Guide to Albany
Wedding Wit Planner

Cash Bar and Wedding Etiquette

I know there is much controversy over the bar for many reasons. 
 Financial, over indulgence, beliefs and fear of a family member embarrassing the bride and groom are just a few I have heard over the years.  However, A wedding is about inviting guests to come and share the day and the celebration with you.  They are your guests and you are their hosts.  There is not an etiquette book out there that would condone a cash bar.
 Guests should not be paying. - they are guests.  As the economy is making the budget tighter, please consider other options before resorting to having your guests carry money.  A refreshing assortment of  Sangria punches in the summer, Limiting your beer and wine to a few choices instead of a high end assortment , very popular is a  beer, wine and soda with a signature drink instead of an array of mixed drinks. The signature drink can be fun either reflected the bride and grooms personality or even their honeymoon choice .  When you are working with a caterer and off site venue and decide a cash bar is the only way to go - Do not be surprised at being charged a set up fee - It takes a liquor permit in NY for every event whether they are serving 1 drink or 500 drinks, bartender, glass , ice and about 500 glasses per 100 guests. 
 Your wedding should be guests gathering to enjoy the day with you and enjoying whatever you can afford and wish to serve.  Bride and Grooms should not feel obligated by their guests to go beyond their means.    So listen to professionals they have fabulous ideas on how to help mold your vision and your budget together.   Here at The Appel Inn I have always felt you  need a balcony for your honeymoon more than your guests need free scotch.
Happy Planning - love to hear ideas that couples have used to avoid cash bars and still stayed within budget -send a comment or an email 

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Laurie Beckmann

I have been helping brides plan, coordinate, host weddings and ceremonies in the Capital District since 1978. Starting first with a love of cooking, I began to plan events and catered them. My background includes managing large events for Piccolo's at the Plachza where I coordinated Governor Carey's wedding to working in France as a chef on a private yacht.

The Capital District has been my home for over 27 years when my husband and I purchased a historic house in Altamont: The Appel Inn. A tavern from the 1700's, we turned it into a Bed and Breakfast. It was our good fortune in 1983, when a wonderful young couple knocked on our door and asked if we would host their wedding at the B&B.

The rest is history and the beginning of an amazing career that has allowed me to participate in hundreds of special occasions. The increased demand for events led to the design and construction of what we call The Gathering Space, a beautiful structure on our property that can accommodate over 150 people. We even added a bridal boutique where we make custom dresses. Over 1400 brides have passed through our elegant historic inn or The Gathering Space over the last 27 years.

I believe in simple elegance and love helping brides and their families create the day of their dreams, and in case anyone is wondering -- that first couple celebrated their 26th anniversary last November.


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