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Maya
Newbie November 2021 Alberta

Honour bar?

Maya, on May 13, 2021 at 15:38 Posted in Wedding reception 0 16
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Hi everyone! My fiancé and I both come from European families where open bars are very much the norm and fully expected. We are prepared to proceed with that but lately we have been considering doing an honour bar? I’ve heard that you can have some jars set up by the bars that basically say honeymoon fund or something like that, and people can throw in a few bucks if they feel inclined, with no pressure. I’m thinking we could collect a few hundred bucks which would still help the bottom line at the end of the day. What are peoples thoughts? Is it cheesy? I was also thinking we could do something fun with it, like having embarrassing photos of both of us and people vote for their favourite, or they vote if they think our first kid will be a boy or a girl. If someone else has ideas I’d love to hear them!

16 Comments

Latest activity by Stacey Tc, on May 21, 2021 at 15:24
  • Stacey Tc
    Devoted August 2022 Saskatchewan
    Stacey Tc ·
    • Dispute

    Friends of SO had an 'honour bar' at their wedding a few years ago. It worked really well for them. A few people didn't chip in, but a few people put in a 20 and only had 2 drinks.

    I think it ended up covering most of the alcohol.

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  • Kelsey
    Frequent user June 2022 Ontario
    Kelsey ·
    • Dispute
    I will never understand the expectation of a (usually) young newlywed couple to foot the bar bill to ensure everyone is sufficiently liquored up during their wedding. Heaven forbid you do anything but an open bar and be called "tacky". I know this is not an option for you OP, and it's unfortunate you need to designate such a large sum to just go down peoples throats and leave half cups around instead of something that is meaningful to you. Do what you want, put out your jars and games. Those who love you won't care and if they dare say something, simply put "no pay, no say". A cash bar is not tacky, guests expecting the newlywed couple to fund you getting off your a$$ drunk is tacky.
    Maybe approach both sets of parents (especially if this is culturally something you're expected to have) and indicate that you're working with a tight budget, and would they be able to assist towards this item cost? If not, you could try saying, well unfortunately we won't be able to financially manage that cost so it won't be an option. They could even gift you some or portion of the cost as their gift to you. If it's something they want and are adamant on, I say they can be the ones to pony up for the bill.
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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
    • Dispute
    I've never heard of an honour bar but if open bar is the norm and that's what they are expecting, I can't see them being happy with it. I have only gone to open bar weddings and my gift is always reflects that.
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  • Carmel
    Featured December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
    • Dispute
    I'd have to agree with what's being said to unfortunately. We've been to one wedding that did this and to be honest, it felt like, "We'd love to pay for your drinks BUT if you could actually help pay that'd be better". We felt obligated to add money on top of our gift (which when we know it's a cash bar in advance we do gift less - we always gift the value of what it cost to host us, as best to our knowledge, plus some - this is the etiquette anyway) and it felt pretty tacky. Sounds like a stag to me... Also apologies if it sounds harsh!! You're definitely better off looking at putting a cap on the bar and making your guests aware. That way the ones who don't drink a ton will have their drinks covered and those that want to have many many drinks can supplement themselves. When is your wedding? We actually opted to pay per drink instead of the flat rate at our venue and it ended up saving us over $1000; we were shocked (and we had drinkers!).
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  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
    • Dispute
    Yeah unfortunately I think Hank is right here. Any form of payments or tips for the drinks should go to the bartenders in a scenario like this. The only time I’ve seen an honour bar or anything similar is at a backyard wedding where people grab their own drinks and people are expected to contribute roughly what they consume. But I’m sure you’ll receive some cash gifts that you can use to offset the bar cost.
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Ahh, that sucks. Can you do a limited open bar? One where you cap it at X number of drinks so you budget accordingly? You're bound to have someone drink less to offset the difference from those who drink more.

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  • Maya
    Newbie November 2021 Alberta
    Maya ·
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    Unfortunately not an option
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Ask if they have open bar options where the charge per head, not per drink or bottle. On average, it's $40-$60 per head depending on the brand of alcohol.

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  • Maya
    Newbie November 2021 Alberta
    Maya ·
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    It’s a host bar then, they charge per drink not per bottle. That is the only option I have seen from any of the fancier venues we have checked out
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Curious September 2022 Ontario
    Meghan ·
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    A jack and jill is a party or event that you host to raise money for your wedding and honeymoon. You usually charge an entrance fee such as tickets for the event. You also have games and prizes. Lots of couples do like a 50/50 draw where you buy tickets to win 50% of the entrance fee. So many options and different things you can do with a jack and jill! I suggest maybe looking it up on google or I can try to explain more lol

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Is there not a blanket cost for an open bar? My experience with an open bar is, regardless of whether someone consumes one drink or 50 drinks, the cost for that person remains the same and therefore it's a fixed cost not one based on how many drinks and bottles were consumed that night.

    So if it costs $40 per guests to have an open bar and we have 100 people, it costs $4000 for an open bar, period. Cuz when it's charged by the drink, it becomes a host bar and I'd be VERY weary about that (staff under-pouring drinks, collecting unfinished glasses, etc).

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Stag and doe. Same diff.

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  • Maya
    Newbie November 2021 Alberta
    Maya ·
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    Ya I hear ya. I’ve been very on the fence. If we could bring in our own booze I wouldn’t even think about it but when the venue is charging $8/9 a drink it takes a bigger hit. And the families would be annoyed if we did a toonie bar lol.
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  • Maya
    Newbie November 2021 Alberta
    Maya ·
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    What’s a jack and Jill??
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute

    This is just my personal take on it but presumably your guests are already giving you gifts so having a glorified tip jar to pocket some extra cash feels a bit nickel and diming to me. And it is my personal opinion that any money in something that resembles a tip jar at the bar should go to the bar staff.

    Sorry if it sounds harsh but to me, it just feels like an extra cash grab and comes off as very gimme gimme gimme.

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  • Meghan
    Curious September 2022 Ontario
    Meghan ·
    • Dispute

    I think thats a really interesting idea! I might use something similar for my wedding. Also I'm planning on having a jack and jill to raise some money for my wedding.

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