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Open Bar or Cash Bar? | After I Said Yes

Open Bar or Cash Bar?
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My husband and I were guests at a beach wedding last year and we were ready to dance the night away.  At the reception we sit down, have our dinner in front of us and my husband says “do you want me to get you a glass of wine from the bar?”.  After a long week of work I was looking forward to it.  It actually slipped my mind that “cash bar” was even an option these days.   Unfortunately for us not only do we rarely carry cash but the reception didn’t even take a debit/credit card AND they had no ATM. This poor couple paid tens of thousands of dollars and skimped on the bar and people were leaving 2 hours into the wedding. We stayed because we felt bad but I wasn’t about to dance alone. The DJ ended up packing and leaving at 9 pm and he was contracted until 11 pm.

The point is, some people will dance once they loosen up and not that its a requirement but you certainly want to check out all the variables. #1 – Will your caterer, hotel or bar company take credit cards? #2 – If not, is there an ATM close by?

Couples ask me at least a few times a week my opinion on doing a cash bar or no bar at all! Its not all about the alcohol but I think people assume there will be alcohol at a wedding. It seems like an easy way to cut back but its a big mistake if you have a party crowd. You know your guests better than we do so if you don’t think its going to matter, by all means do what you need to do. My suggestion would be at the very least to do a signature drink with your beer/wine bar or do open bar for 2 of the 4 hours. Be CAREFUL when it comes to consumption as an option because people will grab a drink and leave it on a table and go back for another and you have to pay each one. Who wants a nasty bar bill after the wedding? Just ask the caterer or hotel what the options are. You have to keep your crowd in mind and the worst thing is to have people leave because they aren’t having fun. Some people who never drink will spring for a drink or two at a wedding. So check out all the options before you nix it completely!

If you have to do beer/wine and a signature drink here are some fun pictures to inspire your creativity!!

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Most images courtesy of Ryan Joseph

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About Aymee Brace

Aymee Brace, CPCE has over 16 years of experience within the wedding and events field. She started in Sales/Marketing for a local florist and started her own small local wedding publication. BRIDES Magazine (Conde Nast Publications) got their hands on the magazine and offered her a job as a Senior Account Executive for Brides.com, BRIDES, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Brides Florida. After 5 years at Conde Nast Publications, the owner of Puff 'n Stuff Catering, Warren Dietel, offered her an opportunity moving onto the vendor side of the world in Off-Premise Catering.

2 Responses to “Open Bar or Cash Bar?”

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    January 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm #
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    merel
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    January 9, 2011 at 8:03 am #
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