Post # 1
Our reception is going to be at this lovely location at the beach.
The dancing area will be platform over the sand with inbuilt lights and a chill out zone on the other side. This means that the sea is like maybe 10 metres away, which are all factors in considering whether to have an open bar.
First of all about 80% of the people we are inviting are Christians and most of them don’t drink (I can’t say all as probably some of them will). We are providing mojitos during cocktail hour and then wine and beer during their meal (as well as sangria etc).
I always considered having a non-alcoholic wedding, I cannot consume any alcohol (darn allergy haha) so being sober and seeing people tipsy/drunk isn’t that appealing. However that isn’t the reason, I just don’t want to “tempt” those that don’t want to drink and I don’t want a few people over doing it to ruin the night especially with the sea so near by at night which has made me consider everything that could go wrong (drunk people drowning, yup that would be great on my wedding day!).
So here is the question:
Should I just provide alcohol during the meal and cocktail hour so that they don’t over do it?
Should I provide an open bar anyway?
Should I provide an open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer (as was suggested by the manager)?
Should I provide an “open bar” just consisting of soft drinks?
Should I provide a cash bar? (maybe after a certain limit?)
I’m really at a loss here because my other half doesn’t drink, niether do our parents (apart from a glass of wine with their meals) and niether do most of my close friends.
Post # 3
You’re going to get a million different opinions.
Know your guests, everyone on the Bee has totally different lifestyles. Some people expect for there to be an open bar at every wedding…however I have rarely been to a wedding with an open bar.
Go with your gut.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Nothing wrong with keeping it light- I like the manager’s suggestion of “open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer”
Post # 5
@FutureMrsSarah: be prepared – this is a VERY touchy subject and you’re quite possibly going to get an earful from some people.
Personally, I think that if you’re providing drinks for the cocktail hour and dinner, having a cash bar afterwards is just fine (most of the weddings I’ve been too have been this way) especially if most of your guests don’t drink. If you can afford to have a modest selection available as an open bar then by all means – you could also put a time limit on the bar (open for cocktails, closed for dinner, and then open for an hour or 2 after dinner) that way people can still enjoy a few libations should they choose too but you’re not giving people enough time to really get out of hand.
Post # 6
@Meant2Bee: Thanks! Its so hard trying to please everyone! I have been to quite a few weddings, some of them have had an open bar and some of them don’t. I don’t see the point of one if my close friends and family aren’t really going to benefit from it but I guess I want everyone to be happy! It doesn’t help that my partner doesn’t really care haha!
Post # 7
The cash bar is not a good idea as guests don’t and shouldn’t be expected to pay for anything at a wedding. I recommend the soft bar, with just beer, wine, and champagne. Guests expect to have alcohol (not agreeing but that’s how most are). This would help in keeping guests from getting complete hammered when compared to the open bar. How’s your budget on this one? If you are on a budget, just serve what you can afford. I would recommend keeping the alcohol flowing all night if you can. Guests tend to leave early if they aren’t drinking (if they are drinkers).
Post # 8
Many people who are not big drinkers but like to have one or two prefer mixed drinks to beer or wine. If you decide to not offer everything, but some alcohol, I would recommend at least doing a signature drink along with the beer & wine.
Post # 9
I picked the bar with beer & wine, that should make everyone pretty happy. And maybe have some more sangria available too haha, says me because I love it 🙂 But I also think since no one you’re close to really drinks, a cash bar for alcoholic beverages or just drinks with liquor, if that’s an option, would be fine. 🙂
Post # 10
I agree with your manager an open bar with just soft drinks, wine and beer sounds like a great compromise. You can also just ask the bartender not to over serve people. Ask him to simply hand a water instead of a drink to guest who are visibly intoxicated.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn
We decided to provide beer and wine during the cocktail hour and dinner. If someone wants to do shots of Patron they can pay for it. We are doing it this way to discourage people from drinking too much. I do not want to be driving drunk people back to their hotel rooms on my wedding night. We are providing many non alcoholic options that will be available all night.
Post # 12
as a guest i would like to have the choice to drink alcohol and would be dissapointed if there were not any at all or if i had to pay.just having beer and wine is good,thats what i had and my friends and family are drinkers and love to party.we had beer and wine served for 5 hours and no one got drunk,a little tipsy but not drunk.
if the guest wanted other then beer or wine they had the option of buying it
my FI (at the time)husband is not a drinker and we had plenty of people there who did not drink,but we took in to consideration of the ones(including me)who do drink.
Post # 13
@FutureMrsSarah: Where I am from, and in my opinion, having a cash bar is NEVER the answer! I’d just do beer and wine if I were you.
Post # 14
No matter what, I suggest having the “open soda bar.” Personally, in your situation, I would do a wine and beer bar by consumption. Particularly since your guests are unlikely to drink much, they won’t drink you into the poorhouse but the option for a glass is available, should they prefer.
That said, these are your friends and guests, and if they won’t miss the alcohol, then save the money and just give them water/soda/juice.
Post # 15
Thank you everyone for your replies, I understand all your point of views, hence having a hard decision! I do think we’re going with my manager’s suggestion but we still have time to think it over and decide .
Post # 16
@FutureMrsSarah: If very few people will drink, I’d do the beer, wine, soda route. Otherwise you are paying per person for items likely not to be consumed.
Disclaimer: I’m usually very PRO open bar but considering your circumstances, I’d do less than open bar.