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Maine

Question??

Now that I'm talking to people who live in Maine and not all over the US....

I posted something on the main board about cash bars, that my fiance and I were deciding to go with that due to budget, the fact that we don't drink, and half of both our families are alcoholics.

I realize that it isn't etiquette but I got responses from chicago, pittsburg, and other high end cities saying I was cheap, rude, etc...I just feel (and I'm not trying to be rude) that if you want to drink alcohol you can pay for it yourself. I believe you can have fun w/out alcohol.

Are Michael and I the only ones going the cash bar route?? In most of weddings I have been to this is what is done. I for one have never been to a wedding with an open bar...

Thoughts....
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Re: Question??

  • edited December 2011
    I understand the idea behind open bars, and they are great if you have the money to do them.  I on the other hand am planning on a cash bar also.  My entire family drinks and would rather pay for it then not have it there.  I don't think it's rude.  It's a nice surprise when I arrive at a wedding and it's open bar but I bring cash to drink.. So no I don't think you're a rude horrible person.. and it's very exceptable around here I think!
  • hcorr34hcorr34 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    When I first joined on here, I was shocked to see the reactions that people had when posters suggested a cash bar.  I was partly shocked because I can't get over how rude some people can be in their responses, but I was more shocked based on personal experience.

    I currently live in Maine, but have family and friends all over New England.  I have been to 20+ weddings in my lifetime and I do not ever remember an open bar beyond a cocktail hour.  As a child, I remember walking up to the bar with cash in hand to get a coke.  Two of the last three weddings I went to were pretty ritzy affiars, one was around $100 a plate and there were 200ish people there, and there was no open bar after the cocktail hour.  The only time I have ever experienced an open bar was at a 60th birthday party and the hosts were (literally) millionaires. 

    Personally, I plan to have beer and wine available during the cocktail hour, and beyond that depends on FFIL and his wife (the offered to help us out $$ with something we felt we were skimping on but we haven't inquired yet).  I would like to have a beer/wine available for the reception too but it's not in my budget.  Considering the fact that I've been to the weddings of many of the guests (or their families) who are coming to mine, and they DIDN'T have an open bar, I don't think they will be too offended. 
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  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Sorry you didn't get the answers you wanted, but people really are trying to help you.

    Cash bars are the norm in some social circles and definitely not the norm in others.  Don't think of it as a regional thing because it varies within regions.  You know your crowd.

    However, from an *etiquette* point of view, which is universal and not really open to interpretation, a cash bar is rude because, as a *host*, you should fully host your guests.  If you can't afford alcohol, then just don't offer it.  There's nothing wrong with that.

    People would never think (hopefully) of asking guests to pay for the DJ or the food.  If someone can't afford a DJ, they do an iPod reception.  If someone can't afford a plated dinner, they do cake and punch.  But why if someone can't afford alcohol, they immediately say "guests pay for that!" instead of "well, maybe we just shouldn't have it?"

    Just something to think about.  Best of luck to you.

    EDIT:  There are also many choices that don't involve hosting a full open bar.  You can just choose to do beer and wine (cheaper) or just a signature drink.  Some people offer only non-alcohol things at the bar, but have bottles of wine on the tables for dinner.  In these ways,  alcohol is offered, you aren't breaking your budget, and guests still don't have to pay for anything. 

    Again, just some food for thought.
  • edited December 2011
    I think most people, including myself, would rather have the option to purchase it than not have it all.  Open bars are not the norm in my circle, but are always a great thing when they do happen.  I am personally never offended when there is a cash bar though, even when "etiquette" would suggest otherwise.  It's always a nice touch when there is some complimentary beverages at cocktail hour, or wine at the tables at dinner and this can be a happy medium.  However don't feel guilty if this is what you are deciding upon.  You will never make everyone happy, so do what feels right for you two.  We are providing open bar, because it's important to us since we are asking our guests to travel 4 hours to our wedding.  It works for us and it's something that we really wanted to do, but I understand why people sometimes cannot. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the PP.  FI and I are doing a cash bar as well, with th possibility of an open cocktail hour, depends on where we sit with our budget when it comes time to make the final decision.  I think that most people will be okay with it, and for those who aren't they are just going to have to deal.  You can only do so much, and I think most people will understand. 

    The other way that FI and I look at it is we don't want to pay for people to get trashed at our wedding, if people are paying for their own drinks they might be less likely to do so.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't think she was trying to be "invisible".  I think the idea though was if she comes to the Maine board she would get answers from other Mainers who are in the same situation and get more of an idea of how things are around Maine.  Please don't compare your small town to someone elses because you don't know how they are.  No need to come into someone elses board and be rude about the topic when she wasn't directing it to out of staters. 
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for your responses. The other post I put and the responses I got were kinda mean. Im not a bridezilla, furthest from it and I just felt that people were thinking that.

    I appreciate you're opinions. Thank you so much for understanding where I'm coming from.
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  • ivyrose13ivyrose13 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I just had this exact same conversation with my FI two days ago. I'm from Maine, and every wedding I have ever been to has had a cash bar, I have memories just like a PP of taking money to the bar to get a soda when I was younger. These weddings have not been hick weddings either, I should add. I think it is a local thing, and that in Maine/northern New England, cash bars are more the norm than open bars. I visited four different reception sites, and all four sites assumed the bar would be cash. I also find it funny that the only two people to comment negatively about cash bars on this post are two people that are not from Maine and likely do not spend much time up here. 

    On a more personal note, we are having a cash bar, but will offer one type of beer and one type of wine, as well as soft drinks, for our guests to drink. Both sides of our family have heavy drinkers, and FI and I are terrified about getting a $15,000 bar tab. He is from the midwest, and that is what happened at his last cousins wedding. My personal opinion is I am paying for dinner, entertainment, and refreshments for the evening. If a guest wants to get trashed, that's fine, but not on my bill. 


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  • edited December 2011
    The way I look at the "etiquette" argument is that if you were hosting a dinner party at home, your guests shouldn't expect that you'll provide them with alcohol, so why should a larger scale party (wedding) be any different?  I'd never go to a BBQ or dinner party without bringing the beverages I intend to drink - whatever that may be. 
    With that said, we scraped together enough money to have beer and wine available on us for a "cocktail hour" - we ended up over estimating how much that would really cost, and our guests drank "free" for the majority of the night.  We did this because DH was convinced his friends/family would put up a stink if we didn't offer open bar for at least part of the night. 
    The very next weekend, we attended a wedding with many of the same friends on his side - cash bar all night - and those people he had worried about drank much more at this cash bar without batting an eye than they did at our open bar. 
    I do believe it's somewhat "regional".  But, you know your crowd, and you can make the best decision based on that knowledge. 
  • schadbourneschadbourne member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    my goodness alcohol is a touchy subject.

    i like other mainahs will have a cash bar. I have never been to an open bar and didn't really consider it when looking at venues, i simply don't have budget for it. For all of those alcohol drinkers (including myself) i would rather give them the option to get alcohol vs. closing the bar down because "it is bad ettiqutte".
  • zantsterzantster member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm obviously not from Maine but one of my BMs who is coming just for me is, so that's my weak connection. :-)  From what I can tell etiquette is relative and subjective.  I am having an open bar just cause I am personally uncomfortable with the the thought of my guests paying for anything at the reception.  However, if I couldn't afford it I would probably just pick out a few affordable drinks or have just free nonalcoholic options.

    But if you are personally comfortable with a cash bar then do what works best for you.  The only bit of advice I would give is that maybe through word of mouth or some other way it would be helpful to make sure your guests are aware that nonalcoholic drinks are free but that they may want to bring a few bucks for alcoholic drinks.  I'm sure they will appreciate the courtesy heads up.  Good luck and happy planning!
  • SD3194SD3194 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Sun - I've noticed that most of the rude responses come from the same pathetic women. It's like they surf through boards in search of someone to be rude to. Most of them have been knot members for years and are still posting useless, unhelpful responses. You think they would move on already and be somewhat understanding of those women who are actually planning a wedding. Not everyone is aware of proper wedding etiquette and people shouldn't jump down your throat over a simple question. What a concept, right? These women should clearly get a life. 

    I personally don't have a problem with a cash bar. An open bar would be ideal but if it's not in your budget, throw it out. However, I do have a problem with a dry wedding. I feel that it's selfish to invite guests to a celebration and not even supply champagne or wine. I get so angry when I travel and spend money on accommodations but can't even have a glass of wine with my dinner. Hope this helps.
  • edited December 2011

    From Maine, born and raised and been to many weddings all around the state and most have always been a cash bar.  I do not see ANYTHING wrong with it at all.

    I can just imagine what some folks on here are going to say when I admit that my wedding reception is going to be BYOB! We simply cannot afford a bar of any kind, plan and simple.  And, if we say its a dry wedding 90% of my fiances family wont attend..SO...its BYOB and I think everyone will be okay with that.  I guess you could say it will be a bit of a hick party.  But we are renting a hall, doing amazing deccorations, have an aweosme DJ hired and will have yummy food done by my wonderful family.  In the end this is a celebration and if people insist on getting hammered at it..then they can pay for their own boose (either at a cash bar, or BYOB in my case!).

  • edited December 2011
    we had a cash bar and it was fine. It's your day and your guests are there for you regardless of what food or drinks you have.   I've also never been to an open bar wedding in Maine.  It's not the norm around here..
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  • Mitzic7Mitzic7 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I had this debate with my fiancee that is from a well off part of Boston and has a lot of Jewish relatives who throw extravagent gatherings. I however am from the Bangor, Maine area. He has asked people in the Boston area and full bar is the norm. I have only been to one open bar wedding in Maine and it was a bonus that you didn't have to pay for alcohol. I discussed it with my mom who agrees that cash bars are the norm in Maine. Maine is a different culture...we don't turn our noses up and think that we are "entitled" to things as a guest and as the Bride and Groom we don't "expect" someone to go out of thier way to give us a gift that they can't afford. It's about the presence of people we care about seeing our special day and for guests it's being a part of that celebration whether or not they are paying for alcohol or not. If people at my wedding are offended because they have to pay for alcohol than they should declined our inviation and save some money on a gift.
  • edited December 2011
    Mitzic7 - I love your post! Mainers ARE a special breed and I am proud to be from a state where it doesn't matter if your bar is cash or open :)


  • hcorr34hcorr34 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Question??:
    Mitzic7 - I love your post! Mainers ARE a special breed and I am proud to be from a state where it doesn't matter if your bar is cash or open :)
    Posted by rebeccakate07

    So THAT'S what the "Welcome to Maine...The way life should be" sign means when you enter the state!
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  • ivyrose13ivyrose13 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Question??:
    I had this debate with my fiancee that is from a well off part of Boston and has a lot of Jewish relatives who throw extravagent gatherings. I however am from the Bangor, Maine area. He has asked people in the Boston area and full bar is the norm. I have only been to one open bar wedding in Maine and it was a bonus that you didn't have to pay for alcohol. I discussed it with my mom who agrees that cash bars are the norm in Maine. Maine is a different culture...we don't turn our noses up and think that we are "entitled" to things as a guest and as the Bride and Groom we don't "expect" someone to go out of thier way to give us a gift that they can't afford. It's about the presence of people we care about seeing our special day and for guests it's being a part of that celebration whether or not they are paying for alcohol or not. If people at my wedding are offended because they have to pay for alcohol than they should declined our inviation and save some money on a gift.
    Posted by Mitzic7

    I agree whole heartedly!!!

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  • edited December 2011
    I'm not from Maine, but I still feel the need to add my two cents, as unpopular as it might be. I know it's not proper etiquette, but DH and I had a cash bar (which is very common in our circles), and no one batted an eye.  There were still people that drank too much, as they would have with an open bar, but we trusted our bartenders to stop serving when people reached that point. We did pay for non-alcoholic drinks so that no one was denied a beverage. Again, I know I'm in the minority in thinking this was ok, but I wouldn't do it any differently if I had it to do all over again. 

    Interestingly enough, we have only been to 1 wedding with an open bar, and people were actually talking about how snotty it seemed because it was like the couple was flaunting their money (not my opinion at all, just what other guests were saying.) There were also many who took advantage of the situation, and the couple ended up with a $14,000 bar tab. Thanks, but no. 
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  • edited December 2011
    We had a cash bar. Our venue didn't even allow open bar for more than two hours, to prevent people from getting too drunk. I wish we could have done some open bar, but it wasn't in the budget. We wanted to bring in our own alcohol, but the venue charged a crazy amount just to serve the alcohol we brought (lame), so we didn't do that. And to the girl doing BYOB, I WISH we could have done that, but ME liquour laws are strict about people bringing outside alcohol into a place already licensed to serve liquor (liability thing).

    There are options though -- free cocktail hour, drink tickets, etc. You could look into those, which would be cheaper.

    The only thing I get riled up about is not having a champagne toast. I love champagne! If you aren't going an open bar or any free drinks, a champagne toast is the least you can do.

    Do what's right for you, and it will all be fine!
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