You don't have to spend a lot to have a nice wedding, you can have a "pay-by-the-drink" bar. That will save a lot and people are less likely to drink too much. If the booze is free, people are more likely to drink more.
By Melissa from Moncure, N.C
I always thought that it was rather tacky to have a cash bar at a wedding. I would rather have just beer and wine or a couple specialty drinks. I would feel horrible asking my guests to bring a gift and their wallets for their drinks.
You can certainly do a limited bar, with wine, beer and soda, or just a couple of punches; one with alcohol and one without.
I agree with frustrated bride. I would have no drink at all before I would have my guests pay for their drinks.
A thrifty way to have a nice wedding is at a roomy home, outdoors in a peaceful and beautiful setting or even a nice restaurant. That alone will save you tons of money and you can still decorate with style but don't do things that will make guests feel unwelcome!
You can do a modest bar (not top shelf). Depending on the location, you can make some of the food yourself if you're willing to make the effort to do it professionally.
There are always sales and "worn once" wedding dresses available for pennies on the dollar that are fabulous or can be slightly altered to be fabulous.
You can do a wedding cookie "cake" like many Italians do. (For me it was tradition.) It can be done with style and allows people some variety while saving a ton on the cake. My aunts all made their specialties and it was a HUGE hit because it was gorgeous, personal and delicious. Things like this also allow family and friends to participate in the wedding but not in a way that enables them to "take over".
One of the worst weddings I've ever been to was planned to be high class but it came off HORRIBLY. They had a cash bar, many people were invited WITHOUT a date even if they had been dating for years, it looked like they had things sponsored with business promos (although they denied it) and guests were bombarded with tales of woe over the expense since it was a second wedding for the both of them and no one was "helping them out this time" was said more times than I can count.
One of the most fun weddings I've ever been to was in a modest hall, nothing top shelf with a nice and tasty buffet. The groom's friend DJ'd and it was just a blast even though we knew hardly anyone there! The groom's biggest "splurge" he thought were the limos because his bride really wanted them but otherwise they both did some work and some compromising for an amazingly fun and happy wedding.
Agreed, I think it is very tacky to do a cash bar. I had a cousin do this 20 years ago and people still bring it up. In my opinion, serve a moderate wine and beer or nothing at all. Sandy
I agree with everyone. If you want to have a cash bar, specify this on your invitations and also have a "no gift" policy. You can't have it both ways!
Although some might feel it is tacky to charge for drinks, keep in mind that if one of your guests is involved in a DUI accident, you can be held responsible. At my wedding, that was a concern, and the caterer agreed, stating that when drinks are free, folks can drink up to 4 times more than they usually do. He suggested that we pay for wine and beer, and our guests could pay for mixed drinks.
My husband and I were married this past September and we had a cash bar. As a matter of fact of all the weddings I've ever been too (7 in all) only one had a open bar. I live in upstate New York and in this neck of the woods I find its much more rare to have an open bar. All and all, do what feels right to you and your future husband or wife, all that matters is that you are married at the end of the day and that you didn't go broke doing it.
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