Wedding Bar Choices

At some point during the wedding planning, each couple must decide what to do about their bar. Do you have an open bar, a semi-open bar or a cash bar? To make the best decision for your wallet it’s best to understand the pros and cons of each choice.

Open Bar

This is probably the one that will make your guests the happiest, as with an open bar, the bride and groom foot the whole bill for any drinks bought at the bar.

This is the most expensive option as there is no restriction on what guests can order. If you have a family like mine who enjoy drinking whisky, this could lead to an eye-watering bill the following day.

For some this won’t be a problem but, if your budget doesn’t stretch to a full open bar, you can ask the bar staff to keep an eye on costs and once they’ve reached a certain amount it turns to a cash bar.

Another option to keep control is to limit what is sold. You can ask for spirits over a certain amount to be removed from the menu, which will keep costs down a bit.

Cash Bar

A cash bar is the opposite of an open bar; the guests have to pay for their own drinks but, even so, this isn’t every drink. The chances are you will have paid for the drinks served on arrival and wines for the table, so your guests are paying for everything else after that.

If this is the option that suits you best, make sure your guests know in advance as well as ensuring the bar takes card payments or there is a nearby ATM. The last thing you want is guests with no way to pay for their drinks!Tokens

A third option is somewhere between an open bar and a cash bar, where you pay for some of the drinks but not all. Your guests receive tokens at the start of the day which they can exchange for drinks when they want. Once those tokens run out though, they must pay for their own. This is a good middle option and your guests will be sure to appreciate your generosity.

There is no right or wrong option regarding bars at weddings, only the option that works for you. Whichever you choose, make sure to let your guests know via the invites so they can plan accordingly. No one will hold it against you for having a cash bar but they will thank you for the heads up.


Why not take a look at our other wedding blogs for more inspiration!