No open bar leaves guests annoyed, according to CNN poll

A recent lunchtime poll by CNN found that the majority of people feel that if they go to the time and expense of attending a wedding, they expect the couple to at least supply them with an open bar.

Over a third of people said that beer and wine are fine at a wedding, but they should be kept flowing freely. Almost a quarter of people said that an open bar is a must but they understand that it can be too pricey for couples who have already paid for the wedding reception venue, the food and the entertainment. In that case, a cash bar is fine, they say.

However, 15% of people said there is no excuse if there isn’t a full, open bar. They say it annoys them. More worryingly, 5% of people said “no booze, no me”. Only 8% of people said they don’t mind paying for beer and wine.

Comments ranged from people saying guests should “honour the bride and groom, not bankrupt them” and cough up for a few drinks, to people saying that the happy couple should cut back on wedding excesses to cater for their guests. One person wrote: “If you can’t afford an open bar for 200 people, invite less people or alter your beverage plan.”

One person with the screen name HTDA offered some advice on how to provide alcohol without consuming your wedding budget. They wrote: “I think doing something like an open bar for the first hour and then cash bar, but providing bottles of wine at the tables and champagne for the toast, is a good balance that won’t break the bank, but will also show that you’ve made an effort not to be cheap, even if you can’t afford a whole lot.”