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