Post # 1
Like most families, my family is very nosey and loves to give their opinion on everything. Sometimes it is good and appreciated, but other times it isn’t. My Dad is kind of a Gossip and so he keeps telling the family everything about the wedding because he is excited. We opted to do an open bar because it was just a small up charge with our venue and my sister almost begged me for it. I would have been fine either way, but I was trying to pick my battles. My Dad told my Aunt who has been in AA for over 25 years that we are having an open bar and she told him “You shouldn’t do that! You should have two free drinks and then cut people off or have a cash bar.” I understand she is uncomfortable around people drinking, but that is kind of a fact of life and it is a party! Her and my Uncle actually met in AA and we will have a few people from AA at the wedding (friends of the family). I do not drink much at all, but many people who are coming like to have a few to have some fun and I see no harm in it if they find a safe way home. I don’t anticipate anyone having so many that they get out of control.
In any case, now my Dad is asking me if we should maybe forgo the open bar. I am the type of personality that once I make up my mind; I rarely like to revisit a subject; especially when there is so much to get done. We still have a lot of time between now and the wedding to change our minds about this if we wanted, but I just think it is courteous to have an open bar. When you go to a friend’s house for a party they usually don’t charge you for drinks unless it is like a rager or something. But I don’t want to alienate my family in AA because we are going to have one. InFloridathe drinks have to be cut off an hour before the reception ends by law in any case so the open bar will only be for about 3 hours.
Do you think I should have the open bar? Or is it offensive or dangerous? What are you doing at your reception?
Post # 3
top shelf open bar.
My guests are adults – I don’t need to police them.
Post # 4
No alcohol whatsover. My family tends to make a fool of themselves (girls dancing on the tables, guys falling over and laughing until they pee in their suits) at all the family reunions and weddings because they are basically alcoholics and the behavior is accepted and tolerated among the family. So, a big no-no! I ain’t having none of those shenanigans on my special day! LOL
Post # 5
Open bars are extremely common at weddings amongst my family and friends, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. But absolutely you should have an open bar. It’s not offensive (honestly, I find cash bars a bit offensive) and it’s not dangerous (adults need to be responsible for their own behavior).
ETA: We are having an open bar for the entire reception. Some of our guests are recovering alcoholics, and some are big drinkers, but I am choosing to treat them all as adults.
Post # 6
Do what you want. It sounds harsh, but really you don’t have to cater to every single person’s personal demons. Either they’ll drink or they won’t. Our venue was the same – alcohol stopped being served an hour before the end of the reception, so there wasn’t really enough time for people to get completely wasted.
Post # 7
It may be offesnive to individulas but absoluitely not as a collective. You cant please everyone. Your family are adults. Do not baby them.
Post # 8
I’ve never been to a wedding that WASN’T open bar. Honestly, I understand it might be hard for your family in AA, but you can’t shield them from everything. There will be other weddings they go to with open bars where they have NO SAY, I’m sure. It’s not like it’s so uncomfortable that they can’t come to your wedding, right? I don’t think you need to explain anything to anyone – if you picked to have an open bar and that’s what you want, then do it. If you don’t want an open bar, then change it. Do what you want – and if your dad is a gossip (like mine is, so I TOTALLY get where you’re coming from) consider perhaps not telling him all the details, if you can?
Post # 9
@misspeanut: This. The people who really want to drink (meaning alcoholics and the like) will drink whether it’s an open bar or cash bar. And open bar is neither dangerous nor offensive.
Post # 10
I think that’s kind of ridiculous. It shouldn’t be offensive to anyone… it’s generous of you to provide an open bar.
I understand your aunt’s situation but she, and all others in the same predicament, should just accept that it is up to them to monitor themselves and not expect you to alter your wedding plans accordingly.
Post # 11
We are having an open bar. Honestly, if someone is going to get shitfaced at your wedding, they’ll do it whether or not the booze is free. People go to bars all the time & spend money on drinks and get hammered. Cutting people off at two drinks isn’t going to stop someone from getting drunk if they intend to in the first place.
As for people in AA, they will probably stick together & be supportive of each other. That is kinda what the program is about, right?
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Some people will be offended if there isn’t an open bar and it’s pretty rude to assume your adult guests cannot handle themselves around an open bar. There will be a bartender after all who should (and is required by law to) cut off people who get visibly drunk.
My dad and brother are both recovered alcoholics and half of DH’s family doesn’t drink for religious reasons. No one was offended we had an open bar.
Post # 13
An open bar is not offensive or dangerous! Some people choose to restrict access to alcohol if they are close to certain guests who might be alcoholics or object to drinking for religious reasons or what have you. But that’s completely a personal choice. I would imagine that almost all weddings, particularly larger ones, have at least one guest who has a problem with alcohol. When you get that many people together it’s almost inevitable. Yet many, many weddings feature open bars. And personally I don’t drink less at cash bars. If I want a drink I’m going to have one, whether I have to pay for it or not.
Post # 14
I can not really answer this as everyone’s experiences are different, but I will share my experience from my wedding. We had an open bar. Just to point out first though…I already knew that my crowd tends to get out of control. (I would say happyface and I are on the same boat). I knew that it would not bother me and was more then prepared for it. I wanted to give them a party and I would say I pretty much delivered.
1. People went into the pool. My mother’s bf was pushed in with his camera and cell phone in his pockets (he wasn’t happy!)
2. People got nude in the photobooth and a few did not want to get out of it
3. My sister stepped in puke. One of the groomsmen later stumbled upon her undressing in the bridal suite. She is 16.
4. There was a small fight, but nothing too serious. It just ended up in one guest leaving early.
5. My BIL wore a photobooth prop throughout the night, I think he might of brought it home with him actually.
6. Our uncle was stumbling around in the middle of the street by himself.
7. I have no idea where the garter I tossed went. My BIL caught it but dosn’t have it.
8. A family friend kept falling on the dance floor (I think I counted 10 times), she eventually ran up to me and continued to hug me and tell me how much she loved me.
The list goes on…..
Post # 15
Can you explain the “dangerous” part a bit more? Dangerous for whom, the drinking guests or the AA guests? I think adults should be able to not drink themselves into a coma at a wedding, and the bar staff will cut off anyone who had one too many. And if an AA member thinks they can’t handle the temptation, then they need to leave. Temptation is a constant part of life for a recovering addict, and dealing with it is part of the rehab process.
We had an open bar and nothing bad happened. But we also didn’t have any alcoholics at the wedding that I know of.
Post # 16
@futuremrsk18: I went to a wedding once that had no alcohol and it was by far the least fun wedding I’ve ever been to, no one really danced, except the smart people who brought flasks, not me 🙁
I think you need to stop listening to others input as much (sis and dad) and do what you and your FI want.