Post # 1
This sort of follows from another thread that’s been brought back recently.
I will have many family members and friends who will not be 21 at our wedding. I have heard from more than a few that they’ll just ‘get their beers from friends,’ which I responded to by lighting them up. I personally don’t want to be responsible for the accidents/mishaps/legal issues that come along with minors being served at my wedding. Other weddings I’ve been to (and worked at as a server), however, have had many minors drinking/attempting to drink. It personally bothers me since I’ve been a server/waitress and I know the huge legal ramifications that can come from someone drinking underage at your workplace, but I know that there are many opinions and I’m interested in hearing the various perspectives on this.
I’d prefer this to remain civil and not be a huge debate, but I’m interested in hearing what other brides/grooms are ‘allowing’ to happen at their own parties. And are these backyard receptions at home or in an establishment with a liquor license? I would be really interested in hearing people’s thoughts.
I’ve also included a poll for those who aren’t comfortable saying whether they would let/did have underage drinking happen at their wedding.
Post # 3
It in not only illegal for you to provide alcohol to underage people but just plain wrong. Sorry but it is never okay. Even if it is “just beer”. In Texas if a parent or legal guardian give a minor alcohol is it legal so long as it was physically handed to them by that parent or legal guardian. In that case, I don’t really have a say. But if I see somebody underage with alcohol at my wedding I will personally remove it from their hands. Their determination to get and drink alcohol is not going to risk me getting arrested. Especially on my wedding day!
Post # 4
Nope, everyone was carded at the wedding, venue policy. I don’t want to be held responsible for that.
Post # 5
Absolutely not. We are having our reception in a restaurant’s banquet hall and the state has very strict laws regarding alcohol consumption/sales that the restaurant in question enforces, including carding. I don’t understand why it’s ok to perform blatantly illegal activities “even though everyone else does it”. No they don’t and it is NEVER ok. Even in your own backyard, you cannot do that because it will come back to bite you badly. If you have a bartender hired, they won’t serve alcohol to minors because of the illegal nature and everyone (you and them) would be responsible for all ramifications if anything happens to the kids while they are drunk.
Anyone who is underage will be served non-alcoholic beverages only. Alot of the adults who are invited don’t drink either so it’s not an issue to worry about the “kids” getting drinks from them.
Post # 6
I would just have them carded during the reception. If they still manage to get it, the responsibility falls on the bartender, not you.
Post # 7
here’s the thing. i say no. of course i say no. no one wants underage drinking going on at their wedding. but as the bride, do i really have time to do something about it if someone is? am i going to monitor the bar and make sure every single guest is getting carded? no. i have a ton of other stuff to do on my wedding night.
that being said, i went to my brother’s wedding in septemeber where they had an open bar. and when i say open bar, i mean absolutely unlimited amounts of booze. it was the craziest thing i have ever seen. on this night, my fifteeen-year old brother took at least 5 shots of tequila with the groomsmen. the bartender once asked him “he dude, how old are you?” and my brother shrugged and responded “uhh… 15.” and THE BARTENDER JUST LAUGHED! OMG now THAT better not happen at my wedding! that is just WAY too much. I was apalled.
Post # 8
Our daughter’s wedding was at a vineyard. The owner was a lawyer and was the bartender. As far as I know, he did not serve anyone underage, and “cut off” any adults that appeared intoxicated. I certainly didn’t want anyone to be driving drunk after the wedding. It would be beyond awful to have something happen to anybody on your wedding day.
Post # 9
We only had 2 people under 21 at our wedding (besides little kids), and they left early, so it wasn’t an issue for us – but our wedding was at a venue with a bartender who carded guests.
I would never serve someone underage in my home – too much legal liability if anything happens.
Post # 10
The only guests underage at our wedding are very underage, like 14 and younger so they wouldn’t be interested in drinking anyway. With that said, my parents always allowed me to have a glass of champagne at weddings when I was “old enough” (like 16+) so I wouldn’t mind if guests that age followed suit as long as they weren’t driving (which I never did).
Our venue will ID anyone who they feel may not be 21 so the kids wouldn’t be able to just go up to the bar and get a beer even if they wanted to.
Post # 11
I photographed a wedding for a friend and the bride was under 21. The bartender almost shut the whole party down and threatened to kick out the bride and a bridesmaid when she kept seeing them take drinks from people. It makes me glad I’m not having alcohol at my wedding, one less thing to worry about.
Post # 12
To an extent… I’m going to have 2 people at my wedding who aren’t 21. My Future Sister-In-Law who is 19 and can legally drink in Australia (where she’s from) and my brother’s girlfriend who is also 19. If I’m letting Future Sister-In-Law drink, I can’t say no to her. I’ve warned both of them though that if the bar tender tells them no, they can’t fight it/have somebody get alc for them. If it weren’t for the cultural boundaries/the fact that there are only 2 people under 21 there, my answer would probably be different.
Post # 13
We had a lot of family (siblings and cousins) in the 16-20 age range. I specifically asked the venue to card individuals who looked young. I saw the bartender give a drink to one of my husband’s cousins who was 17 and I literally walked up there and told the bartender he needed to card people and asked the cousin what he was doing. When he claimed to be taking the drink to a relative (yeah right!), I walked over there with him to “say hi” to the relative and made sure he gave up the drink. When I saw it happen a second time, I told the coordinator (VP of the company) that this was unacceptable and she was not happy. That stopped the problem.
I learned after the fact that my 17 year old sister (MOH) had been getting drinks all night. Apparently they thought she was older because she was in the bridal party. There was nothing I could do at that point, so I just let it go.
I find underage drinking to be unacceptable, and I didn’t want to face any legal ramifications as a result of underage drinking at my wedding.
Edit: The wedding was in a really rural area, and I knew that many of the teens would be driving after they left. Alcohol + driving = bad!
Post # 14
No, but we will probably let them have some of our pot brownies. 😉
Post # 15
I voted “other” for two reasons. First, there really isn’t going to be anyone at my wedding who this would apply to. Almost everyone will be over 21, except for a few kids who are 8-13. Obviously I’d be upset if someone let someone who was 13 or less drink, I don’t think thats a judgment call.
I also voted other though, because theoretically I don’t really care. I mean I would never personally serve someone who was underage (I assume we’re talking people like 18-20 here), and I assume our venue wouldn’t either. However if we had people in that age range at our wedding and they were somehow getting alcohol I wouldn’t really worry about it. I drank at that age and I don’t really understand what the big deal is.
Post # 16
Thanks for the input! I agree that I won’t be chasing down everyone at my wedding and that the bartender/staff should be doing their jobs with carding/ID-ing folks. I also agree that the international differences in drinking ages can be tricky.
I am not saying that I never drank underage (by any means), but the whole ‘high schoolers drinking in a field’ party is much different than drinking in a public establishment in regard to how the liability falls. I always avoided the whole fake ID thing when I was under 21 strictly out of fear for being nailed for it as well as not wanting to jeopardize any servers/businesses. As a server, I was just amazed at how parents were telling me that it was fine for me to serve their kids because “it’s a wedding.” Uh, nah. Sorry.