Savvy September 2009

Cash Bar

mr&mrs, on February 25, 2009 at 10:15 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice

Do I have to include on the invitations that I'm having a cash bar? If so, how do I include it?



  • summerbride09
    Devoted August 2009
    summerbride09 ·

    I was told once by a vendor (I'm not using this person) that people will write out their checks (gift) at the wedding based on the bar situation.

    I can't imagine that actually happening....but ya never know!

  • dogluver315
    Dedicated January 2010
    dogluver315 ·

    I've never heard of people writing their checks based on the bar. My family always has everything signed and sealed prior to the wedding. I would not include anything on the invitations about a cash bar; this can appear tacky. If you are unable to provide an open bar, maybe consider just having beer, wine or sodas or a combination of those. I've only been to one wedding with a cash bar and many others with open bar or even no bar. Having only beer and sodas is less expensive and still looks nice for guests not having to pay for a beverage.

  • mr&mrs
    Savvy September 2009
    mr&mrs ·

    I know many people think having a cash bar is tacky and I do too. But, my fiance and I do not drink and there are many people there that we do not want drinking that also tend to start arguing when they drink. I am providing coffee, tea and lemonade but that is it.

  • Laura
    Master May 2009
    Laura ·

    Well if you don't want people drinking then why have the alcohol available at all? I agree with the previous poster that a beer and wine bar can be great, it's a lot cheaper and since it's not hard alcohol you won't have to worry as much about people getting really drunk. I understand that you want to give guests a heads up about the cash bar so they can bring money but I'm not sure how you could write it on the invite. Do you have a wedding website that you can mention it on? And then maybe spread it by word of mouth.

  • Jessica
    Super October 2009
    Jessica ·

    Ok, you don't drink, your FH doesn't drink, and there are guests whom you'd rather not be drinking at YOUR wedding. Why are you even bothering with a bar? My FH and I decided to have a dry wedding because we just don't want to deal with the craziness that can sometimes ensue once alcohol is involved. Normally, I drink, but my FH doesn't and he doesn't care to be around those who are bombed. I don't think he should have to deal with all that mess on our day, plus it's an extra expense we can just totally get rid of, so we nixed it! We're having a fall wedding, so along with the usual soda/coffee/tea we're including things like spiced and hot mulled cider. Giving them extra, special options will make them less likely to miss the bar.

    This is YOUR wedding, and it should reflect you and your FH as a couple. Do what you want and people will adjust!

    But, if you do go with the cash bar, I wouldn't put it on the invites. Word of mouth or posting it to your website is much less tacky

  • Erin
    Dedicated October 2012
    Erin ·

    I think putting it on your website is the best way, besides word of mouth. If you use the website provided on here, you can make a tab for reception and put all your details there. Thats what me and my FH are doing. When you send out save-the-dates (if you havent already) theres usually a place to put your website, same as on invites. Also, the website provides an easy way for guest to rsvp, and find out other information you cant put on save-the-dates and invites. Hope this helps!

  • S
    Beginner October 2010
    shell26 ·

    I am thinking about having a open bar for the first hour or two but cash after that. some of my guests can really pack them away. I have one guest that gets out of hand and i am going to extremes with that... i am going to give them a picture and tell them not to serve him. thats if he even comes. I have one friend that is having a dry wedding also. she and her FH drink but they don't want some of their guest to drink so they decided to have a dry wedding. I think that it all up to you. If you both don't drink then why bother shelling out the dough for others. I hope that helps Good luck

  • after8years
    Expert October 2009
    after8years ·

    Have a dry wedding and just do a toast and that be all the alc. there. Just get enough for guests and bridal to do a traditionl toast and be done with it. I do have to say though I was at a wedding in January the bride wanted a dry wedding,the grooms side were all alchies acording to her and his family found out and brought flasks filled with hard liq. hopefully you dont have A holes like that coming. I would go dry though why waste the money on booze etc. if you dont partake and would rather not deal with drunks.

  • Sidne Fox
    Sidne Fox ·


    As perviously posted most guests arrive at a wedding with the checks writen and sealed away. If cost is your main concern beer and wine only is a wonderful way to cut costs. Should you decide to do a cash bar it is only fair to let your guests know some how prior to the event. Most venues only accept cash and not credit cards or debit cards at cash bar events. Notifing them prior to the event allows your guests to prepare instead of roaming around looking for an ATM when they should be having fun celebrating your specail day with you.

  • K
    Beginner May 2009
    Keesta ·

    It may be tacky to have a cash bar, but I am in a similar situation. My FH and I do not really drink but would like to offer it to the guests if they choose to drink. We are on a tight budget and I would rather people know ahead of time. The way we worded it was "Please join us for an all-inclusive lunch and cash bar after the ceremony." I guess technically if alcohol isn't included it's not much of an all-inclusive lunch, but it's a less tacky way to word it on the invitations. My wedding planner helped me with that wording.

  • ztalady18
    Savvy June 2009
    ztalady18 ·

    I would not include it on the invites. Just spread it by word of mouth. I know that for my wedding, we are having a beer and wine bar and for the first 2 hours it will be open and then after that it will turn over into a cash bar. That way, closer to the end of the night, the alcohol consumption will be a lot lower. We just don't want our guests leaving and driving when they shouldn't be. It is also a lot better on our purse strings that way. But, now-a-days, a lot more people are having only cash bars and it is becoming a lot more accepted.

  • N
    Dedicated September 2009
    nicfrom127 ·

    I would find a way to tell everyone so they are prepared to bring the money. I went to a wedding and the bride and groom did not tell anyone so no one had money so one person (who was not part of the wedding) paid for everyones drinks and that was the present to the bride and groom.

    A women said that people will base they're gift on whole bar thing. I have to be honest I do that because I know that bar can be the most expensive thing at a wedding (depending on if u get top shelf or not) and if I have to pay for my drinks I give you less money to cover my tab. If I know bar is included then I give you a bigger gift. Just food for thought.

  • S
    Just Said Yes June 2010
    speedwaymama ·

    I am from UK and over here it is standard practise to have a cash bar. During the reception meal, champagne, wine is provided but beer etc is always paid for by the person drinking it.

    If there were free bars here most people would be passed out within an hour.

    So just tell your guests you are following a quaint English tradition. lol.

  • Julija
    Beginner October 2009
    Julija ·

    For those of you who commented on basing a cash gift amount on what you get at a wedding reception you should be ashamed.

    Last I checked you are going to a wedding to help celebrate with the couple.

    Yes, weddings these days can really add up, but I would think of a more creative way of doing a wedding on a budget than being selfish and only dishing out what you think you will be getting at the reception.

    As for cash bar...I was in a wedding recently and the couple decided to have a cash bar to save money, only the wedding party drank for free...a little ackward since my date was not in the wedding party, luckily I found out the day before so he could bring some cash. Spread the word by mouth...definat. leave it off the invite

  • Lynsi
    Devoted July 2009
    Lynsi ·

    Im doing a cash bar as well and I dont think we are going to say anything about it. Its expensive I dont drink and my FH doesnt really drink either but their is a bar at our reception venue. I am providing soda lemonade and tea I dont want to be responsible for people getting blasted and the having a car accident on the way home and most people wont get blasted on their own dime. I wouldnt worry about saying anything about it no one will die if they didnt bring money for alcohol they will just have to deal with whats provided.

  • J
    Beginner September 2013
    Jenisnuts ·

    I am considering giving out tickets to those who plan on drinking and only giving out 3 or 4 tickets to save money and the amount of drunk people.

  • Amanda
    Just Said Yes June 2011
    Amanda ·

    I'm having a VERY similar issue, I'm providing champagne and beer for my guest but I know my ppls like to drink and although I would love to provide an open bar, our budget does not allow for it. The most beneficial piece of advice here was actually from Keesta. I seriously think that if you are having a cash bar & your not by an ATM, "YOU NEED TO TELL PPLS THAT THEY NEED TO BRING CASH, ESP IF NO CCs ARE ACCEPTED". As a host, I think it's even tackier to not tell guest and then have them not bring cash (because I carry my card every where with me these days & no cash)then find out when I'm there that if I want to drink, I should've brought cash. YOU NEED TO TELL PPLS!

  • Amanda
    Just Said Yes June 2011
    Amanda ·

    P.S. My wedding is on an island!!! Ppls need to know.

  • S
    Just Said Yes August 2014
    simone ·

    We are having a Toonie Bar ( $2.00 ) at our wedding to help pay for some of the liquor. But we also are considering wine for the guess at the tables for dinner for free. Just want to know what the thoughts are out there. WE are paying for our wedding ourselves as our parents are no longer with us. I thought of putting the info on the response cards but think this will be tacky .

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