Happy Friday everybody! Here comes the “ruffle some feathers” blog of the week. The topic? Open bar? Necessary at a wedding?


We’re seeing a whole lot of blog posts on other wedding sites go up this week asking the question if people are having an open bar and is it OK not to offer one. We’re also reading plenty of comments that basically say “if people need to drink at your wedding, then they are alcoholics.”

Paint me “alcoholic” then. Anyway…

It’s a wedding, and an open bar, or at the very least: wine, beer and a signature drink is *mandatory*.

There is the argument that open bar or alcohol is expensive. Right, but so are plenty of other things that you can cut down on when planning a wedding. The bar is not where you cut costs. We manage to save our clients money in every other category, but this is something we insist that they don’t skimp out on. You can change your decor, cut your guest list, pick a less expensive time of year to get married…the list goes on. What you can’t do is cut the alcohol. Diet Coke with dinner? Bad.

We also saw the argument that “my fiance and I don’t drink” for not offering a bar. Whatever the reason is that you don’t drink is fine, but you two are not the only people at the wedding. That’s like offering soy everything because you’re a vegetarian. Vegetarians eat soy, right? You have to cater to your guests. That’s why it’s called “catering”. Your guests aren’t necessarily looking to get wasted (though plenty will), but they do not want to have a soda with their chicken, beef or fish either.

Then there was the “if people don’t want to come because there won’t be alcohol, then I don’t want them there,” argument. Yes, you do want them there, or else you would not have invited them. Do you want your guests to pick vodka over you? This is a bad time to stand on ceremony and see who your “real friends” are. If it’s a dry wedding, make sure that is clear in the invitation and that way your guests aren’t surprised when they go to order a Pinot Grigio and are handed a Shirley Temple. Flask anyone?

The only thing worse than a dry wedding is a cash bar. STOP. THIS. MADNESS. Your guests are coming to celebrate your marriage and are spending the entire day with you. There are travel expenses (no matter how small), other things they could be doing, and a gift they will be giving you. To slap them in the face with a “that’ll be $12” comment from your bartender is in really poor taste. Your guests should never have to take their wallets out at your wedding. Everything is included. They want to tip the bartender, the valet, the coat check, that’s on them. However, paying for their drinks is so tacky and we hate it. We forbid you to have a cash bar.

That’s really all there is to say on this. We know, we know, plenty of people will be up in arms over this but we have Emily Post on our sides on this one….and plenty of major wedding magazine editors, too. 

Team Open Bar.

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