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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

  • Bailey
    Beginner September 2020
    Bailey ·
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    Thank you Lynette!! ❤
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  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    Absolutely not. We’re doing a cash bar as well for a few reasons. 1) We’re not rich & the price of an open bar would be ridiculous as both our families like to drink. 2) Having an open bar during cocktail hour seems to lead to everyone flocking to the bar & trying to down as many drinks as possible before the hour is up. 3) We also don’t want people to drink & drive & having a cash bar seems to deflect some of that temptation. 4) Honestly, I don’t really worry about people thinking it’s rude, they’re there to support & celebrate with us & the beginning of our life together. 🤷‍♀️


    I hope this helps!
    • Reply
  • Christine
    Savvy October 2020
    Christine ·
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    We are paying for our wedding. So it is a cash bar. We have no problem with this. If you feel the need to have something for your guests then ask to have a bottle or two of wine at each table.
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  • V
    Devoted August 2020
    Valerie ·
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    It sounds like a cash bar is best for your budget but maybe you should have budgeted enough to open the bar up to your friends and family for your event. It’s as if you invite your friends over to your house for a bbq and put a limit on the amount of beers they can take out of the fridge or saying thanks for driving all this way to come hang out but this beer cost money to buy so we have to charge you for it too. When you host, don’t be cheap about food and drink. Let adults make their own choices and if someone acts out them your DOC can ask them to leave.
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't worry about people thinking its tacky, we're having a cash only bar for the whole night. I have seen where people do flock to the bar during the "free cocktail hour" & it's definitely not pretty. Half of the guests were drunk before the couple even got back from taking their after ceremony pictures. We will have water, lemonade, & punch available & supply the wedding party & immediate family with drinks for the toasts, but that is it. Don't worry about what these people are saying, if you want a cash bar, then do it & just put it on your invitation when you send out the wedding & food information.

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  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    Uh, I don't think that's the direction she was going towards at all... I feel like your comment is kind of rude & judgmental yourself. At the end of the day, its their wedding & their money..

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  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    I agree with you 100%! That's a very accurate saying!

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  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    I don't think she should have to skimp out on her decorations or attire or food or entertainment in order to supply her guests with free alcohol. Guests can pay for their own drinks/alcohol & it has nothing to do with the couple being cheap.

    • Reply
  • Chauntel
    Beginner September 2020
    Chauntel ·
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    I'm having a cash bar and have told any naysayers that I don't plan to be drunk at my wedding so neither should they. They buy drinks everywhere else they go so I really don't feel no stress about them chipping in on their intake. I may buy only the champagne for a toast, that's it.
    • Reply
  • Bailey
    Beginner September 2020
    Bailey ·
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    Thank you Amanda!! I agree with every one of your comments and I'm glad she seems to be the only one who perceived what I said in a bad way.
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  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    You’re welcome! 💜
    • Reply
  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
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    Own your reasons. Don’t blame your guests for a cash bar. Everyone wants their guests to be safe, whether they properly host the wedding or not. 😁
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    I'm not blaming my guests, I'm talking from experiences from being a paramedic. Accidents & DUI's increase dramatically in my area when there are open bars or gatherings with free alcohol. So I have some type of factual basis besides our own personal feelings of we're not having an open bar, period. Just because we or somebody else choses to have a cash bar does not imply that we are poor hosts or that we're not properly treating our guests. In fact, that's awfully bold & judgmental of you.

    • Reply
  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
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    I see you have made your decision and aren’t interested in other views. As is the case with many brides who post something seeking opinions - they don’t want opinions, they just want people to agree with them. You didn’t initiate the thread so I’m not sure why this is getting you all wound up. There are taxis, there are shuttles, there are DDs, there are all kinds of ways to handle hosted or cash bars and get our nearest and dearest home safe and sound, which really is the important part. Best of luck!! Thanks for caring for your community, that is a tough job that you have.
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    VIP October 2020
    Taylor ·
    • Flag

    What are the rules on your venue regarding alcohol? Could you make a few big batches of sangria and get some beer? We recently went to a more casual wedding that had two kinds of beer, sangria, and the $2 wine from Trader Joe's. If you are able to bring in your own alcohol, it will cut costs WAY down.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
    • Flag
    I’m sorry but your situation is not different. I would recommend cutting costs elsewhere in order to provide an open car. You could skip save-the-dates (we did and we had a Friday wedding, it was fine!), choose non-floral centerpieces (no one really remembers centerpieces), skip photobooth, favors, and do less decor. Yes, your guests are there because they love and support you, but don’t you want to properly thank them for attending your wedding by providing the best quality food and (free) drinks? Alternatively, you could do only beer and wine, or you could do a consumption-based bar if you have a lot of guests who are non-drinkers. We did this and it saved us over a thousand dollars! Hope this is helpful. Best of luck!
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Beginner June 2021
    Amanda ·
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    She stated that she didn't have shuttles or taxis or other options other than the guests themselves. We don't have those options either. We are a very rural area & the price tag for hiring a party bus to bus would be thousands of dollars. The original poster mentioned this. I just think maybe you should think about this before you start accusing people of not properly hosting their guests.

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  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
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    And all of that is something to consider when booking your venue. Are there affordable hotels? Are there taxis? Can we book a shuttle? If we book wedding party transportation, will the company do me a favor and send some of their taxis to my wedding? And still, making a guest pay for their drinks does not automatically mean a guest will not cause a scene or drive dangerously, that’s a dangerous assumption throughout this thread. Having an open bar doesn’t guarantee the opposite either.


    Tbh, you are reading way too much into my comments. I’m not name calling here. You on the other hand have had some very sharp words for anyone who is not on team cash bar. 😂
    We see things differently. Really that simple. Have a wonderful wedding!! We all have better things to do than bicker on the internet. Seriously!!! ✌🏼
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Beginner October 2020
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    Any one who thinks a cash is tacky clearly has never tried to plan a wedding on a budget. I think you do what ever you have to while planning YOUR wedding.

    • Reply
  • Bailey
    Beginner September 2020
    Bailey ·
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    Unfortunately we aren't aloud to bring any alcohol since our venue has a liquor license and they could get a hefty fine if anyone caught it...
    • Reply

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