(Closed) DRINKS during reception

posted 11 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

@gracez–it’s not necessarily a matter of budgets.  As Mrs. Pino Grigio pointed out, it’s about what type of host you are.  And yes, people are there to celebrate the start of your new life, but that doesn’t mean they should be running up a bar tab to do so.  

My feeling is that if you can’t afford to have an open bar (or limited open bar) then go alcohol free, or serve wine only with the meal. 

Post # 18
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

How our venue works, is you set a dollar amount for the bar for the night and choose the type of alcohol (we’re choosing a beer/wine bar for lowering costs and increasing the amount that can be served). The bar is open for guests to choose from the selection we’ve given them. Each drink value is tallied by the bartender, until the dollar amount we choose is hit. At that point they will ask us if we want to close the bar, add money to it, or go to a cash bar.

Post # 19
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I’ve thought about doing it the way avdillard0110 suggested but I’m worried about about having to even DEAL with any of that on the night of the wedding.  I personally wouldn’t want the bartender coming up to me in the middle of my big night asking me to make a decision on what to do with the bar.  It’s tough!!!  

I’m most likely going to go with limiting the TIME alcohol is served.  People really don’t need to be drinking the first or last hour in my own opinion.  As long as you have a good amount of non alcoholic drinks available after the bar is closed I think you’re good. 

Post # 20
Member
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think this is a regional thing, also.  I grew up in Iowa, and I NEVER went to a wedding with an open bar ever.  Now it’s our turn, and with both of us being pretty broad range travelers throughout the country, we both agree that we want to offer the open bar.  When it comes time to make a decision, we will choose between a limited options bar or an open bar, but a cash bar for us is not an option. 

I totally agree with whoever said that if you invited people to your home, you would not charge them or give them tickets.  Especially those guests who have traveled; they may have already purchased some or all of the following:  arranged time off from work, arranged for a baby sitter, transportation, new outfit to wear, and not to mention a gift for the bride and groom. 

Post # 21
Member
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m sorry but I’ve never been to a wedding with drink tickets. I think if you want to control the consumption then don’t serve hard stuff or close the bar down a hour before the party ends. People are there to have fun.

We’re doing a non-alochol hospitality station prior to the ceremony then cocktail hours afterwards when the open bar begins and we’ll be closing the alcohol portion down a hour before the party ends. We’ll be serving beer, wine & alcohol. It’s important for us that the guests have options…

You can save money by deciding what kind of alcohol you serve.

I have to agree with whomever said that it’s not about the budget but about what kind of host you are. We are the type of people if we’re throwing a party at our house we make sure there is enough food, enough drinks (non alcoholic & alcoholic alike). I hate it when people invite us over and you are afraid to take more than one serving or drink more than 1 soda because there’s not enough food or drink to go around. But then it also comes down to what you want to spend money on at the wedding. We want our guests to enjoy themselves and have however much food and booze (but then we don’t have alcoholics in either of our families so we don’t have to worry about over drinking) they want. So we’re willing to cut cost elsewhere to make sure that the reception is kick a$$.

Post # 22
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I have to disagree with the "you would not charge guests for drinks at your home" comment as an argument for why someone should offer a full open bar all night long even if this is beyond their means.

No, I would not charge people at my house for drinks, or offer them tickets, BUT I would probably buy a couple bottles of wine and some beer and that would likely be it. In the same respect, if you offer your guests at the wedding unlimited wine and beer during dinner and a couple of drinks before or after the meal you are essentially doing the same thing.

As a guest at someone’s house I would not expect to have my choice of alcoholic drinks provided in unlimited quantities for the entire evening and as a guest at a wedding I would also not expect the same.

I spent approximately $40 in alcohol per person at my wedding which is much more than I would spend if they came to my house. That did not cover unlimited drinks for the entire evening but no one complained and I had a lot of comments from people saying how nice the entire event was…..

Post # 23
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Hi,  I’m new to weddingbee,  been engaged for about 6 months.  2nd time married.  I had to comment on this post because I have the same issue.  FH and I are not drinkers and are on a budget, so we decided not to have any alchol other than champagne.  Glad to hear others are going the same route.

Post # 24
Member
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I was a server at a LOT of weddings with drink tickets and I don’t think its a big deal.  Personally, I’d prefer a limited open bar of beer and wine and let people pay for their own hard liquor.  But I think if you (and your guests) are accustomed to the idea of drink tickets as a possibility, I don’t think it’s a big deal. 

Post # 25
Member
3979 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Post 4. MsBee had some great suggestions! I wouldn’t use drink tickets as there are a lot better options available…

We’re serving beer & wine because thats the only thing most of our guests drink socially. I’ve been to waaay too many weddings where guests who don’t normally drink anything but a bud light at home get drunk off of the hard stuff on the couples dime. In order to avoid that: we just won’t serve it!

Post # 26
Member
2206 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m a late responder, but this is an intesting topic.

I’m still early on in the planning process, but the philosophy that I am building is that everything depends on what kind of event you are having. For example, if you are having a black tie wedding, it would be weird to have anything but a fully open bar, IMO. On the other hand, if you are having a simple event with a punch and cake reception, it wouldn’t even cross m mind if alcohol were not served. In the middle, if you are having a full dinner, but in a more casual setting, beer and wine only is absolutely fine. Location matters: serving just wine at a winery makes perfect sense, having little alcohol (maybe only cocktail reception) at a church gathering room is fine, while having guests pay if they are at a weekend wedding at a resort seems odd. Time also matters, as a Sunday evening wedding could get away with a much more restricted bar than a Saturday evening one. Finally, temperment should matter, and if you don’t drink, having no alcohol, or just a little champagne for the toast, is perfectly fine.

What I don’t like is a fancy wedding that scrimps on hospitality. I’ve been to a few where the flower bill was (or at least looked to be) in the thousands, but the food was mediocre and there was only cheap wine and beer. That to me feels like an odd set of priorities. This may ruffle a few feathers, but I feel like the look of the reception, for example, should always be second to the guests’ experience. There are far too many ways to be thrifty and creative in the style department to excuse cutting into the hospitality side of the budget for decorations.

Post # 27
Member
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@monitajb — I too have been to a fancy wedding where the flower arrangements were RIDICULOUS (and unnecessary, and overwhelming) but then there was only cheap beer, cheaper wine and only a few options for drinks. I totally agree with you on the hospitality element.

I’m okay with have bar alternatives as long as they are appropriate for the event hosted and the group of people you have. If you know your guests drink, why would you make them pay to do so?

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