Post # 1
So, I have a dilemma. The ceremony/reception venue that we will be using is actually owned by two separate entities. One of which requires that we have a $6 million liability coverage if we serve alcohol. I am trying my best to find a bartender/service that carries that much insurance, but I think it will be unlikely.
The area in which we would like to have our cocktail hour is controlled by the crazy venue. The area in which we will be having reception/dinner is the reasonable venue. The reasonable venue will allow us to have alcohol with a basic $1 mil policy.
So, the options are:
1) Have cocktail hour where we want to have it & don’t serve alcohol. (BUT guests would get alcohol with dinner.)
2) Have cocktail hour in a less-than-ideal location & serve alcohol.
3) Pay $2,000 to buy the insurance and have the cocktail hour where we want it.
#3 isn’t really an option b/c I think that is a waste of money, so really it’s between 1 & 2. The reasons that i want to have the cocktail hour on the crazy venue property is b/c 1) it’s a really nice garden & it would just be pretty & open & a great way to enjoy a summer LA evening, 2) to get to the alternative cocktail hour space everyone would need to walk THROUGH the reception space (which I was hoping would kind of be a “surprise”), and 3) if we only have the ceremony on the crazy venue’s property, I’m basically paying well over $1000 for 30 minutes.
Well bees? What do you think? Tell me what your thoughts would be as either a bride facing the same decision or as a guest attending this wedding.
Post # 3
I voted for #2. As a guest, I want drinks at a cocktail hour. Unless something is seriously wrong with the alternate location (where it would negatively impact the guests’ experience), I think guests care more about the cocktail hour food and drink vs. being in a cool looking place.
Post # 4
Thats hard, but I think I would lean towards #1. As a bride, I would want to get my money’s worth out of the space. As a guest, if I knew that alchohol would be served with dinner I wouldn’t mind so much, as long as food and drink was still available. Maybe you could serve fancy sparkling juice and post a discreet sign “Full Bar will be available with dinner”? And then I would chat about it with people you know who ask about the wedding, so they’re more aware of the situation when the time comes.
But really, do whatever makes you and your FI happiest, your guests will go along with whatever you decide.
Post # 5
I voted for #2. As brides, I think that we (very understandably) get caught up in our vision of the day. As a guest, though, I think the awkwardness of an alcohol-free *cocktail* hour would WAY override having to walk through the reception space into a less pretty area. I think the best way to decide is to really look at your guest list. For my wedding, our friends like to drink, and they’d be miffed if we didn’t serve booze during the cocktail hour. Your guests might be totally different.
Post # 6
Will it still be daylight during the cocktail hour? If so, I think a half-hour on the lawn sipping lemonade would be totally fine! There would probably be only time for guests to have a drink or two anyways, so it seems like even more of a waste to upheave all your plans or spend more money.
Post # 7
@Cinnamon Roll – According the calendar, sunset will be around 7:45. Ceremony should be over around 6:15 at the latest, so it will be dusk throughout cocktail hour.
If I didn’t do alcohol, I would definitely do some cutesie drink like sparkling cider or Italian soda or something. I could always give them something with a little fizz & tell them its a champagne drink cocktail. LOL!
My friends would definitely go for the alcoholic beverage if it was there….but generally, and especially b/c it’s LA and everyone is driving home, they would probably just be drinking like one glass of wine for 45 minutes.
Maybe if there is some way to get them into the alternative cocktail space without going through the reception space it wouldn’t be soooo bad. (Although I was hoping to leave that room as kind of a “get away” from the reception area & just have it kind of calm, rather than somewhat crowded with cocktail tables.)
This is difficult…..and I’m kind of liking the sneaky-sparkling-beverage-option as well. LOL. Is that bad???
Post # 8
I think I’ve seen things like, ‘apple hour’ on oncewed.com, where they had cider, and apple pie, caramel apples, etc.
Maybe you can do a theme of something? On the other hand, it might be confusing to not have alcohol- so maybe you should have it at the other location?… do you have pics? I wouldn’t personally mond the lack of cocktails- its your wedding- make it your own!
Post # 9
The other location isn’t baaaaaaad. I just had other plans for it and I think the garden would be ideal.
So this is where the wedding would be, approximately (on the landing between the two small pools):
Then, ideally, we would have tables set up to the right of that area here (picture it with less trash):
There are also other points of interest in the garden, like fountains, etc. that are not in the picture. Also, there are christmas tree-like lights on the trees, and this is downtown, so at dusk there would be lit-up skyrises all around.
This is the alternative location, which is a small courtyard, right next to the larger courtyard in which we will be having dinner. It’s nice (weird green glow b/c of the lighting–hopefully I can tone that down b/c green is NOT one of our colors), but not super spacious for 75+ people and tables and servers.
Post # 10
Keep hope alive!!!
I just got an email back from a bartending company that says they have $6 mil in liability insurance! Cross your fingers that they will work out & my guests will be able to have the best of all worlds!
Post # 11
You don’t need to have alcohol at the cocktail hour. Don’t sacrifice your preferred venue for that. You can have some light hors duerves or cheese/fruit displays instead… no insurance necessary. It’s not like they won’t get alcohol later. Plus, you don’t want them to be drunk before the reception starts.
Post # 12
As a recent wedding guest…I voted for #2. Even though I don’t drink, it sure was an awkward hour of standing around, with just water and iced tea.
If you go with #1 though, it would be cool to have fun drinks and snacks, plus as another bee mentioned, a cute sign that mentions that the wedding will not be totally sans-alcohol. =)