After Party - Cash Bar?

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Pinkcashmere75 Posts : 14 Registered: 12/8/07
After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 6:01 PM

Hi! I was married in June, but now I'm helping my friend in SF. She asked my opinion on this today. I gave her mine, but wanted to see what y'all thought as well.

They are hosting a reception where they are providing food and drinks for 5 - 6 hours total. It ends at 10pm. They would like to have an after party back at the hotel where they will provide some snacks and music, etc., They are wondering if it's okay to switch to a cash bar at that point.

I thought it would be fine since they have already hosted the reception and this is an after party. I wanted to get some other opinions though :-)

Thanks in advance for your input!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 6:37 PM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

DearPC,

If the after party will just be snacks what's the big deal about throwing in a couple of six packs of beer?

I am uneasy with hosting a party and saying "brown bag your own refreshments". (*Note below) If they can't afford to host the party properly, then I'd say skip it.

Besides, traditionally, the couple are anxious to get away from the maddening crowd and start their honeymoon. It seems weird to host party after party immediately following the wedding ceremony. They have a heck of a lot more stamina, not to mention patience, than I have!!

My suggestion to your friend would be to provide inexpensive drinks (soft drinks, water, beer) that are commensurate with the snacks they plan to provide. If anyone wants a mixed drink they can go to the hotel bar, get and pay for it themselves.



*Note: It's totally normal to have potlucks on a round-robin basis, say at the church or a monthly meeting of friends for a book club or something similar. These are, essentially, "no-host" parties, or more accurately "minimal-host" parties. Not a big deal. A wedding is a big deal where there is a definite host without whom the party would not exist.

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 6:37 PM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

I think that would be fine and as a guest I would be okay with it. To avoid confusion, chaos and general bad feelings I would ensure the guests know and that the hotel knows.

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LinzZ Posts : 683 Registered: 12/13/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 7:25 PM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

We had our reception at a hotel. This hotel has a restraunt and a bar. We arranged with the hotel to have the bar kept open later. After our reception guests were welcome to go to the bar to continue the party. We did not provide snacks or drinks. Guests bought whatever they wanted on their own. I already hosted a party. I didn't need to host a second one. DH and I were so tired that we only stayed for maybe 20 minutes. I don't think your friends need to provide snacks.

 

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 7:49 PM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

I think it's totally fine, but I wouldn't send any info out in invites about the after party. I would just tell people, "Hey were all going here afterwards..."Therefore their not expecting much, just a place for people to still go and party, and also, if the Bride and Groom are too tired, they aren't obligated to stay that long vs. if they send info out with the invites, people will probably expect them to stay longer.

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 7:58 PM Go to message in response to: LinzZ

Even though Aunt makes a valid point, as a guest I really wouldn't have a problem with attending an after-party where I had to buy my own drinks after I had already been treated to a full reception by the bride & groom.

But like LinZz says, the bride & groom may end up being more tired than they realize right now. Maybe they should reconsider the plan and just tell everyone they'll be at the hotel bar, or give everyone the address/info for another local bar they prefer, and people can show up as they like and won't be under the impression that anyone is providing their drinks/snacks. My brother and sis-in-law did it that way and it was fun.

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Pinkcashmere75 Posts : 14 Registered: 12/8/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 8:57 PM Go to message in response to: HappyGirl13

Hi Again! I am sorry, I guess I should be clear that they are having their wedding and reception at a site other than the hotel. Then, they would shuttle people back to the hotel. They would be renting out the lounge at the hotel for the after party so there will be food and beverage minimums (so not just grabbing snacks at the grocery - they would be ordering from the hotel probably). The cash bar would be the bar at the lounge in the hotel - they would have just rented the whole space :-)
Thanks so much!!!!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 8, 2009 10:07 PM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

Dear PC,

It still sounds like a hosted party where the hosts expect the guests to brown-bag it. I really find that distasteful. Either you host a party or you don't.

I'll also mention I think it's lunacy for the couple to plan a second party after a six hour reception following a wedding. I can't imagine, as a guest, wanting to attend such a party. Six hours would be enough socializing for me, that's for sure. I think the couple should be more concerned about whether or not the party will be a flop.

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 12:21 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I agree w/ Aunt, if there already hosting a reception, why need to host an after party? I know a lot of times some guests may still want to party when the reception is over with, but I think until that day and the time comes, you really won't know if you'll be up to it or not. I would just tell everyone "were meeting at the bar at our hotel, your more than welcome to join us". That way no one feels obligated, and the Bride and Groom don't have to fork over extra expenses.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 7:30 AM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

If they're 'hosting' this as an official wedding-related party, then they should pay for the refreshments, including drinks. If the after-party is simply an impromptu get-together after the reception, then I think it's fine to expect guests to pay for their own drinks.

We did something similar: many of our guests were planning to go to the hotel bar after the reception, so we joined them for a couple hours. Everybody paid for their own drinks, but we were in no way hosting the gathering.

Regarding what AOTB said about couples 'usually wanting to get away from the crowd and start the honeymoon right away', I don't think that's always necessarily true. As much as my husband and I love one another, we rarely get to see most of the people who attended our wedding - and as we didn't get to spend more than a few minutes talking to any one person at the reception itself, we were eager to spend a little more time with our guests rather than go off by ourselves right away. Hey, we had the whole honeymoon for being alone, so we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with friends and family that we rarely see more than once a year. So I don't think your friend is abnormal or anything for wanting to do the same.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 10:40 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I think it's fine to not pay for drinks at the after party. I've been invited to several similar events, and it was always understood that I'd be paying for my own drinks. For me, it's understood that anything after the reception is paid out of my own pocket. Unless someone specifically tells me "John and Jane are hosting an afterparty", I wouldn't assume they're paying for my refreshments.

AOTB, just to let you know, in my experience, these after parties rarely have a lot of people. In both cases that I know about, the couple was in their early thirties, typically from an urban city, were a couple known for going out late at night and partying, and the reception was ending on the early-ish side (about 10pm) and they wanted to keep the party going for those interested. The people attending the party were usually only a fraction of people attending the wedding -- usually only people who were in the same demographic; to be blunt most other peope were tapped out. Seriously, I've only seen maybe 40 people at an after wedding party, tops.

__________________________________________

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 10:59 AM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

I would think the same rules apply to the "in between" portion of a wedding. We recently went to a wedding at a hotel and before the receoption started, we all went to the bar and bought our own drinks. Even though it was at the same place as the wedding. I never thought about it really.

As for an after-party I wouild probably assume the same. If everyone decides to go out after, then I would think it's up to me to pay. However I think it would depend on the context of the invite. I think if the B&G fully intend of going out after, they shoiuld say "we will be at X place after, come join us!" Not "B&G would like to invite you to..." Then I think it would get confusing.

But as some others said, I think the b&G should keep it open for themselves and not fully commit. Just because I know I was SO beat after my wedding, I didn't wanna do a thing, or SEE anyone either. And if I knew I invited a bunch of people out, then I would be obligated to go and I'd probably be crabby the whole time. It depends on their situation. We had a car coming at 6am the day after my wedding to take us to the airport, so we needed a little rest!

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EWF Posts : 158 Registered: 7/16/09
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 11:40 AM Go to message in response to: Pinkcashmere75

Hi Again! I am sorry, I guess I should be clear that they are having their wedding and reception at a site other than the hotel. Then, they would shuttle people back to the hotel. They would be renting out the lounge at the hotel for the after party so there will be food and beverage minimums (so not just grabbing snacks at the grocery - they would be ordering from the hotel probably). The cash bar would be the bar at the lounge in the hotel - they would have just rented the whole space :-)

if they are renting the space and providing food, they are hosting the party. if you are going to host a party, you should host the entire thing, drinks included. you also said there will be food and beverage minimums if they rent the space, why wouldn't they pay for the drinks if there is a minimum? that statement would make it seem as though the hotel requires it.

we are having an afterparty, we are being married in a hotel... we will be ordering 30 pizzas, getting a dj to replace the band, and keeping the open bar open.

if they are worried about the expense, they should not rent out the lounge area. they can say to their friends, let's all go hang out at the hotel bar after the party! if there are a few people there who they don't know, who cares! then, no one would expect them to pay for anything. but if i knew the space was rented and food was being provided, i would expect everything to be provided.


 

 

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 9, 2009 12:00 PM Go to message in response to: EWF

EWF- Can I come to your afterparty?! Nothing like massive amounts of pizza after drinking at a wedding!!! :)

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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EWF Posts : 158 Registered: 7/16/09
Re: After Party - Cash Bar?
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 2:08 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

of course you can!
my parents were funny.... my dad's like, I can stay, right? and my mom's like, i can go back to the room, right?
and my fiance wants us to make a quick disappearance...

 

 

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