If you are positively sure the majority of your guests are nondrinkers, then a flat rate could be a waste of money. But if you know you have a lot of drinkers, then a flat rate could work out in your favor. And then, of course, it sometimes depends on what the flat rate is.

    I wouldn't even consider a cash bar. If you can't afford to have it at your wedding, then why would you have it at your wedding?
    We also got to look at the cost per drink with a consumption bar, and we did the math compared to what they charge flat rate/pp ... we could be very wrong and end up spending a lot more, but we are crossing fingers that we will come in under that flat rate cost. 

    Our venue coordinator keeps insisting we give a limit and at the reception if we hit the limit, switch to cash bar... how about NO. We are lucky our parents are splitting the bar tab, but I don't understand how people ACTUALLY do that switch. "Hi sorry yes 2 minutes ago you got a hosted beverage, but the limit was reached so now that will cost you $9." Ummm????
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  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
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    tcnoble said:

    tcnoble said:
    Flat rate vs. consumption is a know your crowd thing. We would pay $45 a head for open bar... but knowing that we have guests who won't drink at all, or not drink much, we would likely end up spending $2-3k OVER what we expect to do based on consumption. Yes, we are worried about people abusing the open bar, but are prepared to pay the tab regardless.

    The bar is all about what YOU can afford to do to host your guests, be it flat rate, consumption, or partially hosted. No, cash bar is not an option.
    That is very true. If you are positively sure the majority of your guests are nondrinkers, then a flat rate could be a waste of money. But if you know you have a lot of drinkers, then a flat rate could work out in your favor. And then, of course, it sometimes depends on what the flat rate is.

    I wouldn't even consider a cash bar. If you can't afford to have it at your wedding, then why would you have it at your wedding?
    We also got to look at the cost per drink with a consumption bar, and we did the math compared to what they charge flat rate/pp ... we could be very wrong and end up spending a lot more, but we are crossing fingers that we will come in under that flat rate cost. 

    Our venue coordinator keeps insisting we give a limit and at the reception if we hit the limit, switch to cash bar... how about NO. We are lucky our parents are splitting the bar tab, but I don't understand how people ACTUALLY do that switch. "Hi sorry yes 2 minutes ago you got a hosted beverage, but the limit was reached so now that will cost you $9." Ummm????
    Our reception venue only offered by consumption, but they are cheap elsewhere since my dad is a member of the golf course, so I think we will still come out ahead with a wonderful venue. They wouldn't even offer a cash bar. They suggested limited bar (wine and beer) but now I'm discussing a few signature drinks to see if we can just pay to have so many batches made.

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  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    We do have a lot of drinkers, but also a fair number that will probably stop at 2 or so. Considering flat rates usually work like about $12/pp for one hour, another $10 for the next hour, another $6 for the next hour, etc, that is a lot of money per person. Even heavy drinkers aren't going to drink a whole lot more than $28 worth of alcohol, and the ones that don't drink as much will make up for it. So while the prospect of not knowing exactly what we'll be charged is a little daunting, I feel pretty confident that it'll be a lot less, even though our party's most likely going to be a rager. 
    image
    tcnoble


  • That is very true. If you are positively sure the majority of your guests are nondrinkers, then a flat rate could be a waste of money. But if you know you have a lot of drinkers, then a flat rate could work out in your favor. And then, of course, it sometimes depends on what the flat rate is.

    I wouldn't even consider a cash bar. If you can't afford to have it at your wedding, then why would you have it at your wedding?

    This is exactly why we are only considering venues that allow us to bring our own alcohol in.  Is there a venue that I think is PERFECT and a DREAM and just totally MY VISION? Yes, there is. But, we can't afford to host a bar there, we don't want a dry wedding, and we will absolutely not charge our guests for ANYTHING because that is so rude.  So, I adjusted my vision to fit the venues where we can bring in our own alcohol and save a ton.  Will it still be beautiful and my vision? Yes. And not to the detriment of my guests.  Our priorities from the word go have been "enough quality food and drink for all of our guests and then some" - everything else is second. Because that is the proper way to host.

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES to your bolded!

    This is EXACTLY how we have done it for our girls.  Always open bar, always at a venue where we bring in our own alcohol, certified bartenders, caterer of our choice.  There is no way in Hell I could afford an open bar at a place that had its' own liquor license so why would I even look there if we don't want a dry wedding?  We make the venue into their dream and have great food and drinks and music.  You do NOT have to compromise on this if you don't want to.  You just need to put more elbow grease into doing the things paid staff might be doing.  It was the tradeoff that made sense for us.

    crunchymamaof2 lyndausvigrumbledore
  • So, I take it none of you have been a BYOB wedding reception? I have been to a ton of BYOB wedding receptions, and they were great (one was even a potluck, BYOB reception). Anyway my real reason for posting (I only come the knot once in a blue moon so sorry for not responding sooner), is I would rather have a cash bar, and have my guest be happy, than having a dry wedding and have everyone leave after dinner. Besides, as mentioned before where I live, its the norm to have cash bars. I did a survey at work for the heck of it, and no one I work with has ever been to a wedding with a hosted bar (except the one guy from Chicago). And for those that don't drink at all (or are underage) will not have to pay for there coke or mountain dew. We will supply the non-alcoholic beverages.
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Yes, I have been to one BYOB reception. The politest was to describe it would be a shitstorm of bad manners. 

    If your guests are paying for drinks, they aren't guests. They're customers. Guests don't pay for accepting invitations.  You're charging people money to fulfill your own vision of what you think your party should have, without having to pay for it. 

    World English Dictionary
    guest  (gest)

    — n
    1.a person who is entertained, taken out to eat, etc, and paid for by another
    2.a. a person who receives hospitality at the home of another: a weekend guest
     b. ( as modifier ): the guest room
    3.a. a person who receives the hospitality of a government,establishment, or organization

    cus·tom·er [kuhs-tuh-mer] 
    noun
    1.
    a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer

    BYOB and I assume it is a college party, actually even those I rarely had to bring alcohol and when I hosted, I hosted all alcohol. So I guess those BYOB had less manners than a college party, which is pretty low in my opinion. Even in the pot-lucks I got to (not weddings), it is more like Josh, Joe, and Amanda got together and wanted to host so everyone asked what they could bring. In no way were we expected to bring something.

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    chibiyuiPrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    dbartness said:
    So, I take it none of you have been a BYOB wedding reception? I have been to a ton of BYOB wedding receptions, and they were great (one was even a potluck, BYOB reception). Anyway my real reason for posting (I only come the knot once in a blue moon so sorry for not responding sooner), is I would rather have a cash bar, and have my guest be happy, than having a dry wedding and have everyone leave after dinner. Besides, as mentioned before where I live, its the norm to have cash bars. I did a survey at work for the heck of it, and no one I work with has ever been to a wedding with a hosted bar (except the one guy from Chicago). And for those that don't drink at all (or are underage) will not have to pay for there coke or mountain dew. We will supply the non-alcoholic beverages.
    BYOB is just as inappropriate as cash bars and potlucks for weddings, for the same reason:  It is not okay to pass on to guests the costs of entertaining them in any way.  You wanting to drink doesn't mean hosts are obliged to make alcoholic beverages available to you, and it would be rude of you as a guest to indicate that hospitality without alcohol is inadequate.  The fact that someone thinks it's the "norm" to have a cash bar in the area just means that everyone in that area who shares that view is guilty of an etiquette fail when they actually do it.
    chibiyuiPrettyGirlLost
  • FFS no one is saying weddings with cash bars are bad or that the hosts are bad people. But cash bars aren't okay and having one does make the hosts rude. If you want to have a potluck or byob party than have a backyard cookout. If you choose to host an event, including a wedding, dinner party, anniversary party, etc then you host everything. If you want alcohol at your event then you supply it. Simple. Can't afford it? Don't offer it! Venue charging too much for a full open bar? Make it limited or find a venue where you can bring your own. There are so many options and a cash bar isn't one of them.

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

    Kahlylachibiyui
  • NWR but another time I attended a company hosted event at a bar each attendant was provided (2) drink tickets at the door which could only be used for certain beers or wines. However, a full drink menu was provided at the bar for folks to order from them. 

    Unfortunately, a lot of guests didn't know there were only certain beverages available for free and after awhile would drunkenly argue with the poor bartender who tried to explain their specialty mixed cocktail wasn't covered. The bartender graciously made the drink once on the house but you can imagine how irritating it must of been dealing with a bunch guests repeatedly demanding the same drink for free over and over again. 

    Could have easily been avoided if a limited bar was hosted versus a partial cash bar. 

    crunchymamaof2
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    perdonami said:
    NWR but another time I attended a company hosted event at a bar each attendant was provided (2) drink tickets at the door which could only be used for certain beers or wines. However, a full drink menu was provided at the bar for folks to order from them. 

    Unfortunately, a lot of guests didn't know there were only certain beverages available for free and after awhile would drunkenly argue with the poor bartender who tried to explain their specialty mixed cocktail wasn't covered. The bartender graciously made the drink once on the house but you can imagine how irritating it must of been dealing with a bunch guests repeatedly demanding the same drink for free over and over again. 

    Could have easily been avoided if a limited bar was hosted versus a partial cash bar. 

    A company event is different than a social event; the same rules don't apply. I understand the frustration though.
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    PrettyGirlLostsouthernbelle0915
  • perdonami said:
    NWR but another time I attended a company hosted event at a bar each attendant was provided (2) drink tickets at the door which could only be used for certain beers or wines. However, a full drink menu was provided at the bar for folks to order from them. 

    Unfortunately, a lot of guests didn't know there were only certain beverages available for free and after awhile would drunkenly argue with the poor bartender who tried to explain their specialty mixed cocktail wasn't covered. The bartender graciously made the drink once on the house but you can imagine how irritating it must of been dealing with a bunch guests repeatedly demanding the same drink for free over and over again. 

    Could have easily been avoided if a limited bar was hosted versus a partial cash bar. 

    A company event is different than a social event; the same rules don't apply. I understand the frustration though.
    Hmm, good to know.
  • perdonami said:
    NWR but another time I attended a company hosted event at a bar each attendant was provided (2) drink tickets at the door which could only be used for certain beers or wines. However, a full drink menu was provided at the bar for folks to order from them. 

    Unfortunately, a lot of guests didn't know there were only certain beverages available for free and after awhile would drunkenly argue with the poor bartender who tried to explain their specialty mixed cocktail wasn't covered. The bartender graciously made the drink once on the house but you can imagine how irritating it must of been dealing with a bunch guests repeatedly demanding the same drink for free over and over again. 

    Could have easily been avoided if a limited bar was hosted versus a partial cash bar. 


    While company parties do tend to differ from weddings (and other occasions), what you witnessed certainly applies. Several brides have said they would host what they can afford and then let the rest of the alcohol be purchased by the guests. Your story clearly outlines the obvious problem with that plan.

    And I think drink tickets are ridiculous no matter what the occasion is.
    image
    perdonamiPrettyGirlLost

  • And I think drink tickets are ridiculous no matter what the occasion is.
    I do too.. I blame the guests mostly for being rude drunks at their company hosted party as it makes the company look bad. But, seriously drink tickets?? 
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