Hi! I know you’re not a wedding blogger, but you’ve written about weddings before and you have good advice in general about stuff, so I wanted to ask you about this. Please be honest!!!!! I am engaged and I am very excited & happy and hes [sic] the best. He’s helping me with everything. There’s a big issue that came up. Should we have a cash bar at our wedding? Do you think cash bars are tacky? Our families are divided on this……we’re having a big reception and we want to give alcohol but it’s so much more expensive than I thought it would be to have a full bar. Half of everyone is saying, do a cash bar and then the other half are like NONONONONO!!! I think I know what I want to do but i [sic] just need someone not involved to give me their honest opinion….so yeah. I didn’t think it was going to be so stressful.
Okay, let’s dance. First of all, big congratulations to you and your man! Second, who is “everyone”? There are way too many people involved here, which is probably why it’s so stressful. If you listen to everyone’s opinion, you won’t hear anything.
Since you pleaded with me to be honest, here you go: YES, CASH BARS ARE TACKY! A wedding reception is a party, which is why the people you invite are called guests. That makes you the host. Hosts do not ask guests to pay for their food or entertainment, period. The rules don’t change because it’s a wedding. You’re throwing a party because you want to celebrate with your family and friends. Thus, you need to provide for them. If you cannot afford to pay for everything for your party, then you should not have a one. If you had them over for a big party at your home, I’m assuming you wouldn’t say to them, “Please bring cash. Beer and wine is $3, mixed drinks are $5. Thanks!”
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I just went to my dear friend Katie’s wedding and she did a wine and beer bar. There was a special brew named after the couple along with a good variety of beers on tap and bottled, and a nice variety of wine, including champagne. At Katie’s kind request I got very, very day drunk and all was good. I even went exploring in the very pretty park and managed to avoid getting hit by the sprinkler yonder.
What do YOU think, everyone? Are cash bars tacky?
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Photo credit: JFK Wedding photo, 1953, by Lisa Larsen for LIFE magazine, via LIFE photo archives for Google.