Post # 1
Okay, I say inexperienced with weddings because I’ve been to maybe 3 in my whole life. For all of them I was 14 or younger, so I don’t remember much or know much about wedding ettiquette, etc.
Basically, all the venues I like are 40 minutes to an hour away. It will be an evening reception, and there will be alcohol. My mother pointed out her concern with the far away venues that I’m looking at in regards to how the people who drink will get home.
Now, obviously it is my responsibility that no one drives home drunk. That is a given. Taking a taxi to their homes an hour away will be expensive for my guests, though. Plus, there is the inconvenience of having to go an hour back to pick up their cars the next day. For half a second I considered a party bus to shuttle people to and from the venue; they could all meet and park somewhere in town, get picked up and driven. That way, if they are drunk and need to take a taxi, then pick up their car, it won’t be nearly as expensive or inconvenient.
That thought didn’t last long, though, because the budget is tight. Is getting my (intoxicated) guests home my financial concern? Or do I chalk it to them choosing to get drunk makes paying for a cab and the car pick up inconvenience their problem? Or am I being selfish with choosing such a far venue, and should consider something closer to where all my guests and I live?
Post # 3
If that were me going to a wedding that far away, I’d go with a group of people and get a designated driver.
If people can’t afford to stay over/get a cab back, then they don’t drink. Not everyone has to drink, and they can decide themselves if having a drink is worth the price of the hotel/taxi.
If I have a dinner party and invite people over, they make that decision. I think it’s fair they do the same at a wedding!
ETA: just putting this out there, I see a lot of posts about people making sure their guests don’t drink and drive. Is that a serious problem?! I thought it was just common sense not to do that. Or is that because in the US/Canada a lot of places are far apart from each other and so people just chance it?
Post # 4
I don’t think it is your obligation to provide transportation. However, it would be nice to give your guests some options such as having the number for taxis somewhere.
I don’t think it’s selfish to have a venue that distance away, but people might be inclined to not stay as long/drink as much. So if that’s what you are going for you should be fine. If you want to encourage people to stay longer you might want to look at getting a shuttle, but I don’t think you are in any way obligated to do that.
Post # 5
While it’s nice of you to think of, it is in no way your responsibility that they don’t drive drunk. Honestly, it’s up to them to either drink responsibly, find a hotel, or appoint a DD and/or carpool. If you want to keep people from getting plastered, only do open bar during cocktail hour (with limited offerings like wine, beer, and champagne after) and/or cut off the bar about an hour before the end. As a plus, you’ll also save some money by limiting the bar hours.
Post # 6
It’s not your obligation. Most likely guests will think ahead and figure out a designated driver for the car group.
Post # 7
If people feel that they need to stay the night, they will get their own hotel rooms (you should make a block at a local hotel to make it easier for them to book themselves).
Post # 8
I can see both sides of the coin; it depends how important it is to you. You can spring for a bus if it matters to you that people come/don’t drink & drive & can afford it (I would & know many people who have). Or go the “figure it out yourself” strategy & just let the cards fall where they do. Keep in mind that might be the difference between some people staying later or even coming at all. The middle ground in my mind is making accomodations (hotel/bus tickets reservatios) & putting them in your invites for guests to arrange.
I don’t think you’re being selfish yet by choosing a far away venue. The way you accomodate your guests is going to dictate that. 🙂
Post # 9
Post # 10
My venue is 30 minutes (at least) from EVERYONE including me. I’m on a tight budget as well. I’m only serving beer and wine and I’ve heard of people stop serving their guests at least and hour before the reception ends to give them time to sober up. I guess that’s what I plan on doing. What are you serving your guests to drink?
Post # 11
As adults, it’s THEIR responsibility not to get drunk so they can’t drive home.
However, I think it would be nice to either provide transportation or choose a venue that’s closer/easier to get to. The problem with transportation is that it sounds like it would take a REALLY long time to go back and forth, so everyone is going to be scrambling for the bus so they’re not stuck there for another hour and a half. Which means that your reception may end earlier than you want it to.
I think choosing a more convenient venue is your best bet.
Post # 12
@lindseyl06: My friends and family are all pretty big party animals. They’ve all been very adament about this being a huge party, which is why my mother expressed concern in the first place. So because of that, we were going to do full open bar of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Budget-wise, my FH and I thought it was too expensive, but it become so important to everyone that my parents offered to pay for it so that everyone will be happy.
Hence my concern for the people drinking…
Post # 13
@LostInWonderland: Maybe you can give the bartender a heads up about guests who he sees too often coming back for more drinks and also security is required for alcohol so police will be there. That is a tough one though.
Post # 14
@lindseyl06: Yeah, I’m finding it a tricky spot. I’ve been considering doing it full open bar until maybe 9 or 10, and then after revert to cash bar to try to put people off of excessive drinking…
Post # 15
@LostInWonderland: whether the reception is close to home or 40 minutes away, won’t your guests be driving all the same? do you think if it was closer to home that they would take cabs? i think most people usually prefer to drive (uless you’re in NYC where i am). i think it’s their responsibility to stay sober if they’re driving. i think your concern is admirable, and you could always stop serving alcohol 1 hour before the reception ends (like they do at ballgames). i doubt a cash bar will deter someont who’s been drinking for 3 hours straight.
Post # 16
it is the guest’s responsibility to get home safely. I don’t think its any better to let people drink 5 minutes drunk vs. 40 minutes. They are still driving drunk which is incredibly irresponsible.