Wedding Etiquette Forum

is it tacky to not have open bar?

we are doing a partial open bar its open beer wine chapagne. and mixed drinks they would have to pay for. i was talking to a co-worker and she said it was tacky. i dont think it is but just wanted to see what other people thought. my parents are paying and i dont want it to break the bank on them
«13456

Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?

  • I would just offer the partial open bar and forgo the liquor. I wouldn't ask guests to pay for something extra. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • aragx6aragx6 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    You should simply not offer any options for which guests have to pay. If you only offer what you are paying for then you are in the etiquette clear. Lots of people only offer beer and wine -- that's perfectly acceptable. The reception is the thank you to your guests for attending the ceremony so they shouldn't have to/be able to pull their wallets out for anything.

    Lizzie
  • I personally don't think it's tacky to do it that way, as it's pretty commonly seen in my area.  However, most would probably find it less tacky/offensive if you just skip the liquor altogether and only serve what you can afford to provide free for your guests.  Generally the consensus around here is that it's rude to make your guests pay for anything at a wedding.
  • It's not tacky to only offer beer and wine.  However, expecting your guests to pay for liquor is very tacky. 
    PersonalMilestone Daisypath Anniversary tickers image
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Just stick to the beer & wine.  Don't even offer the hard liquor. 
  • Most on here will tell you its tacky to not have a completely open bar. I personally have been to weddings with both kinds and don't think its better one way or the other.

     I don't see a problem with asking them to pay for cocktails, but why do you think you need to offer them? Will beer and wine not be enough?
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The most appropriate thing to do is only serve what you can afford to pay for.  If that's just beer and wine, then that's what's available.  You might also considering offering a special signature drink or two (that you pay for) to give guests who might want a cocktail another option.  Something like a mimosa, a spiked punch, a popular mixed drink like a screwdriver, or having a margarita machine.  Many girls here have ordered a drink and ended up handing it back to the bartender, because they didn't know they'd have to pay for it, and didn't have any cash to do so. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:3f1f2eb4-ae56-4f7d-9c1b-56125b64a65a">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Most on here will tell you its tacky to not have a completely open bar.<strong> I personally have been to weddings with both kinds and don't think its better one way or the other.</strong>  I don't see a problem with asking them to pay for cocktails, but why do you think you need to offer them? Will beer and wine not be enough?
    Posted by kimiandgary[/QUOTE]

    You don't think not having to pay is better than having to pay?
  • I don't think its tacky one bit.  I ahve been to several wedding recently as everyone and their grandmother seem to be getting hitched, and not one has been open bar.  I've never been to an open bar wedding.  If you can't afford it then people should be OK with not drinking ...or if they reaaally need a drink they can pay for it.  They have the option.
  • beer and wine would be plenty but i know people that would have no problem paying for extra my friends and family arent like that.
  • ZazulakZazulak member
    10 Comments
    We're offering beer and wine, but if our guests want different booze they are going to have to pay for it.

    I see nothing wrong with that :)
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Host only what you can afford.  If you can only host beer, wine and champagne then that is perfectly fine.  I honestly wouldn't even give the option of mixed drinks for your guests unless you cover the costs.  Your guests should not have to pay for anything at your wedding reception.

  • Is it tacky to host beer and wine only? No. It's better than a cash bar. I would just host what you can afford rather than ask your guests to pay. I'd rather drink something I didn't like rather than pay for liquor.
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:01e8d86a-2cdd-42c0-ba41-eac9c9d7101a">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: is it tacky to not have open bar? : You don't think not having to pay is better than having to pay?
    Posted by zitiqueen[/QUOTE]

    I guess I should have said I didn't think one was "better etiquette" than the other, because I am used to both.

    The only time I have ever been turned off by charging for drinks was when my cousin had a non-hosted bar that charged $8 for a coors light.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:5dec93fa-8e96-47f0-88a8-4c74d69811e2">Re:is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is it tacky to host beer and wine only? No. It's better than a cash bar. I would just host what you can afford rather than ask your guests to pay.<strong> I'd rather drink something I didn't like rather than pay for liquor.
    </strong>Posted by crash2729[/QUOTE]

    WHAT?!  So as long as it's free, you're okay?  I'd rather pay for a cocktail than to drink wine!
    Anniversary
  • edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:e64e23c6-5996-47cb-b693-05ec4c64798e">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: is it tacky to not have open bar? : Hi, you're also wrong.  It's against etiquette to ask people to pay for things at a wedding.  Hence the advice we offer here on the Etiquette board.  <strong>Thanks for playing.</strong> 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    Is there a reason you feel the need to constantly be rude to people? I get that you live and die by the old school etiquette book but some people may have different opinions.

    For the record etiquette is defined as a code of behavior that delineates the expectactions for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. This means that not everything is black and white.

    I think its rude to assume you are right and everyone else who may have a different "social norm" is wrong. 
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • aragx6aragx6 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:5c8727ea-c842-415a-af6d-3028f8d5a1b4">Re:is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:is it tacky to not have open bar? : WHAT?!  So as long as it's free, you're okay?  I'd rather pay for a cocktail than to drink wine!
    Posted by MrsKathyC[/QUOTE]

    What you'd rather do and what is etiquette appropriate for a host to do are obviously two different things in this scenario. But this is the etiquette forum. We advise people on etiquette.
    Lizzie
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm torn on this question.

    One hand I think it's tacky to tell some of your guests their preferrences are paid for but others are not.   It would be like hey here's some chicken, but if you want the steak pony up some cash?  You wouldn't do that would you?


    Where I'm torn is DH loves vodka and I know he would pay for it.  He would be annoyed, but he would still pay than not have it.    However, if the vodka was not there he would just drink beer.  Out of site, out of mind kind of thing.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • This is like paying for everyone's mashed potatoes, but offering au gratin for the guests who'd like to pay for it.
    image

    Anxiously awaiting baby #1! Baby BOY Due: May 30, 2013! Lilypie Maternity tickers

  • aragx6aragx6 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:c7d7a397-8c22-4a8d-a069-9b884f408960">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: is it tacky to not have open bar? : Is there a reason you feel the need to constantly be rude to people? I get that you live and die by the old school etiquette book but some people may have different opinions. For the record etiquette is defined as a code of behavior the delineates expectactions for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. This means that not everything is black and white. I think its rude to assume you are right and everyone else who may have a different "social norm" is wrong. 
    Posted by kimiandgary[/QUOTE]

    Not asking your guests to pay for things you should be hosting for them is not "old school etiquette" and if you think it is, you have an extraordinarily rude social group. So congrats?
    Lizzie
  • pkontkpkontk member
    500 Comments
    Cash bars are more common in some areas than others, but that doesn't make it good etiquette.  Guests should not have to take out their wallets at a wedding.  Period.
  • edited May 2012
    Eagles - Do you know definition of etiquette? It is not universal. Do you expect a wedding in China and India and the USA to all follow the same rules?
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:c7d7a397-8c22-4a8d-a069-9b884f408960">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: is it tacky to not have open bar? : Is there a reason you feel the need to constantly be rude to people? I get that you live and die by the old school etiquette book but some people may have different opinions. For the record etiquette is defined as a code of behavior that delineates the expectactions for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. This means that not everything is black and white. I think its rude to assume you are right and everyone else who may have a different "social norm" is wrong. 
    Posted by kimiandgary[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>She's not rude. Wedding etiquette says to pay for what you provide. Guests are being hosted. They should not have to pay for anything at the wedding. 

    </div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_is-it-tacky-to-not-have-open-bar?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:83b9b7db-2d76-43ee-bdb8-227c59baad51Post:261b69ce-9aeb-4702-a146-2bca5e32bf77">Re: is it tacky to not have open bar?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I personally don't think it's tacky to do it that way, as it's pretty commonly seen in my area.  However, most would probably find it less tacky/offensive if you just skip the liquor altogether and only serve what you can afford to provide free for your guests.  Generally the consensus around here is that it's rude to make your guests pay for anything at a wedding.
    Posted by ECOlson[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div> I don't usually post here, but I do lurk. In my area it would not be considered too tacky, because some people do, do what you are doing. But that depends on regional differences. I think it is tacky if you don't offer something for your guests, as a Thank you. </div>
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers PitaPata Dog tickers Follow Me on Pinterest
  • OP - guests should NEVER pay for anything at the reception.

    this means no cash bar and no dollar dance.

    like everyone else said, offer what you can afford to pay for. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Just host what you can afford people. If you can't afford a full open bar, that's fine, but don't have cocktails there for purchase. Only have what you're paying for available. Guests shouldn't have to pay for anything at a wedding.
    image

    Anxiously awaiting baby #1! Baby BOY Due: May 30, 2013! Lilypie Maternity tickers

  • I rarely post here because I don't like to get flamed. :)
    I don't think it's tacky. I think what is tacky is going into debt because other people tell you it's tacky.
    You need to do what you are comfortable with. Is it normal in your area to offer this? It is in mine.
    We aren't having alcohol at the wedding at all! Our venue is dry. I'm sure that that's a major faux pas. But, no one in our family or friends drinks in public! I wanted people to remember our wedding too.
    :)
    Do what you can afford and do what you are comfortable with.

    First Look
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    AlexisA01kathrynrf
  • I'm going to have to agree with Kimi here, flame me all you want. Etiquette varies by social group, region, etc. Cash bars are not rude everywhere. They are simply allowing guests to purchase something if it is not offered for free, not forcing them to do so. I've never batted an eye at a partial cash / partial hosted bar. Its normal here.
    Anniversary
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    AlexisA01kathrynrf
  • There are some things with etiquette that can be changed based on situations. This is not one of them. Hosting an event means paying for your guests. If that means cutting liquor then so be it. That's what we're doing. No big deal. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I have a question.  If OP hosts only beer & wine, but the venue has a full bar, what is the bartender to do, tell people No, you can't have that?  I'm serious, how would that work?

    Anniversary
    bullfrogmama
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards