Open Bar vs. Cash Bar On Your Wedding Day – Tips To Decide

Open Bar vs. Cash Bar

Planning a wedding also means following a budget and the one detail in your wedding budget that can make your cost skyrocket…the BAR TAB! People go to weddings to celebrate your big day…by having a few (too many) and dancing like fools in your wedding video. Memories that last a lifetime, but does it have to cost an arm and a leg? Here are tips that we found on Heart.Love.Always comparing the pros and cons of all of your bar choices.  Absolutely the best advice we have ever seen…you have to check out what they believe and check out their site as well! We hope you find this helpful and happy planning!

{Open Bar} An open bar is probably one of the more popular choices when planning your cocktail hour…


Easy for your guests. No worries for them if they didn’t bring enough cash with them.

Guests have many choices and varieties of drinks (both alcoholic and non), especially when the wedding is held at an established venue such as a restaurant or banquet house that is well stocked.


Expense. Having an open bar can be a budget buster and that is why many opt out.

Depending on your guest list, an open bar can be a distraction from other events at your wedding reception.

{Cash Bar} A cash bar is when your guests will be expected to pay for all of their alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with the exception of a champagne toast at dinner.


Easy on your budget.
Usually, lesser chance for overindulgence by your guests.


Your guests may feel a little disgruntled especially if the drinks turn out to be very expensive.

The bigger the price tag for your guests, usually the less they will drink. It might even chase them out of your reception sooner; like right after the meal.

{Limited Bar – Open or Cash} A limited bar is just that. Limited. Choices include one or two different beers (regular and lite), red and/or white wines, even limitations of soda – Coke, ginger ale and/or club soda. No hard liquor but a signature drink – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic may also be available. You may offer a champagne toast with dinner, which is a nice touch when having a limited bar.


A limited bar can save everyone money, whether open or even cash.
Most guests are satisfied with options of beer or wine.
It’s a happy medium for everyone.


Choices for guests are limited. Maybe they don’t like beer or wine. Then they are left with only soda (maybe not even one that they like) or water.

{Non-Alcoholic} The decision to serve no alcohol can be a very personal choice. It may be based on religion or other personal circumstances. Either way, family and friends who know and love you will understand and respect your decision.

A couple of other things to think about when considering the types of refreshment to serve at your wedding….

When having an open bar, to save money, you can place a dollar limit of your choice. When you are close to your limit the staff will alert you and you can decide to switch to a cash bar or just keep your tab open.

If you’re having a backyard bash, there are other options that you have available. If you have a caterer, check with them if they will be providing the liquor and what their pricing will be. Since you are hosting, a better option might be to purchase your own liquor and save a bunch of money if you are able to take advantage of a discount liquor store. Be sure to advise the caterer or hired bartender to not open all the bottles or get the labels wet on the unopened ones. This way you can easily return items that were unused and save some money.

***Try making some batch cocktails and preparing the drinks on your own ahead of time.  For tips on how to do this check out our post HERE.

***We also have some yummy batch cocktail recipes you can check out in this post HERE


Info Source Heart.Love.Always

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