Sinking To New Low In Greed And Ungraciousness

by admin on August 13, 2013

Okay – we’ve all seen the dollar dance at the wedding, but here’s one I haven’t heard of or seen on ehell.

I attended a rehearsal dinner a few weeks ago. When I entered the venue, I was handed a ticket and told it was for the bar. Okay, I thought, they are limiting us to one drink. Not a big deal, I probably wouldn’t have drank more than that anyway.

When I went to the bar, the bartender took my ticket and placed it in a glass.

Later that evening, the MOG came out with the glass of tickets in her hand and called up the bride to the front of the room. She then informed us that if we wanted to have another drink, we had to purchase our tickets from the bride.

And yes, the following evening at the wedding – there was a money dance.  0812-13

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Yasuragi August 13, 2013 at 4:57 am

Well, don’t leave us hanging!

So how much did drinks cost?


Mer August 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

Even if I’m not too hardly against cash bars, this is very tacky. Usually when I have encountered a cash bar, it has been a reception kept in restaurant. It has been so that couple has paid for congratulation toast and wine/beer/cider servings for dinner and those are served along the meal. For the evening there has been alcohol-free beverages for all and the restaurant has kept their bar open so that if someone wants, they can also have some alcohol. This does not bother me as I don’t think alcohol is a “must” thing.

Also our alcohol laws are rather strict. If the venue has right to sell alcohol, there cannot be legally served or drank any other alcohols (brought by the couple or guests). And usually if the venue has their own catering, they also have alcohol lisence. And basically every restaurant has one. So to find a venue where you could serve your own alcohol (and not needing to pay $8-15 or more per serving) is very hard.

While this is not optimal, I understand that as venues are hard to find and most cannot afford to use thousands of dollars only to alcohol in their wedding, I have no problem with this. Couple does not benefit from the alcohol that is bought and nobody has to buy anything. Other option would be just to ask the restaurant to close their bar altogether. But nobody really benefits from that compared to the fact that it stays open.

Why I think this case is worse, is that you should pay for the bride and it makes it sound like the couple is trying to make money out of this.


La August 13, 2013 at 8:13 am



carol August 13, 2013 at 8:26 am

I…wait…am I understanding this correctly? I presume the bride kept the drinks money because it wouldn’t make sense for he to collect money that would be going to the bar anyway, right? So instead of the guest paying the bartender/venue for the drinks because it was a cash bar, you have an open bar in theory, but you have to give extra money to the bride? And someone thought this was cute or clever?

That just hurts my head.


Miss-E August 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This is the same exact thing I was thinking. Which means that the drink tickets must have been insanely overcharged in order for the bride to make any profit, right?


Wild Irish Rose August 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

Since you went to the rehearsal dinner, I assume you were part of the wedding party. Otherwise, why would you even go to the wedding after this? How tacky.


Cat August 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

This was a rehearsal dinner. and not the wedding reception? I have never heard of a guest having to buy anything at the rehearsal dinner as it is normally paid for by the parent’s of the groom if he is of an age where that is appropriate.
Only the immediate family, bridal party, and out-of-town guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner. I have found that the only alcohol served is wine with dinner. A bar is a new one on me as the wedding day is stressful enough without having a hangover too.
Someone should have explained to the mother of the groom that she was over-stepping the boundaries of good taste.


Jay August 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

I presume that this is an “open bar”, i.e. one paid for by the MoG or whomever. But the bartender will only serve people with a ticket. So you “buy” a ticket from the bride for an inflated gift-price (like $20 or something), and the difference in cost between that and what the venue charges the MoG for the drink is profit..



The Elf August 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

That’s my assumption too. Why not just make it a cash bar at that point? I mean, if you’re going to make guests pay for bar drinks, just make them pay for bar drinks and save money on not paying for an open bar.

(For the record, I’m not necessarily opposed to cash bars so long as non-alcholic drinks are freely available and alcoholic ones are clearly bonus. I understand the objection so many have – I just see it as a reasonable compromise and preferable to not serving any booze at all.)


Lo August 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

How much you wanna bet this not only catches on but that it’s only a matter of time before someone attempts a rehersal dinner where tickets to the event itself are sold by the bride?

Yeah, I know exactly what’s going through the head of someone who does this. ‘Hmmm, it’s rude to ask for money, but all I want is money so we’ll come up with a cute way to get it from people. After all, they’re getting a lot out of my wedding so why shouldn’t they help pay the costs. If they don’t want to they don’t have to. Nevermind that no one wants to look cheap in front of family. Nevermind that social pressure will “encourage” people to give us money where they might not have otherwise. Nevermind that some people will call me tacky, I’ll get money and that’s what’s important.’


Allie August 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

So basically now even the rehearsal dinner is yet another cash grab. Next they’ll be charging for a seat in the church!


Snarkastic August 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

This made me smirk.

It’s a wonder they haven’t thought of that yet. Bouncers need work too, after all.


Lakey August 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

What was the point of the mother of the groom handing the glass with the tickets in it to the bride. Were you supposed to feel guilty about the free drink you got?
Greed really does make people creepy.


goldilocks August 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm

If you wanted a 2nd drink, you had to “buy” a new ticket from the bride, and yes, for whatever amount you gave her but I’m assuming it was 10 or 20 dollars.


Wren August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I made my husband read this and he doesn’t see anything wrong with a dollar dance (“It’s a tradition!”) or the drink ticket thing (“They need money for the honeymoon!”). Groan.


June First August 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Wren, you’re not alone. My husband said we should have a 50/50 raffle at the wedding. (50% of proceeds go to the raffle winner, 50% goes to the couple.)

I think he was joking, but nevertheless I sweetly told him that he could do that with his next wife.


No Wedding August 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Evil Me hopes everyone said, “Oh, no thanks, I probably should stick with the one drink I already had, after all I’m driving/gotta be my best for the wedding tomorrow.”


NostalgicGal August 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Let me get this straight.

You received a ticket; went to the bar, presumably got a drink, and the ticket went in the glass.

Then the bride had the tickets in the glass and you had to buy a ticket from the glass (from the bride) to get another drink?

So you did get one drink ‘on the house’ and the rest were fundraiser cash-cow?

At the rehearsal dinner.

New lows in tack-ee and gimmee-pig, coming right up.


kingsrings August 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

So now the rehearsal dinner has fallen prey to wedding fundraising tackiness. Ugh. On another similar but different subject, I wonder if anyone yet has turned their rehearsal dinner into one of those stag and doe events? That’s next on the tacky meter….


Kirsten August 14, 2013 at 2:59 am

Oh. My. God.

In my country we buy our own drinks at weddings after the dinner is over, but we certainly don’t do this! And we don’t try to make money off the wedding bar either!



FunkyMunky August 14, 2013 at 5:26 am

Isn’t the rehearsal dinner a bit late to call this ‘fundraising’? Surely they’d have paid for everything by then (except maybe a delayed honeymoon). Horrid.


jen a. August 14, 2013 at 5:39 am

I’m wondering if we’re going to reach a tipping point with cost and greed at weddings. Weddings are getting bigger and bigger, and people are being asked to spend more and more money at them. We’re hearing more and more stories about bridezillas, and sometimes I feel like bridezilla is becoming almost a term of pride for some people. I just wonder if people are going to start getting invites to weddings in the mail (or on facebook….) and just refuse to go to spare themselves the trouble…..


JD August 14, 2013 at 10:25 am

This makes me so happy when I think that my daughter and son-in-law voluntarily and happily footed the entire bill for their wedding, including the open bar. I need to go give them a hug, right now.
Of course, if this tacky version of cash bar is a super neato idea to the parents of this charming wedding couple in OP’s story, then we can see where the bridal couple learned their manners.


Marozia August 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Why not pay for their wedding as well!!


NostalgicGal August 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm

We have lots of stories here on Ehell about couples trying to do just that… sigh. I expect it to get worse and not better.


Angel August 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

That is pretty obnoxious. And also I have never heard of a lot of drinking going on at rehearsal dinners. My first thought is if you can’t afford to pay for everything at the rehearsal dinner, you probably should not be having a big wedding reception.


Michelle C. Young August 18, 2013 at 7:47 am

I’m surprised they didn’t just have a cash bar, and tell the bartender to jack up his prices, and they would take a cut of the profits. After all, if they brought the bartender to the venue (as opposed to having the dinner at a restaurant with a bar, in place), then they’re basically partners in the bartending business, for the evening. They got the venue, and made all the arrangements for the bartender to be able to ply his trade, so, he owes them a cut of the profits, right? Otherwise, he’d just be stuck doing what he always does, most likely hustling for tips at the corner bar. Right?

Seriously, I can totally see this happening at a cash bar wedding reception, especially if it is at a venue where a bar is not already standard, such as at a backyard reception, or a park.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: