Planning a Cash Bar at Your Wedding Celebration?

Planning a Cash Bar at Your Wedding Celebration?

One way to save money on your big day is to have a cash bar wedding. Here are some good tips on bar etiquette and invitation wording.

As you’re planning your wedding and deciding on whether to serve alcohol and what type of bar to have, you can’t help but notice how it adds up quickly. An open bar wedding celebration can be quite expensive. There are a lot of choices to make including how much alcohol and what tier level you would like to serve. You can save money by serving beer and wine only, limiting the open hours of the bar, or having a cash bar.

What is a cash bar?

A cash bar is very similar to services provided at a traditional bar. Your guests will order what they want and either start a tab or pay for one drink at a time.

Types of Cash Bars

  1. Ticketed Cash Bar: If you don’t want to have a 100% cash bar, you can choose a ticketed bar where guest are given 1 or 2 tickets for drinks that you have paid for. After their tickets are used, they will pay for any additional drinks.

  2. Limited Cash Bar: Limit the amount of options. You don’t need to have 5 types of gin and specialty liquors to keep your guests satisfied. Keep it simple.

  3. Traditional Cash Bar: If you want to go traditional, each drink is paid for by the guests.

Of note, with whichever option you choose, foot the bill for the champagne or specialty drink for your toast. It is proper etiquette and your guests will love the extra gesture.

Make Sure Your Guests Are Aware That You’re Having a Cash Bar Wedding

Do not keep your cash bar service a secret, your guests need to be prepared in advance. The last thing you want is to surprise your guests and have them scrambling for wallets or their credit card to pay for their own drinks.

Cash Bar Invitation Wording

Place the information on your wedding website and on your invitations, so that your guests quickly see it. Here are a few examples of how to let your guests know. Be creative!

  • Dinner’s on us. Drinks are on you. So, if you want to consume, please bring cash or credit card for our cash bar service.

  • Drink Tickets: We are excited to host you for dinner. If you would like more than two (or one with 1 ticketed bar choice) drinks, please bring cash or a credit card for our cash bar service.

What are the pros and cons of having a cash bar?

Pros: Having a cash bar is cost-effective for you and your budget. It can also eliminate over drinking.

Cons: A cash bar can have some negative connotations for some guests. Asking guests to pay impacts the overall hospitality at the event. Plus, having your bartender mix drinks and take payments can also hold up the bar line at your wedding venue.

More Great Ways to Save

  1. Provide one or two signature cocktails. Have your event seem more upscale without spending a ton on alcohol. With limited choices, you won’t blow your budget.

  2. Instead of serving alcohol in an open bar, Have a specific opening and closing time instead of for the entire event.

Weddings are expensive. A lot of planning and financing goes into the big day, but you will need to think of your guests when considering a cash bar option. Many are traveling and they have expenses involved in attending your celebration.

It is a nice gesture to plan a ticketed option. This will convey to your guests that you appreciate their attendance. Of course, you know your guests and your finances better than anyone, so choose the option that you feel most comfortable with. No matter what, your family and friends will enjoy celebrating with you on one of the most important days of your life.

Happy Wedding Planning!

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