Post # 1
Just feeling kind of bummed/confused/nervous and want some insight/advice-
FI and I went to a wedding this past weekend. A lot of the guests are also friends with us and a bunch of them will be invited to our wedding. Many of our friends, including FI and I, like to throw back and few and have a good time, but within reason and we do act responsibly. We want our guests to be able to have a good time at our wedding. That being said-there are a few bad apples who can get out of control. If we do an open bar, I can see them getting completely out of control; however if we do a cash bar, like the wedding FI and I went to this past weekend, I’m afraid they will disappear into the parking lot chugging nips and throwing beer bottles on the ground from their cars-cause that’s what they did at our friends wedding Saturday! I am not against people having drinks and letting loose inside the venue-I just want to avoid sloppy and disrespectful behavior! This past weekend the wedding coordinator had to speak to the bride about controlling her guests and making sure they stopped drinking in the parking lot and throwing their beer bottles on the ground and littering. She was mortified and had to ask one of her bridesmaids to go outside and track down the people in the parking lot and tell them to stop-which some of them still snuck outside anyways. They didn’t want to pay for any drinks. THEN (this is horrible) some of the unruly guests went to the back patio towards the end of the night, where there was also a pool, and they started throwing the patio furniture into the pool and thought it was so funny! Which is total vandalism to me! I was shocked and upset.
So here is where I am conflicted and would like advice:
Like I said: this is only a few bad apples, but it was enough to wreak havic and have the poor bride get spoken to by the coordinator and take up part of her special day. I am thinking we should NOT invite these people to our wedding, even though it is just a few of them…but some of them are close friends who just happen to get out of control when there is hours and hours of drinking going on. Most of the time they are okay, so I was kind of sad to see all of this transpire on Saturday. FI and I were never planning on doing a cash bar-we want to find a way to include some of the drinks (it’s acceptable to not do an open bar around here) Should I do beer and wine included only and just avoid liquor? I’m sorry if I seem all over the place, I guess it was just never on my mind about how to deal with unruly guests…that’s another thing that is on my mind now…what do you do about unruly guests who drink too much? I want them to have a good time, but it’s not fun when they are sloppy and out of control…
Post # 3
Unfortunately, if someone has the intention of getting schwasted they will. Whether it’s paying for their own booze, or bringing it in their car. We did have an open bar and a few people did get out of hand, but they’re grown ups and have to be held accountable for their own actions.
You can host beer & wine only, or have beer, wine, and a cocktail. You can also have beer only at the bar, and have two reds and two whites at each table during dinner. Also, if your venue has a bartender (or if you hire one) it is the bartender’s legal responsibility to cut off anyone who is obviously intoxicated.
This is one of those times where you don’t have a lot of control over other people’s behavior :/ Don’t enable them, and hope for the best. Or talk with them individually and explain that a wedding is not the time or place for that sort of behavior.
Post # 4
Oh god, what a nightmare for that poor bride! On top of a bartender legally required to cut off anyone who needed it, our venue actually required us to have 2 security guards at the reception if any alcohol was served. They were great guys (helped my mom load gifts and stuff into her car well after midnight to make sure she felt safe!) and just blended into the background the entire night. Honestly, just knowing they were there made me feel a lot better about my more, ahem, obnoxious drunk guests.
Post # 5
You only get to host a party, offer guests food and refreshment along with the joy of witnessing your union…the rest is not your area, you can’t control guests behavior, drinking habits or their possible urges to throw patio furniture into a pool…however puzzling that urge may be. THAT being said, aside from the total mortification of being the bride whose guests completely vandalized and destroyed a wedding venue inside and out, I would imagine your real fear stems from being held financially responsible for any damage caused, after all they are your guests, and if it weren’t for you, they never would have been there. For this exact risk, I would highly recommend securing wedding insurance, which in addition to a myriad of coverage including loss or theft of rings, gifts and vehicles, as well as photography re-take coverage, deposit reimbursement, and honeymoon rescheduling coverage, would also cover the damage, (if any) caused by the unruly and intoxicated guest. The insurance is readily available through a lot of carriers, Travelers springs to mind, and is rated on your budget and number of guests…don’t be afraid! Get insured!
Post # 6
If there are a few bad apples, and you know they’re bad apples and you know what kind of trouble they like to get into, then either you or your fiance should a polite but firm conversation with them as to what is and what is not acceptable behavior. By the time you’re old enough to legally drink in public, you’re old enough to be expected to behave yourself, and there’s nothing wrong with setting the expectations. They may not like hearing what you have to say, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said. Just be really polite about it.
Post # 7
If they are close to you then if you let them know ahead of time have fun but don’t act a fool then they won’t take it personally. But definitely DO OPEN BAR! I think #1 rule of whether a wedding will be fun or not is if there is open bar. When my husband and I were planning our budget we wanted to make sure the guests were our #1 concern and best way we could think of to make sure they had fun was open bar. haha in fact that is the advice I give to any to be brides: key to a fun wedding, short ceremony, open bar, good music. BOOM! everyone is happy and your wedding is one where no one will complain!
Post # 8
warn the bartender and staff that there are a few guests (point them out) that may need to be cut off shoudl they drink excessively. The liability is on the bartender SERVING the booze. So just warn them you expect a few heavy drinkers, and would like them to be “watched”
Post # 9
I see you are getting married in june, I would say leave those few bad apples out. I only have a few uncles to worry about, and they are sitting in the back, and will be escourted even before they start to get out of contorl.
I wouldn’t take this from friends, they straight up wouldn’t be invited to my wedding if they can’t behave. They are adults and no one should have police their behavior. If you still want ot invite them, tell them you didn’t appreciate how they behaved at your friends wedding and if they step out of line they will be escorted out of the reception. I luckly that I come from a family gaints on both my side and when you add in Fi his friends and some of his cousins and brother, I not even worried about hiring security although I’m certain I won’t need any for my friends.
Post # 10
Ugh. It sounds like warning the bartender won’t solve the problem if they always come prepared with their own provisions. I think I would either say something to them or not invite them. I just feel like as a host you do have some responsibility not to invite people that you know can’t control themselves, for the comfort of other guests in addition to whatever liability issues. Obviously there’s a continuum of “not controlling yourself” from, on the milder side, inadvisable karaoke or overly suggestive dancing to on the other end, I don’t know…shooting someone. And maybe they aren’t dangerous but it sounds like they are destructive. So I think that’s a sufficient reason not to invite someone, but it’s your call. I’m sorry you have to deal with this!
Post # 11
I hate to advise this, but you can hire an off duty police officer to patrol the parking lot. I think that will cost you about $200 or so. Check with government rental halls and see how much they charge for an off duty officer on their premises to get an idea of what an officer will charge you. Here in my state, I see it being about $40 per hour, and some have a min. of like $150.
That way, if anyone’s cutting up, you can assign a groomsman to be the one to alert the officer to take care of it. Maybe the DJ can announce that an off duty officer in there for everyone’s protection. or you can spread through word of mouth before the wedding. You can just tell people that the venue required it to serve alcohol.
I say I hate to advise it because it sounds like if you had an off duty officer or two there, one of your friends is most likely getting arrested. Just saying. Good luck!
Post # 12
@Mrs.Kpop: we had cash bar and our guests had a BLAST… so how do you figure people won’t have fun if it’s not open bar???
Post # 13
This is scary. I would think about this. The company you keep is a reflection of you. I would drop rude disrespectful friends such as these like hot potatoes. If they think their behavior is ok, then they don’t need to be at my wedding.
Some folks might think my view is harsh. The way I look at it is that sometimes we grow up and grow apart. These are not the type of people I would want around my future children so I’m ok with weeding them out early.
Post # 14
@RockStar33: I kind of feel the same way about cash bar weddings, but not because I gotta get hammered to have a good time, quite the opposite actually, but to me, if your hosting a party, that includes liquor. I feel that expecting your guests to pay for a glass of wine at your wedding is a little gauche, after all, I could have just stayed home with a bottle of the stuff for what I’m paying for this plastic glass AND my feet wouldn’t hurt from wearing heels and doing the chicken dance with Uncle Bernie.
Post # 15
@rockstar33: Not saying that you can’t have fun, definitely can.. but from my experience weddings ive attended where its not open bar people tend to complain! you over hear all this negative talk and while people will still drink up because weddngs are awkward w no alcohol I feel like guests grimace while busting out their wallet to pay for their own drinks. But then again pleasing guests in general is difficult, I recently went to a weddign where they didnt feed the guests till 9pm ( wedding started at 5) and they did all the speeches and stuff BEFORE dinner.. needless to say no one was paying attention and everyone was just pissed lol but thats getting off tangent~ haha
Post # 16
@Nona99: i know why people choose to have cash bars, and don’t…. i don’t need an explanation, i’m just saying we had one… and our guests still had fun, she was saying a wedding can’t be fun if there’s a cash bar.
i’m not getting into this whole debate again.