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A great wedding is all about the reception. You want your guests to have an unforgettable time. You also, however, want to pull off the Party of the Year AND stick to your budget – a tough balancing act if there ever was one! Striking the poise between good times and sensible spending usually takes place over the bar. In fact, some people try and save money by having a cash bar. Let’s take a look at some of the issues surrounding a cash bar at a wedding.

Cons of a cash bar

Some people decry a cash bar for being “cheap” and of bad etiquette. And, sure, the eighty year-old uncle who travelled across the country to be with you on your special day might not appreciate having to fork out for a whiskey and soda. Horror stories abound of guests arriving at the wedding reception not knowing about the cash bar. Cue toe-curlingly embarrassing scenes of a hundred well-dressed wedding guests, taking to the streets in search of an ATM!
Of course, an open bar can be expensive. But it has also been proven to really lift the festivities of the reception. And let’s face it, the last thing you want is a wedding party that looks and feels like a Bingo Night.

Pros of a cash bar

Unless you have friends in high places, or own an island in the Pacific, an unlimited cash bar can MURDER your budget. In fact, if your friends are partial to a bit of binge swilling, consider the bar (and your back account) empty in less than two hours. It’s incredible how people throw restraint out of the window when there’s the slightest whiff of free Johnny Walker Blue.

Striking a Balance

There are, however, ways to ensure a lively reception without filing for bankruptcy. Many people opt for an open bar – but with a limited tab. That means that as soon as the limit is reached, the open bar becomes a cash bar – a fair system. If this is still too costly, why not offer wine and beer to the guests for free, and charge for spirits and other hard liquor. This way, you’ll be able to keep your guests satiated and keep your budget intact.

Assess your budget and see what kind of bar will suit you. But remember, there’s always a way to keep your guests happy without having to break the bank!

Remember, if you have a comment, wedding tip suggestion of your own or want to add to what I have written, please hit the comment box below.