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October 2012 Weddings

Are drink tickets really THAT bad?

So, being a regular poster on E I already know the answer to this from an ettiquette point of view, but I also think that what's common in your area/circle plays into this as well.

So FI and I can't afford an open bar without cutting the guest list pretty dramatically (read: hurting a lot of people's feelings). Our compromise is to put two bottles of wine on each table, which works out to two drinks per person. We're also having a champagne toast (add a third drink) and giving everyone 3 (or maybe 4) drink tickets which brings the total number of drinks per person to 6 (or maybe 7).

FI is the first to get married on his side of the family, so there isn't a trend to follow there. Out of my 4 cousins that have gotten married recently, two had open and two had cash. My brother got married last summer and did tickets and at my Dad's wedding last September he had a cash bar. Only one of my friends had gotten married and they did tickets. So there's been a variety of bar options in my circle.

I figure with tickets, the guests that don't want to drink so much can share their tickets with those that do so the chances of them actually having to pay for a drink is smaller. Is this really horrible to do for my wedding? If you were a guest would you pass hardcore judgement?

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Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?

  • Honestly I wouldn't care, in my mind you're giving me free drinks so I can't really complain at all. I'm used to cash bars, so having free drinks (whether they be tickets or not) is a luxury for me. I'd be like "Ohh fancy schmancy wedding going on here boys. This is how rich people party!" haha. I really don't get why some people think having tickets is such a bad thing.
  • You are still giving me free drinks! LOL

    I am only going to do 2 hours open bar then turn to cash bar. Have you looked into doing that?
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  • Thanks Ladies.We're spending a fair portion of our budget on decor and I don't want people to think we then cheaped out on the bar. My biggest fear with the wedding is my guests thinking I'm not a good hostess.

    Fishin- I thought about that, but that's not at all common in my area/circle and I think our guests would be confused.

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  • In my area, people ONLY have cash bars. I literally have never been to an open bar wedding. That being said we're buying 3 kegs and putting a cap on the bar, which is almost the same as you're doing. I wouldn't judge at all.
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  • We're doing the same thing. Free wine with dinner (2 bottles/ table) and then 2 drink tickets. Achiduck I know you're in Ontario too and I know most weddings in my area are cash, I assume its the same for yours. I think you'll be more than fine so long as the E board police dont come lurking our board.
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  • In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?:
    We're doing the same thing. Free wine with dinner (2 bottles/ table) and then 2 drink tickets. Achiduck I know you're in Ontario too and I know most weddings in my area are cash, I assume its the same for yours. I think you'll be more than fine so long as the E board police dont come lurking our board.
    Posted by snuff9861
    It's more common in my area to have cash or tickets than an open bar. Where abouts in ON are you?
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  • We are doing an open bar, but not with top shelf liquor.
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  • Its perfectly fine, I wouldent post any thing on the e board everything that comes out of that board is nasty.  

  • I wouldn't look down on it.  I've only been to a few weddings and two of them were cash bar and one on;y had beer and a wine.  I like that you are doing a champaign toast and having wine during dinner.  It's also nice that you are giving out 3-4 drink tickets.  I kind of wish our venue would allow us to do this, but we have to pay a per person price for the type of bar that we want.
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  • In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?:
    In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad? : It's more common in my area to have cash or tickets than an open bar. Where abouts in ON are you?
    Posted by achiduck

    Kingston!
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  • My area is completely different and every single venue we looked at included a top shelf open bar included in their PP price so I've only been to open bar weddings...

    That being said I DON'T think I'd ever think that getting tickets or having a cash bar is tacky/cheap looking. Every one has different tastes and different budgets so I wouldn't even think twice.  Between everything thats being provided to guests from the Bride/groom/families I think it would be tacky on the GUESTs part to judge. Alcohol is never a guarantee in my mind so I think what you are doing is just fine :)
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  • With how many drinks you're already giving them and how many tickets you plan to give to each, I think you're pretty good.  I believe in following ettiquette as much as possible but sometimes you have to use your best judgement.  
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  • I think that you are fine because you said it was kinda the norm in your area and in my opinion drink tickets is better than having to pay to drink.  Also, it cuts people off before they get drunk enough to make a fool of themselves, unless they are given tickets from lots of other guests.
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  • I would like to do the drink tickets, but my fiance is completely different, he said we are having a cash bar.   With wine as an exception, he said he won't pay for anyones alcohol, pretty much because we spent so much on catering to feed our guests well. 

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  • I wouldn't care at all. In fact, I'd be happy for the tickets! Cash bars are the norm in my region/social circles, so any paid liquor is greatly appreciated, haha. I think that many tickets, toasts, bottles is more than appropriate. Anything else is getting wasted and guests can do that on their own dime. 
  • In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?:
    In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad? : Kingston!
    Posted by snuff9861
    I love Kingston, it's so beautiful up there. I'm in Guelph.

    Thanks, ladies. You've all made me feel so much better about this!
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  • Wow, everyone here's so much nicer than... well, every other place I've seen this asked! Personally I don't see the issue. they're still getting a couple free drinks.

    People would flame me for this on E board, but we're doing cash bar.  Financially speaking, our options are either cash bar or dry wedding.  In my family, dry weddings are kind of expected, and FI's never even heard of a wedding that wasn't cash bar for everything. FI's relatives would actually consider it more rude to have a dry wedding than a cash bar! Plus to them we're already being generous by hosting sodas ;)  So if it's the cultural norm, why not?
  • I wouldn't worry about it. Really...like everyone's said, free drinks are free drinks. And it's mostly going to be friends and family (and maybe dates), so it's not like strangers who don't know that you have a budget to stick to.

    We're doing a champagne toast and free beer/soda all night. Everything else is the guests' responsibility.
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  • In my social circle/area, you would be talked about as being the tacky ticket girl LOL. All of the packages at my venue come with full premium open bar included (so does all of the packages at the other venues the company that owns my venue runs). I've never been to a wedding that wasn't full open bar. That being said, is it possible to do open soda, wine on tables, and open signature cocktail instead? That way you could pick 1 cocktail that fits your theme to be available to your guests. This cuts down on alcohol costs for you. If tickets are common in your area, then go for it . People probably won't think you're being tacky if that's the norm in your area.
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  • I'm doing them...2 drink tickets each and a cash bar after that!
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  • I think if you do something really creative with the drink tickets it could end up being really cute.
    I know we'd get flamed for this on the other board and I know I personally like open bar weddings, but who cares.  There is no rule anywhere that you have to pay a ton and get your guests well and shnockered.  You do what you can afford.  6-7 drinks sounds like more than enough to keep your guests happy.  Some won't even drink that much and can give their extra tickets to those who do.
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  • I've been to a wedding with tickets, I was actually excited that we got a free drink, I figured we'd have to pay otherwise! But then I haven't been to too many weddings either.  I did go to one with an open bar, and that was fabulous, but I also think then had a bigger budget than I have for mine.  We're doing open bar, for beer, wine & non alcoholic beverages, and cash bar for hard alcohol.
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  • In MY opinion, alcohol is a luxury anyway (in my social circles/area) so anything is really nice. We are having our reception at a restaurant in a banquet room, and our guests can choose to order alcohol but they will know in advance that it's not hosted, and it's basically the same as a cash bar.
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  • I like the idea of sticking wine at each table and serving champagne.  However I really do think drink tickets are tacky (although much better than a cash bar).  I would prefer to attend a dry wedding than one with a cash bar.   How much do you think your guests will drink?  I know a few heavy drinkers, but I would think the average number of drinks per wedding guest would be less than 6 so you might be ok going with a full open bar for a couple hours.

    You coudl also talk to your venue about doing open bar only for a certain number of drinks and then switching it to juice/sodas.  Example: if you are having 100 guests and were planning on doing 3 drink tickets per person, ask the bar to only serve 300 drinks and then make it dry.  

    FI and I really wanted an open bar, but a lot of his family is offended by alcohol so we decided to just do a champagne toast and a dry bar.  It might be easier for you to just have wine/champagne and skipping the hard liquor entirely.
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  • I probably came off too harsh; I wouldn't be offended if I were at a wedding with a cash bar or drink tickets, but I just think no bar or a dry bar is classier.
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  • In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?:
    I probably came off too harsh; I wouldn't be offended if I were at a wedding with a cash bar or drink tickets, but I just think no bar or a dry bar is classier.
    Posted by lenergyrlah
    No, you weren't too harsh. I was looking for honest opinions. Thanks!
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  • I have never been to a wedding that didn't have open bar. All the venues around here include it in their packages so to not have it you would have to remove it.  I would be pretty displeased to go to a wedding here without open bar.
    But that being said, I agree with a bunch of the PP that if it is the norm in your area go ahead and do so. Chances are if that's how most weddings are in your area most of the guests are probably already expecting it.
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  • So, the Knot ate my first response...

    I've never been to a wedding that WASN'T open bar.  Open bar is so common in my area that my venue includes full open bar in all of their packages.  The company that owns the catering rights to my venue has a few other venues in the area and those packages all include full open bar as well.

    In my social circle/area people would probably think that tickets are tacky.  However, we're not used to that.  If you're friends and family are used to doing bar tickets, then I'd say go ahead and do them.

    Have you thought about having the wine on the tables, and then beer, soda, and a signature cocktail at the bar?  One signature cocktail would cut down on your liquor costs because the bar would only have to have the ingrediats on hand to make your cocktail.
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  • I would not mind drink tickets and frankly I would probably have like 3 or 4 drinks during a reception. If you decide on doing a cash bar then just make in known to your guests before your wedding day. I use my debit card rather that cash and i dont usually carry more than 20 bucks in my wallet so I would like to know that it is a cash bar before hand so I bring cash.

    In my area, 90 % of venues include alcohol in the cost. So I have an open bar included in my cost and I really did not look at any venue that did not include alcohol because it can be rather pricey paying per drink.

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  • In Response to Re: Are drink tickets really THAT bad?:
    I like the idea of sticking wine at each table and serving champagne.  However I really do think drink tickets are tacky (although much better than a cash bar).  I would prefer to attend a dry wedding than one with a cash bar.   How much do you think your guests will drink?  I know a few heavy drinkers, but I would think the average number of drinks per wedding guest would be less than 6 so you might be ok going with a full open bar for a couple hours. You coudl also talk to your venue about doing open bar only for a certain number of drinks and then switching it to juice/sodas.  Example: if you are having 100 guests and were planning on doing 3 drink tickets per person, ask the bar to only serve 300 drinks and then make it dry.   FI and I really wanted an open bar, but a lot of his family is offended by alcohol so we decided to just do a champagne toast and a dry bar.  It might be easier for you to just have wine/champagne and skipping the hard liquor entirely.
    Posted by lenergyrlah
    I think it would be worse to show up, have an "open bar" and then go up later for a drink only to be told "we ran out" or "we met the bar quota already."
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