California-San Diego

What should I do...

So my fiance and I have been engaged for almost 4 months now and have yet to decide on a venue location.... until last week.  I am 99.9% sure on the venue and plan to go in a couple weeks to see it set up for a wedding.  Its a country club and we would be the only event that day.  After spending yesterday with part of my extended family to get their input on cash vs. open bar they have made me more confused.  They are telling me a cash bar is more than okay and suggested we pay for just a champagne toast.  After reading articles on the knot, i feel almost like I have to do an open bar because its rude if we don't but we can't provide our own alcohol.  Open bar for 3 hours plus wine with dinner will be an extra $30 a head.  I am hoping local San Diego brides can help me with deciding on what to do, as I feel San Diego is a little more laid back than other parts of the country. Thanks in advance!


Re: What should I do...

  • We are paying for an open bar for 5 hours.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Having your guests pay for anything at the wedding including having a cash bar is against etiquette. Will the venue allow you to just host beer and wine and not include any liquor for sale? Would that help lower the cost? You can also skip a champagne toast and just have guests toast with the beverage they have in hand to save that cost.
  • We factored in hosting beer and wine for the duration of the event, but the venue we are looking at its only $4 more per person to include well drinks.  it would be 3 1/2 hours of open bar.  My fiance thinks we could do champagne toast and cocktail hour hosted and the rest of the time cash, and now hearing from my family that we should do a cash bar, hes pushing for it more.  overall it was save us about 3500 if we don't do the bar which is great but I don't know if its really worth it since its not that much.
  • We are doing a beer and wine open bar for 5 hours - the entire duration of our reception. We are supplying the beer and wine ourselves and hired a bartender through our caterer. We just wanted to host it, and this was the only option within our budget. 

    That said, I would not be offended if I were a guest at a wedding with a cash bar. I understand how expensive weddings are, and how costly it can be to provide an open bar. Not a big deal to me. If your social circle doesn't seem to have an issue with it, I say go for it. My only suggestion would be - if you do go with a cash bar, indicate that somehow on your invitation or website. I never carry cash, and I was recently at a wedding with a cash bar with no cash, and no ATM in site. In other words help them be prepared with cash in hand. :) 
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  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Just do beer and wine if you can't afford an entire open bar. But make sure it's hosted for the entire reception. Don't close it at any point - that's just embarrassing.



    Anniversary
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  • There are LOTS of options rather than buying the bar package. We are going to put a bottle of wine ($18 each through our country club venue) on every table and close the bar during dinner. Then we're going to open the bar after dinner, but beer/ wine only. We're going to pay by consumption and put a dollar limit on it, so no surprise bar bill at the end of the night. Our guests are by and large not heavy drinkers so this made the most sense for us. Hope it helps!
    [Deleted User]
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    There are LOTS of options rather than buying the bar package. We are going to put a bottle of wine ($18 each through our country club venue) on every table and close the bar during dinner. Then we're going to open the bar after dinner, but beer/ wine only. We're going to pay by consumption and put a dollar limit on it, so no surprise bar bill at the end of the night. Our guests are by and large not heavy drinkers so this made the most sense for us. Hope it helps!
    What if you reach that limit? And is the bar tender ringing up every single drink so you know when it's time to cut your guests off?



    Anniversary
    image

    image
  • There are LOTS of options rather than buying the bar package. We are going to put a bottle of wine ($18 each through our country club venue) on every table and close the bar during dinner. Then we're going to open the bar after dinner, but beer/ wine only. We're going to pay by consumption and put a dollar limit on it, so no surprise bar bill at the end of the night. Our guests are by and large not heavy drinkers so this made the most sense for us. Hope it helps!
    What if you reach that limit? And is the bar tender ringing up every single drink so you know when it's time to cut your guests off?
    Our caterer also does this. I don't know how the bartender(s) keep track but somehow they do, and then they will notify the client when the tab limit is approaching and ask whether they want to shut the bar down, or leave it open for another set amount. We are not going this route, but our caterer said they do this often. 
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  • kay136kay136 member
    100 Comments First Anniversary

    We are paying for open bar for 5 hours for our guests. We had the option to have them ring up each drink but I didn't feel like I would be able to trust them with that so we just did open bar.

    To be honest, I hate when I do to a wedding with a cash bar. I think it's rude to ask guests to pay for anything at the wedding. To me, it's like inviting people to your house and asking them to pay for drinks.

    I do agree that there are ways to cut the cost like doing only wine and beer. And I totally understnad it's overwhelming. When you think about how much money you are spending on drinks it's crazy! But your guests will love it.

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  • There are LOTS of options rather than buying the bar package. We are going to put a bottle of wine ($18 each through our country club venue) on every table and close the bar during dinner. Then we're going to open the bar after dinner, but beer/ wine only. We're going to pay by consumption and put a dollar limit on it, so no surprise bar bill at the end of the night. Our guests are by and large not heavy drinkers so this made the most sense for us. Hope it helps!
    What if you reach that limit? And is the bar tender ringing up every single drink so you know when it's time to cut your guests off?
    Our caterer also does this. I don't know how the bartender(s) keep track but somehow they do, and then they will notify the client when the tab limit is approaching and ask whether they want to shut the bar down, or leave it open for another set amount. We are not going this route, but our caterer said they do this often. 
    This, exactly. We'll probably put around $1500 at the bar and they'll approach us when it's running out. We can either say, yes, put another $x towards the bar, or say no, and I assume the DJ can announce the bar is closing in around 15 minutes.
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