Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???

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Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???

  • Just went to a wedding last night with free beer, wine and pop, and a cash bar for the rest. Not one person complained. NOT ONE. And as a guest I would rather pay for a drink than not have the options, especially since i am not a beer/wine/pop person.

    I think sometimes etuqiette needs to change for specific weddings. Etiquette is not one size fits all and I just wish people would realize that more often.

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  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]Just went to a wedding last night with free beer, wine and pop, and a cash bar for the rest. Not one person complained. NOT ONE. And as a guest I would rather pay for a drink than not have the options, especially since i am not a beer/wine/pop person. I think sometimes etuqiette needs to change for specific weddings. Etiquette is not one size fits all and I just wish people would realize that more often. Posted by shilotony2012[/QUOTE] Actually etiquette doesn't change just because the bride and groom can't afford the bar, or just because you didn't hear anyone complain. If I am rude to someone, but they don't complain, that doesn't make me any less rude.
  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:I guess I don't "get" why it's an either or option. For us, alcohol isn't an 'extra'.nbsp;nbsp; There may be levels that can be provided we didn't toast with Crystale and opted for a moderately priced domestic sparkling wine as an example but the idea of no alcohol never entered the picture. Likewise, we served great food.nbsp;nbsp; The filet wasn't dry aged out of Loebel's in NYC but it was still fantastic and everyone ate well. Basically, why would you plan an event, book a venue, buy clothing, etc and then consider alcohol as an afterthought?nbsp;nbsp; I just don't get the thought processing.Posted by banana468I bet if we went on Ancestry.com we would find out we were related. Posted by lyndausvi[/QUOTE] You're probably right! Postjack: I hope we can meet! I was so excited that we were going to possibly meet up in 2009 when we gad tickets to the ALCS. Hopefully the stars align better. :
  • shilotony2012shilotony2012 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited May 2013
    In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???: Actually etiquette doesn't change just because the bride and groom can't afford the bar, or just because you didn't hear anyone complain. If I am rude to someone, but they don't complain, that doesn't make me any less rude.
    Posted by cmgilpin[/QUOTE]

    Its not only because the couple cant afford it, its the CIRCLE OF PEOPLE. And yes, if the couple would rather invite more friends and family to the wedding, but cant afford a full open bar, should they disclude PEOPLE? Nope. And if they know their guests want to rink and expect it, why not give the option? You dont have to drink. At the wedding last night, I didnt drink. I had water. Not because I would have paid, but I am on a wedding diet so no liquor for me. But, other weddings I have happily paid.

    Some say the $ dance is tacky, yet some families have it as a must. So yes, for that particular group of people the $ dance is not tacky therefore not against etiquette.  Each family, couple and group of friends is dfferent. Etiquette is not one size fits all. Seriously.

    Now, there are social norms that do play a part in any celebration, but its not etiqutte. It is a NORM for the area/family etc. Those I agree with. And if more people understood that this board wouldnt be so catty all the time and make brides feel like crap for doing what is a norm in their circle.

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  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???: Actually etiquette doesn't change just because the bride and groom can't afford the bar, or just because you didn't hear anyone complain. If I am rude to someone, but they don't complain, that doesn't make me any less rude.Posted by cmgilpinIts not onlynbsp;because the couple cant afford it, its the CIRCLE OF PEOPLE. And yes, if the couple would rather invite more friends and family to the wedding, but cant afford a full open bar, should they disclude PEOPLE? Nope. And if they know their guests want to rink and expect it, why not give the option? You dont have to drink. At the wedding last night, I didnt drink. I had water. Not because I would have paid, but I am on a wedding diet so no liquor for me. But, other weddings I have happily paid. Some say the dance is tacky, yet some families have it as a must. So yes, for that particular group of people the dance is not tacky therefore not against etiquette.nbsp; Each family, couple and group of friends is dfferent. Etiquette is not one size fits all. Seriously. Now, there are social norms that do play a part in any celebration, but its not etiqutte. It is a NORM for the area/family etc. Those I agree with. And if more people understood that this board wouldnt be so catty all the time and make brides feel like crap for doing what is a norm in their circle. Posted by shilotony2012[/QUOTE] Again, you are confusing etiquette with traditions. Money dances are against etiquette. Read any etiquette book and it will tell you so. Does that mean a group of people in your social circle realize that? No. They might not know any better and think its super cool fun. But that doesn't make it a good etiquette idea. It just means that the bride and groom are getting away with poor etiquette because their family and friends don't know any better. This is an etiquette forum. No one here is being catty or rude, but we aren't going to say "oh yeah, if that's normal in your circle, go ahead" when the idea is clearly against proper etiquette.
  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???: Again, you are confusing etiquette with traditions. Money dances are against etiquette. Read any etiquette book and it will tell you so. Does that mean a group of people in your social circle realize that? No. They might not know any better and think its super cool fun. But that doesn't make it a good etiquette idea. It just means that the bride and groom are getting away with poor etiquette because their family and friends don't know any better. This is an etiquette forum. No one here is being catty or rude, but we aren't going to say "oh yeah, if that's normal in your circle, go ahead" when the idea is clearly against proper etiquette.
    Posted by cmgilpin[/QUOTE]

    Again, etiquette needs to change. Things that were good etiquette YEARS ago are no more. read any past etiquette books and Ill bet there are things that arent done anymore or are no longer against it. And no I do not have examples, too late to look for them. Just look at how things are different now though. I just know that some things my mom had to do because of etiquette, I dont.  And, I rarely come on this particular board because of all the cattyness and rudeness to brides asking question.

    I have seen some that are very helpful, but for the most part its not that way, sadly. It makes me sad because past brides could be such a huge resource to planning brides. I think the idea of this board is great, but honestly when you get a group of women together, anywhere RL or Online, it doesnt always turn out well :(. And Im not knocking this board, well completely, but I belong to a few sites that are women only, and most turn out this way. Anyway, have a great night, i will never agree with this topic.

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???: You're probably right! Postjack: I hope we can meet! I was so excited that we were going to possibly meet up in 2009 when we gad tickets to the ALCS. Hopefully the stars align better. :
    Posted by banana468[/QUOTE]

    I know.   Someday it will happen.


    I think it's really sad that some people want to change the rules of etiquette when it comes to hosting.   Why stop at bar?  Why not just ask everyone to pay for their own meals?  Or pay to cover the costs of the band?  When people start thinking 1 items is okay for their guests to open their wallets on someone else will push it to another item.  I'm not saying it will happen next year or in the next 5 years.  But I see a trend that will including selling tickets to hosted events in the future.  That makes me sad.








    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. 
  • I prefer a cash bar to a dry wedding, but I still judge the heck out of it. I went to a wedding where everyone thought there would be wine and beer, but there was just a cash bar, and I swear people were actually annoyed at the bride. I was glad to be able to get a drink, but I wouldn't want to have any negative vibes sent at me at my wedding, either.
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  • What about cutting out the punch and offering JUST beer or JUST wine, on top of soft drinks? If you offer:

    Beer OR wine
    Coke
    Diet Coke
    Lemonade
    Water
    Champagne toast optional

    I think that would be plenty.

  • edited May 2013
    Guests have spent a good bit of money on travel, attire, and gifts.  They should not need to open their wallets at the event and a number of guests may not drink because they cannot afford it.

    I would rather have boxed wine and canned/keg beer than a cash bar, if that's what the couple can afford.  Those things can be hidden behind the bar (and keg beer is just beer on tap) but I've never really seen them be hidden.  Our criteria for selecting venue and caterer included being able to provide our own alcohol without corkage fees, because we realized we couldn't afford an open bar if we were paying markup.  Instead we paid $2pp for mixers/garnishes and a fee for the bartenders.

    Lynda, we had someone try to insist 5 days before the wedding that they should be able to "buy a ticket" for someone we'd never met - and no, this was not someone who didn't know anyone, they knew and got along with almost the entire guest list quite well.
  • I think a cash bar is fine. If you dont want to open your wallet and buy a drink then dont. I would rather pay for my own drink than to have a dry wedding. Also when you have an open bar people tend to abuse it and get super drunk then the bride is left mad at the way some people acted. I am having a cash bar at my wedding and I dont care who thinks its rude if you dont have $20 to spend on drinks then maybe you should have stayed home. Do whatever you can afford its your day as long as you are happy thats all that matters :)
  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]I think a cash bar is fine. If you dont want to open your wallet and buy a drink then dont. I would rather pay for my own drink than to have a dry wedding. Also when you have an open bar people tend to abuse it and get super drunk then the bride is left mad at the way some people acted. I am having a cash bar at my wedding and I dont care who thinks its rude if you dont have 20 to spend on drinks then maybe you should have stayed home. Do whatever you can afford its your day as long as you are happy thats all that matters : Posted by roterrarumph[/QUOTE] Oh FFS. Do we really need one of these in every bar thread? There's so much wrong in that post just go back to putting your head in...the sand.
  • In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]I agree that a cash bar is rude, but as a guest I would prefer that to no alcohol. I know most people will disagree with me on that. 
    Posted by emeejeeayen[/QUOTE]

    I agree. Who doesn't love an open Bar? But as a guest, I hands down rather have the option to purchase a drink then not get a drink at all.

    I have been to countless cash bars.... and have never once been offended.
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  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:I agree that a cash bar is rude, but as a guest I would prefer that to no alcohol. I know most people will disagree with me on that.nbsp;Posted by emeejeeayenI agree. Who doesn't love an open Bar? But as a guest, I hands down rather have the option to purchase a drink then not get a drink at all.I have beennbsp;to countless cash bars.... and have never once been offended. Posted by bubblegum1309[/QUOTE] Whether or not YOU were offended isn't the grounds for determining if something is correct. It's rude to charge people for the items they want to consume at a wedding. Period. Using your logic, it's fine that my husband farts in front of me. I'm not offended so it must be perfectly fine for him to do that in front of anyone!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]I think a cash bar is fine. If you dont want to open your wallet and buy a drink then dont. I would rather pay for my own drink than to have a dry wedding. Also when you have an open bar people tend to abuse it and get super drunk then the bride is left mad at the way some people acted. I am having a cash bar at my wedding and I dont care who thinks its rude if you dont have $20 to spend on drinks then maybe you should have stayed home. Do whatever you can afford its your day as long as you are happy thats all that matters :)
    Posted by roterrarumph[/QUOTE]

    So you want your guests to help supplement your wedding costs?

    Also you can just as easily get drunk when you spend money (have you never been to a bar and seen some of the crazy drunk a$$es?) versus when the alcohol is free.

    Oh and the bolded, major eye roll

  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Just because you've never heard anyone complain doesn't mean they weren't upset. It means they had the good graces not to complain at the wedding.

    I've complained about several weddings while on the way home, in the car, in private, with my FI only. 

    Some examples: I was upset the couple had a cash bar because I don't carry cash when I go to a wedding; I was also peeved the couple expected us to pay for our drinks. 

    Another couple had a honeymoon donation jar and had a dollar dance that lasted thirty freaking minutes while we stood around bored out of our minds. We'd already given them $100. If we'd wanted to give more, we would have. 

    A third couple had a four-hour gap between the wedding and dinner. We weren't staying at a hotel, so we had to find a place to hang out, in our wedding clothes, while waiting for the reception to start. When we got there, they didn't have enough chairs, so some of us had to sit outside on picnic tables, in our wedding clothes.

    I didn't say anything to anyone because I am too polite and believe in social graces, but I was pretty ticked and annoyed, and you can bet it colored my friendship with these people. Just because someone doesn't call you out for being rude doesn't mean you aren't being rude.

  • So I guess this isn't an etiquette board anymore....
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]I think a cash bar is fine. If you dont want to open your wallet and buy a drink then dont. I would rather pay for my own drink than to have a dry wedding. Also when you have an open bar people tend to abuse it and get super drunk then the bride is left mad at the way some people acted. I am having a cash bar at my wedding and I dont care who thinks its rude if you dont have $20 to spend on drinks then maybe you should have stayed home. Do whatever you can afford its your day as long as you are happy thats all that matters :)
    Posted by roterrarumph[/QUOTE]

    This is piss poor advice.  If you want a bar, host it properly.  If that means cutting back to beer/wine, so be it.  Or, cut back on other areas of your wedding budget in order to host the bar you want.  Perhaps you cut the guest list.  As an adult hosting an event, you need to prioritize what's important to you.  In no way is allowing guests to pay for anything an acceptable option.

    By the way, as soon as you invite guests, the day is no longer about you.  In fact, the reception is a thank you to your guests.  It's not all about you.  Get over yourself.
  • In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]I think a cash bar is fine. If you dont want to open your wallet and buy a drink then dont. I would rather pay for my own drink than to have a dry wedding. Also when you have an open bar people tend to abuse it and get super drunk then the bride is left mad at the way some people acted. I am having a cash bar at my wedding and I dont care who thinks its rude if you dont have $20 to spend on drinks then maybe you should have stayed home. Do whatever you can afford its your day as long as you are happy thats all that matters :)
    Posted by roterrarumph[/QUOTE]

    What the hell?   This is horrible advice. The bride being happy is NOT all that matters.  If that's how you want it to be, elope and don't invite anyone to your wedding.

    HOST what you can afford.  You wouldn't invite someone over to your home and say "water is free, but if you want the iced tea, it's a dollar".    it's horribly rude.   Anyone who says otherwise should stop hosting events until they figure out how to be a proper host.
  • I have attended weddings with a cash bar, and was not offended at all.  I've also attended dry weddings and never thought, gee I wish I could purchase alcohol.  My fiance and I do not drink so we will not be providing alcohol for others to drink.   Hope you find some helpful advice. 

    Please remember that you know your guests best, and whatever you decide will be just fine.  You will not be graded by the wedding police on how well you followed social norms  :))
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited May 2013
    In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]I have attended weddings with a cash bar, and was not offended at all.  I've also attended dry weddings and never thought, gee I wish I could purchase alcohol.  My fiance and I do not drink so we will not be providing alcohol for others to drink.   Hope you find some helpful advice.  Please remember that you know your guests best, and whatever you decide will be just fine.  You will not be graded by the wedding police on how well you followed social norms  :))
    Posted by jna0941[/QUOTE]

    If your only reason not to provide alcohol for your guests is because YOU don't drink, that's a poor excuse.  I'm sure many of your guests would enjoy it.  AGAIN, the reception is for your guests, not your and your FI. 
  • In Response to Re:Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:I have attended weddings with a cash bar, and was not offended at all.nbsp; I've also attended dry weddings and never thought, gee I wish I could purchase alcohol.nbsp;nbsp;My fiance and I do not drink so we will not be providing alcoholnbsp;for others to drink.nbsp; nbsp;Hope you find some helpful advice.nbsp; Please remember that you know your guests best, and whatever you decide will be just fine.nbsp; You will not be graded by the wedding police on how well you followed social normsnbsp; :Posted by jna0941If your only reason not to provide alcohol for your guests is because YOU don't drink, that's a poor excuse.nbsp;nbsp;I'm sure many of your guests would enjoy it.nbsp; AGAIN, the reception is for your guests, not your and your FI.nbsp; Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE] Why in the world do we tell people dry weddings are acceptable only to criticize people for having one? This lady doesn't need alcohol at her wedding, whatever her reasoning. Alcohol is very expensive and as long as she's properly hosting her guests she's in the right. There's so much wrong in this thread, don't pick out the one person who's not breaking any etiquette laws.
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  • If you have a dry wedding, some people might be bummed about no alcohol. If you have a cash bar, some people might be offended because it's rude. Personally, I'd prefer the former. It's okay if some people are disappointed, but I wouldn't want people to think I'm rude. 

    I agree with everyone else. Depending on how many gallons of champagne punch you're getting, you could get a keg or two of beer and a few magnums of wine. I'd be happier with that, and then just saying when it's out, it's out, than with the champagne punch OR the cash bar OR the dry wedding. 
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  • I didn't know cash bars were rude until I came to the Knot. The only weddings I've been to in my life that weren't cash bars were in different parts of the country. I understand that they are rude and why and I agree. They simply don't bother me...nor does cocktail hour open bar or drink tickets. What really pisses me off is if I have to pay for soft drinks or if there isn't enough water available.

    With that said, I have used the "don't let your guests open their wallets" mentality through my own process and made reductions to make it affordable. I am having a sunday brunch (people will drink less) with signature drinks (mimosas and bloody marys) and a limited bar (no top shelf alcohol or imported beers and only sparkling wine). Lots of soft drinks (water, lemonade and punch all readily available, soda at the bar).

    My FIL graciously offered to pay for it all. If he didn't, I would've only had the signature drinks available.

    For my first wedding, I had wine at the tables (only). People did leave my venue room to go out into the restaurant to the bar to get other drinks but that was their own choice, I did host them properly inside.
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  • HeatherMD02HeatherMD02 member
    First Comment
    edited May 2013

    Maybe it's different where I'm from, but cash bars are the norm. Yeah, it sucks and is disappointing when I couldn't order a drink if I didn't bring enough money, but when I go to a wedding, I go for the couple who are starting their lives together, not for myself. I've read this entire thread and when I see "the reception is for the guests", even as a guest I'd call foul on that. When I go to an event, it's to celebrate the couple getting married. Everything is about them, and how happy they look. So I'd settle with a cash bar and be perfectly fine, not feel entitled to free booze.


    As a host, I would certainly TRY my hardest to provide an open bar if I could afford it because I would want my guests to be happy and have fun, but if I could only afford a cash bar, I'd rather do that than tell my guests "sorry. No drinks for you!" Every wedding I've ever been to has been cash bar and I've not only not seen anyone complain, but everyone is always happy and smiling anyway, because this is a special event. Your family and friends must not care very much about you in the first place if they'd so easily judge you over something like alcohol.


    Not to mention, everyone is talking about just having a dry wedding. At dry weddings, as others have stated in the thread, guests are just going to leave early to go to bars and stuff to pay for drinks anyway. Why not just at least save them the walk and have a place like that available to them near by?


    Talking about how the reception is "for the guests" and then turning around and saying "It doesn't matter what you would want, as a guest!" Hypocrite, much? Glad I stumbled across this thread early long before any real planning started. Already learned not to take everything you see here too seriously.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    In Response to Re: Cash Bar or No Bar at all after Cocktail Hour???:
    [QUOTE]Maybe it's different where I'm from, but cash bars are the norm. Yeah, it sucks and is disappointing when I couldn't order a drink if I didn't bring enough money, but when I go to a wedding, I go for the couple who are starting their lives together, not for myself. I've read this entire thread and when I see "the reception is for the guests", even as a guest I'd call foul on that. When I go to an event, it's to celebrate the couple getting married. Everything is about them, and how happy they look. So I'd settle with a cash bar and be perfectly fine, not feel entitled to free booze. As a host, I would certainly TRY my hardest to provide an open bar if I could afford it because I would want my guests to be happy and have fun, but if I could only afford a cash bar, I'd rather do that than tell my guests "sorry. No drinks for you!" Every wedding I've ever been to has been cash bar and I've not only not seen anyone complain, but everyone is always happy and smiling anyway, because this is a special event. Your family and friends must not care very much about you in the first place if they'd so easily judge you over something like alcohol. Not to mention, everyone is talking about just having a dry wedding. At dry weddings, as others have stated in the thread, guests are just going to leave early to go to bars and stuff to pay for drinks anyway. Why not just at least save them the walk and have a place like that available to them near by? Talking about how the reception is "for the guests" and then turning around and saying "It doesn't matter what you would want, as a guest!" Hypocrite, much? Glad I stumbled across this thread early long before any real planning started. Already learned not to take everything you see here too seriously.
    Posted by HeatherMD02[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I don't agree that alcohol has to be present, even if guests have to pay for it.

    Guests have to learn to accept that no alcohol or limited alcohol might be available and have fun anyway, and hosts have to learn to accept that they don't make something available that they're not willing to cover the costs of themselves.
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