There is so much to think about when organising your big day. There’s the dress, the suits, transport, the food, the guests – will Aunty Mavis be happy sitting next to Uncle Bob? Those kind of things. There is also the question of wedding bar. This is something that is often dictated by budget, but there can be other factors involved.
Traditional wedding etiquette doesn’t require the bride and groom to provide any alcohol to their guests (much to your guests probable dismay). These days, however, it is less and less common to NOT serve alcohol at a wedding and so if you choose to, you will need to decide whether you’re going to have a cash bar or an open bar.
An open bar is just what it says on the tin: a bar with one big tab usually picked up by the bride and groom, the parents or a generous friend / relative (this is a conversation you will need to have well before time).
A cash bar is a full-service bar where guests purchase their own drinks in order to imbibe.
A growing trend in UK weddings is a mix of the two: the bride and groom tend to provide a glass of bubbly on the house and all other drinks must be paid for by the guests. This is certainly a good way to keep costs down and one we often recommend.
Having a cash bar? Here’s how to politely tell your guests not to leave home without cash:
A cash bar requires two main things: loads of booze and cold, hard cash. Informing your guests that they’ll need to fund their own bevvies needn’t be rude nor awkward. It is very common practice in the UK today to have a cash bar so don’t stress.
If you think there may be confusion, put a statement on the information card that accompanies your invitations or add the following line to the bottom of your reception invite: Full cash bar available. This simple sentence sends the message that drinks will be provided and that cash is necessary.
If there isn’t a cash machine nearby or the venue doesn’t have the facility to accept card payments, tell your guests! Your message might say something like: Full cash bar available. Debit not accepted. Or Full cash bar available. Don’t forget your notes!
More often than not in this day and age, even mobile bars such as ourselves accept card payments – so be sure to check with your supplier first.