Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Where Do I Start? => Topic started by: artk2002 on February 24, 2014, 11:12:02 AM

Title: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: artk2002 on February 24, 2014, 11:12:02 AM
Consumerist.org runs an occasional series of "How Not To Suck At ...". They're taking on weddings in a multi-part series. Here's a link to the first part

How To Not Suck At Planning Your Wedding, Part 1: The Most Expensive Steps (http://consumerist.com/2014/02/24/how-to-not-suck-at-planning-your-wedding-part-1-the-first-big-financial-steps/)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 24, 2014, 03:56:41 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on February 24, 2014, 04:44:09 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

You're providing options.  If the alternative is no alcohol at all, I'm more than happy to buy my own.  I'm only ever annoyed if I don't have prior notice as sometimes its not easy to access money at the venue.

IMO its only rude if no beverages AT ALL are provided by the HC.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Peregrine on February 24, 2014, 04:47:07 PM
While I absolutely agree with you Nuit, I wonder if the prevalence of cash bars has something to do with the overwhelming feeling that "it just isn't a celebration without the booze"  or further, the idea that guests are entitled to an all out reception extravaganza to repay their generosity in showing up with a gift.

While on E-hell, we always say have the party you can afford, I have seen examples even here, of people who would think the bridal couple were inconsiderate or rude if every possible dietary need/preference wasn't met, the wedding isn't happening on the right day/time/place, there was no booze or dancing or music and on and on. 

I still remember trying to plan my own wedding over a decade ago, and the push/pull that resorted when I married into a family that abstained from alcohol for religious reasons, and my own extended family that wondered if it would be worth coming if there wasn't booze and dancing (my immediate family were all teetotalers as well).  I think my parents eventually had a phone call with the aunts and uncles who were complaining about the lack of a bar and having a rather candid conversation with them about the fact that my husband and I (both college students at the time) were paying for the entire wedding ourselves and that it was our prerogative not to serve alcohol, and that if the relatives didn't like it, they were free to stay home, but if they came they weren't to complain.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Mikayla on February 24, 2014, 04:56:12 PM

While on E-hell, we always say have the party you can afford, I have seen examples even here, of people who would think the bridal couple were inconsiderate or rude if every possible dietary need/preference wasn't met, the wedding isn't happening on the right day/time/place, there was no booze or dancing or music and on and on. 

I totally agree as far as you take this.  But there's definitely a flip side, and whoever wrote this article tossed out some pretty atrocious ideas about couples throwing parties they can't afford. 

The food suggestions were the worst, particularly pot luck.  Maybe there are places in the world where this is accepted practice, and I know there are some small pockets in the US where families traditionally do this.  But c'mon.  In standard US weddings, this is a horrible idea. 

I also thought it was bizarre to suggest a dessert and cocktail reception without clarifying what times of day this would be.  If the couple wants people hanging around for a typical Saturday evening reception, complete with dancing , this is flat out rude, and the suggestion to "warn your guests ahead of time" is even worse.   Obviously, if it's a 2 hour cocktail reception, that's different, but there are still those who'd say it's rude, unless it ends up being something like 4-6.  Even then, who wants dessert with cocktails?
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: menley on February 24, 2014, 04:56:33 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

While I also dislike cash bars, it's not exactly passing along costs to guests. For weddings, it's often difficult to estimate how much people will drink, and of which types of alcohol. So, say that you estimated that of your 100 guests, all of them would drink 2 glasses of wine, costing you $X. But in reality, only 50 of your guests really wanted wine, and had there been a cash bar, those 50 guests bought wine costing the lesser amount of $Y.

This mostly comes into play if you want to serve a large variety of alcohol, because it then becomes really difficult to estimate how much people will consume of each kind (and many places that do serve large varieties will charge a huge amount to cover this uncertainty). We solved it for our wedding by only offering beer and wine, but we had guests that said they wished we'd had a cash bar so they could get shots!  ::)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LadyL on February 24, 2014, 04:58:17 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

You're providing options.  If the alternative is no alcohol at all, I'm more than happy to buy my own.  I'm only ever annoyed if I don't have prior notice as sometimes its not easy to access money at the venue.

I also prefer a cash bar to no bar. And I also prefer a cash bar to a bar that is only very cheap beer and wine and bottom shelf liquor because all of those things give me terrible hangovers.

In general, one of my hosting goals is that things be all inclusive with no "upcharges" - so no paid mandatory valet parking, no coat check charge, no cash bar, etc. etc. It just sours my night when I have already allocated my budget for transportation, attire, lodging, etc. and then end up spending anywhere from another $20-100 that I didn't budget for. If it is JUST the cash bar and it's communicated ahead of time, I am pretty ok with that, but understand that others draw the line at different points.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: shhh its me on February 24, 2014, 05:05:26 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

While I also dislike cash bars, it's not exactly passing along costs to guests. For weddings, it's often difficult to estimate how much people will drink, and of which types of alcohol. So, say that you estimated that of your 100 guests, all of them would drink 2 glasses of wine, costing you $X. But in reality, only 50 of your guests really wanted wine, and had there been a cash bar, those 50 guests bought wine costing the lesser amount of $Y.

This mostly comes into play if you want to serve a large variety of alcohol, because it then becomes really difficult to estimate how much people will consume of each kind (and many places that do serve large varieties will charge a huge amount to cover this uncertainty). We solved it for our wedding by only offering beer and wine, but we had guests that said they wished we'd had a cash bar so they could get shots!  ::)

UK wedding aside were I believe cash bars are the norm.  I don't take issue with drink tickets for venues that charge by the drink, I don't love it but I can understand the logistic necessity.  Most places here charge a fix rate for an open bar something like $12-20 per person (less for beer or wine only)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 24, 2014, 05:25:17 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

You're providing options.  If the alternative is no alcohol at all, I'm more than happy to buy my own.  I'm only ever annoyed if I don't have prior notice as sometimes its not easy to access money at the venue.

IMO its only rude if no beverages AT ALL are provided by the HC.

Might be a difference of opinion then--I drink and very much enjoy having alcohol available at social events, but I have no problem whatsoever with a HC only offering non-alcoholic beverages.

I've known couples who went dry at their receptions for various reasons.  Religion was the most common one but also financial reasons, one or both was in recovery, etc.  Honestly the only beverage I would be upset at not having available would be coffee :)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: violinp on February 24, 2014, 05:39:43 PM
See, if/when I get married, I'd much rather not have booze. Cabbage is allergic to wine, beer, and champagne; I can't drink anything BUT wine, because everything else tastes too nasty to me; and at least two family members have to abstain most of the time for medical reasons. If that makes people think I'm cheap or I don't want to have a good time, so be it. I don't want to cause more stress than necessary, and I don't want to worry about whether I might get trashed at my own wedding, since I'm incredibly light - weighted (2 drinks is more than enough for me). The cheaper cost is only incidental for me.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on February 24, 2014, 06:30:08 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

You're providing options.  If the alternative is no alcohol at all, I'm more than happy to buy my own.  I'm only ever annoyed if I don't have prior notice as sometimes its not easy to access money at the venue.

IMO its only rude if no beverages AT ALL are provided by the HC.

Might be a difference of opinion then--I drink and very much enjoy having alcohol available at social events, but I have no problem whatsoever with a HC only offering non-alcoholic beverages.

I've known couples who went dry at their receptions for various reasons.  Religion was the most common one but also financial reasons, one or both was in recovery, etc.  Honestly the only beverage I would be upset at not having available would be coffee :)

I could enjoy a dry wedding, but I don't see why a wedding should have to be dry if the only factor in the decision is cost.  The examples you gave above I would absolutely respect also.

I don't "need" a drink to have a good time.  But I very much enjoy a wine with a nice meal.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on February 24, 2014, 09:05:02 PM
The problem with cash bars is that they negate the concept of hospitality. The hosts are obligated to provide some sort of beverages, but it is rude for a guest to complain that their preferred beverage isn't available. At most weddings, the provider of those beverages is under contract to the host, so the cash bar sets up a strange situation where the hosts are asking their guests to foot some of the bill for their own hospitality.

What baffles me is why anyone stops with a cash bar. If it's okay for a guest to pay extra to get his preferred beverage, why not pay extra to get filet mignon instead of prime rib? Or pay extra to get priority access to the dance floor?


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: purple on February 24, 2014, 09:10:25 PM
The problem with cash bars is that they negate the concept of hospitality. The hosts are obligated to provide some sort of beverages, but it is rude for a guest to complain that their preferred beverage isn't available. At most weddings, the provider of those beverages is under contract to the host, so the cash bar sets up a strange situation where the hosts are asking their guests to foot some of the bill for their own hospitality.

What baffles me is why anyone stops with a cash bar. If it's okay for a guest to pay extra to get his preferred beverage, why not pay extra to get filet mignon instead of prime rib? Or pay extra to get priority access to the dance floor?


Powers  &8^]

You say that last paragraph like it's never happened.... ::).....LOL.
Asking your "guests" (and in this situation I use the term very, very loosely) to pay for anything at your wedding is disgustingly rude, IMO.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lakey on February 24, 2014, 10:32:38 PM
I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks? Hosts need to have the type of party or reception that they can afford. If people are pressuring the bride and groom to have a more extravagant reception that the couple can afford, then those people aren't worth pandering to. They won't come if alcohol isn't served? Not much of a loss.
And there are alternatives to an open bar. I've been to receptions where there was alcohol and non-alcohol punch, or where beer and wine was served, or just wine. I've also been to receptions where there was no alcohol at all. If you care about the couple you don't base your attendance on whether or not there will be an open bar.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: kareng57 on February 24, 2014, 11:33:03 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

While I also dislike cash bars, it's not exactly passing along costs to guests. For weddings, it's often difficult to estimate how much people will drink, and of which types of alcohol. So, say that you estimated that of your 100 guests, all of them would drink 2 glasses of wine, costing you $X. But in reality, only 50 of your guests really wanted wine, and had there been a cash bar, those 50 guests bought wine costing the lesser amount of $Y.

This mostly comes into play if you want to serve a large variety of alcohol, because it then becomes really difficult to estimate how much people will consume of each kind (and many places that do serve large varieties will charge a huge amount to cover this uncertainty). We solved it for our wedding by only offering beer and wine, but we had guests that said they wished we'd had a cash bar so they could get shots!  ::)


Me, and my DS and his fiancee, have been going back-and-forth on this.  I have offered the bar as my contribution.

The kids (including his brother) have maintained that no weddings around here that they have attended, during the last few years, has had a full, hosted bar.  The staff at the contracted-venue have said the same thing.  I'm of two minds - I'm old enough to have the mindset that hosting means hosting - you don't do it halfway.  OTOH, I want to do what is mainstream around here (and yes, remain in budget).

I am thinking - include all soft drinks/juices for anyone who wants them during the entire evening (it's about $ 5 a person, I can handle it).  Include red and white wine on the tables during dinner.  Provide two free drinks per person during the whole event.

I'm well aware that the advice on this forum is no cash bar!  Ever!

I have dressed myself with the flame-suit...

Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 24, 2014, 11:35:03 PM
I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks? Hosts need to have the type of party or reception that they can afford. If people are pressuring the bride and groom to have a more extravagant reception that the couple can afford, then those people aren't worth pandering to. They won't come if alcohol isn't served? Not much of a loss.
And there are alternatives to an open bar. I've been to receptions where there was alcohol and non-alcohol punch, or where beer and wine was served, or just wine. I've also been to receptions where there was no alcohol at all. If you care about the couple you don't base your attendance on whether or not there will be an open bar.

My mom was rather unhappy about the fact that her stepdaughter's wedding had no alcohol.  This was a brand-new concept in her world--she'd never heard of, let alone attended a super-conservative/evangelical religious ceremony. 

Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: kareng57 on February 24, 2014, 11:49:06 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

You're providing options.  If the alternative is no alcohol at all, I'm more than happy to buy my own.  I'm only ever annoyed if I don't have prior notice as sometimes its not easy to access money at the venue.

IMO its only rude if no beverages AT ALL are provided by the HC.


But it's also true that some venues will specify, in the Terms and Conditions, that, in the absence of a host-drink service, they have the right to set up a cash-bar.

If the HC did not see this in the fine-print of the contract, then they could very well end up being criticized about having a cash-bar.

So sometimes, they can't win...
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on February 25, 2014, 12:40:32 AM
The problem with cash bars is that they negate the concept of hospitality. The hosts are obligated to provide some sort of beverages, but it is rude for a guest to complain that their preferred beverage isn't available. At most weddings, the provider of those beverages is under contract to the host, so the cash bar sets up a strange situation where the hosts are asking their guests to foot some of the bill for their own hospitality.

I disagree.

1. The hosts usually ARE providing beverages - just either non-alcoholic, or limted alcoholic
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks?

Again - I don't see it as asking guests to pay.  Noone has to buy the drinks - guests are free to partake only the beverages provided.  But I don't think its rude for other options to be available, or to utilise those options.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: menley on February 25, 2014, 04:38:15 AM
I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks? Hosts need to have the type of party or reception that they can afford. If people are pressuring the bride and groom to have a more extravagant reception that the couple can afford, then those people aren't worth pandering to. They won't come if alcohol isn't served? Not much of a loss.
And there are alternatives to an open bar. I've been to receptions where there was alcohol and non-alcohol punch, or where beer and wine was served, or just wine. I've also been to receptions where there was no alcohol at all. If you care about the couple you don't base your attendance on whether or not there will be an open bar.

My mom was rather unhappy about the fact that her stepdaughter's wedding had no alcohol.  This was a brand-new concept in her world--she'd never heard of, let alone attended a super-conservative/evangelical religious ceremony.

Ohhh yeah. When my sister got married, she had her reception in her Baptist church's "fellowship hall". While members of her church could use that venue for free for weddings, they had to abide by some strict rules, including no alcoholic beverages, no dancing, and no DJ. My dad's side of the family (which is not Baptist) was aghast at the fact that there was no alcohol or dancing at the wedding. My uncle even said to me at one point "What's the point of coming if you can't have a good time?"
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Margo on February 25, 2014, 05:07:42 AM
UK here - I wouldn't say cash bars are the norm here - I think what can happen is that you have the formal reception, where drinks are generally paid for, but it is also quite common for that to be followed by a bigger, evening party, where there *may* be a cash bar.

We don't have 'cocktail hour'. My experience is that wine is generally served at the reception (or sometimes, wine and beer) plus Champagne (or other sparkling wine) for the toasts.

*If* there is a separate evening 'do' and *if* that has a cash bar then of course people are free to buy spirits as well as wine or beer.

I can't think of any wedding I've ever been to where there was a cash bar and the couple only provided soft drinks. I have been to a couple where there was beer and wine available in the evening but the venue also had a bar open so if you wanted shots or cocktails or a different  brand of beer you could get it.

When my cousin got married, (immediately after graduating) they had a low cost wedding. They didn't have a cash bar (couldn't have had if they'd wanted, the hall didn't have a liquor licence) but they did leave a box out and mention (once) that if anyone wishes to give a contribution towards the cost of the booze it would be welcome. There was no pressure and no one monitoring what you put in against what drinks you had. This was at the evening reception, when  a lot of their friends (mainly students and recent graduates) came.

Those of us who were there for the whole thing got served wine with with our meal.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on February 25, 2014, 05:10:36 AM
When my co-worker got married all of her immediate (I.e. in the same department) co-workers except me because I don't drink got plastered on the open bar. They sat at the table and counted down the minutes until the free bar ended (and the cash bar began) and kept running up for drinks. Their goal was to get as drunk as possible on her dime. So cash bar or not they would have gotten plastered.

Yet another reason I would never have booze at a wedding. (Having to deal with drunk guests at my job is the main reason.)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: HannahGrace on February 25, 2014, 05:21:46 AM
When my co-worker got married all of her immediate (I.e. in the same department) co-workers except me because I don't drink got plastered on the open bar. They sat at the table and counted down the minutes until the free bar ended (and the cash bar began) and kept running up for drinks. Their goal was to get as drunk as possible on her dime. So cash bar or not they would have gotten plastered.

Yet another reason I would never have booze at a wedding. (Having to deal with drunk guests at my job is the main reason.)

To me that is more of a reason to be careful who you invite. We will be having open bar and I am quite sure no one we are inviting would behave so poorly or have that attitude.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on February 25, 2014, 05:45:12 AM

To me that is more of a reason to be careful who you invite. We will be having open bar and I am quite sure no one we are inviting would behave so poorly or have that attitude.

And she would have said the exact same thing prior to her wedding-she sees some of them socially!

*Shrug* I work night audit at a hotel.  95% of weddings here have loud obnoxious drunks- and we're not talking "trashy"  weddings either.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Dazi on February 25, 2014, 05:53:12 AM
Due to my DH's family's religious beliefs we had a dry wedding.  Personally, I didn't care one way or another.  It would have cost us as much to have an open bar as the rest of our wedding and honeymoon combined.

We had an early wedding followed by a full sit down lunch reception. Our reception was held in an upscale restaurant's private hall.   There was a bar in the main part of the restaurant.  We had people who went and purchased their own adult beverages at the bar.  I would hope that people didn't feel we were cheap host who forced them to purchase their own alcohol. 

There was a line in our contract about the venue allowing their own cash bar if we opted not to provide a full open bar, but I had that crossed out...because I'm a nut who actually reads a contract twice before signing it.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: HannahGrace on February 25, 2014, 06:55:11 AM

To me that is more of a reason to be careful who you invite. We will be having open bar and I am quite sure no one we are inviting would behave so poorly or have that attitude.

And she would have said the exact same thing prior to her wedding-she sees some of them socially!

*Shrug* I work night audit at a hotel.  95% of weddings here have loud obnoxious drunks- and we're not talking "trashy"  weddings either.

I was talking less about the drunk aspect (it happens, it can sneak up on people) but rather the expressed goal to get as drunk as possible and counting down the minutes of the open bar, which is a craven attitude that none of the people who are being invited have ever displayed.

But anyway - I can't imagine having a celebration without having alcohol available for people who enjoy it.  Most of my immediate family doesn't, but I love a glass of red wine and I can't wait to be toasting my new husband.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 25, 2014, 10:34:12 AM
I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks? Hosts need to have the type of party or reception that they can afford. If people are pressuring the bride and groom to have a more extravagant reception that the couple can afford, then those people aren't worth pandering to. They won't come if alcohol isn't served? Not much of a loss.
And there are alternatives to an open bar. I've been to receptions where there was alcohol and non-alcohol punch, or where beer and wine was served, or just wine. I've also been to receptions where there was no alcohol at all. If you care about the couple you don't base your attendance on whether or not there will be an open bar.

My mom was rather unhappy about the fact that her stepdaughter's wedding had no alcohol.  This was a brand-new concept in her world--she'd never heard of, let alone attended a super-conservative/evangelical religious ceremony.

Ohhh yeah. When my sister got married, she had her reception in her Baptist church's "fellowship hall". While members of her church could use that venue for free for weddings, they had to abide by some strict rules, including no alcoholic beverages, no dancing, and no DJ. My dad's side of the family (which is not Baptist) was aghast at the fact that there was no alcohol or dancing at the wedding. My uncle even said to me at one point "What's the point of coming if you can't have a good time?"

Stepsister's wedding wasn't even at a dry location, it was just dry as the groom's family was all evangelical and didn't believe in having alcohol/dancing/secular music at the ceremony or reception. 

Not my preference but not my wedding and I wasn't going to complain about it publicly while we were there.  Even if I was biting my tongue through parts of the sermon...

Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lowspark on February 25, 2014, 10:44:40 AM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

While I also dislike cash bars, it's not exactly passing along costs to guests. For weddings, it's often difficult to estimate how much people will drink, and of which types of alcohol. So, say that you estimated that of your 100 guests, all of them would drink 2 glasses of wine, costing you $X. But in reality, only 50 of your guests really wanted wine, and had there been a cash bar, those 50 guests bought wine costing the lesser amount of $Y.

This mostly comes into play if you want to serve a large variety of alcohol, because it then becomes really difficult to estimate how much people will consume of each kind (and many places that do serve large varieties will charge a huge amount to cover this uncertainty). We solved it for our wedding by only offering beer and wine, but we had guests that said they wished we'd had a cash bar so they could get shots!  ::)

Some places just charge you a per person charge for an open bar, with the charge varying depending on whether you want to offer "premium" brands or not. In that case, what has happened is that the venue has figured out about how much people will drink at an event and price it so that it will make them a profit.

It works out great for the customer because you then have no worries about how much gets ordered. Your costs are known up front.

I'm one who agrees that an cash bar is not ok. I went to a Bat Mitzvah once where it was cash bar. I was totally unprepared. To be honest, I would have been fine with no liquor. I don't need it to have a good time. But since it was available and people were drinking, I wanted some. Having to pay for it just felt weird and it took away the feeling of being hosted graciously.

I'm on board with hosting the party you can afford. If all you can afford is cake and punch then that's what you serve. You don't serve cake and punch and then have a cash counter where people can order food. So if all you can afford is coke and coffee, you serve coke and coffee. If all you can afford is beer and wine, then that's what you serve.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: shhh its me on February 25, 2014, 02:25:37 PM
I really wish cash bars wouldn't be suggested as a way to save money.  You aren't saving anything, you're just passing along costs to your guests.

While I also dislike cash bars, it's not exactly passing along costs to guests. For weddings, it's often difficult to estimate how much people will drink, and of which types of alcohol. So, say that you estimated that of your 100 guests, all of them would drink 2 glasses of wine, costing you $X. But in reality, only 50 of your guests really wanted wine, and had there been a cash bar, those 50 guests bought wine costing the lesser amount of $Y.

This mostly comes into play if you want to serve a large variety of alcohol, because it then becomes really difficult to estimate how much people will consume of each kind (and many places that do serve large varieties will charge a huge amount to cover this uncertainty). We solved it for our wedding by only offering beer and wine, but we had guests that said they wished we'd had a cash bar so they could get shots!  ::)

Some places just charge you a per person charge for an open bar, with the charge varying depending on whether you want to offer "premium" brands or not. In that case, what has happened is that the venue has figured out about how much people will drink at an event and price it so that it will make them a profit.

It works out great for the customer because you then have no worries about how much gets ordered. Your costs are known up front.

I'm one who agrees that an cash bar is not ok. I went to a Bat Mitzvah once where it was cash bar. I was totally unprepared. To be honest, I would have been fine with no liquor. I don't need it to have a good time. But since it was available and people were drinking, I wanted some. Having to pay for it just felt weird and it took away the feeling of being hosted graciously.

I'm on board with hosting the party you can afford. If all you can afford is cake and punch then that's what you serve. You don't serve cake and punch and then have a cash counter where people can order food. So if all you can afford is coke and coffee, you serve coke and coffee. If all you can afford is beer and wine, then that's what you serve.

Just as an FYI I've never seen the per person price be more then what 2 drinks per hour per guest would cost (most are 4-5 hours) It's actually closer to what 2-4 drinks total would cost.  IT does tend to be limited  (something like vodka , rum , bourbon ,gin, whiskey , scotch maybe tequila , coffee liqueur , cognac , orange, peach lemon ect. liqueur) , they may not be able to make a grasshopper or a peach daiquiri but they may be able to make whatever drink is really popular in the area at the time.   
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lowspark on February 25, 2014, 02:35:52 PM
Yeah. The wedding where they did this when I learned about this method, they served one signature drink which they passed around on trays, and also had a bar where you could order drinks. I doubt you could order anything other than what I'd consider a standard cocktail, so yeah, no frozen drinks or drinks that required more elaborate ingredients. But certainly the array of cocktails you could order was sufficient. I mean, there was really plenty of booze to go around so I don't think anyone felt that it was inadequate.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: EMuir on February 25, 2014, 02:45:40 PM
I'm from the Canadian prairies and cash bars are pretty normal here.   You may or may not have one or two free drink tickets provided.  When I was young it was only the "rich relative" who actually paid for all the drinks at ONE wedding I can remember,  for his son.  And it was cheaper because it was a small town hall and he bought the booze himself and volunteers served it (including me actually), so he wasn't paying "per drink" event center prices or anything.

As long as there are some free beverages available, like water and coffee, I think that's just fine for a wedding.  But then again, wedding gifts here are usually not extravagant either, normally well under $50.  "Cover your plate" is a term I first heard here.  Then again, a lot of weddings are in small town halls and catered by the local club that charges under $10 per plate. 

I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to? 
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: BigBadBetty on February 25, 2014, 02:46:41 PM
The problem with cash bars is that they negate the concept of hospitality. The hosts are obligated to provide some sort of beverages, but it is rude for a guest to complain that their preferred beverage isn't available. At most weddings, the provider of those beverages is under contract to the host, so the cash bar sets up a strange situation where the hosts are asking their guests to foot some of the bill for their own hospitality.

I disagree.

1. The hosts usually ARE providing beverages - just either non-alcoholic, or limted alcoholic
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

I do consider it rude to have a cash bar. If you wouldn't ask your guests to pay for their food, why would it be okay to ask them to pay for their drinks?

Again - I don't see it as asking guests to pay.  Noone has to buy the drinks - guests are free to partake only the beverages provided.  But I don't think its rude for other options to be available, or to utilise those options.

Thank you. I could never articulate why a cash bar didn't bother me. I think you explained it well. I know according to traditional etiquette is considered rude, but that rule rubbed me the wrong way.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lowspark on February 25, 2014, 02:49:52 PM
I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to? 

I don't see that any wedding needs to have a free bar. Or food for that matter. Or dancing. Or whatever. You have what you want to have and can afford to have. I've been to "cake and punch only" weddings. They were fine. I was there to celebrate the wedding with the happy couple. If they served food and booze and we danced all night or if they just had cake and mints and we schmoozed for 45 minutes, either way, that was the wedding that couple wanted to host and it was about them, not me.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: shhh its me on February 25, 2014, 03:02:32 PM
I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to? 

I don't see that any wedding needs to have a free bar. Or food for that matter. Or dancing. Or whatever. You have what you want to have and can afford to have. I've been to "cake and punch only" weddings. They were fine. I was there to celebrate the wedding with the happy couple. If they served food and booze and we danced all night or if they just had cake and mints and we schmoozed for 45 minutes, either way, that was the wedding that couple wanted to host and it was about them, not me.

It may vary by area but I cant even find a banquet venue that particularly offers a cash bar*  Some offer no bar or just punch I'm sure if I keep looking I'll find beer and wine.

* there one I know of that if the hosts don't supply a bar (besides coffee/tea , juice and soda) if the guest asks they can buy a drink. So the guest would be offered " would you like  x , y or z to drink?" and the guest asked "is there any wine available ?"  the reply is "The host is providing x,yor z you may purchase a glass of wine for $"  I don't actually have an issue with that since the guests has to ASK for a beverage not on the list they were offered,  they aren't solicited to buy drinks.    I'm not sure if this venue will allow the host to say "do not sell drinks to anyone in my room."
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 25, 2014, 03:47:23 PM
I'm from the Canadian prairies and cash bars are pretty normal here.   You may or may not have one or two free drink tickets provided.  When I was young it was only the "rich relative" who actually paid for all the drinks at ONE wedding I can remember,  for his son.  And it was cheaper because it was a small town hall and he bought the booze himself and volunteers served it (including me actually), so he wasn't paying "per drink" event center prices or anything.

As long as there are some free beverages available, like water and coffee, I think that's just fine for a wedding.  But then again, wedding gifts here are usually not extravagant either, normally well under $50.  "Cover your plate" is a term I first heard here.  Then again, a lot of weddings are in small town halls and catered by the local club that charges under $10 per plate. 

I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to?

I think there are laws in the States about whether or not volunteers can serve alcohol (and it may vary by state). 

My experience in terms of class (having been to everything from a simple backyard wedding to a full-blown fancy affair) is that if someone can't afford a free open bar, they either have a limited bar or no bar.  Most people would rather have a dry wedding than a cash bar.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on February 25, 2014, 05:40:52 PM
When my co-worker got married all of her immediate (I.e. in the same department) co-workers except me because I don't drink got plastered on the open bar. They sat at the table and counted down the minutes until the free bar ended (and the cash bar began) and kept running up for drinks. Their goal was to get as drunk as possible on her dime. So cash bar or not they would have gotten plastered.

Do you think?  They drank as much as they could ON HER DIME.  I wonder if it had been a cash bar all night whether they would have gone as hard?
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: purple on February 25, 2014, 06:17:42 PM
I'm from the Canadian prairies and cash bars are pretty normal here.   You may or may not have one or two free drink tickets provided.  When I was young it was only the "rich relative" who actually paid for all the drinks at ONE wedding I can remember,  for his son.  And it was cheaper because it was a small town hall and he bought the booze himself and volunteers served it (including me actually), so he wasn't paying "per drink" event center prices or anything.

As long as there are some free beverages available, like water and coffee, I think that's just fine for a wedding.  But then again, wedding gifts here are usually not extravagant either, normally well under $50.  "Cover your plate" is a term I first heard here.  Then again, a lot of weddings are in small town halls and catered by the local club that charges under $10 per plate. 

I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to?

I don't think so.  Good manners and good hosting is the same, regardless of status.  To me 'classy' is hosting your guests properly.  Whether that means serving them a plate of pasta and a glass of water or an 8 course degustation with matching boutique wines is not relevant.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: shhh its me on February 25, 2014, 06:39:09 PM
When my co-worker got married all of her immediate (I.e. in the same department) co-workers except me because I don't drink got plastered on the open bar. They sat at the table and counted down the minutes until the free bar ended (and the cash bar began) and kept running up for drinks. Their goal was to get as drunk as possible on her dime. So cash bar or not they would have gotten plastered.

Do you think?  They drank as much as they could ON HER DIME.  I wonder if it had been a cash bar all night whether they would have gone as hard?

OR if they would have drunk less if it was an open bar all night.  People sometimes get weird about until 9pm you can have as much as you want free after that you have to pay for it. Thats not counting the people who might get a little spiteful about a cash bar.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: BigBadBetty on February 25, 2014, 08:27:32 PM
I'm from the Canadian prairies and cash bars are pretty normal here.   You may or may not have one or two free drink tickets provided.  When I was young it was only the "rich relative" who actually paid for all the drinks at ONE wedding I can remember,  for his son.  And it was cheaper because it was a small town hall and he bought the booze himself and volunteers served it (including me actually), so he wasn't paying "per drink" event center prices or anything.

As long as there are some free beverages available, like water and coffee, I think that's just fine for a wedding.  But then again, wedding gifts here are usually not extravagant either, normally well under $50.  "Cover your plate" is a term I first heard here.  Then again, a lot of weddings are in small town halls and catered by the local club that charges under $10 per plate. 

I wonder if etiquette differs according to class?  Maybe upper class weddings need to have a free bar, but lower and middle class weddings don't have to?

I think there are laws in the States about whether or not volunteers can serve alcohol (and it may vary by state). 

My experience in terms of class (having been to everything from a simple backyard wedding to a full-blown fancy affair) is that if someone can't afford a free open bar, they either have a limited bar or no bar.  Most people would rather have a dry wedding than a cash bar.

Count me in the minority. I would rather buy myself the drink I want than attend a dry wedding. I wouldn't say anything to the hosts. I wouldn't complain to anyone. It's just my preference.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Lynnv on February 25, 2014, 08:35:27 PM
My experience in terms of class (having been to everything from a simple backyard wedding to a full-blown fancy affair) is that if someone can't afford a free open bar, they either have a limited bar or no bar.  Most people would rather have a dry wedding than a cash bar.

Count me in the minority. I would rather buy myself the drink I want than attend a dry wedding. I wouldn't say anything to the hosts. I wouldn't complain to anyone. It's just my preference.

Me too.  I know why they annoy folks, but cash bars at weddings just don't bother me.  And I say this as someone who had a cake and punch (and no bar at all) wedding. 

At a wedding where a meal is served, I generally like to have a drink.  And it doesn't bother me if I have to pay for it.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on February 25, 2014, 11:37:37 PM
When my co-worker got married all of her immediate (I.e. in the same department) co-workers except me because I don't drink got plastered on the open bar. They sat at the table and counted down the minutes until the free bar ended (and the cash bar began) and kept running up for drinks. Their goal was to get as drunk as possible on her dime. So cash bar or not they would have gotten plastered.

Do you think?  They drank as much as they could ON HER DIME.  I wonder if it had been a cash bar all night whether they would have gone as hard?

If it was the only booze available,  oh yeah. But they were determined to get drunk for free and did so.

Me I'd have a dry wedding.  Anyone who felt they couldn't stand to wish me well without booze wouldn't be RSVPing yes in the first place- I'm a lifelong non-drinker and everyone knows that. (And I have exactly 5 relatives who would get an invite. They all know I don't drink, too.)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lowspark on February 26, 2014, 08:41:39 AM
I've been to many open-bar events, weddings and other social events, some of them with hundreds of people in attendance. I've yet to see anyone get sloshing drunk on the "free booze". I'm sure it does happen! Just saying I've never seen it. So I gotta wonder if the people going overboard on imbibing are ones who are just not able to control their alcohol consumption and the prospect of gratuitous liquor is just too tempting to pass up.

In my experience (and I'll emphasize that this is my experience) people mostly drink about the same or slightly more at events with an open bar than they normally would if they were paying. Maybe I just hang out with an unusual crowd.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: HannahGrace on February 26, 2014, 09:13:31 AM
I've been to many open-bar events, weddings and other social events, some of them with hundreds of people in attendance. I've yet to see anyone get sloshing drunk on the "free booze". I'm sure it does happen! Just saying I've never seen it. So I gotta wonder if the people going overboard on imbibing are ones who are just not able to control their alcohol consumption and the prospect of gratuitous liquor is just too tempting to pass up.

In my experience (and I'll emphasize that this is my experience) people mostly drink about the same or slightly more at events with an open bar than they normally would if they were paying. Maybe I just hang out with an unusual crowd.

No, you don't - this is my experience too, and I've lived all over the country and circulated among various groups of people.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Thipu1 on February 26, 2014, 09:15:43 AM
Has anyone else seen installment 2 of the Consumerist series yet?

This one goes over the top in many ways.  The howler was the suggestion that the Bride can go without flowers and and be 'creative' by carrying a fairy wand or a fly swatter.  :o

Yes, they actually suggested a fly swatter. 
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lowspark on February 26, 2014, 09:30:26 AM
Has anyone else seen installment 2 of the Consumerist series yet?

This one goes over the top in many ways.  The howler was the suggestion that the Bride can go without flowers and and be 'creative' by carrying a fairy wand or a fly swatter.  :o

Yes, they actually suggested a fly swatter.

That way, if a fly lands on, say the groom, or maybe the maid of honor, the bride can handle it with little fuss. Makes perfect sense! .......... NOT!
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Carotte on February 26, 2014, 09:45:06 AM
Has anyone else seen installment 2 of the Consumerist series yet?

This one goes over the top in many ways.  The howler was the suggestion that the Bride can go without flowers and and be 'creative' by carrying a fairy wand or a fly swatter.  :o

Yes, they actually suggested a fly swatter.

 :o
How's that a substantial economy?
Unless it ties with the theme somehow (doubts it for the fly swatter but hey..), if it's about being thrifty, go with wildflowers, or a non-wedding bouquet (since I guess the "wedding" part of the name makes it wayyyy more expensive).
And just a fairy wand? I'd feel empty handed, I'd rather carry gloves in my hand* than one something.

*There's a family joke/play on words in there about my parent's wedding, my grandmother giving my father some gloves, saying it's to give him composture (contenance in french, same word as volume) and him replying that "yeah, 6 or 7 onces". I've heard that grandma was not amused  ;D
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on February 26, 2014, 10:09:25 AM
Has anyone else seen installment 2 of the Consumerist series yet?

This one goes over the top in many ways.  The howler was the suggestion that the Bride can go without flowers and and be 'creative' by carrying a fairy wand or a fly swatter.  :o

Yes, they actually suggested a fly swatter.

 :o
How's that a substantial economy?
Unless it ties with the theme somehow (doubts it for the fly swatter but hey..), if it's about being thrifty, go with wildflowers, or a non-wedding bouquet (since I guess the "wedding" part of the name makes it wayyyy more expensive).
And just a fairy wand? I'd feel empty handed, I'd rather carry gloves in my hand* than one something.

*There's a family joke/play on words in there about my parent's wedding, my grandmother giving my father some gloves, saying it's to give him composture (contenance in french, same word as volume) and him replying that "yeah, 6 or 7 onces". I've heard that grandma was not amused  ;D

Most women I know would cringe at the suggestion of using a fairy wand instead of a bouquet. Personally, even if it were a well-crafted, beautiful wand, I would feel like I was 5 years old if I did that.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LadyL on February 26, 2014, 11:01:18 AM
I've been to many open-bar events, weddings and other social events, some of them with hundreds of people in attendance. I've yet to see anyone get sloshing drunk on the "free booze". I'm sure it does happen! Just saying I've never seen it. So I gotta wonder if the people going overboard on imbibing are ones who are just not able to control their alcohol consumption and the prospect of gratuitous liquor is just too tempting to pass up.

If the open bar is staffed by professional bartenders, no one should be getting sloshed period. This was a concern at my wedding (I have some over-imbibers in my family). We hired friends who run a restaurant bar and they had all sorts of tips and tricks for making sure no one went overboard. Those included not giving out shots of alcohol, mixing drinks a bit weaker if the person ordering them showed signs of intoxication, and looking out for people bringing extra drinks to guests who'd already had too much. We had open bar for 4 hours and not a single person was obviously/obnoxiously drunk (which is seriously a small miracle in my family).

Of course, we found out later that my uncle nabbed an entire case of champagne to bring back on the party bus and I'm sure THAT got messy. But it wasn't our problem :). And I wasn't mad because he made half our desserts and a $35 case of champagne was more than a fair trade ;).
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Texas Mom on February 26, 2014, 11:07:47 PM
I can't wait to see installment 3!

Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: purple on February 26, 2014, 11:12:23 PM
Has anyone else seen installment 2 of the Consumerist series yet?

This one goes over the top in many ways.  The howler was the suggestion that the Bride can go without flowers and and be 'creative' by carrying a fairy wand or a fly swatter.  :o

Yes, they actually suggested a fly swatter.

 :o
How's that a substantial economy?
Unless it ties with the theme somehow (doubts it for the fly swatter but hey..), if it's about being thrifty, go with wildflowers, or a non-wedding bouquet (since I guess the "wedding" part of the name makes it wayyyy more expensive).
And just a fairy wand? I'd feel empty handed, I'd rather carry gloves in my hand* than one something.

*There's a family joke/play on words in there about my parent's wedding, my grandmother giving my father some gloves, saying it's to give him composture (contenance in french, same word as volume) and him replying that "yeah, 6 or 7 onces". I've heard that grandma was not amused  ;D

Most women I know would cringe at the suggestion of using a fairy wand instead of a bouquet. Personally, even if it were a well-crafted, beautiful wand, I would feel like I was 5 years old if I did that.

I didn't have a flower bouquet - I had chocolate covered strawberries and the chocolate was in the colours that matched my dress.  I don't know if it saved a whole lot of money - it was perhaps a little cheaper than a 'bridal' flower bouquet, but at least we all got to eat it after the ceremony instead of watching it die and throwing it in the bin  :).

A fairy wand....not for me but I've seen those gypsy weddings on TV where the bride carried a wand.
A fly swatter....not for me.....it's a bit puzzling, I'd love to know who came up with that suggestion!
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on February 27, 2014, 05:03:48 AM
Fairy wands. Good lord. Way to juvenilize women there, consumerist.


Fly swatters. My friends would drag me off for a psych evaluation if I suggested it seriously.


Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: nuit93 on February 27, 2014, 10:49:50 AM
I did wear fairy wings as part of a wedding party once, my best friend from college was getting married.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: shhh its me on February 27, 2014, 02:42:21 PM
  I may be totally wrong but if you have the personality to walk-down the aisle with a fairy wand , I don't think you're the type of person who needed approval or the suggestion to do it.   I don't think the suggestions were helpful for a person wanting a cheaper alternative to a traditional bouquet. (they did suggest picking flowers that was helpful) But they missed so many actual good suggestions ....http://www.pinterest.com/ecopartygoddess/eco-chic-alternatives-to-cut-flower-bouquets/
OK some of those would cost 5xs what a bouquet would but there are some neat ideas in there that would be inexpensive.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Clarissa on February 28, 2014, 06:59:45 PM
UK here. I've been to a lot of weddings in my life, and none had free drinks. Where I'm from, it's considered the norm to have a "cash bar". Meals or buffet are included, but not drinks. Apart from the one glass of sparkling wine/champagne for the toast.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Thipu1 on March 01, 2014, 10:10:53 AM
Installment four was about the honeymoon trip.  Aside from the suggestion of a honeymoon registry, the advice was sensible. 

Installment five was about using the money you receive as Wedding gifts.  This one seemed to be completely sensible.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on March 02, 2014, 04:20:22 AM
UK here. I've been to a lot of weddings in my life, and none had free drinks. Where I'm from, it's considered the norm to have a "cash bar". Meals or buffet are included, but not drinks. Apart from the one glass of sparkling wine/champagne for the toast.

I have worked in the hotel industry for 13 or so years and in big nameless chains and boutique hotels and honestly cash bars are about 50% of the weddings. Fall down drunks at about 90%.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: HannahGrace on March 02, 2014, 09:21:19 AM
UK here. I've been to a lot of weddings in my life, and none had free drinks. Where I'm from, it's considered the norm to have a "cash bar". Meals or buffet are included, but not drinks. Apart from the one glass of sparkling wine/champagne for the toast.

I have worked in the hotel industry for 13 or so years and in big nameless chains and boutique hotels and honestly cash bars are about 50% of the weddings. Fall down drunks at about 90%.

Wow, I must live in a really different part of the country.  I've never been to a wedding either with a cash bar or with falling down drunks.  Guess I have been really lucky!  Hope my luck continues for a few months until my own wedding.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Eeep! on March 02, 2014, 09:48:32 AM
We ended up having a cash bar on accident. We had decided against it due to the cost - the country club charged for their bartender's time and a purchase minimum. Instead, we bought wine for everyone to have (we also have some alcoholics in the family of the beer drinking variety so that helped with that.)
Then in the middle of my reception I are one of my friends with a martini. Huh?
Turns out the bartender decided to stick around after a previous event. Oh well! Not something I'm going to lose sleep over. In fact, 15 years later, we still have people - both our age and my parents' age - say our reception was one of the most fun there been to. So I guess they weren't appalled by our "rudeness" either. :)

Edited to add: and there weren't any obnoxious drunks. In fact, the person most obviously tipsy was out old school band leader. But that's another story. ;)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Mary Lennox on March 02, 2014, 10:00:25 AM
The last wedding I went to had an open bar until 10pm and then a cash bar for the rest of the night. Best of both worlds I think - the drinks were covered for most of the night, but if anyone wanted to keep going after the unofficial finishing time, they were able to. I believe soda was free all night.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Specky on March 02, 2014, 03:34:14 PM
It is really interesting reading over time about the different customs/expectations when it comes to weddings and receptions.  Where I am from, the invitations were a formality.  Everyone knew the details and everyone showed up at the church (if you wanted to attend).  Receptions were in the hall attached to the church and were held immediately following the wedding, as in walk from the sanctuary into the hall.  Receptions were cake, mints, nuts, maybe some other nibble, and punch (non-alcoholic since we were in a church), water, coffee.  The reception usually lasted about 1.5 to 2 hours.  So, the whole affair, including wedding, reception and send-off lasted maybe 2.5 to 3 hours, tops.  Three hours would have been long.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 02, 2014, 04:41:50 PM
UK here. I've been to a lot of weddings in my life, and none had free drinks. Where I'm from, it's considered the norm to have a "cash bar". Meals or buffet are included, but not drinks. Apart from the one glass of sparkling wine/champagne for the toast.

How odd.  Is that just for weddings, or for any hosted event?  If you are invited to someone's home, do they expect you to stop by a liquor store ahead of time and bring your own booze?  Or do they hire a bartender for the evening who brings her own cash register?


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 02, 2014, 04:43:29 PM
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

To be fair, this is a bit of a different situation than the one I'm thinking of.  It's one thing for guests to wander away from the reception and find an open bar within the same facility from which they can order drinks.  It's another thing entirely for the hosts to set up a bar within the reception venue and simply charge their guests for access to it.


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 02, 2014, 10:10:52 PM
UK here. I've been to a lot of weddings in my life, and none had free drinks. Where I'm from, it's considered the norm to have a "cash bar". Meals or buffet are included, but not drinks. Apart from the one glass of sparkling wine/champagne for the toast.

How odd.  Is that just for weddings, or for any hosted event?  If you are invited to someone's home, do they expect you to stop by a liquor store ahead of time and bring your own booze?  Or do they hire a bartender for the evening who brings her own cash register?

Honestly, it is the norm for people to take their own drinks, yes (in Oz).  Or at least wine to share.  This is for casual social dinners.  Noone I know hosts formal dinner parties.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 02, 2014, 10:12:34 PM
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

To be fair, this is a bit of a different situation than the one I'm thinking of.  It's one thing for guests to wander away from the reception and find an open bar within the same facility from which they can order drinks.  It's another thing entirely for the hosts to set up a bar within the reception venue and simply charge their guests for access to it.

I seem to see this completely opposite to you!.  Giving the impression that you've LEFT the function in search of booze seems horribly rude IMO.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on March 02, 2014, 11:38:17 PM

Wow, I must live in a really different part of the country.  I've never been to a wedding either with a cash bar or with falling down drunks.  Guess I have been really lucky!  Hope my luck continues for a few months until my own wedding.

I have worked in hotels in the Midwest and Arizona. The guests have been from everywhere in the US. We've had bartender's shut down the bars (cash and free) an hour after the reception began because they were that drunk that fast. And yes some of these have been big society type weddings.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 03, 2014, 09:19:31 AM
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

To be fair, this is a bit of a different situation than the one I'm thinking of.  It's one thing for guests to wander away from the reception and find an open bar within the same facility from which they can order drinks.  It's another thing entirely for the hosts to set up a bar within the reception venue and simply charge their guests for access to it.

I seem to see this completely opposite to you!.  Giving the impression that you've LEFT the function in search of booze seems horribly rude IMO.

Oh, yes, rude for the guests.  The former situation is rude for the hosts.


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 03, 2014, 05:50:39 PM
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

To be fair, this is a bit of a different situation than the one I'm thinking of.  It's one thing for guests to wander away from the reception and find an open bar within the same facility from which they can order drinks.  It's another thing entirely for the hosts to set up a bar within the reception venue and simply charge their guests for access to it.

I seem to see this completely opposite to you!.  Giving the impression that you've LEFT the function in search of booze seems horribly rude IMO.

Oh, yes, rude for the guests.  The former situation is rude for the hosts.

And that is where I disgaree.  I don't see why it is rude for the hosts to allow guests access to drinks which are external to what is provided, so long as they do provide basic beverages for the event.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 12, 2014, 11:40:43 AM
Because it sets up a second tier.  "Here we have the regular drinks, and here we have the exclusive drinks, access to which requires payment."  That's not proper hospitality; it's insulting.  You wouldn't dream of hosting a dinner party and charging guests for access to the liquor cabinet, would you?  So why is it okay at a large reception?


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 13, 2014, 08:28:49 PM
Because it sets up a second tier.  "Here we have the regular drinks, and here we have the exclusive drinks, access to which requires payment."  That's not proper hospitality; it's insulting.  You wouldn't dream of hosting a dinner party and charging guests for access to the liquor cabinet, would you?  So why is it okay at a large reception?

Powers  &8^]

I disagree with your analogy.  Exclusive means not available to everyone.  A cash bar IS available to everyone, and they can choose whether or not to partake.

IMO it is more akin to someone bringing their own liquor to your dinner party because they prefer to drink scotch but know you only serve beer and wine.  I wouldn't say "No, you can't drink that because I haven't provided it" - because I don't care what they drink, so long as they have a good time at my party.  But I also don't feel obligated to cater to every preference.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Psychopoesie on March 13, 2014, 08:56:09 PM
From Oz here.

The cash/non-cash bar thing hadn't really registered as an issue for me before Ehell.

Some hosts supplied bottles of wine as well soft drinks for each table. Some provided soft drinks to the tables but brought out champagne/sparkling non-alcoholic whatever for the toasts. Some had a cash bar but there was "money on the bar" to pay for drinks for guests up to a limit. Haven't been to one with drink vouchers for each guest but I do like that idea. Some just had a cash bar. Some had no alcohol available (alcohol was a no-no in the religion I grew up with). As long as I've had access something to drink (non-alcoholic/alcoholic) all was good.

I haven't felt less well hosted no matter which choice was made.

I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 13, 2014, 09:04:22 PM
Because it sets up a second tier.  "Here we have the regular drinks, and here we have the exclusive drinks, access to which requires payment."  That's not proper hospitality; it's insulting.  You wouldn't dream of hosting a dinner party and charging guests for access to the liquor cabinet, would you?  So why is it okay at a large reception?

Powers  &8^]

I disagree with your analogy.  Exclusive means not available to everyone.  A cash bar IS available to everyone, and they can choose whether or not to partake.

IMO it is more akin to someone bringing their own liquor to your dinner party because they prefer to drink scotch but know you only serve beer and wine.  I wouldn't say "No, you can't drink that because I haven't provided it" - because I don't care what they drink, so long as they have a good time at my party.  But I also don't feel obligated to cater to every preference.

Yes, this is absolutely the norm here in Oz, and absolutely accepted. I can't remember having been to a party/dinner of any kind in recent years in someone's home where I haven't brought my own drinks.

Beer, wine and soft drinks are generally provided at weddings, and people can buy whatever else they would like. Completely polite and accepted here.


And, Arggh! Does anyone really eat cake, anyway? Of course they do if it tastes any good. Buy one from a supermarket like they suggest and gurarantee that people won't eat it!
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 13, 2014, 09:13:11 PM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: violinp on March 13, 2014, 10:32:30 PM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 13, 2014, 10:48:33 PM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.

Yes, I've understaood that from my reading here. I guess therein lies the difference in attitude towards having what you guys would call a partial cash bar, and we would call normal.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: purple on March 14, 2014, 12:05:00 AM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.

Yes, I've understaood that from my reading here. I guess therein lies the difference in attitude towards having what you guys would call a partial cash bar, and we would call normal.

Maybe depends on your circle, or your actual location? Because I'm in Australia too and I wouldn't consider that drinks (spirits, beer, soft drinks or anything else) are something that guests provide for themselves.  I've never thrown a party or hosted an event where I've ever expected guests to provide anything for themselves.  I see a cash bar or a 'partial cash bar' as rude and I think most of my friends and family would too.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 14, 2014, 02:56:46 AM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.

Yes, I've understaood that from my reading here. I guess therein lies the difference in attitude towards having what you guys would call a partial cash bar, and we would call normal.

Maybe depends on your circle, or your actual location? Because I'm in Australia too and I wouldn't consider that drinks (spirits, beer, soft drinks or anything else) are something that guests provide for themselves.  I've never thrown a party or hosted an event where I've ever expected guests to provide anything for themselves.  I see a cash bar or a 'partial cash bar' as rude and I think most of my friends and family would too.

Must be - I've never ever at any event seen spirits provided as a matter of course, and never at a wedding.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Psychopoesie on March 14, 2014, 06:25:25 AM
^^Yeah, Australia is a pretty big place - so I'm guessing there's a fair bit of variation.  :)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Oh Joy on March 14, 2014, 07:45:39 AM
2. I don't believe that utilising a service which is available is akin to a complaint about what is offered.
3. I think the contract is overthinking things.  The hosts are not responsbile for drnk sold at the bar.  Each purchase of a drink is a separate contract with the paying guest.

To be fair, this is a bit of a different situation than the one I'm thinking of.  It's one thing for guests to wander away from the reception and find an open bar within the same facility from which they can order drinks.  It's another thing entirely for the hosts to set up a bar within the reception venue and simply charge their guests for access to it.

I seem to see this completely opposite to you!.  Giving the impression that you've LEFT the function in search of booze seems horribly rude IMO.

Oh, yes, rude for the guests.  The former situation is rude for the hosts.

And that is where I disgaree.  I don't see why it is rude for the hosts to allow guests access to drinks which are external to what is provided, so long as they do provide basic beverages for the event.

I agree.  I know the reasoning is different, but the example I keep recalling is an organization that can't provide alcohol at their events, but makes sure that the banquet room is either near the hotel bar or that the hotel sets up a cash bar in the common area nearby.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: purple on March 15, 2014, 12:04:49 AM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.

Yes, I've understaood that from my reading here. I guess therein lies the difference in attitude towards having what you guys would call a partial cash bar, and we would call normal.

Maybe depends on your circle, or your actual location? Because I'm in Australia too and I wouldn't consider that drinks (spirits, beer, soft drinks or anything else) are something that guests provide for themselves.  I've never thrown a party or hosted an event where I've ever expected guests to provide anything for themselves.  I see a cash bar or a 'partial cash bar' as rude and I think most of my friends and family would too.

Must be - I've never ever at any event seen spirits provided as a matter of course, and never at a wedding.

Shame I never met you in time to invite you to mine then  :)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 15, 2014, 12:10:00 AM


I don't have a cash register at home or need to hire a bartender.  :) It's only bigger parties like weddings, 18ths or 21sts held at formal venues that paying for alcoholic beverages at an actual bar comes up. YMMV.

Still guests do sometimes pay for their own drinks. For example, at casual dinners with some friends, if I don't BYO some wine, there won't be any because they don't drink. As a host, I make sure I have enough wine and beer when people come over for dinner. Also a couple of soft drink choices. If they want something else, they'll bring it.

Reading this made me think that liquor is something seen in Australia as something you are responsible for providing for yourself. It would be pretty rare that anyone would go to even the most formal dinner party expecting that the hosts would serve spirits with dinner. Beer and wine are the standard alcoholic drinks that are served to guests.

Maybe that's why we find the concept of buying spirits at a wedding perfectly acceptable - because they are usually something we provide for ourselves in all (or almost all) social situations.

US here: If spirits are served at someone's house, they're generally served with appetizers or after dessert (my family offers at both times, but that may not be the norm). The host/hostess provides all booze, including the spirits.

Yes, I've understaood that from my reading here. I guess therein lies the difference in attitude towards having what you guys would call a partial cash bar, and we would call normal.

Maybe depends on your circle, or your actual location? Because I'm in Australia too and I wouldn't consider that drinks (spirits, beer, soft drinks or anything else) are something that guests provide for themselves.  I've never thrown a party or hosted an event where I've ever expected guests to provide anything for themselves.  I see a cash bar or a 'partial cash bar' as rude and I think most of my friends and family would too.

Must be - I've never ever at any event seen spirits provided as a matter of course, and never at a wedding.

Shame I never met you in time to invite you to mine then  :)

Ha! Yes, that would have been nice. :) I wouldn't have gotten sloshing drunk just for fun, either, being a good ehellion.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: lilfox on March 16, 2014, 05:47:04 PM
We had an open bar at our wedding, set up as a private bar with a dedicated bartender.  The rules of the establishment were that the bar opened 30 min before dinner was served and closed 1 hour before the venue closed. All told, that was about 4 hours. The bartender had a menu of maybe 5 specialty cocktails, plus various beers, wine, and standard liquors.

I thought that was about right for us and our guests. Later I found out that a few guests hit the main bar in the main part of the building (we were off to one side) before the ceremony and then again in the 30 min from when the ceremony ended to when our private bar opened. I guess it's good they had that option, but I couldn't help thinking that they would rather leave the area and pay for drinks than spend 30 min of booze-less mingling til they could get free drinks.  And that's a pretty depressing thought.

The only dry wedding (dry for religious reasons, also no dancing) I've been to, most of the wedding party and their friends snuck out back where they'd stashed a cooler full of alcohol.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: iridaceae on March 17, 2014, 05:19:32 AM


And, Arggh! Does anyone really eat cake, anyway? Of course they do if it tastes any good. Buy one from a supermarket like they suggest and gurarantee that people won't eat it!

At the wedding I went to in September the bride apparently got a lot of compliments on the cake (I had to leave before it got served) - it was a supermarket cake.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Thipu1 on March 17, 2014, 10:18:48 AM


And, Arggh! Does anyone really eat cake, anyway? Of course they do if it tastes any good. Buy one from a supermarket like they suggest and gurarantee that people won't eat it!

At the wedding I went to in September the bride apparently got a lot of compliments on the cake (I had to leave before it got served) - it was a supermarket cake.

At our Wedding reception (1983), we had a simple sheet cake provided by the restaurant.  They got their baked goods from a local bakery and their cakes were delicious.  Our guests certainly ate that cake and it was big enough to send pieces home with those who wanted them.

Of course, the locally made ice cream served with it didn't hurt.  ???
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Dazi on March 17, 2014, 10:58:22 AM


And, Arggh! Does anyone really eat cake, anyway? Of course they do if it tastes any good. Buy one from a supermarket like they suggest and gurarantee that people won't eat it!

At the wedding I went to in September the bride apparently got a lot of compliments on the cake (I had to leave before it got served) - it was a supermarket cake.

At our Wedding reception (1983), we had a simple sheet cake provided by the restaurant.  They got their baked goods from a local bakery and their cakes were delicious.  Our guests certainly ate that cake and it was big enough to send pieces home with those who wanted them.

Of course, the locally made ice cream served with it didn't hurt.  ???

I got a three tiered wedding cake from Publix for under $150.   It was delicious and I got a ton of compliments on it.   No one could believe I bought it from a grocery store. There was very little cake left and no cake left after I told the waitstaff to help themselves (we only had about 50 people and that cake should have feed a lot more than that),  so I don't think it's fair to say that a grocery store is necessarily subpar.  I should add that the cake decorator transported it to the reception site and set everything up.   

I did go to several local bakers and not only were they charging crazy amounts,  their cake samples were not all that great. I must have tried half a dozen places.  I got dry, I got tasteless, I got crumbly,  I got gross bacon-fed knave frosting.  The only one that was decent wanted to charge me over  $1000 for a nearly identical cake that I bought from a grocery store.


ETA: this was about a decade ago.   Current prices seem to be about double that now.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Nonsequitur on March 18, 2014, 03:13:33 PM
When I lived in the South, the Publix  in my neighborhood had very good cakes. I knew an acquaintance who had a very upscale wedding, but when approached about shopping for cakes, she said she was going to have a Publix cake. She said: "It will taste good, everybody will like it, and it's one more thing I won't have to worry about."
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Eeep! on March 18, 2014, 04:37:04 PM
I don't think they make wedding cakes, but I personally think Costco cakes are waaaay better than some of the fancy bakery cakes I've had.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 18, 2014, 04:50:43 PM
All right, all right! I surrender to the weight of popular opinion.  ;D

Lots of people will eat supermarket cake.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Eeep! on March 18, 2014, 04:54:34 PM
All right, all right! I surrender to the weight of popular opinion.  ;D

Lots of people will eat supermarket cake.

Yes, but we aren't official CakeEaters sooo.....  ;D
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 18, 2014, 06:12:28 PM
All right, all right! I surrender to the weight of popular opinion.  ;D

Lots of people will eat supermarket cake.

Yes, but we aren't official CakeEaters sooo.....  ;D

That's right - I thought my obvious credentials would be so well resepcted. Ahh well...  ;)
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 22, 2014, 09:59:02 AM
I disagree with your analogy.  Exclusive means not available to everyone.  A cash bar IS available to everyone, and they can choose whether or not to partake.

IMO it is more akin to someone bringing their own liquor to your dinner party because they prefer to drink scotch but know you only serve beer and wine.  I wouldn't say "No, you can't drink that because I haven't provided it" - because I don't care what they drink, so long as they have a good time at my party.  But I also don't feel obligated to cater to every preference.

Would you ask your guest to pay to sit a table closer to the head table at a reception?  Remember, it's not exclusive because anyone can pay for the privilege!  Or, perhaps, you'd offer cold sandwiches to all guests, as well as filet mignon to anyone who wanted to pay extra?  Or charge guests for access to the dance floor?

I agree that your proposed scenario is akin, but we disagree on how astoundingly rude it is.  "Your hospitality is insufficient, so I decided to provide some of my own!"  Really, this is extremely rude (of the guest; of course it's gracious for the host to overlook the slight).


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 22, 2014, 08:35:55 PM
I disagree with your analogy.  Exclusive means not available to everyone.  A cash bar IS available to everyone, and they can choose whether or not to partake.

IMO it is more akin to someone bringing their own liquor to your dinner party because they prefer to drink scotch but know you only serve beer and wine.  I wouldn't say "No, you can't drink that because I haven't provided it" - because I don't care what they drink, so long as they have a good time at my party.  But I also don't feel obligated to cater to every preference.

Would you ask your guest to pay to sit a table closer to the head table at a reception?  Remember, it's not exclusive because anyone can pay for the privilege!  Or, perhaps, you'd offer cold sandwiches to all guests, as well as filet mignon to anyone who wanted to pay extra?  Or charge guests for access to the dance floor?

I agree that your proposed scenario is akin, but we disagree on how astoundingly rude it is.  "Your hospitality is insufficient, so I decided to provide some of my own!"  Really, this is extremely rude (of the guest; of course it's gracious for the host to overlook the slight).


Powers  &8^]

It's really looked at more as follows:

I can't possibly provide every possible combination of drinks that my all my guests will want to drink. It's prohibitively expensive, and will result in a lot of undrunk drinks.

So I'll provide perfectly adequate refreshments, that many people will partake of, and if anyone wants anything else, they are welcome to provide it themselves, then they get exactly what they would prefer to drink.

It's really not seen as a tier above.

It's not the same as food, because pouring a drink/bringing a drink in a cooler to a party is so much easier than cooking a whole different meal.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 23, 2014, 06:19:00 PM
I disagree with your analogy.  Exclusive means not available to everyone.  A cash bar IS available to everyone, and they can choose whether or not to partake.

IMO it is more akin to someone bringing their own liquor to your dinner party because they prefer to drink scotch but know you only serve beer and wine.  I wouldn't say "No, you can't drink that because I haven't provided it" - because I don't care what they drink, so long as they have a good time at my party.  But I also don't feel obligated to cater to every preference.

Would you ask your guest to pay to sit a table closer to the head table at a reception?  Remember, it's not exclusive because anyone can pay for the privilege!  Or, perhaps, you'd offer cold sandwiches to all guests, as well as filet mignon to anyone who wanted to pay extra?  Or charge guests for access to the dance floor?

I agree that your proposed scenario is akin, but we disagree on how astoundingly rude it is.  "Your hospitality is insufficient, so I decided to provide some of my own!"  Really, this is extremely rude (of the guest; of course it's gracious for the host to overlook the slight).


Powers  &8^]

Your table example doesn't count because it ISN'T available to everyone.  Even if I did decide to do that, if everyone took me up on it, I could not fulfil it.  Not everyone can sit next to the head table.  But every CAN have a fancy drink.

Charging guests to access the dancefloor is similarly silly - I don't incur a cost per head to provide a dancefloor so such a charge would merely be a moneymaking exercise on my part.  There's no reasonable reason behind it.

As for the food - well honeslty, whatever.  If I threw a party with fingerfood and the bar offered other options and someone felt strongly that they needed a burger and bought one, then I'd probably think it strange, but if that meant they had a better time at my party, I'm in support.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: LtPowers on March 27, 2014, 06:29:50 PM
But can you guys understand why hosts might feel insulted if guests did this?  How it might telegraph to hosts that their hospitality isn't good enough, and that doing so is rude?  Even if you, personally, as a host, wouldn't mind?


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: katycoo on March 27, 2014, 07:24:00 PM
But can you guys understand why hosts might feel insulted if guests did this?  How it might telegraph to hosts that their hospitality isn't good enough, and that doing so is rude?  Even if you, personally, as a host, wouldn't mind?

Intellectually yes, but in reality no - because the culture here just doesn't work that way.  To be offended on that basis just seems silly to me.  But then I feel the same about people who host a dinner party and get upset at someone merely offering to bring something.

I believe you, but I cannot relate and have never heard from anyone (locally) that they or someone else has been bothered by any of this.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: CakeEater on March 27, 2014, 07:33:10 PM
But can you guys understand why hosts might feel insulted if guests did this?  How it might telegraph to hosts that their hospitality isn't good enough, and that doing so is rude?  Even if you, personally, as a host, wouldn't mind?


Powers  &8^]

I can understand that in many parts of the US, this is considered an insult. Here it just isn't.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: Psychopoesie on March 27, 2014, 07:45:05 PM
But can you guys understand why hosts might feel insulted if guests did this?  How it might telegraph to hosts that their hospitality isn't good enough, and that doing so is rude?  Even if you, personally, as a host, wouldn't mind?


Powers  &8^]

I can understand that in many parts of the US, this is considered an insult. Here it just isn't.

Another Aussie ditto. I've don't have a problem seeing that US or other cultures may have a different take on it.

Even different social groups within the same country can have different views of what's ok.

It's always interesting to learn and discuss the differences. I may even change my mind on some points as a result. I just don't want others to impose their quite different standards on me.
Title: Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
Post by: jazzgirl205 on August 12, 2014, 08:15:43 PM
I got married on a hot July evening on the Gulf Coast (US).  The liquor we offered was champagne and frozen margaritas.  The reception was late at night (after 8) and we had heavy hors duerves.  The guests stayed long after dh and I left.  In fact, the electricity went out so my mother lit candles all over the house (my parents entertained quite a bit so we had a large house).  The guests still wouldn't leave and called the candlelight "magic."