Post # 1
My Fiancee and I are having a slight disagreement over paying for beer and wine for the guests. I wanted to get your advice on this.
We are having a morning wedding (11am). The reception will be from 12:00 – 4:00pm. We will be doing heavy hors d’eouvres. We will have a 30 – 45min cocktail hour before the food is presented. We will arrive towards the end of the cocktail hour, do our dance then have food. I want to provide beer and wine to my guests (hosted) for both the cocktail hour as well as with the meal. It will only put us overbudget by $2 per head and at 85 people that is not really that bad nor will it break us. He does not feel paying approximately $500 (the amount for an added hr for everyone) is worth paying to host the cocktail hour. He feels just beer and wine with the meal is sufficiant and that we will have water, tea and soda for the cocktail hour and if anyone wants to purchase a drink they can. Most of my family are wine and beer drinkers so I imagine they will want a drink. I find it rude to make your guests pay for drinks for either the cocktail hour or meal. Later in the reception is fine but not those first two hours. He feels the “party” is for us and that we should not have to pay for all those drinks. They are there to celebrate us and we are the ones who should be “happy” i.e. not have to pay.
What say you? Its an early afternoon reception. I just have never been to one where I had to pay right off the bat…help. He has finally conceeded to my wishes but neither of us agree with the other…
(sorry so long)
Post # 3
Its just my thought that the guests should not pay for their drinks at all. Guests dont tend to drink heavily during cocktail hour, so why not close down the open bar during dinner hour to please both of you. I went to a wedding that did this (there was a note on the bar stating that theyd be closed from 7-8, everyone assumed it was for prep). Although, that might be tricky since it is heavy hors…will there be assigned seating? If so, that makes it much easier to close it. You can leave nice pitchers of soda and bottels of water out to take still..
Post # 4
I’m not a drinker so personally I wouldn’t care either way, but I still agree with you. I understand if you can’t pay because of budget reasons, but otherwise I feel that people should be able to drink without having to shell out the cash while at a wedding.
Post # 5
Thanks for the idea. We do have assigned tables. Its hard because my family, including myself, would like to have wine (or a beer) with their meal. Thats why I dont want to close it for the meal. Specially since we will likely not have champaigne for the toast and instead use the wine that people already have.
Post # 6
We all just got drinks before the dinner. But if that is the case, Id say pay for it.
Post # 7
I do not want my guests to have to pay for drinks. A wedding for a lot of my guests will be a weekend away from the kids, so I want them to enjoy themselves. All of my guests will be from Out of Town, so the expense to come to my wedding is high(two nights hotel, flights or gas, food, gift, money with the card…)I do not want to cheap out on them.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony: Catholic Church, Reception: Hotel Ballroom
I agree with you on this one, LadyChristine. The way I see it is that you’re not charging them for the hors d’oeuvres, why would you charge for the drinks? You wouldn’t expect people to pay for their drinks if they came over to your house for dinner.
If it’s a budget concern to your Fiance, maybe you can make up the extra $$ elsewhere in the budget (invites, decor, etc.)?
Post # 9
Hmm, I’m with you. While I see your fiance’s point, you guys should think about your guests, and even for an early wedding, your meal will go into later in the afternoon, and if your family likes to drink, I would definitely provide beer and wine throughout your reception. Especially for that price (which is incredibly reasonable).
If you decide to not have the booze for your entire reception, make sure you spread the word to your guests so they know to bring cash! There’s nothing worse than wanting a drink and your wallet is empty (I never carry cash with me unless I know I’ll need it).
Post # 10
I can see the point that both you and your Fiance are making. Personally, if the cocktail hour was that short, not even an hour, I would probably just need some water to hold me over. And since it’s an early afternoon, I can’t see anyone drinking heavily anyways. But either way, guests shouldn’t have to pay for the first drinks.
Post # 11
I agree with you on this one! You are hosting a party and so you don’t want you guests to pay for anything!
Post # 12
I’m with ya. I coudln’t charge my guests for their own drinks, particularly since it’s only $2/head and then $500. That’s quite the deal =].
Try to reason with him–perhaps he is only seeing the “$500” side of things, not the etiquette and appreciation that comes from not having to come to a hosted party, then pull out your own wallet.
Post # 13
Its actually only $2 per head <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>over budget. The actual cost is $6.50 pp for the first hour and $5.50 for the second.
@ejs4y8: yes I believe that is the problem. He has not been to too many weddings and has not given any real big parties. He is not thinking about the ettiqutte and appreciation and instead is focusing on where else he would rather spend the $500 that the extra hour would cost.
I think it is a good comprimise to pay for the first two and if they want more later, which will be minimal, it would be cash bar. That way we are not paying for the whole 4 hours but are offering some comfort to our guests.
Post # 14
From everything that I’ve read (b/c to pass the time during work, shhhhh, I read a lot of wedding blogs) all of them say it’s a very not to do thing to not provide an open bar, and charge your guests for drinks. It’s kind of like going to a bday party, and when guests show up and ask for a drink, you say, “alright, that will be $3” How would you feel?
Post # 15
I don’t like the idea of guests having to pay for their own drinks, EVER.
Post # 16
When you’re the host, hosted bar. Right?