The Age Old Question: Open, Cash, or No Bar?


We realize here at Big Hat that this is something that really gets people going. Whether its a family discrepancy, a budget issue, or something else, the beverage situation can cause friction in the planning of a big day. So, we wanted to make it a little bit simpler for you, we compiled a piktochart. It represents the pros & cons to each it is designed to help you decide which option is best for you and your wedding day.

Consider Your Options:

First you need to understand the aspects of each option. An open bar is where you provide your guests with alcoholic beverages with no cost to them. This is convenient for guests because they don’t need to worry about bringing cash. There are several options, for instance you might choose to have an open bar that serves only wine and beer. A cash bar provides guests with drinks for purchase. This allows guests to buy their own drinks during the reception. Once again, there are several options, you can choose top shelf liquor or lower priced spirits to provide for your guests. Lastly, no bar, which is exactly what it sounds like: no alcohol. Weddings without alcohol are often a result of family beliefs and opinions, or simply as an attempt to keep costs lower. You can, however, still offer a champagne toast!

Pros & Cons:

We hope you will explore the piktochart in order to become more accustomed to the pros and cons of each. But one thing we feel we need to note is that Open Bars have many different forms. You can choose to serve strictly beer and wine, you may set a limit so that your guests will no longer be served once they have collectively consumed a set amount (like $3000 worth), you may choose to serve cheaper versions of everyone’s favorite spirits rather than the top shelf bottles. So, if you’re opting out of alcohol for budgetary reasons make sure you explore your options to see if it is possible for you to do something other than the “traditional” open bar. However, cash bars are another way to save on your costs.

Whatever you choose, just make sure you, your groom, and your families are comfortable with the choice! Your wedding is about you, and while you want to keep your guests happy they are not top priority on this particular occasion.

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10 Steps to Creating Your Own Personalized Wedding Favors

We know that weddings can be a stressful time, but we are here to help make your day go more smoothly. Whether you choose to hire a wedding planner to help out along the way or you’re on your own, we think that you should make sure that you keep it personal.

Your wedding day is unique to YOU. This is the first step on your lifelong journey. We feel that you and your future spouse should both be reflected in every aspect of the event.

Creating your own favors can be the perfect personal touch to your day. You want to do something that guests will appreciate and remember. There are hundreds of different types of favors you can provide for your guests as a souvenir and a token of your appreciation of their attendance. 

Various themes call for different types of favors. From handing out jars of homemade jams to bottles family-distilled whiskey, personalized matchboxes to custom printed cozies, wedding favors come in all shapes and sizes.

Although these ideas are cute, we want to keep it simple, chic, and cheap. In several wedding showers we have helped to host, we’ve worked to make simple boxes using scrap booking paper and a simple template we found online. Though cutting out each box, and folding and gluing them can be tedious, we loved the result.  

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This can be a fun project for you and your bridesmaids, family members, and friends. We chose to fill the boxes with small candies (m&m’s, mike&ike’s, Red Hots, butter mints, Hot Tamales, jelly beans and
Skittles have been our biggest crowd pleasers). The best part is being the box candy-filler (the box manufacturers will be too busy to notice a missing handful or two!).

First you’ll need to purchase your supplies; scrapbooking paper that is consistent with your wedding color palette or theme, scissors or a paper cutter, glue and any additional tools such as stamps, a paper scorer, ribbon, and glitter.

When it comes to the paper, search for something fun and unique. Also consider the thickness of your paper. We’ve found that a sturdier stock paper works best for these boxes.

Consider whether or not you will want to customize the boxes further. We recommend a stamp. You can press your initials onto the boxes and offer a more personalized favor for your guests. If you choose to use stamps, you’ll need to make sure you stamp the boxes before folding them.

There are several places online that you can purchase a monogram stamp for your wedding. These are adorable and you can use them after the wedding too! You can spend anywhere from $15 to $45 on these stamps, depending on what you want, so look around before you buy!

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Making your boxes:

1. Print off your templatesmbox

2. Cut your template out (we recommend you laminate this to make it easier for re-use)

3. Trace your template onto your scrapbooking paper

4. Stamp your monogram onto the preferred side of your cube

5. Use your paper scorer (or a pencil can work too) to crease your folds for a clean, professional look

6. Glue the sides of your boxes to make sure they are sturdy enough to hold your contents

7. Let your boxes set, allow time for the glue to dry

8. Pour candy into your cubes

9. Garnish with a ribbon

10. Repeat steps 1-9 until you have accommodated all of your guests

These boxes will be sure to please your guests and add a small touch of YOU to one of most overlooked aspects of your big day. We know you will love creating these with your wedding party. Make a day out of it; start with brunch or a lunch (full workers are happy workers).

As always, be sure to keep CUT in mind, we want it to be Chic, uniform, and tasteful.

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On a Budget? Check Out Our Favorite Frugal DIYs

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While some couples have the privilege of spending thousands of dollars on their special day, we recognize that not everyone has that same luxury. Here are 3 budget friendly, DIY wedding trends that we think you’ll love.

Everyone loves saving a buck, but let’s remember that our goal is to keep your big day special as well. Keeping it classy is always a good goal.

Remember it has to make the CUTChic, Uniform, and Tasteful.

1. Mason jars

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Luckily these festive glass jars come in all shapes and sizes (not to mention, you can buy them in bulk–and they’re cheap!). They are all the rage in Rustic & Country Chic, Southern, and Vintage Weddings lately. This versatile staple is one of the simple ways to class up your wedding without breaking the bank.

From customized glasses, to isle decor, table center pieces to walk-way lighting these jars can add the perfect (cost-effective) touch to your special day!

Kerr vs. Ball jars? We found that they are cost competitive, Kmart sells 16oz Kerr jars for $9.99 and 32oz jars for $11.99. Ace Hardware is your spot for Ball jars selling 16oz for $10.99 and 32oz for $11.99. There are 12 jars per package. So, your preference!

2. Burlap

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Like we mentioned, Rustic and Country Chic have been trending lately. One of the cutest aspects of these weddings that we’ve seen over and over again is burlap. You can use it as a table runner, bouquet wrap, isle lining, centerpiece decoration, as a banner, the list of possibilities is endless.

This simple, textured fabric can add a charming touch to your big day. It also adds a neutral to your wedding color palette, providing the perfect backdrop to make your accent colors pop.

It is easy to add ink or paint on this fabric which can be a simple way to personalize it with a monogram. You can also use burlap for your table numbers, labels for your  dessert/buffet lines, and so much more.

Hobby lobby sells burlap by the spool at $2.99 for 5 yards(6″ width) and by the yard at $3.99  (47″ width) while Jo-Ann Fabric sells it a little cheaper at $2.99 per yard at 48,” either way you look at it, burlap is a steal.

3. Re-purposed Vintage Windows

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Windows have been popping up in DIYs everywhere. We have fallen in love with their versatility. From clever, customized seating charts to monogrammed accents, welcome signs to picture frames they can add so much personality to your big day.

Another thing we love about these glass-paned elders, you can set them sporadically (tastefully) around your venue, and add a vintage feel that you’ll adore. Not add a thing. No paint, or glitter, or stencils, simply hang them, stack them, lean them and viola! Automatic atmosphere.

They make the perfect back drop, and even encourage guests to get creative with their photography!

Search around when you’re looking for windows, and get picky! When you’re searching, keep your eyes open for demolition. Most demo crews will let you have windows for free, they often remove the windows before wrecking buildings and old homes.

Feel free to gather all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. The more the better in this sense. Here, we are little bit flexible with the uniform rule because the concept of the windows keeps it uniform. You don’t need them to be identical. Unless that’s your thing of course, in which case we say go for it!

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Mason Jar Ideas/Candle Mason Jars

burlap banner/burlap table runner/burlap bow /burlap wrap

window seating/picture frame window/monogrammed window/hanging windows