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Open bar vs Cash bar
Okay ladies, what are you planning on doing for your wedding? Are you going with an open bar, cash bar, or something in between?
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| Vancouver, BC, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
definitely not an open bar. maybe just beer and wine. we decide in april.
| Van nuys, CA, USA | 03/10/2009 |
We wanted to do open bar the whole night...but that'll really depend on our guest count. If not, we'll end up going with open bar for 3 hours and the remaining hour or two will be cash bar. I think that's a fair trade especially given the current economy. Don't ya think?
| Portland, OR, USA | 03/10/2009 |
I'm interested in what people have to say about this, even though we're not having a bar (too many aggressive alcoholics in the family).
| Ingersoll, ON, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
I would like an open bar during cocktail hour. We are providing wine at the tables during dinner. Then we are planning on giving 1 or 2 drink tickets per guest. After that, cash bar. I think it's reasonable. I don't want to be paying for people to get too drunk.
| Chicago, IL, USA | 03/10/2009 |
We're having open bar and passed champagne for cocktail hour, wine and vodka (Its a Polish tradition) during dinner and open bar for the rest of the night. This was majorly important and we looked hard for a venue that would provide this within our budget.
| Ottawa, ON, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
We are having a full open bar all night...we are having 200+ guests. The two main reasons that we are having our reception in a tent is to have an open bar, (because the cost will be half), and to provide our own caterer.
| Meridian, ID, USA | 03/10/2009 |
Our budget is too small for a complete open bar. Instead, we plan on paying for beer, wine, champagne and non alcoholic drinks and then having a cash bar for anything else.
| Fairfax, VA, USA | 03/10/2009 |
we'll b eserving a small amount of wine and beer---not too many people are big drinkers.
| Sacramento, CA, USA | 03/10/2009 |
Wowie..I wanted to furbish all the liquor, BUT since our venue is tripping their will be a no host bar (guests pay for their drinks).Fine that cuts down on our pockets for the liquor.
| Calgary, AB, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
Toonie bar ($2 a drink) for guests and we'll pick up the rest of the tab (our venue is charging between $4-6 per drink though so we'll take most of the hit). We'll have wine on the tables during dinner too.
My biggest problem with open bars (other than the enormous potential for stupid sloppy drunkenness) is that people have a tendency to forget that *someone* is still paying and if they put their drink down and walk away they're usually more than happy to just go and get another one since its free for them. So much gets wasted!
| Upper marlboro, MD, USA | 03/10/2009 |
Great post! Watching this one - we're deciding this now :)
| USA | 03/10/2009 |
I think it really depends on your budget. However, I know for my family & friends its a big deal. We are definitely doing an open bar. If you can afford it...then why not? I've been to weddings where it was a cash bar. No one drank and well not many people danced. I think it depends on the price of the drinks for the guest too.
| Brampton, ON, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
we are having an open bar:)
| Chesapeake, VA, USA | 03/10/2009 |
We're doing a semi-open bar. I know we're having beer and wine and haven't decided on liquor. But we buy the alcohol and they serve it. Once it's gone, it's gone, but if there's anything left, we get to take it home. We'll probably do kegs and box wine though. Possibly some hard stuff, not quite sure, it just depends on the cost of the kegs.
| Indianapolis, IN, USA | 03/10/2009 |
We are only paying for the champagne toast. Everything else is cash bar. Out budget is really tight, and we have a huge amount of guests, and number of family members, that don't know when enough is enough.
| Lake placid, NY, USA | 03/10/2009 |
we provided champagne, wine, and we bought many bottles of beer, and liquor to be used for mixed drinks.. so if they wanted anything else. they had to pay. it worked out great. Had we had an open bar.. they would have turned into drunken slobs. My 2nd cousin thought she'd show off and have a full open bar. She thought it would run her about 500 bucks. NOPE. not with my family. It wound up costing her nearly $3,000. That's why I said.. NO THANKS! lol I just couldn't afford it.
| Chicago, IL, USA | 03/10/2009 |
There is a difference between open bar and a open bar by consumption. Typical open bar cost is per person cost and it doesn't matter how many drinks each person has, the hall/caterer usually averages 3-6 drinks per person. You pay the hall per person in advance and there are no extra costs (this is what we are doing)
By consumption is you pay the hall/caterer after the event. They provide you with a number of drinks that were consumed and give you a bill.
I have issues with by consumption because 1. like someone said people leave their drinks and go get another one 2. I'm not that trusty to the hall or caterer to count how many drinks my guests consumed. This is one of the biggest inflations on bills. You can't budget for this because there's really no way to determine how much people will drink.
I have to say when I get to a wedding and its cash bar I get automatically annoyed, I typically don't carry more than $20 on me and now I'm only able to get like 2 drinks. But if by word of mouth I knew the couple was having a cash bar I'm able to come prepared.
| Whitby, ON, Canada | 03/10/2009 |
We are having a cash bar (AKA no host bar). I would love to be able to give my guests an open bar, but it just was not in the budget. Plus it would have cost us an extra $3,000-$5,000...and that we could just not justify. I agree with marta12 about guests not knowing about the cash bar...and that it is frustrating when guests don't know about it. We made sure to spread by word of mouth that it is a cash bar, and I also put a line that says "No Host Bar" on the reception cards. That way guests can come prepared. We are also providing a bottle of wine on each table for guests.
| Houston, TX, USA | 03/10/2009 |
we are also having a cash bar, if my guests want to get sloppy drunk or have full glasses of liquor, they have to pay for that themselves, at this point, we cant afford it. They will be champagne and a keg of beer but that is all we are paying for.
| Canada | 03/11/2009 |
We are having a cash bar.
Its funny because here in Newfoundland, a cash bar is normal, we don't even think of having an open bar. People usually expect a cash bar at a wedding here.
We would love to have the money for an open bar, but we would rather save our money for a down payment on a house right now.
| Orlando, FL, USA | 03/11/2009 |
We are not having an open bar. The budget is just too tight. Plus I have to many relatives that drink way to much.
| Buffalo, NY, USA | 03/11/2009 |
We are having and open bar, but we will do it for about 3 hours and the last hour we will serve champange, beer, and soda I think that will cut down on cost instead of having a five four open bar people need time to come down before they go home
| Red deer, AB, Canada | 03/12/2009 |
We are having a twoonie bar and wine on the tables for dinner/toasts
| Fredericton, NB, Canada | 03/13/2009 |
I am on the same line as newfoundlandbride. I live in New Brunswick and I have NEVER been to a wedding with an open bar, and most do not have wine or champagne either. It is completely normal here and not even a subject of debate (thank God). I've been to one wedding with a cocktail hour, where they served one specific drink, and that was free, but that was it.
| Rosetown, SK, Canada | 03/13/2009 |
Im the same as the two girls from Newfoundland..I live in Saskatchewan and here its either toonie bar or cash bar I have never been to an open bar.....So guess thats our thing is a cash bar and its written on the invites. We are having wine with the supper and toasts that we are providing.
| Scottsdale, AZ, USA | 03/16/2009 |
My FH and I are both from large Italian families therefore we have BIG wine drinkers attending the wedding. Our venue has a "hosted" bar package- its like an open bar as each person can have as little or as much as they want to drink but we just paid x amount of $$ per person rather than per drink or bottle.
| Los angeles, CA, USA | 03/16/2009 |
We are having full blown cocktail reception, so we are hosting a premium open bar. It was very important for me to have an open bar, it wasn't even negotiable. We are having a small wedding, 55 to 60 guest, and most are our friends whom we have drinks with regularly. Some family members have a tendency to over drink but I'm not truly worried about them: most guest can handle their booze so I'm not worried about a couple of people. They'll behave or out the door they go!
| Toronto, ON, Canada | 03/17/2009 |
OPEN BAR!!!!!! LOL! The bar will be open from 7pm (cocktail hour) till 1am (last call), our reception is till 2am. They will also get bottles of wine at every table, sparkling wine for toasting, and there's an espresso/cappachino machine at the bar too. After the reception there will be an after party at an afterhours lounge/club, which my friend is hooking up for us...he'll supply a couple bottles of vodka for the group, but it's up to the guests if they want something else or a mixer to go with vodka, they'll have to pay for it at the bar. So i guess the after party is somewhat cash bar, LOL.
| Newnan, GA, USA | 03/18/2009 |
This is a sore subject in our house :) Aj's Mom is from South America, we will have about 6 guests from there.I sought out a cousins opinion and they say that it is inappropriate to have a cash bar. My family is completely happy with paying for their own drinks and they understand that he and I are already doing a nice dinner for about 100 guests ( We have big families). So I personally think a cash bar with wine offered with dinner and Champagne for toasting would be fine! Ah we shall see!
| Crawfordsville, IN, USA | 03/23/2009 |
We are doing a cash bar. an open bar just wasnt in the budget and way too many people in my family dont know when to quit. Another reason for this is that our venue doesnt provide alcohol or a bartender(State Park) so we had to find our own bartender that would provide alcohol and pay them by the hour and pay for a permit to have alcohol there for the night. Thankfully FH's sister works part time at a resturaunt and is good friends with the bartender and she got us a deal.
| Oakville, ON, Canada | 03/23/2009 |
We will either be having a open bar for a couple of hours OR a signature themed styled open bar for a couple of hours serving only a few "purple" drinks to save on expenses
| Halifax, NS, Canada | 03/30/2009 |
I am another Maritime bride and very much agree with the Newfoundland and New Brunswick brides...and several others. I have never been to a wedding with an open bar, and I would think it's becuase:
1. Maritimers have a reputation for being drinkers and partyers (yay kitchen parties!) and the cost of covering drinks for guests would be a ridiculous expense
2. When friends/ guests whom you haven't seen in a while come to the wedding, we may want to have a drink together. So, we offer, "can I buy you a drink?" Instead of, "oh just sit here and I'll retreive a drink for you because it's paid for by someone else."
I personally would feel a little strange not paying for my beverages.
| USA | 04/09/2009 |
I am having a full open bar... having a cash bar is a big NO... if for some crazy reason you cannot have an open bar find some way to do it... maybe only invite the number of guests you can afford to entertain or that your venue will be comfortable with
| Chesapeake, VA, USA | 05/13/2009 |
we are just doing nonalcholic beverages and a champagne toast. But then again, we are getting married at 11am, hordurves at noon and reception at 1pm.
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