Wedding Questions: Open Bar vs Cash Bar?

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Budget is often the overriding factor for many wedding ceremony and reception decisions.  If you and your future spouse decide to have alcohol served at your wedding reception, you'll have to choose among having an open bar, a cash bar, or a combination of both.  Here's a pros and cons list for each choice.

OPEN BAR:

•Pros: Viewed in a majority of social media posts as the best way to properly host a wedding (unless the wedding couples' religion or personal beliefs prohibit alcohol consumption.)

"When you ask people over for dinner, you don't ask them to pay for their own drinks," was one comment made.  "If you want alcohol at your wedding, you provide it", was another.

•Cons:
Less budget friendly for the bride and groom, may cause some guests to overindulge

CASH BAR:

•Pros: Most budget friendly for bride and groom, guests are less likely to overindulge since paying for own drinks/may not have brought enough cash

•Cons: Guests may not stick around too long after the reception starts; guests have to pay more money after having bought a gift, traveled, paid for lodging, etc., and may feel they're being stuck with another bill.

*Hint: Always inform guests ahead of time

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Another option is to put a couple of host-provided bottles of wine (one red, one white) at each dinner table and then give two drink tickets to each guest (One color for under-21 guests and a different color for those over 21).  After that, everything would be on a cash basis.

It is quite common at Wisconsin weddings for the hosts to provide beer, wine, and soda, sometimes with a cash bar for liquor option.

If the wedding party and other family members go off to have pictures taken after the ceremony, some couples decide to make drinks available for their guests at the point.  It's wise to offer snacks at the same time.

Whichever option you and your future spouse choose, here's a toast to your future happiness!

Cheers,
Kate