Post # 1
We plan on hosting beer and wine from 6-11 or so. The venue actually stays open (and some people are staying there) almost all night, but we are not going to host all night. First, is that ok? There’s just no way we can afford to host more than 5 hours.
Second, the venue has a full bar and they are not going to move the bar so people will see that there is other liquor there but it will not be hosted. What to do? Have a chalkboard advising that beer and wine is hosted?
Finally, I really want to have a signature cocktail (they actually have a discount $5/drink if it’s a sign. cocktail and you can have as many as you want.) However, I don’t want to host them all night b/c it’s expenseive and knowing our families they’ll get wasted. Would it be ok to offer a signature cocktail on top of the beer and wine but only during the actual cocktail hour, then beer/wine after that? I’m pretty sure I already know the answer on this one is no but had to ask 🙂
** The event is at a lodge where about 60 people can stay including us. The reception will “end” at 11 but the party can continue for whoever wants to. They have a game room downstairs so it will be like an after-party.
Post # 3
You can do this however you want. Norms/expectations vary in different parts of the country, so it’s tough to say how your guests will react, but you can do things however you like.
FWIW: we are hosting beer & wine only, and we are pre-establishing a set dollar amount that we will cover. Other drinks will be available on a cash bar basis. We’re going to have a little sign in a picture frame detailing this. When/if at the end of the evening we hit our limit on the beer & wine, at that point the bartenders will just roll the whole thing over to a cash bar.
Post # 4
We covered wine and beer. We limited the amount of wine and at a certain point said don’t open any more bottles. Then people could purchase mixed drinks if they chose to. Beer and wine is standard in our circle, many don’t even have the option to purchase mixed drinks. I think we or the venue (I am not sure now who did it) made little bar menus so people would know ahead of time what is hosted.
Post # 5
Covering beer and wine only is perfectly fine, as long as you communicate that to the guests in a clear manner. The chalkboard at the bar is a good idea; you could write it up as “Complimentary Selections for the Wowand135-Mr Wowand135 guests include (name of beer), (name of beer), (name of wine), (name of wine), and all other draft beers and wines by the glass, from 5-11pm” (which to me sounds a little fancier than just “beer and wine”).
I would not do signature cocktails during happy hour simply because it becomes confusing for guests– why was my mai tai (or whatever) free an hour ago but now it costs $8?
Nothing wrong with not paying for the guests all the way up to last call. Just make sure the guests are aware of your complimentary bar hours.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
If you’re going to limit it by time (ending at 11pm) I would create a polite sign for the bartender to put out after the hosted bar is over letting guests know that the hosted bar ends at 11pm. Maybe even have it set out a little bit before so people will know to get one last drink from the hosted bar. If you put it out too early people may take advantage and drink way more than they plan earlier in the night.
I don’t see anything wrong with limiting the bar at a certain time to beer and wine only. You could do the signature drink during the cocktail hour and then limit the bar for the rest of the night. Nothing wrong with letting guests know that beer and wine is hosted; but don’t put that liquor is cash only because it looks cheap. Most guests will figure it out that beer and wine are hosted but they have to pay for liquor and most shouldn’t have a problem with it.
Post # 7
I think just hosting for a set number of hours is completely fine. Your wedding ends at 11pm anything after that shouldn’t be on your tab. This has been the case for all the after parties we have been to.
Only hosting beer and wine is totally fine. I would put some sort of sign up so your guests are aware that the other drinks aren’t covered.
A signature drink is a great idea! My sister wasn’t able to offer the signature drink all night either so she had them as tray passed cocktails with a limited number of them during the cocktail hour.
Post # 8
As long as the reception is over, then you’re fine not hosting the bar after 11pm.
I would not do a signature drink unless you plan to pay for it.
Have menus/signs at the bar listing what is hosted by the bride and groom. You can even put the times that you’re hosting on it so that there’s no confusion. If someone wants a liquor drink, they’ll order it and know to pay for it.