Someone recently asked me the appropriate amount to gift if there is a cash bar at a wedding.
My response? Cash bars are a bit tacky in my (and Emily Post's) opinion (especially if the bride spends thousands on a designer gown - can you tell I'm jaded?) if you're having a full sit-down dinner; but not every couple can afford an open bar and they certainly shouldn't be punished for that. A wedding gift should be a token of your affection and well-wishes for the couple. Not a token of what you estimate is the value of your meal and drinks. I mean, otherwise, using that logic, does that mean the kid with the birthday party with the bouncy castle, clowns, petting zoo would always get the better present!!??
Also, I think it's important to keep in mind (me included) that cash bar can mean many things nowadays. For example, there may be wine/beer served with dinner but afterward guests are on the hook; or there may an open bar up to a certain point in the evening.
What do you think? Should a cash bar factor into the value of your gift? What about if the wedding is a brunch or a cocktail event? What's your take on cash bar? Discuss.