Open Bar? Semi Open Bar? Cash Bar? What should we do?

Jennifer Leigh DiMarco

Friday, November 27, 2015

As a Wedding Planner, I often get asked this very question:  Should we have an open bar?  A semi-open bar?  Cash bar?


When you hire me, you will always get my honest opinion.  That being said my answer is...

Cash bar or Open bar only!  A semi-open bar is just bad wedding etiquette and could come across as tacky to your guests.

Scenario:

After waiting in line at the bar, you make your way back to your table to find your husband sipping on his beer.  After taking a seat you casually mention your disbelief in the cost of the drink in your hand.  A guest overhears you and says, "Really?  My drink was free."  At this point you may not care or you may be wondering why you had to pay and guests x, y and z are walking around with free drinks.  Having either a cash bar or open bar only prevents this.

-If you decide on a cash bar, please make your guests aware of that ahead of time to avoid any disappointment.

It is a fact, 60% of couples today pay for their wedding entirely on their own and simply cannot afford an open bar but are horrified at the idea of a cash bar.  My solution:  supply your guests with one type of wine and beer and then purchase non-alcoholic drinks as well.  Or, put a signature drink on the menu!  One that the 2 of you really love!  Guests can enjoy that drink and non-alcoholic drinks while they dance the night away!


I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!


Brides/Grooms-to-be:  How are you planning to handle this part of your reception?

To my couples who have already tied the knot:  Share with me what you provided during your reception.


Blessings,

Jen