Post # 1
The venue we are looking at sent us a proposal contract and they have the bar closing for an hour during introductions/dinner. Is this a thing? I don’t think it’s happened at a wedding I’ve ever gone to. The only way it’s “negotiatable” is if we keep it open and then end the reception an hour early, which isn’t ideal either. Has anyone had their bar close and how did it work?
Post # 2
I think ours did that and just served wine during dinner. It was just like an hour and people were sitting anyway (we had toasts between courses) so nobody even noticed.
Post # 3
RunnerBride13: good to know! Maybe it’s happened at weddings I’ve attended but I just never noticed. They do a champagne pour with dinner at this venue so I guess that helps.
Post # 4
Yep I’ve seen this done. Usually during dinner everyone is seated and focused on eating anyway so it’s no big deal.
Post # 5
I used to bartend weddings but at our venure this was up to the couple. It makes sense because it gives your bartenders a chance to eat and re-stock etc. But also because it makes everyone sit and listen to the speeches instead of getting up and walking around to go to the bar. The only bad thing is when guests don’t understand and they come up to the bar looking for a drink anyway. Then they are disrupting everything and they are confused and unhappy. If this is your venue’s norm I’m sure they are good at communicating that fact though so it should work out well.
Post # 6
Our caterer had that rule. She said it makes it easier on the staff and prevents people from getting up during speaches. There was wine on the table, and champagne later for toasts. Wasn’t an issue for us.
Post # 7
If there is wine on the tables during dinner, I think that’s pretty common. It’s just so the guests aren’t walking around during speeches and introductions and also so that the bartenders have time to restock, grab more ice, etc.
Post # 8
I’ve seen this done at some weddings, and have always thought of it as a cost cutting measure, but not wanting people up and out of their seats or controlling the pace of drinking after a long cocktail hour also makes sense. As pointed out, there is often a wine or champagne toast and service to the tables that at this time. I would have assumed that for an additional price you could have an open bar for the duration if that’s what you want, but maybe not. Ours was open throughout in addition to the champagne toast.
Post # 9
I would just make sure that your venue announces this so that people who don’t want wine/champagne have one last opportunity to grab a drink from the bar before it closes for dinner. And, of course, announce when it reopens.
Post # 10
adysinger: We are doing this. Our venue package includes a 5-hour open bar, so we are closing the bar during dinner and adding the hour onto the end of the reception. I’ve only been to one other reception where this was done, and it was at a hotel (as is ours). We just made sure to grab a drink before dinner started and we were fine until the bar re-opened, especially since we were also served campagne for the toasts.
Post # 11
This is common, just make sure that the bar is inside the room. A wedding I attended, the bar closed during dinner as the bartenders were also the servers and the bar was outside the room. During dinner, other people from another wedding (which was cash bar) came to our bar during dinner and stole our alcohol and we didn’t know because the doors were closed… the brides father later announced that our guests had to give our names and table numbers to the bartenders for authorization that they were from our wedding.
If the bar needs to be outside the room for your wedding, make sure someone is keeping an eye on it!
Post # 12
adysinger: This has happened at every wedding I’ve ever been to. Usually the bar closes and there is wine on the tables. Then after dinner is over the bar opens again.
Post # 13
This is what I am planning on doing at my wedding, the bar will only be open for about 2 hours total. Plus we will have champagne toasts later that evening. I think it’s plenty. 🙂
Post # 14
Yes, this has happened at every wedding i’ve been to! The bartenders are usually eating at this time as well. A red and a white bottle (or 2 of each depending on how big your tables are) should suffice if you don’t have a server coming around pouring wine!
Post # 15
we’re closing the bar during dinner, but there will be wine and beer poured at the table by servers. it’s a chance for the staff to restock and keeps people in their seats instead of roaming around. it’s also a way to slow/control people’s drinking because they can have wine/beer for that 1.5 hours rather than hard liquor.
it’s pretty common, i’m sure you’ve been to weddings that have done it and you haven’t even noticed!