Author Topic: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding  (Read 8661 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1144
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2014, 12:35:03 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. 


kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12283
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2014, 12:49:06 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.

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...

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3782
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2014, 01:40:32 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.

menley

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 598
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2014, 05:38:15 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?"

Margo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1596
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2014, 06:07:42 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.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3868
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2014, 06:10:36 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.)

Kaymar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 396
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2014, 06:21:46 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.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3868
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2014, 06:45:12 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.

Dazi

  • like the flower
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4220
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2014, 06:53:12 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.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Kaymar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 396
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2014, 07:55:11 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.

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1144
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2014, 11:34:12 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...


lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4000
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2014, 11:44:40 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.

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6980
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2014, 03:25:37 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.   

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4000
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2014, 03:35:52 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.

EMuir

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1381
Re: Consumerist: How not to suck at planning your wedding
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2014, 03:45:40 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?