Author Topic: Cash bar and invitations  (Read 6541 times)

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rose red

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 03:26:57 PM »
I wouldn't mention alcohol all at all.  You can simply say "Hors d'oevres (or refreshments) will be served" but if it makes you feel better to mention drinks, perhaps "Hors d'oevres and soft drinks will be served."

sparksals

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 03:42:20 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's. 

Aeris

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2012, 03:48:53 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

sparksals

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2012, 03:53:22 PM »


Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

Perhaps this is different in someone's home?  I'm doing Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner this Sunday.  I invited my guests for 5 PM, the first hour cocktails and dinner hopefully served around 6 PM.   

Aeris

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 03:57:07 PM »


Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

Perhaps this is different in someone's home?  I'm doing Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner this Sunday.  I invited my guests for 5 PM, the first hour cocktails and dinner hopefully served around 6 PM.

Well, holiday meals follow no rules, as far as I can tell. Some people have Christmas dinner at 2pm, some have it at 8pm. No rhyme or reason.

But yes, I think small home meals typically run differently. I might eat dinner at my own home at any odd time, but if I'm invited to An EventTM, like a reception, dinner would never begin before 7pm.

rashea

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 03:57:35 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

My experience is similar, unless people are traveling. Then, people tend to extend the "dinner hour" quite a bit. So, I probably would expect that to be a dinner or heavy apps.
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Sharnita

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 05:10:26 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

My guess is that people who start work early in the morning do indeed tend to start dinner before 7.Teachers and students around here tend to start school as early as 7:20 (that I've heard of) which means leaving home by or before 6 pm.  Figure they get up around 5 pm, get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep and we are talking about going to bed at 9.  If nobody in the entire area ate until after 7 they would be leaving the dinner table and heading directly for bed. That seems unlikely to me.  Probably everyone who shares the same social and work schedule can say that not everyone in the region.

Aeris

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 05:32:22 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

My guess is that people who start work early in the morning do indeed tend to start dinner before 7.Teachers and students around here tend to start school as early as 7:20 (that I've heard of) which means leaving home by or before 6 pm.  Figure they get up around 5 pm, get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep and we are talking about going to bed at 9.  If nobody in the entire area ate until after 7 they would be leaving the dinner table and heading directly for bed. That seems unlikely to me.  Probably everyone who shares the same social and work schedule can say that not everyone in the region.

I did not intend to imply that I actually knew the dining patterns of every single individual in my entire metro area. My point was simply to show that "5-7 is the dinner hour" is not a universally applicable rule, and therefore "5-7 is the dinner hour and therefore you must serve a full dinner" is also not a universally applicable rule.

I also clarified that even in my region, I was referring to my experience with event dinners, like receptions. I specifically said I was not referring to what time individuals ate dinner in their own homes.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 06:34:55 PM »
This may not be a popular opinion, but - typically, if you are hosting, you either serve alcohol or you don't.  Cash bars are a no-no.  Now, a memorial is a different thing from a wedding or cocktail party, but you may want to consider one of the two following options. Either a) serve only soft, with no bar in the room - anyone who wants to wander over to the hotel bar may do so - or b) pony up for softs, beer and wine. I wouldn't have a full bar in the room if guests are expected to buy drinks - I wouldn't expect to pay for anything at a memorial service (valet service is an exception - that's out of your control).


marcel

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2012, 06:54:41 PM »
Lets see if I have the mental picture right. The reception is in one area, with soft drinks, and the restaurant bar is in another, somewhat removed area? If that's so, you're fine. No mention necessary.

If however you are setting up a bar in the room with you, and drinks only available if you purchase them, that's a little different.

Gosh that's a great point. The reception will be in a private room but I believe they're planning to set up a bar for us.  Do you think I should decline that option and ask that guests leave the reception to get drinks? Perhaps limit the in-room bar to soft beverages if possible?

I think your fine with having the cash bar in the same room.  I also don't agree that 5-7 is dinner time.  Our norm is that is cocktail hours and dinner is after 7pm, but that I think is pretty regional.

This may be regional, but I would expect anything including the 6 PM hour to include dinner.  Not everyone eats after 7 PM.  There are many who eat at 5.  By the time they get home from the reception, they may be quite hungry and it will be beyond their normal dinner hour.   I think a way around this is to ensure heavy H'd's.

Has to be regional - I'm like Hmmmmm, in my experience a dinner would never start before 7pm at the absolute earliest. Anything that began earlier than that would be (or include) a cocktail hour for certain. (Most people I know don't even get out of work until at least 6pm.)

That being said, the invite being clear it's just hors d'oeuvres is always a good idea, regardless of whether it's common knowledge in the OP's area that this would not actually be a full dinner.

My guess is that people who start work early in the morning do indeed tend to start dinner before 7.Teachers and students around here tend to start school as early as 7:20 (that I've heard of) which means leaving home by or before 6 pm.  Figure they get up around 5 pm, get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep and we are talking about going to bed at 9.  If nobody in the entire area ate until after 7 they would be leaving the dinner table and heading directly for bed. That seems unlikely to me.  Probably everyone who shares the same social and work schedule can say that not everyone in the region.

I did not intend to imply that I actually knew the dining patterns of every single individual in my entire metro area. My point was simply to show that "5-7 is the dinner hour" is not a universally applicable rule, and therefore "5-7 is the dinner hour and therefore you must serve a full dinner" is also not a universally applicable rule.

I also clarified that even in my region, I was referring to my experience with event dinners, like receptions. I specifically said I was not referring to what time individuals ate dinner in their own homes.
In The Netherlands normal dinner times for people are 5-7 pm, so you would say that this is dinner hour as well. However if you recieve an invite for an event from 5-7 (or any 2-hour event between 4 and 9), nobody will expect dinner, only small snacks, because it is also the cocktail reception hours.

I would like something clarified from the OP. To me, if a person says cash bar, then all drinks have to be paid for, and this needs to be mentioned on the invitation. If I understand the OP correctly, then only some drinks need to be paid for, but there will be (non-alcoholic) drinks available, if this is the case then I do not consider it a cash bar, and it does not need to be mentioned on the invitation.
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jpcher

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2012, 07:18:36 PM »
I offer ((((HUGS)))) on your loss.

Planning something like this during a time of sorrow is a very difficult thing to do. Just remember that you really don't have to be the perfect hostess for something like this. You have other things on your mind. It's understandable.



Would it be a tremendous faux pas to mention "Hors d'oevre served. Cash bar. Valet parking available for $6" on the back of the invitation?  Would it be a worse transgression not to?

I don't see anything wrong with mentioning all of the above.

Valet parking and price should be mentioned on the invite.

"Light refreshments will be served" is a good statement. It means, to me, that there will be some food and soft drinks. A dinner will not be served (so no matter what my usual dinner time is, I wouldn't plan on eating a full meal at the gathering.) Plus, with this statement, I wouldn't expect alcohol to be available.

Deetee mentioned not usually having cash on hand so that a cash bar might be a surprise. I agree. Especially if guests see you with a glass of wine. For this reason I think that putting "Cash Bar will be available" on the invite would be appropriate so that guests can come prepared.


I think that any of these statements can be put on an invitation the same way that "Black Tie Only" or whatever dress attire is appropriate.



These comments can be written in a smaller font as a footnote to the actual invitation. Make the reason, time, place and date more prevalent.

magzilla

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2012, 10:39:03 PM »
Thank you, jpcher.  Your words are such a comfort.  I admit I secretly hope that, as the bereaved, Iíll be cut a little slack as a hostess. Nevertheless, Iím sure etiquette is more important than ever during this time of high emotions. 

Regarding the hours of the event and whether or not dinner is expected, the previous posters really help illustrate the importance of clarifying what food will be provide as there will be guests from many parts of the country and a variety of diverse backgrounds.

Sparksals, Iíll be certain that refreshments are substantial.  To be honest, I would have planned a dinner but have little love for the people who will be attending the evening reception and canít bear to sit down to a meal with them right now.  Iíd prefer to exchange cordial condolences in a less confined atmosphere. 

It sounds like the solution to the alcohol problem is to simply host the bar.  Itís beginning to seem like a petty thing to begrudge my guests after the exorbitance of the  other final expenses.  Good thing we will have scattered my mom that morning or she would be rolling over in her urn. :-)

Many thanks to you all!

Deetee

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2012, 11:26:42 PM »
I don't think you need to host the alcohol.

And I'm someone who is not a fan of cash bars (in general-I am actually fine with a semi-hosted bar where the host will provide a couple drinks per guest and if you want to get drunk you can pay for it).

A funeral is not a hosted event in the same way. It is more a gathering of necessity. In many places a funeral get together would always be potluck and the bereved would not be expected to host at all.

sparksals

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2012, 11:59:16 AM »
I don't think you need to host the alcohol.

And I'm someone who is not a fan of cash bars (in general-I am actually fine with a semi-hosted bar where the host will provide a couple drinks per guest and if you want to get drunk you can pay for it).

A funeral is not a hosted event in the same way. It is more a gathering of necessity. In many places a funeral get together would always be potluck and the bereved would not be expected to host at all.

I think this is regional and may depend on social circle.  I have only been to one funeral/gathering where booze was not served.  It is the norm from my upbringing.

Sharnita

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Re: Cash bar and invitations
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 01:34:27 PM »
Definitely varies. Religion, ethnic background and local customs frequently play a role.