Post # 1
This is kinda related to my wine question.
We’re doing a restaurant reception. Basically we will all have dinner at a local nice restaurant in their party room. The way I understand it, they have you narrow down meal selections to 3 different entree choices for larger parties (we’re talking a max of 40-50 people)…
And I already asked the wine question..
But what about those who prefer beer? There are a few in our group who will. Since we’ll be paying for dinner and wine, and people will order from the wait staff… how do we, without being rude, see to it that people aren’t drinking the most expensive beer on the menu times five? (this place boasts the largest beer selection in that part of the state!)…
I am not understanding how we indicate this, either to the restaurant or the guests. We want them to have a couple drinks with dinner but we can’t afford the per-glass or per-bottle price of someone drinking in excess of that, at least when it comes to alcohol. If this were a catered even there would be a set amount and set price… but it’s not, so I am confused.
I figured for the wine I can “pre purchase” and have it placed in the party room… but the beer is a different story.
We really need to figure the reception budget now. It’s one of our largest expenses as is, because the only good restaurant in town that ALSO has a good party area / private area is not exactly on the lower end price wise! lol. It’s a place more expensive than FI or I would ever go to under any other circumstances, which is okay, we want it to be nice and we only get married once but we still need to stay within our budget and KNOW our budget beforehand.
Post # 3
Talk to the event staff at the venue and ask if you can choose to only put one or two types of beer on your menu. They may also have a fee for a per person open bar which may ultimately be cheaper than a la carte. You can probably also let them know your alcohol limit, and then they can let you (or your designated person) know when you are getting close to to your cap. After your cap, the wait staff can tastefully let people know that the hosted bar is closed. The venue people have likely done this before, and should be able to work with you.
Post # 4
I agree with @nmsoonerbride: Check and see if they do a per person open bar if you haven’t already. I worked for a restaurant – and not even a really upscale one – and we did this. We would charge X amount per person for 4 hours open bar. It honestly was a great deal if you had more than 3 drinks. We also did drink tickets where your first 3-4 drinks were free and then you paid cash for the rest. It doesn’t hurt to look into some of these options with the restaurant!
Post # 5
We had our second reception at a restaurant and worked it out with the staff beforehand that we would spend X dollars on alcohol. Once X dollars worth had been drunk, the bar switched to cash.
Post # 6
I agree with everyone above: Talk with the restaurant and they will handle making sure your guests know what is provided and what is cash bar. If you decide to go with an open bar for wine, sodas, a few beers and a signature drink (or something similar) you can make up some triangle drink menus to stand up on the table. At the bottom you can say something like “many more selections available for purchase” your restaurant might even make these up for you to match their menus and it will get the point across without anyone having to say anything.
At the restaurant where I work we do lots of functions where it’s open bar up to a certain $ limit, or open beer and wine and cash bar for liquor.
Post # 7
Is there a way you can talk to the restaurant about possible doing a pre-printed menu where you have selected a couple different beers and wine that your guests can choose from? At least this way people can still have a selection and won’t hurt your wallet as much.
Post # 8
Okay thanks everyone. I finally just emailed the restaurant and got the owner and I think they are experienced at this sort of thing like y’all said. We had a preliminary conversation and now I am awaiting a reply but I think it will be okay. I just look for reasons to freak out, I swear.