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Open or Cash bar?

My FI and I keep "arguing" about it. I think that we should have an open bar because we have a lot of friends flying from out of town and some from out of the country. He thinks we will end up with a huge bill if we do open bar. I keep saving money on other stuff so we can put it towards drinks but he just wants to save the money for after the wedding.
We decided (for now) that we would have a couple of drink tix for each guest and then they can buy their own. What do you guys think?
Anniversary

Re: Open or Cash bar?

  • mgoss228mgoss228 member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I think an open bar is a must at a wedding.  Can you limit the bar to beer & wine, with 1 or 2 Hard-A signature drinks?  That could save money.  Talking with your venue's event coordinator could help too.  GL!
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  • dreamwindsdreamwinds member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You can have an open bar, and if you have a day of coordinator, you can talk with your venue and set an upper limit for the open bar, such as 4k. If you get near that limit, the bartender should inform your coordinator, who will then ask you if you want to stick with the limit and close the bar or keep going and set a new limit.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Open or Cash bar?:
    [QUOTE]You can have an open bar, and if you have a day of coordinator, you can talk with your venue and set an upper limit for the open bar, such as 4k. If you get near that limit, the bartender should inform your coordinator, who will then ask you if you want to stick with the limit and close the bar or keep going and set a new limit.
    Posted by dreamwinds[/QUOTE]
    This is a really good idea. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Open bar, definitely.

    Look into doing just beer/wine/a signature drink or two. Also, you can talk to your venue about doing smaller pours of things like wine.

    But I would definitely avoid cash bar or drink tickets. It just feels really tacky, and people will talk, and be annoyed. And really, drink tickets feels like a work event, not like a wedding. 
  • zoiesmurfzoiesmurf member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree with PPs. Cash bars don't tend to be well received at weddings. Offer what you can afford/feel comfortable with, and just don't offer what you can't. The pre-set limit can definately help with that. If you guys agree that you don't want to up the limit when it gets close the day of, just have your DJ announce that the bar is closing though so people aren't looking to get a last drink and all of a sudden the bar is closed. People also tend to be happier having just beer/wine options than having to pay for drinks all night. We're actually doing this, because our venue's insurance doesn't allow hard a on the property for events. If you guys feel the need to go the cash bar route, I would definitely offer a couple drink tickets over a straight cash bar though.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for your suggestions! I'll contact my wedding coordinator to see if we can set a limit and I'll show my FI this post, maybe I'll make a difference if he sees it. Lol!
    Anniversary
  • Frogger5Frogger5 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I also vote for open bar (we are having one!), but honestly I've never been to a wedding where there was an open bar. Lots of them have had beer and wine free for a certain amount of time, or maybe even a full open bar during a cocktail hour, and often there is free champagne, so, there are lots of ways to compromise on it. Although I've always heard cash bars are such a faux pas, I think this might be more of a regional thing (I'm from the Midwest) and also depends on how fancy the rest of your wedding is. If it's all low-budget, then it's not that incongrous to have a cash bar. If you're shelling out big bucks for everything else and then not having an open bar, that is weird.
  • dreamwindsdreamwinds member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If you do plan on doing a cash bar, let your guests know somehow?

    I went to a wedding recently where the bar was not open and I assumed it would be, and since the venue was in the middle of NOWHERE, I had no cash. Only a credit card and they wouldn't take credit cards. :P
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  • edited December 2011
    Ya, also beware of changing over from an open bar. FI and I never bring cash to weddings, and it was really awkward when we were at a friend's wedding, and he went to get another drink (after having multiple earlier in the night). They had run out on the paid bar, so it was then cash. His friend who he went up there with had to cover the cost of his drink, and it was super awkward. 
  • edited December 2011
    Most of our friends know about it cuz I've been complaining, lol! I'm still gonna try to convince FI but if I can't then I will let people know so they can plan on bringing cash or be ready to pay after a few drinks. My wedding is not over the top at all, we are having some nice surprises for our guests but I would say we are having a budget wedding.
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    we are having an open bar but we have a limit and when we reach that limit, my parents will be notified.  at that point, they can choose to up the limit, close the bar, or turn it into a cash bar
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