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Wisconsin Traditions/Etiquette and Cash Bars

My FH is from the Milwaukee area and I'm from Alabama. We are planning on getting married in New Orleans, LA, my FH and I along with my family and friends are in Birmingham, AL and his family and friends are in Milwaukee, WI. Last night we were going over an email I got from a possible reception vendor and it gave three options for beer, wine and liquor. When we got down to the actual cost it was a lot cheaper (much higher quality too) than we what we thought we would be able to find in our budget, he states that we are trying to cut cost and wants to have a cash bar. When one of his family members got married they had a cash bar and he says that this is rather normal but here in Alabama I'm sure it happens but I personally could never imagine it.
I was just really wondering if cash bars were the norm and if there are any other traditions/etiquette/customs that I should be aware that I probably have no clue about. His family is mostly german if that helps any! Thank you so much for any help you give me because my FI's are wonderful and I'm blessed to be joining their family and the last thing I want to do is insult or make lite of something I'm not aware of.

Re: Wisconsin Traditions/Etiquette and Cash Bars

  • I have never been to a wedding with a cash bar, and I've been to a lot of weddings. Honestly, I'd be pretty offended if I had to pay for a glass of wine at a wedding. You don't need to have a fully stocked open bar, but at least beer and wine options. When you have people over for dinner, do you ask them to pay for their drinks? I don't think so.
  • I have also been to many weddings here in the Milwaukee area.

    Most do not have a full open bar, but instead beer & wine.

    DH & I had a full open bar, but we were certainly an exception to the rule in this area.
  • Thank you both so much for replying! Lyra I completely agree with you especially so because his family and friends will be coming down from Milwaukee to New Orleans and to make them pay for anything other than their personal entertainment and hotel is unfathomable to me.
  • I've never been to a Wisconsin wedding that was not a cash bar for liquor with hosted beer (sometimes wine is hosted, sometimes not).  At our wedding, we hosted beer and wine and liquor was available for purchase.  This is what is common in my social circle, though, so I can't speak for all of Wisconsin.
  • Most of the weddings I went to this year were in Iowa and almost all were beer and wine hosted and liquors were cash bar options. The wedding we attended this weekend was completely open bar but it was a limited bar. They offered whiskey, rum, wine, and 2 beer(one microbrew and the other was Coors Light---favorite of the groom's friends) as well as coffees, soda and juices. We went to one wedding were the entire bar option was a cash bar and that sucked since we drove 6 hours to attend that wedding and we had to ask off of work. 

    Most of the Wisconsin weddings I've been to have the dollar dance and I find them to be tacky. If I want to dance with the bride or groom, why should I wait til an appointed time and than pay for it? In the area were I grew up, they would have Polka(it is the official dance of Wisconsin), the chicken dance and hokey pokey.

    You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. - Barbara DeAngelis
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