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What is cash bar vs open bar?

When planning an event, one of the major decisions is deciding between an open bar or a cash bar. It is essential to understand the differences between the two options to choose the one that is best for your event and budget. This post explains what cash bar and open bar packages are, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is an open bar?

An open bar means that the host will pay for all or a portion of their guests’ drinks. It is an all-inclusive service where guests can drink as much as they like at no extra cost. An open bar is a great way for hosts to keep guests hydrated and offer them a variety of quality drinks without worrying about the bill.

At an open bar, guests can have access to a range of beverages, from soft drinks to cocktails, beer to wine. Generally, hosts can choose different types of bar packages such as beer and wine packages or full open bar packages. Open bars are not only popular at weddings and corporate events but also at private parties and gatherings.

Advantages of an Open Bar

Open bars provide guests with a free-flow of drinks, which allows them to relax and enjoy the event without worrying about costs. Also, It’s an excellent way to show appreciation to your guests. For instance, if you are hosting a wedding, open bar packages will undoubtedly impress your guests and create a more memorable experience. Moreover, open bars can encourage guests to mingle, socialize and make new friends, and networking opportunities.

Disadvantages of an Open Bar

Open bars can be expensive, particularly if you opt for an all-inclusive package, and it’s hard to estimate how much alcohol your guests will consume, which may result in a higher-than-expected bar bill. Also, it’s difficult to manage guests and staff during an open bar service as drinkers can quickly become intoxicated, misplacing items, and engaging in risky behaviors. Therefore, it’s essential to hire professional bartenders who can spot drunk guests and prevent overindulgence.

What is a cash bar?

A cash bar, on the other hand, means that guests will have to pay for their wellcrafted cocktails, alcoholic drinks, beers, and soft drinks. Guests at the cash bar can order a drink, and a bartender will provide them with the drink and a bill to pay.

Cash bars are a suitable option for smaller events or events with a limited budget. It’s also a great way to ensure that guests only drink what they can afford or what they wish to pay for.

Advantages of a Cash Bar

The most significant advantage of a cash bar is the cost savings. A cash bar entails fewer costs since guests pay for their drinks, and the host decides what types of drinks to offer, which makes it a more cost-effective option. Moreover, a cash bar is an excellent way to promote responsible drinking since guests are more likely to think before they order, reducing the likelihood of excessive alcohol consumption.

Disadvantages of Cash Bar

While guests are responsible for paying for their drinks at a cash bar, it may come across as relatively ungenerous or stingy. Also, it’s crucial to mention that guests are less likely to mingle or socialize because they are mostly focused on getting themselves drinks and paying for them.


In summary, choosing between a cash bar vs open bar comes down to several factors, including budget, guest preferences, and the type of event. While an open bar serves more drinks and provides guests with a memorable experience, a cash bar can be more cost-effective and promote responsible drinking. As part of your planning process, don’t hesitate to consult your vendor or event planner to help you determine which option is best for your event.


What are the benefits of open bar wedding?

When it comes to hosting a wedding, one decision that has to be made is whether to have an open bar or a cash bar. An open bar is when you offer your guests unlimited access to alcoholic drinks, whereas cash bar means that guests pay if they want to get a drink. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of an open bar wedding.

Firstly, an open bar is a sign of generosity. It’s a way of showing your guests that you care about their enjoyment and want to make sure that they have a good time. This can be especially true for guests who are traveling from afar, as they may not be familiar with the local area and may appreciate the opportunity to relax and unwind with a drink.

Another benefit of an open bar wedding is that it encourages socialization and mingling. People tend to be more open and relaxed when they have a drink in their hands, which can lead to guests mingling and getting to know each other better. This can create a fun and lively atmosphere that will be memorable for everyone involved.

Hosting an open bar wedding can also save your guests money. Weddings can be expensive events to attend, especially when you consider the cost of travel, accommodation, and outfits. Providing a free bar is a way of showing your gratitude and appreciation for their presence at your wedding, and can help to offset some of their other expenses.

In addition, an open bar is a great way to let your hair down and party! Weddings are a celebration of love and commitment, and there’s no better way to let loose and enjoy the festivities than with a good drink. An open bar means that your guests can party into the wee hours with a drink in their hand, without the worry of running up a large bill.

Of course, there are some potential downsides to hosting an open bar wedding. The cost can be high, and some guests may overindulge and cause problems or embarrassment. However, with proper planning and preparation, an open bar can be a fun and memorable addition to your wedding celebration.

Hosting an open bar wedding is a generous and thoughtful choice that can add to the fun and festivities of your special day. By providing free drinks, you can encourage socialization and create a relaxed and happy atmosphere that will be cherished by all.

Why do people leave cash on the bar?

The tradition of leaving cash on the bar has been around for a long time and has many fascinating stories and legends attached to it. There are different reasons why people may leave cash on the bar, and throughout history, it has taken on different meanings.

One of the most prevalent theories is that it is a way for patrons to thank the bartender for their services. Putting money on the bar top means that the bartender can collect it at their convenience and is seen as a gesture of trust. In a way, it is also a form of payment for an excellent service that has been provided throughout the night. It’s not uncommon for people to leave a little extra on the bar as a tip, especially if they have been satisfied with the service.

Another theory behind cash being left on the bar surfaced during the gold mining era in the 19th century. When miners came into town, they would head straight to the local saloon to get a drink and blow off some steam. Many miners would exchange their gold for cash, and after a long night of drinking, they would often forget to reclaim their money before leaving. As a result, the abandoned cash would stay behind on the bar, and eventually, bartenders began to pin it to the ceiling.

As times changed, the reason for leaving cash on the bar also evolved. Nowadays, pinning cash to the ceiling is more of a fun tradition than it is a display of appreciation. It’s not just limited to miners and saloons anymore. Bars, clubs, and restaurants all over the world now encourage patrons to leave their mark by pinning cash to the ceiling. It has become a way for people to immortalize themselves or leave a little bit of their legacy behind. Others simply enjoy the aesthetic value it adds to the establishment.

The tradition of leaving cash on the bar has been around for many years and has taken on various meanings throughout history. From being a form of payment for excellent service to immortalizing oneself and leaving a legacy, it’s fascinating how something as simple as pinning a dollar bill to the ceiling can evolve into something more significant. Whatever the reason may be, leaving cash on the bar is a unique and fun tradition that continues to be practiced around the world.