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danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
A wedding is about the COUPLE, not about getting free drinks. I've never been to a wedding with an open bar and would never expect that. It's not tacky to have a cash bar, I'd MUCH rather the bride and groom put that money towards something else more important (other wedding expenses, bills, food costs, honeymoon, etc). It's really sad to see people criticizing couples for doing what they can afford.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
Cash bars are pretty standard at Tejano weddings, which are what I usually go to... So I don't consider it tacky. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to an open bar wedding (must be a regional/cultural thing). We had a unique situation at our wedding... Our venue had no liquor license, but we could BRING IN alcohol so long as we didn't sell it (yes, we checked with the county and stuff). We asked some friends to man the bar (which they were more than happy to do) and we bought 3 kegs. On the invites we put something like BYO booze, beer will be provided (only nicer wording, of course!). Everyone LOVED it! They got exactly what they wanted and were able to take home leftovers. One of my husband's cousins brought a bottle of Mexican tequila (ick!), our friends bought us a bottle of apple mead (yum!) and the bridesmaids went nuts on Rumplemints. We also bought wine for everyone for the toast. I think our total alcohol cost was under $300 for over 250 people. Funny thing, people brought so much of their own liquor we only tapped one of the kegs! We sent the extra kegs home with the bartender friends for the long weekend. I was super worried beforehand about people overindulging since there was no official bartender to cut them off, but only two or three did, which wasn't bad at all, considering... It also alleviated a conflict re: alcohol... My in-laws don't drink, and in no way wanted to chip in for others to do so. Hubby & I paid for the beer, best man paid for the wine. End of story.
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
Chouette, I'm in NJ and work in a catering hall in NY, so our prices may be much higher than elsewhere in the country, but I can tell you the pricing in our hall so you have some idea of the variation. A beer/wine/soda bar is $10/pp. For an open bar with domestic beer, the price is $17/pp; with imported beer it rises to $18/pp. For a premium bar (top shelf liquors, etc) the price goes up to $21/pp. So yes, it can get very pricey. However, in my area it's considered the *height* of tacky to have a cash bar at a wedding. To be honest with you, I don't think I've ever actually seen it done at my catering hall, and I've been there since I was 14 (almost 7 years, now). I have seen tab bars, but the host pays the tab. That's sometimes a good route to go, because that way you're paying only for what your guests actually drink, as opposed to paying for every over-21 guest's right to drink regardless of whether they do so or not. I wouldn't ever go with a cash bar, myself. It's simply not done in my area, and my boyfriend's family and mine both do drink. His parents used to own a bar, actually, so not serving liquor would be very out of character. I would do the open bar, but I wouldn't bother upgrading to the premium; honestly, I don't think it changes the drinks too drastically and though it's never happened where I work, there are plenty of disreputable establishments that pour house liquors into top-shelf bottles.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I think it is extremely tacky to have a cash bar.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
I have been to several weddings lately at hotels or golf clubs where beer, wine and champagne all were freely poured. Any cocktails could be purchased. I like a cocktail and did not mind making the purchase from a nearby bar at the site. I did not miss out on any of the reception. Paying for an open bar is really too expensive and not necessary.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
My husband and I eloped, so I didn't have to deal with this and I am wondering how much it cost to have an open bar all night for those of you that went that route. How much more does it cost compared to just having beer and wine?
Marci Marci 8 years
I'm with HaterTot. If you can't afford to have the big reception, then don't. There are lots of other ways to do it, but don't put on the big show and then surprise your guests with suddenly having to pay for drinks.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Sorry, but not everyone can afford to have open bar at their wedding receptions. For our wedding, we knew that almost no one in my family would be drinking, but a lot of my husband's family likes beer at weddings. So we had a keg and anyone who wanted free beer could have as much as they wanted. Anyone who wanted a specialty drink or a bottled beer could get it from the cash bar. And we had champagne for everyone for the toast. I guess I figured if anyone was too snobby for free beer, then they could pay for a drink. It's kind of rude to make assumptions that people who have a cash bar are somehow tacky and/or rude. Not everyone goes to weddings to get hammered, you know.
amers230 amers230 8 years
As a former hotel banquet server I can tell you that the only time dry weddings really worked were when the families were obviously religious and doing so for that reason. Otherwise they ended verrrrrry early. When people had cash bars, a portion of the group would almost always end up at the hotel bar and not enjoying the reception. To cut back, I'd suggest not offering wine service at the table and even not doing a champagne toast (or see if you can use the non-alchoholic stuff instead, it's usually way cheaper.) As for bringing your own alcohol in, most hotels and banquet halls around here won't allow that at all. They'll order any specialty items you want, but of course then you're getting the mark up. In all honesty, I personally think if you're looking to cut costs, I look avoid touching the alcohol budget.
kaks11 kaks11 8 years
Most weddings I have been do only have certain drinks included (normally just beer & wine) - or some couples have a "Signature drink" that they include for the guests as well. I don't expect people to do open bar!
doogirl doogirl 8 years
I've been married almost 13 years. For my Reception we had it in the garden of my Grandma's house, which was huge and beautiful and fit 250 people easily! We had a keg of beer, some boxed wines, and magnums of Champagne for the toasts. It was perfect! Everyone had a great time, it wasn't crazy expensive, people still tell me it was the best party they've ever been to, almost 13 years later!
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 8 years
I think cash bars are sort of tacky, but I also sympathize with those who do since alcohol is SO expensive. I am getting married in September, and right from the start I decided that I wanted a limited bar (only red wine, white wine, beer and prosecco) because 1) it is SO MUCH CHEAPER and 2) I don't like hard alcohol in general, and when it is readily available people are a lot more likely to get really drunk and unrulely. I have had a couple of people get snarky about this choice, but my wedding, my decision!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Exactly Yum.
Food Food 8 years
Someone once told me that if guests complain about a limited bar, then it's fair to say that they're probably not attending for the right reasons.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Tidal I don't think it is but then again I had a dry wedding. I guess I'm just the type that doesn't pay attention to that sort of thing. I've been to full open bar weddings, and cash bar weddings, combos etc. I just look at it as it's the couples day, it's their wedding, their money ( or their families, whatever the case may be), I'm just honored to be invited. The type of bar or reception etc they had doesn't affect my opinion of the couple or the wedding at all.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Is having an hour of open bar then turning it to cash really that bad? Really?
HaterTot HaterTot 8 years
Cash bar at a wedding is tacky, tacky, tacky. If you can't afford it, then you're probably spending too much on the whole affair at your guests' expense. If you don't know that many people who drink, or you have some moral objection to alcohol - then just have a dry event. Drink tickets, an hour of open bar followed by cash for the remaining majority of the event, or worse, an entire event with cash bar just screams, "I can't actually afford this." It's one thing to switch to cash at the very end of the night when the reception is winding down (since most venues have a set hour when they stop open bar), but it's quite another to ask your guests to travel to your event, buy you a gift, and then pay for their own drinks for most of the night.
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