Open bar vs cash bar: what's the difference?

Open bar vs cash bar: what’s the difference?

Two words almost guaranteed to put a smile on the face of your guests are “open bar”. However, open bars come with benefits as well as downfalls. So which option is right for you and your wedding, an open bar or a cash bar?

What is an open bar?

An open bar is when drinks are served for free from a bar at a function. Those hosting the event pay per head and usually covers a variety of alcohols including beers, ciders and wines.


– guests will appreciate it, especially after spending money or travelling for your wedding

– liquid courage will encourage guests to have more fun

– it makes your life easier as you don’t have to plan out estimated costs per beverage


– it is costly

– guests can take advantage and drink too much

– drunk people may put a negative effect on your wedding

What is a cash bar?

A cash bar is when guests can purchase drinks from a variety of alcohols at the bar at a given function.


– it is the more affordable option, allowing you to put the money towards something else

– guests are less likely to go overboard with drinking, thus avoiding messy moments


– can be considered a little tacky (it’s not!)

– guests might feel like it’s inconsiderate to have to spend even more money at a function where they’re considered to be the guest

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