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Bailey
Beginner September 2020

Cash bar seems like best option for us- but seems to be percieved as tacky

Bailey, on February 10, 2020 at 12:58 AM

Posted in Wedding Reception 81

Most of the replied I see on WW talk about how tacky and rude a cash bar is. But hear me out and please let me know if my situation is any different. I am leaning towards having a cash bar but doing either drink ticket/tokens or open bar during cocktail hour. I think cocktail hour would be nice but...
Most of the replied I see on WW talk about how tacky and rude a cash bar is. But hear me out and please let me know if my situation is any different. I am leaning towards having a cash bar but doing either drink ticket/tokens or open bar during cocktail hour. I think cocktail hour would be nice but our cocktail hour will be outside while the bar is inside so idk if that would work. Our venue only charges $3-5 per drink and we will be providing soda, water, lemonade, and tea. First, I cannot afford an open bar, our parents aren't paying for everything and most of our wedding bill will fall on me. Second, there is no Uber, Lyft, or taxis where our venue is and most of our guests will be driving about an hour home and I really do not want anyone drinking and driving.. Third, I would hate to have guests over drink and cause a scene. Fourth, our guests should be there because they love us and want to celebrate with us, not for free booze. Am I wrong in thinking a cash bar will be best for us?

81 Comments

  • Flame Princess
    Dedicated April 2021
    Flame Princess ·
    • Flag
    A lot of things people say are tacky on here actually arent. Do you! Its very unlikely any of the people here are to attend your wedding, so dont worry about their opinions.
    • Reply
  • Bailey
    Beginner September 2020
    Bailey ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you!! I like the idea of having it open for an hour or two of the reception!
    • Reply
  • Erika
    Just Said Yes July 2021
    Erika ·
    • Flag
    Hey! Don’t get caught up in the fact that people on WW think it’a “tacky and rude”. Stick within your budget! Remember, YOU guys are the one paying for it, not anyone else. I think hosting a drink for one hour during your cocktail hour is sufficient enough.


    Honestly? I was a bridesmaid in my friends wedding and she hosted an open bar, and all people could talk about was how excited they were for the open bar. When she did her first dance? People were at the bar. When she cut the cake? People were at the bar. Point is, it’s YOUR wedding. It’s a celebration of your union with your partner. It’s not an excuse for people to come get drunk or get free drinks. I don’t think you have to explain yourself either to your guests. Most people attending will be people who love and care about you. They should ultimately be there for you and your partner, not for drinks. If people say something about it then they’re missing the entire point of the event.
    I’m personally just doing an open bar for beer, water, and soda, a hosted drink during cocktail hour, and then everything else is cash. I’m capping it at $2500 and after $2500 it’s all cash for everything.
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    Can you do a consumption bar where you just pay per drink? Since your drinks are not very expensive it would probably cover a decent amount. Just put in the amount of money you can afford and then once that tab is filled up it’ll become a cash bad
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    Cash bar** not bad lol
    • Reply
  • Madison
    Beginner August 2020
    Madison ·
    • Flag

    If cash bar is good for you and the safety of others then that is the way I would go! It doesn't who judges you, this is your wedding!

    • Reply
  • Morgan
    Savvy August 2020
    Morgan ·
    • Flag
    My FH and I were also struggling with this so we decided to buy a certain a amount of liquor and beer and once that runs out then it turns into a cash bar! It seemed like a solution because we also couldn’t afford to for an open bar
    • Reply
  • Julia
    Dedicated October 2020
    Julia ·
    • Flag
    I’ve been to weddings with both. Open is nice but I never expect it. We are having a cash bar. Our wedding is a Sunday brunch, we will be providing 2 mimosas to each guest 1 is for the toast. We’re already paying like $50pp I don’t feel the need to supply them with alcohol. We are providing coffee, tea, water and fruit juice. You have to do what is right for you and your budget
    • Reply
  • Sb
    Dedicated October 2020
    Sb ·
    • Flag
    One thing wedding planning has taught me is that you can’t please everyone! Do what works for YOUR budget. People will have something to say no matter what, so who cares! 🤷🏾‍♀️
    • Reply
  • Nikki
    Dedicated December 2020
    Nikki ·
    • Flag

    Do what you can afford. My cousin's wedding was a partial cash bar. All the guests got 2 drink tickets to use for whatever, then after that it was cash. It was perfect for me, because I usually only drink 1 alcohol drink at outings, so I gave my mom my other one. You should not have to go into debt just because people want free alcohol. If they only show up for the free booze, then they aren't there to celebrate your marriage, which I think that is tacky and rude!

    • Reply
  • anna
    Devoted October 2019
    anna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I disagree with this. we had a dry wedding (in the evening) and had a ton of dancing. no, it wasn't awkward. a lot of our friends don't drink much, but even the ones who drink more regularly had a great time at our wedding and no one complained about not getting to drink. people are there to see you get married, not to get drunk. at the end of the day no one cares as much as you think they care.

    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Master September 2018
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    I would not find it super tacky to have a cash bar but I would without a doubt be surprised and I would have to run to the ATM. I would not attend a dry wedding for long, I would go to the ceremony & celebrate a little and call it an early night. I am someone who enjoys an occasional cocktail at weddings, I would be looking forward to it. I am an adult and you should not need to worry about me getting drunk and driving or causing a scene. We had a full open bar for 6 hours at my wedding with zero issues with my guests and in our circle there are a lot of big drinkers - they are adults they figured it out, someone else drove. There weren't many Ubers or Lifts in the general area of my venue & it was not an issue for my guests either. Most people do not cause a scene or drink and drive.

    • Reply
  • Bailey
    Beginner September 2020
    Bailey ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I think most of our family would be able to handle it. However FH and I are only 21 and therefore have a lot of younger friends and family. And a few of them don't limit themselves well. We will have alcohol either way just trying to figure out the best way.
    • Reply
  • Sherry
    Master September 2019
    Sherry ·
    • Flag

    I personally do think they are tacky but it is also your wedding. Just make sure that your guests know that after the cocktail hour there will only be a cash bar so they come prepared as most people don't go to a hosted event expecting to need to bring cash with them.

    • Reply
  • Ali
    Dedicated September 2021
    Ali ·
    • Flag

    Cash bars can be controversial but it's your day and your budget! A medium option would be just wine and beer open bar. That way you're cutting the cost hard liquor. Or you could see if you could do a just signature cocktail that would be a cheaper alternative as well. If none of these are appealing to you or your budget, by all means go with what is best for you. That being said, if cash bar or a reduced bar is the best option, I'd definitely let guests know before hand; maybe Pinterest a cut saying to let them know on the invitation or an insert or something just because I think some open bars are some what expected, at least in my area.

    • Reply
  • Cassandra
    Beginner December 2020
    Cassandra ·
    • Flag
    We are doing open bar until a certain amount of money is met, then changing to cash bar. Wine and beer ONLY. My FH and his buddies and even some of my family get out of hand with liquor.


    But at the end of the day you only know what you can afford. I would never not attend a wedding because there wasn’t an open bar. I don’t think it’s tacky to have people pay for their own alcohol. They are already getting free food and would probably spend a butt load out at a bar (again, from experience).
    You do you. It’s always nice to be able to offer that to your guests. But if you can’t, then you can’t.
    • Reply
  • W
    Devoted October 2020
    Waitingtomarry20 ·
    • Flag
    Girl, it’s your wedding so do what’s best for you. My fiancé and I don’t drink alcohol, since we are paying for own wedding we decided it was an expense we didn’t want to incur. Plus we are an older couple, so we are not even asking for gifts and we are serving a signature dinner menu. Most of his family doesn’t drink and most of mine do, so we decided if they wanted to drink then it would have to come out of their pockets. My sister was married last March and held her reception at a signature restaurant and on the opposite end, had an open bar. Most of the people were drinking like fish. I don’t even want to process how much the the final bill was.
    • Reply
  • Jaime
    Savvy May 2021
    Jaime ·
    • Flag
    I’m doing beer and wine only im putting about 1500 down if they want hard alcohol they have to buy it and if that runs out there on there own
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Expert July 2020
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    I don’t think your situation is any different than others who want a cash bar. There are plenty of people who are paying for the wedding themselves,however, I do think that paying for one drink for someone is a good idea or at least letting your guests know that there is a cash bar so they will bring cash. Not telling them can have them disappointed especially if a lot of people in your circle drink.
    • Reply
  • Kellyann
    Dedicated July 2020
    Kellyann ·
    • Flag
    I'm holding a dry wedding. Guests were informed via invite. They will get drink tickets at the after party. If you plan to do cash bar, I'd put it on your website, so people bring cash/money and are informed. My fiance doesnt drink. Been sober for years. I don't really care for it. Guests aren't paying for your wedding. You to you
    • Reply

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