White, red, signature drink, shots, top shelf, bubbly and brew, today’s lesson is all about the bar. If you and most of your guests are not alcohol drinkers, you can serve other beverages such as tea, lemonade and soda. For those who like to partake in the adult beverage, this lesson is for you.
Many couples are torn between the choice of an open bar or cash bar for their wedding reception. I’m going to give you insight into both plus a bonus of my favorite option and the reason behind my choice.
For a cash bar, guests pay for their own drinks. This is not an ideal bar choice because your guests are in attendance to celebrate with you on your big day. Most guests expect to be served drinks from the bar without having to pay; therefore, they won’t have cash on hand. If you have a tight budget, there are alternatives such as serving only beer and wine. If you insist (which I hope you don’t) on having a cash bar, please inform your guests beforehand. Since we are living in the debit and credit card era, very few people carry cash. It should be noted that some bartender services may offer the option of accepting credit cards.
An open bar reception means guests can have any drink offered at no cost to them. This is by far, my favorite bar option. It’s a way to offer another “let’s have a good time” and “thank you for celebrating with us” to your guests. With this service, your family and friends don’t have to worry about not being able to drink, in case they left cash at home. And, even worse they don’t have to borrow cash from another guest.
I know what you are thinking! You possibly have some friends who are heavy drinkers. To help alleviate problems that may arise, you can offer the open bar for a certain number of hours. For instance, the first two to three hours will be an open bar. Afterwards, it will turn into a cash bar. For this scenario, it’s still a good idea to let your guests know in advance. Once the bar turns to cash only, it sometimes eliminates the heavy drinking from some guests. Depending upon the length of your reception, three hours of drinking may be enough. Some venues will request to close the bar 30 minutes to one hour before the reception end time, anyway.
The decision to have a cash bar versus open bar has always been a big topic of discussion with couples. Whether you serve, tea & soda or bubbly and brews, evaluate your guest list because you have to make the best bar service decision for you and your guests.