Wedding Reception Forum

Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?

Anyone who is thinking it's tacky of me to NOT provide my guests with alcohol free of charge to them, please stop reading and exit out of my post. I don't wanna hear it...we just cannot afford it as much as we'd like to. Some say limit the guest list, but I think more would be offended at not being invited than the fact we aren't providing their hard liquor drinks....

With that said...we are providing beer and wine for our guests, but not any hard liquor drinks. Should I put this somewhere on my reception card? I was thinking of something like.... "cash bar, as well as complimentary beer and wine provided" or something like that. I don't want people getting there and not have the cash on them for drinks. Or perhaps I should just put it on our wedding website? Or just word of mouth? Or not at all?? Please let me know your thoughts....thanks!!!
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Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?

  • I don't think it's rude...I have read other posts from people who got told it was. Why skip the liquor drinks? That seems worse to not have that as an option...a lot of our guests are huge drinkers and we are already spending $4000 on their dinner.  I have been to weddings where all they provided was a couple kegs of beer, I was never "offended" or anything.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:62bb8d72-272f-4aa1-9a13-a250bb0d86ba">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I<strong> don't think it's rude</strong>...I have read other posts from people who got told it was. Why skip the liquor drinks? That seems worse to not have that as an option...a lot of our guests are huge drinkers and we are already spending $4000 on their dinner.  I have been to weddings where all they provided was a couple kegs of beer, I was never "offended" or anything.
    Posted by stealthangel20[/QUOTE]

    <div>You may not think so, but the fact remains that it is rude.  It's sort of like refusing to believe in gravity.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Just limit it to beer and wine. Problem solved.</div>
    southernbelle0915
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:5b54306c-44cb-4c95-b8ef-a093875046a6">Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Anyone who is thinking it's tacky of me to NOT provide my guests with alcohol free of charge to them, <strong>please stop reading and exit out of my post.</strong> I don't wanna hear it...we just cannot afford it as much as we'd like to. Some say limit the guest list, but I think more would be offended at not being invited than the fact we aren't providing their hard liquor drinks.... With that said...we are providing beer and wine for our guests, but not any hard liquor drinks. Should I put this somewhere on my reception card? I was thinking of something like.... "cash bar, as well as complimentary beer and wine provided" or something like that. I don't want people getting there and not have the cash on them for drinks. Or perhaps I should just put it on our wedding website? Or just word of mouth? Or not at all?? Please let me know your thoughts....thanks!!!
    Posted by stealthangel20[/QUOTE]
    Sorry, cannot oblige.  Beer and wine are fine options for a wedding, charging guests for alcohol is not. 
    southernbelle0915
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Just tell the family/guestlist/town blabbermouth that guests will need to pony up at the bar.  Not only will people know the information with no doubts, you will get some great feedback on your wedding as well. 

    I'm always amazed by these 'hey, I'm going to be really rude to my guests, what's the nicest way to warn them ahead of time?'
    Dreamergirl8812southernbelle0915
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Just tell the family/guestlist/town blabbermouth that guests will have to pony up at the bar if they want a drink.  That way everyone will know to come prepared, and you'll get some great feedback on your wedding as well. 

    I love these 'hey, I'm going to do something really rude and I don't care, so tell me the nicest way to tell everyone about it' posts. 

    Seriously, free beer and wine sound great to me.  I wouldn't need anything else.
  • That's what we're doing! If theyr drinkers...beer and wine are fine, especially if it's complimentary to them!
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  • I don't drink beer and wine very much if at all, so I wouldn't be drinking on your dime but I also don't go to weddings to drink.  I think if you just did beer and wine, then you would be fine.
  • Thanks for the input people who were not rude.. Wow...some of you have some issues. Isn't this a place to come and get advice? Not get S*** on with your plans? Get a life....would it kill you to be nice to someone? This is why I will stay away from theknot.com from now on. NOT very helpful with the snide comments.
    jackisilvansheenwedding1111Loverface08
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:d3431dda-bd7b-456e-beed-c6fd79b16b3f">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for the input people who were not rude.. Wow...some of you have some issues. Isn't this a place to come and get advice? Not get S*** on with your plans? Get a life....would it kill you to be nice to someone? This is why I will stay away from theknot.com from now on. NOT very helpful with the snide comments.
    Posted by stealthangel20[/QUOTE]

    <div>Oh dear.  People are trying to help you.   How is that mean or snide?    </div><div>
    </div><div>If you insist on a cash bar, then you are already being rude to your guests (which we are trying to help you understand BEFORE you do it....).  Unfortunatey there is no nice way to tell people you are about to do something rude to them.  So if you're going to do a cash bar, then I would recommend against saying anything about it on your invitations or wedding website.</div><div>
    </div><div>But seriously, if you can't afford an open bar (and a lot of people can't, so this is in no way a judgement on you), then just host beer and wine.  That's perfectly okay.    </div>
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  • How about:  "Hey everyone!  We decided we don't want to pay for your sorry asses to drink hard liquor, so be prepared to pony up!"

    What you're doing is rude.  There's no magical polite way to do a rude thing, so if you're cool with being rude (and you obviously are) just own it and be done with it.


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  • I don't know. I have butted heads with just about every person on this board, esp. those who tout an unchallengeable air of "correctness" on the etiquette board. 

    I'm really laid back so what others call "etiquette" I usually think of as a bunch of stiff, inconsequential bullshit in an attempt to desperately hang on to a notion of "tradition". 


    Yet, I still think  a cash bar is tacky. And I think your guests will talk about it behind your back. Personally, if I was going to be faced with a cash bar at a wedding, I would probably want to know so before I arrived. If putting it on the invitation is the best way to assure everyone will know and come prepared with a pocket of cash, I think that's the best route. 
    RebeccaDW
  • edited February 2012
    Vegas: etiquette is etiquette plain and simple. It's like grammar: you might not like how nit-picky it can be, but the rules are the rules.  It's not someone's opinion.  

    A cash bar seems tacky because it IS tacky.  Is it still done in some circles? Yes.  Does that make it not rude? No.

    That said, beer and wine only is more than acceptable and gracious. Just leave it at that and skip the cash bar for liquor. Just think, if you could afford chicken you wouldn't offer chicken and then allow guests to pay extra they wanted lobster, right? It's the same thing with the bar. 
  • So none of you have been to a reception with a cash bar? And if so you talked about this person behind their back? I have been to a few with cash bars, and I didn't think twice about it. 
    Whatever, I need no more advice, I ordered them without any alcohol info on them. We will discuss it with our guests when the time comes...they are pretty cool people who won't judge us on the way I do my reception, however we decide to do it.
    Thanks for everyone's input.
    sheenwedding1111Loverface08katiebuggins
  • edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:aea25d5e-869f-4e68-8886-ca0863c3ff42">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]So none of you have been to a reception with a cash bar? And if so you talked about this person behind their back? I have been to a few with cash bars, and I didn't think twice about it.  Whatever, I need no more advice, I ordered them without any alcohol info on them. We will discuss it with our guests when the time comes...they are pretty cool people who won't judge us on the way I do my reception, however we decide to do it. Thanks for everyone's input.
    Posted by stealthangel20[/QUOTE]

    <div>Dude, your beer and wine plan was GREAT. There's no need to get bent out of shape. </div><div>
    </div><div>ETA: No one gave advice about how to word the RSVP card because the liquor situation should really be a non-issue that's never mentioned on the RSVP card.</div>
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    " If putting it on the invitation is the best way to assure everyone will know and come prepared with a pocket of cash, I think that's the best route. "

    I would disagree with this suggestion. 

    If you are putting your menu information on your website, you could inform guests that "they will be able to enjoy complimentary beer and wine at the reception".  If you wanted to inform guests that an additional cash bar would be available, you could add, "additional cocktail beverages will be available for purchase".......or something to that effect.

    You could also put some framed signage indicating this sentiment at the bar at the reception as well.

    Is it possible that in addition to the beer and wine options, one "signature" drink could be offered? 


    ashleyep
  • Yeah, I just left everything off the reception card. We have booked the caterer, not gone over every detail, we will discuss options with her when it gets closer and we know more the amount of people. Thanks for the input.
  • I'm in the total minority here and have no problem with cash/partial cash bars. I see you're from the MSP area too. Every wedding I've ever been to has had at least a partial cash bar, so I assume it's normal in your circle as well. Yes, it is against etiquette. But I do agree with you on the point abut cutting your guest list - I'd rather have the people I love at my wedding than cut some friends just so people can drink. (I usually just keep my mouth shut about my opinion on this as obviously it can get flamed pretty quickly).

    Anyways, if it is normal in your circle to have a cash bar, I'd assume people will carry some cash anyways just in case. I always do to weddings. Our friends usually put a sign at the bar stating what was hosted (like "Beer and wine hosted by the bride and groom"). Word of mouth is your best bet to inform people beforehand. I definitely wouldn't put anything about it on the invitation.

    And also OP - don't take things so personally. It looks like you're newish to the boards. Cash bars don't go over well at all on here and people will tell you how tacky they think it is. That's why I usually just keep my mouth shut about it. It's not worth arguing over. So my best advice to you is to do a little lurking and see what kinds of things might not go over well. And feel free to come to the MSP board!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:4a476b94-2b4c-4d15-aa53-8811865d141d">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth? : Incorrect. 
    Posted by VegasCalling[/QUOTE]

    You are incorrect, Vegas. 
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  • edited February 2012

     etiquette is not universal. different religions/cultures have different "norms". just because you think its universal doesnt mean that is true.

    I'd think if you are going to have a cash par in addtion to what you are offering, and that is normal in your circle there isnt a problem. Don't put in on the invite. I;d just go with word of mouth.

    As a guest I've never been offended when someone had a partial cash bar at their wedding. That kinda seems backwards to me personally(let the attacks begin). If a friend offers to take me to the movies,but when I get there I decide I want a pop and popcorn, I wouldnt expect him to pay for that.  This is how I view it at least.

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  • Im doing a brunch wedding and am therefore Im having beer, wine, and mamosas available.  Its being spread via word of mouth that if you want free boos, those are your options.  if you MUST have jack daniels at 12noon, its on you... I'll have the limo driver drop u off at an AA meeting after the wedding. 

    Im not sure if you are having a dinner wedding but, if you are having beer and wine I PERSONALLY think that is just fine.  Id be happy to have all the free wine I can handle if DRUNK was my goal at a wedding.  IMO, i believe that a wedding is a special (or even religious) union of two people.  The reception is merely a celebration of that.  Its not an NYC night club.....

    *If you only live your life trying to people, you'd never live your life*

    Hopefully your guests know what your financial situation is and will be understanding.  I couldnt afford the open bar and thats one of the reasons I moved it to a brunch wedding instead
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:bad30172-9bc4-49ae-acf1-4775b8bd3443">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE] etiquette is not universal. different religions/cultures have different "norms". just because you think its universal doesnt mean that is true. I'd think if you are going to have a cash par in addtion to what you are offering, and that is normal in your circle there isnt a problem. Don't put in on the invite. I;d just go with word of mouth. As a guest I've never been offended when someone had a partial cash bar at their wedding. That kinda seems backwards to me personally(let the attacks begin). If a friend offers to take me to the movies,but when I get there I decide I want a pop and popcorn, I wouldnt expect him to pay for that.  This is how I view it at least.
    Posted by davenport52803[/QUOTE]

    You're wrong on a few accounts.  Etiquette and cultural norms are not exactly the same thing.    The 'this is what we do in my state' may be the norm for the area but it can still be rude.   Look in a locker room.  The behavior amongst teenage boys isn't appropriate at all but it's the norm for them.  You're going to be hard-pressed to tell me that watching each other light farts on fire is appropriate etiquette.

    Your analogy of popcorn at a movie falls short.  The point is that your friend offered to take you to the movie and you should accept what he offers you.  You should graciously accept what he pays for but you shouldn't say in wording or action, "What you offered isn't enough."

    Similarly, if I had a dinner party and I opened a bottle of wine only to hear a guest say, "But I wanted to drink the wine I bought," it would be offensive not to accept what I serve.
  • Etiquette: being polite/gracious/taking care of your guests and making sure they are cared for= a universal concept. Customs: how that is done in various states/countries/etc

    It goes like this: the reception is a thank you to your guests. They have already paid for travel, days off of work, perhaps a gift, new clothes, etc. They should not have to open their wallets again, especially at what is to be a thank you to them. You wouldn't host a party for a friend who helped you move and then expect her to pay for anything would you?

    That said, I'm less judgy than others. If people I know in RL have a cash bar, whatever. Not going to say anything.  I would just never tell people they SHOULD do it if ever asked on here or in RL. Now if B&G had top of the line everthing (expensive dress, elegant venue, etc) and then had a cash bar, I'd be like WTF? But otherwise, meh. If we went to a wedding with beer and wine with no cash bar, since FI and I don't like either, we wouldn't drink. I'd be kind of bummed, but I'd get over it. Like PP said, I don't go to weddings to get drunk. 
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  • edited February 2012
    Etiquette as a concept is universal. The way etiquette is expressed is not at all universal and is entirely dependent on the cultural norms. This notion of etiquette being like grammar on this board is so tiresome. Etiquette doesn't just vary by state or country or continent. It varies from town to town, and even within towns, as etiquette varies from social circle to social circle, as social circles are usually composed of people with similar education backgrounds, interests, etc. 


    Anyway, beer and wine alone seems fine. If there were no free alcohol options at all, then I'd rather have at least a cash bar option. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:916a3188-3645-43ec-94e3-7f96fadbb0c5">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Etiquette as a concept is universal. <strong>The way etiquette is expressed is not at all universal and is entirely dependent on the cultural norms. </strong>This notion of etiquette being like grammar on this board is so tiresome. <strong>Etiquette doesn't just vary by state or country or continent. It varies from town to town, and even within towns, as etiquette varies from social circle to social circle, as social circles are usually composed of people with similar education backgrounds, interests, etc.</strong>  Anyway, beer and wine alone seems fine. If there were no free alcohol options at all, then I'd rather have at least a cash bar option. 
    Posted by VegasCalling[/QUOTE]
    <div>
    </div><div>I agree with you on this.  However, my wedding guest list (like many other brides' lists) is composed of people from lots of different cultural backgrounds and social circles.  I think you have to keep this in mind when you do something that is okay in YOUR social circle but not everyone else's.  </div><div>
    </div><div>That's part of why these boards are so helpful.  A bride from one part of the country might want to do something that is generally okay in her social circle.  But if she has invited anyone from MY social circle, that person would get offended.   So I think it's helpful to let brides know that some people might get offended.  What the bride chooses to do with that information is up to her and the groom.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Personally, I'd rather have ladies on here, who I don't know, tell me that something is a bad idea, then to find out after-the-fact that I severely offended my fiance's entire extended family (from a different social circle than I am).</div>
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  • TiffannieFTiffannieF member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited February 2012
    OP, I would just keep it to beer and wine only. That should be enough. My dad hosted a beer & wine only and it worked out great. Yes, I have been to weddings with cash bars. My H and I don't drink so it makes any difference for us unless we want a soda (but can go with out). But that is just us. And I'm sure if I wanted a drink I wouldn't get one at the wedding if I had to pay. If you still decide to go with a cash bar word of mouth is by far better than putting it on the reception card.
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  • jennipea-yep, didn't know there was a MSP board!! I will be sure to go there from now on!! Thank you, we are going to do what we planned...our guests aren't the kind who would think twice about it :) 
  • where i'm from, every wedding is a cash bar. we will be hosting beer, wine, soda, and juice... but anything else is paid by the guests. Definately the norm around here.
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  • Go with word of mouth.

    Some people need to learn how to answer a simple question.Undecided
  • I think serving beer and wine is totally okay.  I would be fine with that.  However, a good friend of mine is having her wedding, which is 3 hours away from where I currently live.  She is also having a cash bar and so, I have to pay for gas to drive the 3 hours to her wedding, give her a gift for her shower, bparty, and also for her wedding, pay for a hotel, AND have to pay to drink at her wedding?!  Ridiculous.

    But, she is not offering ANY kind of drinks, at all.  So, I think what you're doing is WAYYYY better than not offering them anything at all :)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_put-cash-bar-on-reception-card-or-just-word-of-mouth?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:1f7ec700-d1f3-44a9-8e60-da72c0e0ad88Post:a594d9c1-6209-415b-9959-3c8b7c2d671a">Re: Put cash bar on reception card or just word of mouth?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Go with word of mouth. Some people need to learn how to answer a simple question.
    Posted by daliaalvarez28[/QUOTE]



    I know who'll help a girl out when I create a thread about the best way to light MIL on fire.
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