Dana
Savvy May 2020

Rehearsal dinner cash bar- tacky or not?

Dana, on December 12, 2019 at 3:23 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 31
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Hello! Opinions needed. We are wayyy over budget for our wedding. My fiance and I are contemplating hosting a rehearsal dinner and providing one drink for our guests (alcohol or non alcoholic) and then opening it to a cash bar after. Do you think people will mind if we do that? We cant afford to host another open bar all night.
We've also contemplated not having a rehearsal dinner and just having an informal hang out at a bar, but some of my wedding party will be in town the night before and I feel like we should at least provide something for them to do. Thoughts??

31 Comments

  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    • Flag
    Rehearsal dinners dont have to be formal in any means. You could easily do pizza and beer or soda and call it a day. You SHOULD have a dinner though if you're doing a rehearsal.
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  • C
    VIP January 2019
    Cassidy ·
    • Flag
    We did a cash bar. No one complained and they drank, a little.
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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    For our rehearsal dinner, we didn't have any alcohol. My mother-in-law was paying for it and wanted to do a cash bar, but I didn't think it was right to host guests and expect them to pay. My dad is also a recovering alcoholic so I wanted to avoid him being around alcohol as much as possible. Nobody said a word to us about there not being alcohol. Our wedding venue was a hotel with a bar so after the rehearsal dinner (at a local restaurant) they could go back to the bar at the hotel and have a drink if they wanted to. I didn't really want our wedding party drinking a bunch the night before the wedding anyways so I didn't feel bad not providing alcohol to them.
    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Super November 2020
    Chrysta ·
    • Flag
    Personally, I do not think it would be tacky to exclude an open bar for the rehearsal dinner. You are already having an open bar at your ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    Rockstar October 2020
    Taylor ·
    • Flag

    I'd go to the airbnb or hotel, order some pizzas, and bring in a few cases of beer/bottles of wine. It doesn't have to be a crazy formal affairSmiley smile

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  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    I think that's fine for the rehearsal dinner. I would, however, cover all non-alcoholic drinks. I'm assuming most of them would be soda with free refills anyway.
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  • Annajoy
    Devoted July 2020
    Annajoy ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't feel any pressure to provide alcohol at the rehearsal dinner.

    You could always go out for drinks afterwards.

    My future mother-in-law is doing our rehearsal dinner and there's a 99% chance that'll it'll be pizza or mac and cheese. I'm not going to state an opinion on that, as that's a bridge I'll cross when I get there...

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  • Dana
    Savvy May 2020
    Dana ·
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    Thanks, but it's almost 40 people with the party. They pretty much frown at hosting parties.
    • Reply
  • Dana
    Savvy May 2020
    Dana ·
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    Yes, ok that sounds good and doable. We could host it at a brewery and bring in catered food.
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  • Dana
    Savvy May 2020
    Dana ·
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    I would def do pizza but we are 99% having pasta at the wedding and I want to switch it up.


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  • Annajoy
    Devoted July 2020
    Annajoy ·
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    Chicken nuggets!

    For real though, I ALWAYS get excited about chick fil a catering

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  • Alycia
    Devoted April 2020
    Alycia ·
    • Flag
    Nope it is not tacky. My wedding has a cash bar. So go for it.
    • Reply
  • Brooke
    Expert November 2019
    Brooke ·
    • Flag

    For our rehearsal dinner, we had "drink tickets." Everyone got 2 tickets, then after the tickets were used and they wanted more drinks, it was on their own tab.

    • Reply
  • Cassandra7
    Super August 2006
    Cassandra7 ·
    • Flag

    If you invite someone to dinner, you should provide the dinner: food, drink, cutlery, chairs, table, napkin--the whole thing. "Here's your ice cream; chocolate sauce is a dollar extra" is tacky in any form and on any occasion. The host pays; that's a basic part of hosting, maybe the basic part.

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  • Dana
    Savvy May 2020
    Dana ·
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    Well I partly agree, but alcohol isnt a necessity. There are too many rules that come with weddings.
    • Reply
  • Cassandra7
    Super August 2006
    Cassandra7 ·
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    Then don't have alcohol if you don't want to pay for it.

    Weddings are sort of like the rest of life--lots of rules.

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  • Jennifer
    Super April 2020
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    I'm doing mine at a restaurant that covers the meals and non alcoholic drinks! There is a bar there, so if they want something alcoholic, they can get it! We're having an open bar at the wedding, so they could pay for one beer at the rehearsal dinner!

    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    I think that's totally fine. We provided 2 drinks per person at ours because my FIL didn't want to do a full open bar. I would provide dinner even if it's just pizza or something cheap.

    • Reply
  • L
    Savvy December 2019
    Laurel ·
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    This is exactly what we did. My mom had a airbnb for that weekend. We had bought a case of wine, beer, waters- and ordered Mexican food for 25 people. Everyone loved it, in fact there was so much extra food that the "kids" were eating the burritos for breakfast.

    • Reply
  • Dana
    Savvy May 2020
    Dana ·
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    Yeah, we would love to do that but it will be close to 40 people. We don't have an airbnb big enough. Thanks, though!

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