alysmw
Devoted March 2019

Cash Bar

alysmw, on March 4, 2019 at 10:14 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 33
Saved Save
Reply

Hi everyone. My fiancé and I are having a decent sized wedding. We expect that between 120-140 people will attend the reception. However, we do not have the funds to accommodate that many people drinking with an open bar. My father suggested cash bar. Is that okay? We thought it would be better than having a dry wedding. Alcohol is EXPENSIVE and we are two young people who are paying for a lot of the wedding on our own (using no credit). I've heard some people think cash bars are rude or tacky? What do you think?

33 Comments

  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2019
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    We got a bartender for everything 500 dollars
    his fee is 250 dollars and 250.00 to bring in all the liquor beer water and soda we need. We are having an open bar..
    where are you located ? We are in NC
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly Online ·
    • Flag
    People feel differently about this. I personally hate cash bars and would rather a dry wedding than have to pay for part of your wedding. But I’ve seen people post on here about cash bars being the norm in the area they live.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag

    I personally think that no one should have to open their wallet and pay for any of their food or drink at your wedding. If I hosted a dinner at my house, I wouldn't ask my friends to pay me for their drinks. Your wedding should be the same. If you can't afford to properly host everyone, cut your guest list.

    • Reply
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB Online ·
    • Flag

    I've never been to a cash bar wedding and would be VERY put off by it. IMO you should cut down your guest list so you can host your guests properly.

    Agree with Kelly though, a dry wedding is less rude than a cash bar. At least you aren't asking guests to pay for your wedding that way.

    • Reply
  • Victoria
    Super May 2019
    Victoria ·
    • Flag
    I think it’s rude to ask people to pay for things at a wedding. If you can’t afford a bar I would for sure just have a dry wedding.
    • Reply
  • Nikita
    VIP April 2019
    Nikita ·
    • Flag

    Can you have an open cocktail hour and then cash bar? Or maybe the first hour be open. Either way, make sure your guests are aware of this well ahead of time. I don't usually carry cash on me, so I wouldn't think to bring any to a wedding.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Dedicated June 2020
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    I would cut down on guests rather than having a cash bar...I would seriously be disappointed if I knew a wedding I was going to was a cash bar. Just my personal opinion though.
    • Reply
  • Iva
    Super September 2019
    Iva ·
    • Flag
    I agree with others cash bar is off putting. I personally don’t care about alcohol at all & don’t drink, but would still think it’s poor taste to have a big wedding with 120-140 people & then ask them to pay for a drink. For me dry wedding is totally fine, but most people probably wouldn’t like this.
    So cut down your guest list (if you cut only 20 or so people you would be able to provide alcohol for the rest), or do limited bar (example: serve only wine & beer, or only signature cocktails, which would be much cheaper than having open bar).
    • Reply
  • Danielle K
    VIP June 2019
    Danielle K ·
    • Flag

    This is a situation where you know your guests better than WW does. In a very formal very etiquette minded even, Cash bar would be an absolute no-no, but if you wedding is not formal black tie and your guests know you and are close with you and especially if it is normal in your area (as it is in mine) cash bar is completely acceptable.

    Now that said if you are able to find an alternative (hire a bar tender and buy your own alcohol, provide just beer and wine, drink tickets, etc.) I am sure any of these would be enjoyed more than a cash bar.

    • Reply
  • Gen
    Master June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    We are only serving wine (our venue is also famous for its wine and our reception is being held in their wine-tasting room lol) and we are paying per drink. We don’t expect anyone to go too crazy with drinking wine, especially since our wedding is in the afternoon. We are also only serving alcohol for 3 hours. During cocktail hour, and the first 2 hours of the reception. At 3:30, 2 hours into our reception, we will be doing the cake cutting and the bar will be closed, and we’ll start serving coffee and tea. Maybe if you limit what alcohol is provided and for how long, and you pay per drink, it won’t be too expensive.
    • Reply
  • M
    Super November 2019
    Melissa ·
    • Flag
    I personally dont mind going to a wedding with a cash bar. I keep in mind that this couple invited me to celebrate their special day and perhaps they did their best to make the reception as great as possible but couldnt afford the alcohol.

    Ps. Dont take it to heart when people on here tell you you're tacky, rude, a bad host, etc for considering or having a cash bar. Their opinions arent law.
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree with this. Cut your guest list and offer just beer & wine.

    Some people are ok with dry weddings for brunch but if you have a dry evening wedding expect some guests to leave immediately after dinner. Without alcohol many guests might not dance either.
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    To me, it's MUCH better than a dry wedding! Obviously we are always bummed when we get to a wedding and it's a cash bar, but way more bummed if there isn't any alcohol at all.

    • Reply
  • Fwbride
    Super July 2019
    Fwbride ·
    • Flag
    I suggest doing beer and wine for dinner, cocktail hour, or both and have a cash bar for people who want stronger stuff. I honestly think cash bars are great since it will limit how many people get wasted at your wedding. You can also try offering 2 signature cocktails instead of a full bar. Even try sometime of alcoholic punch that can be made in large amounts and served in dispensers. There are plenty of options out there.

    Also if I invited people over for a dinner party I would have a full bar and bartender that could make them free drinks all night so I don’t know how that compares to a wedding. I think it’s super unfortunate that people are saying to cut your guest list so you can have free alcohol. I feel like if I got cut from a guest list so people could have free booze I would be pissed. If anything people can bring a flask if they want alcohol so bad.
    • Reply
  • Fwbride
    Super July 2019
    Fwbride ·
    • Flag
    ****Meant to say “I wouldn’t have a full bar and bartender”
    • Reply
  • Cynthia
    Expert June 2019
    Cynthia ·
    • Flag
    No you have to do what works. We are having two beer and liquor free and if people want shots or anything we are not covering the have to pay for it.
    • Reply
  • Nemo
    VIP August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag

    I prefer dry weddings to cash bars. I don't want to subsidize your wedding. I have no issues with beer/wine only. I think drink tickets (3 or 4 tickets) are tacky but are better than asking people to pay for all of their drinks.

    • Reply
  • Madison
    Dedicated May 2020
    Madison ·
    • Flag

    Cash vs. Dry? - I'd personally take dry. I think it depends on your wedding and how many guests are travelling. I know if I've already driven/flown in, paid for my accommodations, and gave a nice gift, the last thing I would want to do is pay cash at the bar. However, if you do decide to go this route, I highly suggest letting people know by word of mouth prior to the day.

    We opted for beer and wine only. Also, our venue allows us to bring our own, so we are able to purchase more reasonably priced options in bulk. We will open the bar for cocktail hour, keep it closed until dinner is over (no wine service at the tables) , then open for the remainder of the reception. It can cut down on costs a bit in losing an hour or so at the bar, and assuming some guests may not stay for dancing following the cake cutting.

    • Reply
  • Bride 2019
    Dedicated April 2019
    Bride 2019 ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    This... I would rather pay for my drink then not have anything to drink

    • Reply
  • Casey
    Devoted October 2019
    Casey ·
    • Flag
    All of the weddings I’ve ever been to were either cash bar or the bride and groom brought their own alcohol. Never been to an open bar wedding. I think alcohol is optional, you are already supplying food and non alcoholic beverages. If people want to have alcohol, they will have the option with a cash bar. I’ll be doing a cash bar. I know my opinion is not a popular one, but sometimes it’s what you have to do to not go into debt for your wedding.
    • Reply

Comment on this discussion

×
WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

WeddingWire article topics