Fuck You, Cash Bars, and a Word of Caution About Dog Weddings

Illustration for article titled Fuck You, Cash Bars, and a Word of Caution About Dog Weddings

This is Fuck You Week, Jezebel's first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging.


What follows here isn't so much a rant as it is a word of caution, but, in the spirit of catharsis and mindless ranting, if you're a cash bar and you're reading this right now, kindly choose an orifice (any will do) and fuck yourself. Vigorously.

If you're not an anthropomorphized bar, consider the following scenario: you've been invited to a wedding, more specifically the marriage of your Labrador and a neighbor's Shar Pei that both fell head over back paws in love with each other during their study abroad program in Florence. Congratulations! Other living things enjoy your company (or feel guilty for not inviting you because you got them a matching set of Frisbees last Arbor Day). But wait — dogs cannot plan their own weddings. They don't have hands, and, in all but the rarest of cases, they are stupid. Also, wedding planner and emotional vampire David Tutera will not return your phone calls, and you've called like thirty seven times. And those are just the times when you've left messages! It looks like you're going to be on your own, which means making BIG DECISIONS that wedding guests will either be praising or deriding many eons from the marriage. You want guests to say, "Wow, remember Natuashish and Banana Pie's wedding? Now that was a bangin' party!" You don't want guests to say, "Whoa, remember that awful wedding we went to that turned out to be a dog wedding? How creepy was that, right? The dogs were wearing people clothes. A real Catholic priest performed the ceremony. Oh, and, Jesus Christ, do you remember? They had a cash bar! It was macabre."

Nobody's going to come to your dog wedding if you have a cash bar, and do you know why not? It's because, unless you live in Utah or some other odd state that has similar compunctions about the purchasing and consuming of booze, there's only one reason to have a dog or even a people wedding and that is this: to fete your guests. That's it. Maybe the dogs' parents will want to witness the eternal, heir-producing union of their progeny. Maybe the dogs' closest friends will want to see an approximation of pure and enduring love, which, even though they realize has been implanted in their social consciousness by movies like Beethoven, nonetheless makes them feel warm and momentarily connected to all the rest of caninity.

The other guests — and there are always other guests — are there for booze, food, and cake, and you need all three to keep the reception from turning into a Rotary Club meeting. Or a meatloaf dinner in a wood-panelled kitchen nook where your Uncle Jerry sits in his undershirt drinking Bud heavy and complaining about the inefficiency of the central air conditioning system. Or a five-year-old's birthday party where everyone eats sheet cake with their fingers and drinks orange soda. Is that how you want to celebrate the union of Natuashish and Banana Pie? Don't you think they deserve something more elegant?

There are plenty of reasons not to have an open bar at a wedding (or any themed gathering, really). Booze is expensive. When people have free and easy access to booze, they might get inappropriately wasted and make romantic overtures to folding chairs in front of the other guests, or get a hand on the microphone long enough to talk about how they've always secretly loved Banana Pie and even now, on her wedding day, maybe it's not too late for the two of them to run away and live forever in Fiji. It's a lot to consider, and, anyway, if people want to get totally wasted they can buy their own Barefoot Pinot Grigio and enjoy their own bacchanal alone in the privacy of their own homes.

However, there are also plenty of reasons not to invite people to your dog wedding/goldfish funeral/cat college graduation party in the first place, and maybe, before you unleash your fleet of invitation-bearing carrier pigeons, you should consider whether you can afford or want to go through the trouble of hosting a party for a whole bunch of vaguely interconnected friends and acquaintances. Can you afford to buy unlimited booze for the 150 people you invited to your party, or are you going to install a cash bar helmed by a community college graphic designer named Shilling, whose bartending tool belt is limited to a corkscrew and a sandwich baggy full of browning citrus? Is that how you want people to remember Natuashish and Banana Pie's nuptials, as a long, sober ceremony followed an uneasy confrontation with Shilling and his plastic pitcher tip jar? Of course not! You want everyone to remember how charming and loquacious all the other guests were. You want to remember all the funny jokes that were told and laughed at. The champagne tower. Dancing to "Come Sail Away" with a second-cousin soulmate. In short, you want guests to remember they had an awesome time, and the cash bar is the sworn enemy of awesome time-having.


Besides, who carries cash anymore? The short answer is drug dealers and mafia types. Is that the sort of criminal element you want at your dog wedding? Maybe it is — far be it from me or anyone else to tell you what sort of guests you want to serve overdone filet to, but think of Natuashish and Banana Pie. What would they say if they could talk, hmm? Would they commend you for your thriftiness in organizing a wedding at which only the drug dealers and mafiosos could drink while all the other guests fingered their suddenly useless platinum express silver-linings members' club cards in their tuxedo pockets and sequined purses? Or would they think that maybe you should have invited less people or maybe just sprung for the open bar because there is no point of going to a dog wedding if you're not going to get drunk enough to dance the electric slide and choke down the wedding cake, which, as is customary in the canine community, is made of ground beef, offal, and suet icing?

Image via Brent Reeves/Shutterstock.



Two things make my mom crazy: cash bars at weddings and babies not wearing hats in the winter. Her feelings on these topics are so astonishingly, uncharacteristically strong that I don't know if it's possible for me to form my own opinions; I have heard about what an abomination it is to have a cash bar since long before I could drink.

Do people feel differently if the reason for the cash bar is to regulate alcohol intake, rather than save money? Because I have a megaton of alcoholics in my family, and if one of my cousins went the cash route to cut down on screaming fights and/or the birth of years-long feuds in the middle of their wedding, I would totally understand. Somehow the money angle is less palatable to me (even though I'm broke, too), because of my whole "throw a smaller party instead of a crappier party" mindset.