I am getting married in the fall of this year. I am going out to (finally!) look at some venues today. My fiancé and I are paying for the wedding ourselves and I am very undecided as to how to do the bar. Our budget is a little more limited than we thought it would be, as my fiancé took a chance on a job opportunity that did not pan out, which resulted in him taking roughly a 50% pay cut a few months ago (hence why we are booking so late — money is finally normalizing for us again and we can save and pay down debt).
We originally planned to do an open bar but now I am not so sure. Everything I have read indicates that not having an open bar is inappropriate and will leave a sour taste in the mouths of our guests. I certainly do not want to make anyone angry or feel that they should not have come. My concerns about it are purely financial. We only have about 50 guests, so it wouldn’t be as expensive as some, but I am still not sure if we can swing it.
I was considering two options for the bar. One would be to pay for the cocktail hour, table wine, and two hours of bar service after dinner, and then have the bar switch to a cash bar at that point. My other option was to pay for the cocktail hour, table wine, and then have the bar after dinner be a toonie bar (we live in Ontario. For those who are unfamiliar, this is where guests pay $2 for each drink and the host covers the remainder)to help offset the cost.
The last two weddings we have been to have been full open bars. I am not sure what to do. I don’t want anxiety about this to ruin the day, and I don’t want guests to be upset with me or have a bad time at my wedding. I made the mistake of googling this question and found some very nasty opinions posted on wedding boards hahahaha! You ladies seem like a very nice level-headed group and I would really appreciate some feedback!
Tl;dr: Should I do an open bar, or a partial cash bar?