Logan
Just Said Yes September 2022

Bar at Wedding Dilemma

Logan, on September 15, 2021 at 6:01 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 18
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Hi everyone! As I am starting to plan my wedding the biggest dilemma I have is about a bar. We are a young couple but by the wedding I will just be turning 20 and my fiancé will have just turned 21. His family are very much drinkers and my family are more like social drinkers. I know people expect a bar but my fiancé and I don't drink much anyways and we most definitely aren't loaded with money. Any advice or ideas?

18 Comments

Latest activity by A.B., on September 22, 2021 at 12:09 PM
  • S
    Beginner February 2022
    Shannon ·
    • Flag
    I would vote for a cash bar in this case! My fiancé and I are both 24 and want to drink at our wedding so we’re going with an open bar but it is SO pricey! If I wasn’t 21 no way would I be paying for that haha. I don’t think it’s too uncommon to go with the cash bar, or you could alternatively do wine and beer only since I know they can be more reasonably priced.
    • Reply
  • Rebelle Fleur
    Rockstar July 2021
    Rebelle Fleur ·
    • Flag
    I would definitely include alcohol. You have to host your guests and if body sides like to drink and it’s something you can afford I would offer it. As pp stated wine and beer only bars are a lot cheaper, so I would look into it.
    • Reply
  • Cece
    Super November 2022
    Cece ·
    • Flag
    I personally would never go the route of cash bar. It is mostly seen as poor taste and not properly hosting your guests (because guests should never have to open their wallet at your event). I would inquire about a beer and wine bar- it’s much cheaper than an open bar
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    As a guest, I would prefer no bar, especially if you don’t drink and it’s out of your budget. It’s never polite to ask your guests to pay for their own food and drinks. Not everyone likes beer and wine which people say is the “only” budget option and completely disregard other ideas. Talk to both sets of parents and see what they suggest for your situation.



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  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    If you want to be a "good" host, you need to ensure you are catering to your guests' needs above your own because you are inviting and hosting them at your wedding. You may not be drinkers yourselves but if the majority of your guests do drink, chances are there will be an expectation of alcohol and disappointment if there isn't any.

    Personally, I would advocate for having at least a basic alcohol package as I think food and beverages should be a high priority item in the budget - I disagree with PPs suggestion of a cash bar because guests should not be required to open their wallets at a wedding.

    In any event, you know your crowd better than we do so I would suggest you let that dictate what the best decision in this circumstance would be.

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  • E
    Savvy October 2021
    Elise ·
    • Flag
    Not to be too preachy, but it is your job as a host to provide adequate food and drinks for your guests. It isn’t really about your personal preferences - and it sounds like your crowd may expect alcohol as an option…. You’ll see on here TONS of different opinions on what is acceptable, but it really comes down to the social norms in your circle. Since you haven’t been to weddings as an adult, it seems like your best bet is to ask friends and family their thoughts on the different options and make your decision from there. A cash bar, beer/wine only, or signature drink may be a great compromise!
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  • Ayla
    Savvy April 2022
    Ayla ·
    • Flag
    You could do beer and wine on y’all and then cash for any liquor to kind of split it down the middle and have some sort of compromise! OR have signature cocktails available on your dime and anything else be cash. If your venue allows it, I’ve seen people have stock the bar parties and use those gifts as the alcohol for the wedding
    • Reply
  • I_Do_Too
    Dedicated September 2020
    I_Do_Too ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Agree with this. Basic bar with 1 type of beer, red and white wine, and 1 liquor with mixers.
    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag
    I definitely would include something - even if it is a basic bar or even beer/wine. Especially since both families are drinkers
    • Reply
  • Nichole
    Devoted September 2022
    Nichole ·
    • Flag
    I would do beer and wine options and what my sisters did at their weddings is after a certain amount (as an example once $500 worth of alcohol was consumed) then guests had to pay for their own drinks. What we are planning on doing is buying a certain amount of alcohol and once the alcohol is gone we will have soda and water as options.
    • Reply
  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    I’d offer beer and wine. Definitely not a cash bar and maybe consider a daytime wedding if you’re going the dry route.
    • Reply
  • Rosie
    Rockstar February 2022
    Rosie ·
    • Flag

    I definitely agree with the others that it sounds like there is an expectation that something will be provided for them, and you will need to do so, if you intend to be a decent host.

    Here, it is most common to have a drinks package with beer, wine and sparkling, maybe a cider, and possibly if it's a more premier package, a signature cocktail. But most packages would be just beer, and the various types of wine. It is quite uncommon, I would say, to provide spirits, and most venues tend not to immediately jump to serving a full bar due to our responsible service of alcohol laws.

    Some weddings I've been to have got around this by having a bottle of the most popular spirit on each table.

    I think it's tacky and inappropriate to have a cash bar. On the other end of the spectrum though, I find it a little rude (especially to a young couple who can't afford much) to say it has to be an open bar or nothing. A beer and wine package is perfectly acceptable in my opinion - you are offering your guests a variety of options, and if they don't like any of those, they can always stick with soft drinks. As a guest, you are entitled to expect a reasonable variety. But that doesn't mean you're entitled to anything at all that you want, to the host's financial disadvantage.

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  • Alyssa
    Super December 2021
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes. Even if you’re not legal. It’s still déclassé to have a cash bar, ALWAYS. Your guests are being invited to a party. Not a fundraiser.


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  • Jacks
    Master September 2019
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    Yep in agreement with everyone else, except the cash bar post. If you're having trouble with the budget the easiest thing to do is lower the guest count. Also serving beer and wine usually ends up cheaper, and is a perfectly acceptable option. A dry wedding is also not against etiquette, but that would be a "know your crowd" situation.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Devoted May 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    I've been to dry weddings. It definitely changes the whole mood of the night, but was still a very nice occasion. I would suggest either an open bar or a dry wedding.

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    Serving beer and wine only is a great way to keep bar costs low and manageable
    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2021
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    My sister and BIL don't drink, and they still had an open bar at their wedding. If you could, maybe try to get an idea ahead of time to see just how much drinking there might be and go from there. Maybe you could get a smaller bar package that won't be open as long. Otherwise, I think it might be better to just have it.

    • Reply
  • A.B.
    Dedicated November 2021
    A.B. ·
    • Flag

    You're still expected to host your guests properly but I would not expect more than beer and wine from anyone, much less from an underage couple. If your parents are helping or have offered, this is the perfect area to hand over from them.

    Alternatively, a dry wedding could work but I'd avoid late evening/party atmosphere in this case.

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