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How would you set up a cash bar at a wedding reception? Include the most cost effective way to stock the bar (buy in bulk, only beer and wine, a few signiture drinks, etc).

I'm planning an informal reception and i know those that are invited like to drink but we are not able to afford an open bar. I'd like to do a cash bar but don't know how to go about it. I also want to pay for some drinks for the wedding party, and certain family members.

Answer Question

Asked by RosePetalTears at 4:22 PM on Jun. 9, 2009 in Entertainment

Level 6 (126 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I recently went to a reception that was cash bar. I don't know where they got their drinks from, but they had bartender. They had bottles of beer, coke on tap, and water.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:24 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • if its an informal reception, maybe you could do it BYOB? otherwise i would just go with just beer and wine, thats cheaper than buying liquors. and i would do just one or two types of beer and two types of wines.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 4:24 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • ***** I don't like beer or wine (that i've tried) so I want to have something there that I like as well. I've been preg 3 out of the last 4 yrs, got married and was 16 wks preg.......I'm, i want to drink! My parents will have the kids for the night!

    Answer by RosePetalTears at 4:29 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I have been to alot of receptions that have a cash bar, but beer is free. If you can afford a keg or 2 and let everyone buy drinks at the bar. If the bar isn't catered then you have to decide what mixers to have (pineapple juice, cranberry, red bull) as well as what liquors. Gets messy. If you are buying alcohol and brining it in then it would be easiest to buy beer and a red, white and blush wine and leave it at that. Check with the venue because some won't let you bring your own alcohol in.

    Answer by ria7 at 4:31 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Cash bars are tacky. How do you invite guests to your reception, then make them pay for drinks?? Tacky Tacky Tacky!! I'd opt for no bar before I would make my guests pay for something at my reception. If you can't afford a classy affair, scale it down some or something, but don't invite people to something, then make them pay.
    Why not opt out of having booze altogether. All it is is an excuse to get drunk and act stupid. Drinkers who get drunk are idiots and too stupid to know it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:35 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • There is nothing wrong with a cash bar, find out your options as far as someone setting up bar and serving it. I always expect to buy drinks at a reception, but hate it when they get expensive. see if you can get it catered and drinks are still reasonable (I think $3 each is reasonable). It would be hard to buy for some and not others, but you could buy a few free drinks for people in the wedding and give them tickets I guess. Not sure how you would go about that.

    Answer by ria7 at 4:36 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Drinkers who get drunk are idiots and too stupid to know it. would know this how? LOL again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I have to agree with Anon :35. Informal wedding or formal, I think it is in poor taste to invite someone to a wedding and then expect them to pay. If you are on a limited budget I would say have only beer and wine or one mixed drink or just have the champagne toast. You could also cut your budget by serving a bunch of appetizers instead of a full meal and then you could add more to your drink money.

    Answer by Christina807 at 12:34 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • We had free beer (keg) wine & champagne. Cash bar for liqour drinks. That way our guest had options. (youknow, for those who think it's "tacky" aka "those to cheap" to pay for their own drinks").We were young and did not have a lot of $$. No complaints, those who wanted to spend the $ spent it those who did not want to spend the $ did not. It is your day do what you would like and remember it is about celebrating your love, don't get stressed trying to please everyone.

    Answer by tessntylersmom at 9:12 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • My friends had a similar situation and decided to have a couples "stock the bar" shower. So friends and/or family gave alcohol specifically for the reception. It worked very well for them.

    I also like the idea of BYOB. Maybe offer one signature drink to guests, and they can bring something else if they chose.

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 3:33 PM on Jun. 12, 2009

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