(Closed) How have bees “controlled” an open bar?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 17
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Beer and wine before and during dinner.  No shots, doubles, or triples.  Hard Alcohol once dancing begins.

Post # 18
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

This is tricky if you are having a full open bar all night. There will be people who get drunk, it’s hard to avoid honestly. You can always ask the bartenders to water down drinks for people who already look sloshed, or to cut them off. But I wouldn’t recommend cutting them off unless they are really behaving badly or something.

Honestly, I knew people were getting drunk at my wedding, but the last thing I wanted was for the staff to ‘alert’ me to it on my wedding day. I was even kind of angry when DH adn I went to bed for the night and the guy watching the after party bar asked if he could cut people off who looked drunk and he asked if he could shut the bar down 2 hours early. I was mad because it’s THEIR responsibility, not mine, to determind if someone needs to be cut off – I wasn’t serving the drinks. So why the hell did they bother ME about it ON MY WEDDING NIGHT??? Second, we paid for the bar to be open until a certain time, don’t try to wiggle your way out of giving us what we paid for. And how dare they even ask me about that, the bride!

Post # 19
1889 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We had full open bar all night, and our venue’s coordinator told us beforehand that the bartenders and staff would constantly check to make sure nobody was too drunk, and not serve guests who appeared to be over the limit.  My venue also had a “no shots” policy, but our friends were doing shots at the bar just by ordering individual liquor drinks in rocks glasses with a single ice cube in each one (so it’s technically a “drink” and not a “shot”).

We also had open bar at our rehearsal dinner the night before (nobody was doing shots but there was plenty of beer, wine, and liquor) and one of our groomsmen almost got a DUI on the way home–pretty scary to get a text at 2 AM the night before your wedding that your best guy friend thinks he’s headed to jail!

And tell your friends to take a taxi, get a DD to drive them in a carpool, spend the night nearby if possible, etc.  If you can afford it, get a bus or two to shuttle your friends and family between the reception and their hotels.

Post # 20
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

have you talked to your bartender about it? in many states, it is the bartender’s legal obligation to make sure people have not had too much, and must cut them off if they feel like it’s necessary.

like a PP mentioned, point out the potential offenders to your bartender and ask him/her to keep an eye on them.

Post # 21
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

We had an open bar for the whole night.  What we did to cut down on cost/crazy drunkeness:

-No shots.  Peeps were able to get a straight scotch, for example, if they wanted…but no shots.  

-Only had one type of red and one type of white wine.  This way, the bartenders were opening bottles (we had to pay by the bottle) but you didn’t have some people having Cab. Sauv. and others Merlot.  This equals waste. Just keep it simple.  I also think that it’s completely fair to have just a sample of mixed drinks/wine/beer/signature drinks available.  That’s what I had planned, but my parents insisted on the completely open bar.

-Last call happened an hour and fifteen mintues before we wanted everyone out of the venue.  People did not double-fist.  

-Trust the bartenders to do their job.  You don’t want to be worried about consumption, etc. on your wedding day.  Depending on where you have your wedding, you are not legally responsible, THEY are.

People had a good time at our wedding…but there was no over-the-top insanity.  Most people are mature enough to keep it together.

EDIT- I also know people who had an open bar but had a cap on it.  They ended up putting more money into the bar, but you could always do this and then move to cash bar….OR just serve non-alcoholic drinks if you are really concerned.

Post # 22
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Make sure the bartenders you hire aren’t too friendly with the people you think may go overboard. Beyond that, no shots/doubles/triples and closing the bar at a certain time is the best you can do to regulate. The rest is up to the servers.

Personally, open bars have gotten the best of me many a time (although it never resulted in a problem at the weddings). I think it’s because the drinks are So. Strong. Maybe you can caution your bartenders against a heavy hand?

As a side note, a friend of ours got “cut off” at our wedding because he slide across the top of the bar. Sadly, I didn’t get to see this impressive display. He was not drunk, just being rowdy. Lots of people were surprised at how much they “enjoyed themselves” (our wedding was destination at a much higher altitude than our guests were used to) but everyone behaved overall. I guess my point is, tell the bartenders who to keep an eye on and don’t worry too much about everyone else.

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