(Closed) To have or not have alcohol at reception

posted 5 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Would you have alcohol at your reception if you knew some guests can't control themselves?
    Yes, deal with fire when and if it occurs : (55 votes)
    51 %
    Yes, but find "babysitters" for trouble makers : (26 votes)
    24 %
    No, forgo thing that would take joy away from the special day : (12 votes)
    11 %
    Don't offer free or table wine, do a cash bar : (15 votes)
    14 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    664 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - EDD 06/12/2016

    I have a similar problem (see post) and we For sure decided on not having alcohol. I’m not dealing with stupid drunk drama at MY wedding!!

    Post # 4
    Member
    3041 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Space it out through the night? Perhaps just serve one glass of wine during cocktails, then one or two more glasses during dinner. NO open bar, just wine and beer with moderation. Would that work? Then you can re-adjust the plans if they don’t make it to the wedding.

    Post # 5
    Member
    3887 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think alcohol adds a more celebratory and festive air to the reception and I think the vast majority of guests enjoy having the option of having a few drinks. And the vast majority are responsible and won’t get loaded and act foolish. It’s pretty wrong to detract from all those other guests’ enjoyment of the day just because your future in-laws can’t handle their drink. I would have alcohol, at least beer and wine, and perhaps Fi could have a polite but firm chat wiht his parents regarding their expected behavior at the party.

    Post # 6
    Member
    8475 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I would not let other people control my wedding.  But I would certainly hint to them that it would really spoil my day if they did anything to embarass me. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    8982 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    My husband and I are not having alcohol at our wedding in June.

    Driving drunk is an issue that touches home to me. I lost my best friend when we were 11 to a drunk driver. While I do not think anyone at our wedding would drive drunk intentionally, it is something that I am incredibly concerned about.

    So, instead of alcohol at the reception, we are hosting an after party for invited guests only (Mostly the bridal party and close friends) where wine & beer will be served. We will be collecting keys at the door and it will be at my FIL/MIL’s house so people will have a place to sleep if they need to stay the night.

    Post # 8
    Member
    553 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Tough one. I can understand your dilemma for sure. If you don’t have alcohol, they might just bring their own and hide it from you since they like the booze so much! I’d say have it but don’t have liquor, just beer & wine. I will say this: My dad and step-mom had “that couple” at their wedding, and all they really did was just make themselves look like asses. People ignored them completely and it didn’t put a damper on anything…it was obnoxious, yes, but adults know that some folks just get out of hand, it’s always been that way. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d definitely talk to them about it before hand and ask them to please please please be considerate and cut themselves off after 3 glasses. Folks will miss their wine with their dinner if you don’t have it.

    Post # 9
    Member
    8044 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2013

    @mrsbordoni:  Can you have it so that guests get like ONE cocktail or something? So it’s not an open bar or a cash bar… but maybe you have a signature drink or something.

    That way you’ll get the best of both worlds.

    I never drink much but I like to have a drink at events like weddings… I’m pretty shy and it helps loosen me up a bit.. especially to make small talk with people I’m stuck with at my table.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Is there a brother or uncle or someone that you can talk to who would escort them outside “to talk about this” if they start making a scene?

    Post # 11
    Member
    3887 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think it’s really sad that so many people are willing to treat their guests like children. I understand that everyone has the rowdy friend or family member who may need a little talking-to, but banning all alcohol and taking keys away sends the wrong message to your guests. You’re basically saying “I don’t trust you to make the right decisions, so I am going to make the decisions for you.”  That’s not respectful.

    Post # 12
    Member
    2660 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @fishbone:  +1

    OP, I understand you are worried about your FILs, but it’s really unfair to punish the rest of your guests by not having or limiting alcohol.  Also, since it’s a DW, it would be in very poor form to not have an open bar.  Remeber, guests are traveling and shelling out a lot of money to come to your wedding and I can’t imagine they’d be thrilled to find out there’s no alcohol or that they have to pay for it.  I know I’d be pissed.

    I think the best solution is to either ask a family member to keep an eye on your FILs and talk to the bar tender and make him/her aware of the situation.  The bar tender might be able watch your FILs and cut them off if he needs to or just make their drinks extra weak.

    Post # 13
    Member
    9172 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    I would probably skip alcohol but tell friends that if they want to bring a flask or whatever, that’s cool (if you can do that at your venue).

    Post # 14
    Member
    907 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    One of my good friends did ONLY a champagne toast and left the rest of the reception alcohol-free. Her mom is a recovering alcoholic and the groom’s family has a few folks with alcohol dependencies as well. They did it not only to avoid drama, but out of respect. That said, it was an afternoon event with an appetizer reception that ended before dinner time. The party was still great, it just had a different tone than the booze-soaked weddings I’ve been to. 

    This is a tough one. I say go with your (both you and FI) guts about this one. I think moderation (perhaps only serve with dinner) might be the best answer. Or, as PP suggested, give your friends the heads-up about a no/low alcohol situation and let them prepare accordingly.

    Post # 15
    Member
    3887 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @lolot:  Telling guests to bring flasks is not good advice. Not only could you or your venue face penalites from the liquor licensing board, it gives the whole event a very “frat party” like atmosphere which can be very off-putting to many guests.  If you want to go alcohol-free, go all the way. 

    Post # 16
    Member
    4194 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    Has anyone ever talked to your FILs about their behavior? Could FI say to them- “Hey, I don’t want what happened at sister’s wedding to happen at mine. If you get out of hand, we’re going to ask you to leave.”- ???

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