Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. I’ve added Elegala.com to our list of fav sites because I think they have some great, comprehensive advice, inspiration and information. That said, I was clicking through and found this article about how cash bars are an unacceptable blight to your wedding and should be avoided at the cost of your guest list and personal services.
The only thing I can make of this is that the author must be a man.
Now, before opining on this subject, I will say that at the Pavilion, we’re all in favor of making it your day and making choices based on what’s important to you and your future spouse. So consider that while you read my thoughts on hosting a cash versus open bar – that ultimately it’s your decision and your style that counts.
Elegala would have you cut back on things like getting your hair and make up done in order to buy an evening of drinks for your buds…and their dates…and family members you haven’t seen since you were two…and that co-worker you felt obligated to invite.
(Hopefully) this is your only wedding. Your one day to be pampered, preened, and enjoy Hollywood A-list star treatment. (Services that, let’s be honest, you may never or rarely again your lifetime be willing to pay for and enjoy.)
So for pete’s sake – get a mani/pedi, have someone other than your best friend (or your mother) do your hair, get your makeup professionally done, and enjoy every ounce of pampering. As long as you’re not turning into Bridezilla – screaming at your bridesmaids and making the girlfriends of the groomsmen cry – everyone will understand your decision, and should be happy to buy a drink or two in order for you to fully enjoy all that is your day.
As for the analogy in the article to a cash bar being akin to asking friends to pay for a beer in your home, let’s call it apples and oranges. Having a few good friends over to casually enjoy a ball game is vastly different than hosting a party for several hundred people, some of whom you may not know all that well.
This past summer, we saw more cash than open bars, and didn’t hear a single whisper from anyone about whether it was inappropriate. I think people understand that times are tough, and weddings are expensive. Compared with what you shell out to keep everyone fed and entertained for the evening, I would hope your guests wouldn’t be put off by spending $20 on drinks.
And, being at 9,000 feet, the twenty bucks a guest spends on alcohol buys roughly four beverages…at this altitude, that’s plenty to enjoy the evening.
A happy medium is to, as the article sort of implies, pay for beer and wine but let guests buy their own call drinks, or to host beverages during cocktail hour but only wine during dinner. I would shy away from taking the author’s advice to negotiate with a venue over liquor licenses…
Without getting too detailed about state liquor law, when it comes to alcohol, it’s pretty cut and dry. Venues that hold a license aren’t permitted by law to allow outside alcohol inside – at the risk of being heavily fined and having their license yanked. So if bringing in your own alcohol is important, it’s best to ask the question up front during an initial site tour (or even in an inquiry email) so you don’t waste your time exploring a venue that isn’t going to meet your needs.
Stepping down from my soap box, I’ll let you weigh in on this issue…what do you think?