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Your Two Cents: Are Cash Bars at Weddings Tacky?

Weddings are often boozy affairs, but should the bride and groom be on the hook for the big bar bill?


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Massie47 Massie47 5 years
OOOOOOOOOOOOOK! Let me tell you the truth. If you have a problem with a cash bar, then you would be doing EVERYONE a favor by just not coming. Maybe some of you had an open bar wedding and had more flexibility then others. However, you get free food, you get free cokes, you get free cake, you have a band or DJ, you might meet some hot chick and score later! It's costing the Bride,Groom, and their family an arm and a leg already.   Im a bartender, I know what happens when alcohol is free. People get carried away, order things they wouldn't normally drink, order alot more then they would normally drink. It's not uncommon for a bill to go up to 3,000-5,000 dollars for a few hours of free alcohol.   Im getting married and this has been a fight. My future mother in law booked a place that has far too many restrictions. Had she booked a place where we could bring our own. I could have got a bartender, bought the alcohol myself for 500 bucks and everyone could have drunk as much as they want. No problems.   However, this place charges normal price's. 3 dollars domestic, 4 dollar wells. Throw in 130-150 people. Alot of which DRINK ALOT! Then Im not sure I have enough in Credit Card's to pay for it.   Im the GUY getting married. I HAVE NO CHOICE IN VENUES! I really have no say in ANYTHING! I just have to pay for ALOT of stuff. Not all, just alot. My fiance is paying for alot. Her parents are paying for alot, my parents are paying for alot.   We are providing a cocktail hour of Beer, Wine, and a signature cocktail for FREE. Then a set amount, once it's capped. It's cash bar.   Now let me throw some numbers your way.   We each make about 40,000 to 45,000 a year. The engagement ring was about 4,000 The venue is 750 The flowers are 1400 The dress was 600 My fiance bought her Bridesmaids dresses about 500 About 3000 in food A cake at about 200 Decorations about 500 19 percent labor fee and 6 percent tax and EVERYTHING at the venue. For every 4000 spent, add another 1000 at the venue. Tux rentals over 500 Our cocktail hour where it will be free Beer and Wine about 1000 Justice of the peace 150 DJ 650 only cause my fiance is a friend Photographer 500 only because Im a friend. Mothers, fathers, all buying dresses and suits. Wedding bands..More money Honeymoom over 3000 And many many more charges, rentals, ect ect ect.   If any guest thinks WERE TACKY cause they get free food, free beer and wine for an hour, A DJ, good friends. good times. And then once it's capped have to pay 3 dollars for a Bud Light. And they act as if they are insulted and we are CHEAP! Then can go straight to hell. I don't want them there. They are obviously not my true friends. And if they are related to me and still complain. I remember having to pay at their cash bar at their wedding. I didnt mind at all!  I have no problem if they don't wanna come. And if they complain to me during the wedding, I have no problem kicking them out the door.   I realize this is the INTERNET. SO alot of people complaining probably wouldnt talk this way in person. And some of you may have grown up in different area's, higher incomes, ect. But TOO BAD!   If you're intention of the wedding is to get free drinks. You don't belong there. Out of respect for whichever wedding you're going to. You need to understand they have already spent ALOT of money for you. If it's a problem, again I say DONT COME!   Im happy to pay for a party to a certain extent, happy to pay for some of the alcohol. But everyone has a budget. And Im not gonna take food away, get rid of the cake, buy cheaper flowers, ect just so you can get drunk for free.   Also there is no shame in having a cash bar the WHOLE TIME. So anyone reading some of these comments and thinking "Oh my god we need a cash bar now, it's tacky." NO ITS NOT!   Thousands upon Thousands of dollars go into a wedding. Paying for a few disrespectful people who might be 'offended" by cash bars alcohol. Toss them aside, they are not your true friends. You don't need them at your wedding.   We live in a society where some people feel someone else should PAY for their "Stuff". You're already spending an arm and a leg. They can go elsewhere with their complaints.   If you have the budget to do an open bar, Great. if I did I would. But I don't. And alot of you don't as well. And maybe a couple guests have a problem with it. They may think "Im bringing a gift, I shouldn't pay". Well alot of those people who complain don't even bring gifts.   My fiance had a co worker trying to get other co workers to chip in 5 dollars for a gift. Two of them said no, then turned around and talked about how they were gonna get drunk at the wedding. Needless to say they are uninvited. We have no problem doing that again. It doesn't matter if you bring a gift or not. But people with those kinds of intentions obviously don't care about you.   Weddings are a celebration of LOVE, not a drunk fest for losers who can't afford a 3 dollar beer!    
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Anon, perhaps you should "grow up" and read the commenting policy of this site, which expressly prohibits personal attacks. Also, I'd love for you to point out where I said I need alcohol to have fun. It's really none of your business, but I'm sure you'd be surprised to learn that I very rarely drink (maybe once every other month). And, when I do, it's 1-2 glasses of wine. Of course on this thread I "care more about the alcohol part;" that's what this thread is specifically about! No, it's not going to kill me to have to buy my own alcohol (and, as I've already stated, I often go without it for many nights!). It's also not going to kill the bride and groom to provide drinks. Be a gracious host and grow up. Perhaps it says a lot about you if you feel you need to come on here, rudely comment on a thread from ages ago, and make assumptions that are simply untrue... You have to love anonymous comments, they always make me laugh! :rotfl:
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I never said it was a deal-breaker that would make me not attend, just that I think it's tacky. Also, interesting how you brought it back to weddings when I clearly specified that I was dealing with #154's comments regarding other BYOB events.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Actually, I think it's super-tacky to have BYOB parties (perhaps even more so than having a cash bar at a wedding). This doesn't apply to weddings, but in the case of parties with BYOB, if you don't want to be paying for others' alcohol, don't have a party!
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
Smacks & Spectra have good solutions! I agree with them. Provide a few basics & if anyone wants something else then have premiere services available. I just detest the thought of inviting all those guests & then CHARGING them to celebrate your happy day. Seems kind of prudish. I'm always up for intelligent respectful debate & compromise.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
This is pushing some buttons. I am laughing so hard right now reading all the comments. OK look. I have been to many weddings. None, absolutely none were a cash bar. I've been to beer and wine only, all the way up to everything you want. However when it runs out that's it. No more. Most people have a small budget to give you some drinks for a while. At my wedding if we had charged for beer there would have been an uprising! Would we expect our guests to reach even deeper into their pockets? Nope. No way would a savvy European wedding in Holland be charging for beer. Besides I never wanted to look back and know people remembered us as cheap. No way. So I found a way to cough up the change. It wasn't that much anyway. I think the tab was $700 for about 70 people for four hours.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I don't think it's tacky, but then again, I think weddings are so over-the-top expensive, and unnecessarily so. I see a lot of friends feel embarrassed that they can't afford a pricey wedding, and so they go into debt to pay for open bars and the like... and then they start out their marriage in debt. Not a good way to begin your life together. I think a good compromise is having beer/wine (or maybe just certain kinds of cocktails, like a themed one) available for guests. If they want hard liquor, then they can pay for it themselves. If I ever get married, that's what I would do. But as I said, I don't love extravagant weddings, so my reception would probably be a low-key and inexpensive affair in the first place.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
" I didn't make you get married! I didn't make you have a reception. " *face palm* My theory, like it's been said before... if the guests are provided free non-alcoholic drinks, then a cash bar shouldn't be an issue (and no, it's not TACKY in all locations, despite your opinion). If they are upset or snooty about it, then they're at the wedding for the wrong reason. Alcohol is not necessary. There really isn't anything else to debate.
mrsld mrsld 8 years
Cluedup- Are you kidding? It's too much to expect the happy couple to pay... Dana- Same thing. If you are hosting a wedding then you are too provide your guest with everything for the celebration. If you do not want to pay for alcohol then have a dry wedding. But a cash bar is just plain TACKY. I don't care what part of the country you come from. If your budget is $5000, then throw a party fitting your budget. If that means BBQ and not Filet Mignon then so be it. If you want Filet Mignon and you only have $5000 then you will need to have a VERY short guest list. You are EXPECTED to pay for all the drinks and the food and entertainment because YOU are the one throwing the party. I didn't make you get married! I didn't make you have a reception. And for the person who said anyone who thinks it's tacky hasn't paid for a wedding. You are wrong. I did pay for my wedding. I wanted it at a very fancy restaurant, so I had a very small guest list to meet my budget constraints. I live in NJ (read: very expensive) and could not afford to host hundreds of people and provide everything that was necessary. So I had a party I could afford that made everyone happy. Sorry If I am ranting, but really people learn to live within a budget. That's how the country got into this financial mess in the first place.
omilawd omilawd 8 years
I like the idea of the bride and groom paying for beer and wine. Anything else, the guests can pay for.
ladybirda ladybirda 8 years
I'm from the South, where cash bars are common, but I still think they're tacky. Much better to provide what you can, even if it's just wine and beer. I know a young couple who bought a few cases of wine wholesale for their wedding, and it worked out great. At our venue, an open bar is the only option, which is expensive but I'm happy to skimp on flowers and invitations for it. I won't be inviting anyone with a drinking problem, however, as I think that would be irresponsible.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
Holy cow, that's a lot of money to donate! That's nice if you can afford it. :)
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
Of course my mom will pay for my wedding dress, we did not want to burden or ask anyone for anything when we know we can pay for it, in my family it is tradition for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding but in my fiance's family it is tradition the husband to be pay for the wedding. I couldnt imagine allowing my parents (grandpa, uncle, and mother) paying for anything, they are there to enjoy the day with us as we did not allow his family to contribute, well only with the cake they own a bakery and are known for their beautiful wedding cakes. The wedding will be done my way like my fiance says "he is just showing up and swiping the card." It has become very common for people to ask for donations we have already donated $400.00 to one quincenera (fiance's neice) we will be giving another $200.00 for a cousins daughters quincenera.
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