Wedding Etiquette Forum

Please Settle this Debate

I have been a 3rd party to all the debates that go on here. Post after post comes up that my fiance reads aloud to me and I weigh in with my (wedding) uneducated opinion. However there is one debate of which I can only see one side. 

The Cash Bar Conundrum. 

A couple of points first off. 

1. For our wedding we are having an open bar. 
2. I am aware that a reception is a thank you to our guests for their attendance. 
3. I am also aware that a guest should never be asked to open their wallets. 

HOWEVER. 
I like to drink at a party, and having said that I also understand someone who's unable to afford to have their guests drink on their dime. I would prefer to have to option to buy my own drinks as opposed to having sobreity forced upon me. 

How is it not ruder to expect your guests to be sober than to allow them the option to have a drink?

Please understand I've made my career in the hospitality industry. Making guests happy is my job and my passion. The thought of denying a desire to a guest upsets me. That being said I feel that a dry wedding is a TERRIBLE idea. Unless it is a religious or a person in recovery, I feel that all guests should have the option to have a drink.

Thank you for helping me to understand this ethical snafu. 
«13

Re: Please Settle this Debate

  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2013
    Seeing a friend get married and then having a nice dinner but not getting to booze up isn't exactly something I'd define as "TERRIBLE."
    A guest that would only be happy celebrating your wedding IF they get to get sloshed isn't exactly a great friend. I've been to dry weddings before and dinner, conversation and dancing can be totally lovely without alcohol.

    Guests shouldn't open their wallets. Having a cash bar can also lead to the very akward situation of a guest ordering a drink, assuming it was free, only to find out it isn't.

    If having alcohol is important to you, can you possibly swing wine, beer and maybe a signature drink? What about just bottles of wine on the dinner table?
    There's also the option of holding the wedding reception earlier in the day; maybe a breakfast or brunch reception where you could get buy with just mimosas?

    If an evening wedding with alcohol is top priority, just invite less guests or cut other places like flowers or your dress.

    ETA:
    I know your question was more hypothetical; you're having an open bar.
    I just don't think the options are "have miserable guests with a dry wedding" vs "have a cash bar".
    Rather it's "have a lovely dry wedding" or "find a way to pay for the alcohol."
  • As someone having a dry wedding, I am a little offended.  I am rude by expecting my guests to be sober? Really? If my guests can't handle a social function without booze in hand, I have bigger issues than whether or not there is any alcohol at my wedding. Wedding =/= automatic drinking occassion. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In no way am I asserting that guests cannot have a good time sober. I'm simply expressing that i feel that making that decision for the guests is more inconsiderate than having the option. 

    I know there are work-arounds to having a fun dry-time, but denying the access is rude. 

    To the lady having a dry wedding, I didn't mean to offend you. 

    Perhaps I'm not expressing myself as well as I possibly can. I just believe that no-one should make a judgment call for their guests. If you cannot afford to pay to have your guests access alcohol, do not remove the ability all together. 
  • j-harveyj-harvey member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited October 2013
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It is almost always religion or recovery. Occasionally it is that the venue (church) doesn't allow booze. Occasionally it is that the couple wants to honor the sacramental occasion with solemnity. Rarely it is cost. Look at it this way. If they invited you to their home for lasagna dinner, would you say you are entitled to pizza? If they don't want to serve it, you have to deal with the lasagna.
  • Denying access is not rude.  I don't like alcohol. Both myself and my FI have a good friend who is a recovering alcoholic.  Watching him go through this struggle first hand, we have decided we want alcohol to be far from our lives. Our wedding, which we are paying every cent for, is not the place for us to supply something we do not agree with, let alone in a church, where our reception is located. You are making such a huge, and rude, generalization.  Not supplying alcohol at a wedding is not rude, making someone pull out their wallet at a wedding is.  And telling other people that are not supplying alcohol, which many here are doing, is being rude to their guests is far more rude in my opionion. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:afe851a0-b8a8-4462-ae73-f98c95a1a095">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]It is almost always religion or recovery. Occasionally it is that the venue (church) doesn't allow booze. Occasionally it is that the couple wants to honor the sacramental occasion with solemnity. Rarely it is cost. Look at it this way. <strong>If they invited you to their home for lasagna dinner, would you say you are entitled to pizza?</strong> If they don't want to serve it, you have to deal with the lasagna.
    Posted by NYCMercedes[/QUOTE]

    <div>This exactly.  Wouldn't choosing lasagna as the entree of choice be "making the judgement call" for your guests?</div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Not providing access to alcohol isn't rude...
    Alcohol isn't a right. It is not a mandatory element of a social function.
    If you invite a friend with you to the opera but don't give them booze you aren't rude. If you invite your friends out to a picnic but don't give them alcohol you aren't rude.

    Also, you aren't denying them anything. If they want to drink beforehand you aren't stopping them. If they want to go out to their cars and get drinks from their flasks you aren't stopping them. If they want to leave the wedding early to go bar hopping you aren't stopping them.

    You are buying them dinner. You are buying them dessert. You are buying them entertainment. Simply not buying them alcohol does not equate to being rude because you're cutting them off to something they should be entitled to.

    Now, personally I prefer weddings with cocktails. I don't do beer or wine. So when I go to a wedding that is only beer/wine, yes I'm mildly disappointed, but I immediately shrug it off, get a diet coke, and enjoy myself with my friends. I realize the hosts are hosting what they can afford and therefore doing the right thing.
  • It's not about the alcohol specifically - it's simply the fact that if you cannot afford it, you should not have it. It's not okay to serve appetizers and then let your guests have the option of having dinner if they want to pay for it. You wouldn't hand them a vase and tell them they need to give you cash if they want flowers in it. Alcohol is the same. I cannot afford to have a live band at my wedding, should I ask my guests to chip in for one because they *may* have more fun with a band? 
  • I see your point with the PB&J, however I liken it more to not feeding your guests but offering them the option to hit a snack bar for cheap.

    If the difference is between denying entirely or allowing them to pay, I think it is better to allow them to pay. 

    Also I have already stated that i understand religious and recovery reasons, please do not rehash...
  • But I still am hung up on a dry wedding being a TERRIBLE idea? How? I have only been to one wedding where alcohol was served and I had as much fun at the dry weddings. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Exactly how is not serving alcohol 'denying' them their 'right' to drink? We don't drink and are having a dry wedding. Our guests are cool with this. If they want to go drink afterwards, that's up to them, but I don't feel like we have to have alcohol just in case people want it, as it is completely optional. We'll have plenty of food, desserts and non-alcoholic drinks -- are you saying that because we don't have an open bar or a cash bar, we're not properly hosting our guests and treating them like children by 'denying' them booze?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:3a689f10-923f-47b7-bf4f-a116809c48d6">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]Exactly how is not serving alcohol 'denying' them their 'right' to drink? We don't drink and are having a dry wedding. Our guests are cool with this. If they want to go drink afterwards, that's up to them, but I don't feel like we have to have alcohol just in case people want it, as it is completely optional. We'll have plenty of food, desserts and non-alcoholic drinks -- are you saying that because we don't have an open bar or a cash bar, we're not properly hosting our guests and treating them like children by 'denying' them booze?
    Posted by ahstillwell[/QUOTE]

    <div>A. I never said "Right" to drink. </div><div>B. You don't drink, but you may have friends that do, since you are hosting a party to thank THEM, perhaps you should allow them to make that decision. </div><div>
    </div><div>And perhaps TERRIBLE was a bit strong. In my neck of the woods a dry wedding is very rare excepting the circumstances I already expressed. </div>
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Additionally, many venues do not give you the option of a cash bar. We considered several private clubs where ithe choice was simply no bar or full bar. Limited bar or just beer and wine were not an option. You couldnt have paid at a private club. At places such as museums or parks, caterers supply everything. That means they would have to bring in a bar, bartender, glasses, setups, liquor, ice, etc., all with no guarantee that it would pay for them to do so. Caterers won't do that. They only bring in what the couple has paid for in advance.
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:ef81fcc3-c0d2-4e87-849f-868d6b2c05ba">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]I see your point with the PB&J, however I liken it more to not feeding your guests but offering them the option to hit a snack bar for cheap. If the difference is between denying entirely or allowing them to pay, I think it is better to allow them to pay.  Also I have already stated that i understand religious and recovery reasons, please do not rehash...
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]

    And having a snack bar allowing them to pay for it is <em>also </em>rude. But really it's more like having a wedding with full on Indian cuisine and then having tacos for purchase. Just as tacos are not required for a Indian dinner and should not be expected, alchol is not required for a wedding.

    Waving a bonus food or drink item in front of your guests that they have to pay for is rude. No exceptions.
    ...Just like it's rude to go to a wedding and feel like you're entitled to steak when they serve you chicken... or that your entitled to booze when they serve you sparkling grape juice.

    There is absolutely no reason why alcohol should be expected, and as such, allowing the guests <em>any </em>access to it is not required. On the contrary, offering them only <em>paid </em>access is very rude.

    You can't wave costly upgrades in front of people. It is not necessary to be a good host; rather it's detrimental to being a good host.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:8c1e2af3-030d-4507-91da-50533d9e771a">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate : A. I never said "Right" to drink.  B. You don't drink, but you may have friends that do, since you are hosting a party to thank THEM, perhaps you should allow them to make that decision.  And perhaps TERRIBLE was a bit strong. In my neck of the woods a dry wedding is very rare excepting the circumstances I already expressed. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]

    <div>But the reasons you expressed can be pretty personal.  My family and most of my friends don't know what my friend is going through.  We don't broadcast it. So you would come to my wedding, see the lack of alcohol, and see it as me denying my guests the right to make the dicision about drinking. You don't know any better, but you would be the rude one being upset because I did not supply alcohol, as if the free food, free lemonade, tea and soda, free snacks, free dessert, free entertainment, and favors isn't enough. For me to properly host them, I must give the alcohol too. That's bs.</div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:ae8c7587-a535-42ad-ae20-5f9b522774b7">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]Additionally, many venues do not give you the option of a cash bar. We considered several private clubs where ithe choice was simply no bar or full bar. Limited bar or just beer and wine were not an option. You couldnt have paid at a private club. At places such as museums or parks, caterers supply everything. That means they would have to bring in a bar, bartender, glasses, setups, liquor, ice, etc., all with no guarantee that it would pay for them to do so. Caterers won't do that. They only bring in what the couple has paid for in advance.
    Posted by NYCMercedes[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>This is not really the point I'm making. Clearly you cannot have a cash bar if there is no cash bar available. I'm dealing with people who say having a cash bar is rude. That implies that it is an option. </div><div>
    </div><div>Let's make this clear. </div><div>
    </div><div><font color="#ff0000">IF there is a choice, Cash Bar/ No Bar, why is it more rude to choose Cash than Dry?</font></div><div>
    </div><div>I don't feel it is. </div>
  • soontobehanbysoontobehanby member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:76ed4818-e8cf-426e-809d-01c948f34e78">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate : This is not really the point I'm making. Clearly you cannot have a cash bar if there is no cash bar available. I'm dealing with people who say having a cash bar is rude. That implies that it is an option.  Let's make this clear.  IF there is a choice, Cash Bar/ No Bar, why is it more rude to choose Cash than Dry? I don't feel it is. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]

    <div>At this point, I honestly don't care what point you are trying to make. You called dry weddings terrible and, for the most part, people who have them terrible hosts. PP have given you plenty of reasons WHY they are rude. Scroll back up and read them.</div><div>
    </div><div>ETA: fixed my wording</div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:76ed4818-e8cf-426e-809d-01c948f34e78">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate :   Let's make this clear.  IF there is a choice, Cash Bar/ No Bar, why is it more rude to choose Cash than Dry? I don't feel it is. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]

    This has been answered many times. You're essentially taunting your guests with something better. "Oh, look at this pretty shiny stuff that was available to us, but we've decided not to host it for you even though you're supposed to be our guest. But feel free to open your wallet to get it... oh, you don't want to / can't pay extra? Well at least our richer guests can have booze. I hope you brought us a nice present!"

    You think you're being nice by giving your guest "the option" to drink. But having the option to drink is <em>not </em>an etiquette requirement. Hosting every single thing offered to your guests <em>is</em> an etiquette requirement.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:fa07ec8c-5375-4161-a21e-b6b7d5c33f17">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate : This has been answered many times. You're essentially taunting your guests with something better. "Oh, look at this pretty shiny stuff that was available to us, but we've decided not to host it for you even though you're supposed to be our guest. But feel free to open your wallet to get it... oh, you don't want to / can't pay extra? Well at least our richer guests can have booze. I hope you brought us a nice present!" You think you're being nice by giving your guest "the option" to drink. But having the option to drink is not an etiquette requirement. Hosting every single thing offered to your guests is an etiquette requirement.
    Posted by aurianna[/QUOTE]

    <div>I think this is an excellent point. </div><div>
    </div><div>However,</div><div>I can only speak from my own point of view. </div><div>
    </div><div>I would prefer the option to buy a drink. </div><div>
    </div><div>My fiance would prefer the option to buy a drink, she's said so herself.</div><div>
    </div><div>My friends would prefer the option to buy a drink. </div><div>
    </div><div>And personally at no point would I judge the host harshly. </div><div>
    </div><div>I guess it is just agree to disagree. </div>
  • "How is it not ruder to expect your guests to be sober than to allow them the option to have a drink?"
    This is hilarious. It's ruder to not let your guests get smashed than have them pay for their own drinks? lolwut?

    You don't charge your guests at home and you wouldn't charge your guests anywhere you host them.

    For instance. If you have guests over to your house and you offer them soda or juice, they'll tell you soda or juice. Or water. But if you offer them vodka, would you charge them for it? "Sorry, but money is tight and that vodka didn't come free. It'll cost you if you want to add some vodka to your cranberry juice." That's insane.
    Why would you do that at the reception?
    Either give them some vodka or don't offer it to them.
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:8e5c5721-531d-4565-ad28-e260c8a7f7b9">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]"How is it not ruder to expect your guests to be sober than to allow them the option to have a drink?" This is hilarious. It's ruder to not let your guests get smashed than have them pay for their own drinks? lolwut? You don't charge your guests at home and you wouldn't charge your guests anywhere you host them. For instance. If you have guests over to your house and you offer them soda or juice, they'll tell you soda or juice. Or water. But if you offer them vodka, would you charge them for it? "Sorry, but money is tight and that vodka didn't come free. It'll cost you if you want to add some vodka to your cranberry juice." That's insane. Why would you do that at the reception? Either give them some vodka or don't offer it to them.
    Posted by Simply Fated[/QUOTE]

    <div>Nonsense.</div><div>
    </div><div>You have never brought a bottle of wine to a friend's house? That's the equivalent. </div>
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:515fd2c8-fd2e-4bf4-9ec0-5ed7a453ffa6">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate : I think this is an excellent point.  However, I can only speak from my own point of view.  I would prefer the option to buy a drink.  My fiance would prefer the option to buy a drink, she's said so herself. My friends would prefer the option to buy a drink.  And personally at no point would I judge the host harshly.  I guess it is just agree to disagree. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]

    This then goes back to my previous point. The hidden option number three: If you honestly feel like your guests would not be happy without the option to drink, you cut on your dress, you cut on your decorations, you cut favors, you possibly cut on your guest list, and you do whatever else you can think of to host the alcohol. That is the alternative to a dry wedding when you're on a tight budget, not a cash bar.
    ETA: ...or you get a cheapter venue... or better yet one that lets you supply your own alcohol with a minimal or non-existent cork fee.
    If giving your guest the option to drink is a high priority, you find a way to do it and still host them completely.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:72579150-fdf5-47dd-bba2-3bcf8581f625">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Please Settle this Debate : Nonsense. You have never brought a bottle of wine to a friend's house? That's the equivalent. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]
    How is that the equivalent?

    In one case the guest is bringing a gift for the host.
     
    In another case the guest is purchasing a drink for herself.
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:4b6e449d-178c-4509-aca4-41afe15caaf0">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]In no way am I asserting that guests cannot have a good time sober. I'm simply expressing that i feel that making that decision for the guests is more inconsiderate than having the option.  <strong>I know there are work-arounds to having a fun dry-time, but denying the access is rude.</strong>  To the lady having a dry wedding, I didn't mean to offend you.  Perhaps I'm not expressing myself as well as I possibly can. I just believe that no-one should make a judgment call for their guests. If you cannot afford to pay to have your guests access alcohol, do not remove the ability all together. 
    Posted by OjoGrande[/QUOTE]


    <div>I am also having a dry wedding and completely agree with soontobehanby.  And just to be clear, although marijuana is now legal in Colorado, I will also be "DENYING ACCESS" of that substance to my guests.  Man, I just realized we are going to have <em>the</em> lamest wedding ever.  I guess you are glad you aren't invited, OjoGrande.</div>
    image
  • Here is my two cents:

    I agree that from an etiquette standpoint, a dry wedding is more acceptable than a cash bar.  However, in my circle, the majority of guests would prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding.  In fact, I have never been to a wedding that is not a cash bar.  Again, I realize that this does not make it right from an etiquette standpoint, but it is my experience.

    We did have a cash bar at our wedding, although not by choice.  We hosted beer and wine, which is what we could afford.  However, very late into the planning process, our venue informed us that even though we were not hosting liquor, it could not be removed from the bar because the bar was public and open to other patrons of the golf course during our wedding.  Per the advice of the ladies on this etiquette board, we just had our venue put up a sign indicating that we were hosting beer and wine.  Several guests did opt to purchase mixed drinks and shots in addition to our hosted drinks.  One compliment we received from many guests? How awesome it was that we hosted beer AND wine.  Most of them had only ever been to weddings that were cash bars with only beer hosted.  To contrast, my cousin had a dry wedding (which  I was unable to attend), and several family members still complain about it months later. 

    So, I agree that from an etiquette stand point, cash bars are considered rude.  I also have absolutely zero problem with a dry wedding (although I've never actually been to one).  However, in my circle nearly everyone would prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding.  Again, that doesn't make it right etiquette-wise, but in my circle, it is the reality.
    Sabinus15
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_please-settle-this-debate?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09008b65-244d-4ee3-af26-093aa0c3ea11Post:8ee3e81a-1875-434c-8fec-24984e2924e0">Re: Please Settle this Debate</a>:
    [QUOTE]Here is my two cents: I agree that from an etiquette standpoint, a dry wedding is more acceptable than a cash bar.  However, in my circle, the majority of guests would prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding.  In fact, I have never been to a wedding that is not a cash bar.  Again, I realize that this does not make it right from an etiquette standpoint, but it is my experience. We did have a cash bar at our wedding, although not by choice.  We hosted beer and wine, which is what we could afford.  However, very late into the planning process, our venue informed us that even though we were not hosting liquor, it could not be removed from the bar because the bar was public and open to other patrons of the golf course during our wedding.  Per the advice of the ladies on this etiquette board, we just had our venue put up a sign indicating that we were hosting beer and wine.  Several guests did opt to purchase mixed drinks and shots in addition to our hosted drinks.  One compliment we received from many guests? How awesome it was that we hosted beer AND wine.  Most of them had only ever been to weddings that were cash bars with only beer hosted.  To contrast, my cousin had a dry wedding (which  I was unable to attend), and several family members still complain about it months later.  So, I agree that from an etiquette stand point, cash bars are considered rude.  I also have absolutely zero problem with a dry wedding (although I've never actually been to one).  However, in my circle nearly everyone would prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding.  Again, that doesn't make it right etiquette-wise, but in my circle, it is the reality.
    Posted by libby2483[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>My mom had the same thing happen at her wedding since it was at a country club.  They put out a sign that said something like "the bride and groom welcome you to enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. thank you for celebrating in our special day."  When the venue prevents you from following etiquette and staying within your budget there's nothing you can do.</div><div>
    </div><div>OP -- you make interesting points! :)  It's good to see a man on this board every so often!

    </div>
  • I do think having an option for them is ok if you honestly can't afford an open bar.
    (I know this hypothetical). I do also think dry weddings are ok. It's up to the bride/groom!

    I'm just curious, some people are being offended by coming back with the fact they are having a dry bar. Aren't you being just as rude by hating on the ladies who DO/DID have a cash bar and calling it tacky/rude/not ok etc? I have an open bar set up so this really doesn't pertain to me but I think some people need to learn to throw less stones. Just bc it's not the way YOU would do it, doesn't mean it's wrong or rude. I have been to a mixture of open, cash, and then even cash limit weddings where you buy your drink after the bar reaches a certain tab. They all turned out just great.

    But to the OP, I do think as a guest you should never EXPECT alcohol. You should go wanting to see your friends marry. So I don't think it's worse one way or another, it's each bride's opinion for her own wedding is what's ok!Smile
    Sabinus15
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited February 2013

    I don't completely  by the "I can't afford an open bar (full or limited)" excuse.    We all make choices.  My family and friends choose venues where they can afford a limited or full open bar.  It's pretty simple actually.  Sure the venue might not have wow factor of other venues, but the wow factor goes away after a few moments anyway.   How the guests were hosted stays around a lot longer.     I've attended weddings with $2000 budgets up to  $1 million budgets and everything in between.  All of them were beautiful and lovely and everyone had an open bar of some sort.

    Oh and we don't invited more people than we host properly.  I've attended weddings with only  20 people up to 400.   We would rather host 20 people properly than 200 improperly. 

    ETA - I do NOT think you have to have a bar at a wedding.     Many people  choose not to have a bar at all.  And than it is fine.  I'm talking about those who want the bar, but use  the can't afford one as an excuse.









    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. 
  • It's not ok to expect your guests to pay for all their alcohol. You can do something like what I'm doing. I'm providing the champagne toast, and the wine with dinner. If they want more than that then there is a bar where they can get more but it will be for purchase. I know lots of people can't afford an endless open bar, but you should provide something. Be it a signature drink or the toast etc.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards