Post # 1
I know the open bar debate gets heated around these parts. And for the record I’m team #nocash. But I have a question. I always advise Bees to serve whatever drinks they feel comfortable serving so long as their guests don’t have to pay for anything. That said, for my rehearsal dinner I got a GREAT food + beverage deal that includes a lovely multi-course meal, 3 signature cocktails and unlimited softdrinks. The restaurant manager asked whether I wanted to allow guests to purchase other items at their own discretion.
When I said no, she was taken aback. My thought is, I’m being a gracious host by provided certain drinks. As a gracious guest, you should drink what I offer. I’m not offering low-quality anything, it’s just a limited selection. Likewise, I’m serving chicken and fish. IMO, If a certain guest just feels like they’re in the mood for lobster it would be in poor taste for them to request a special meal than what everyone else is having; whether they were willing to pay for the extravagance or not. If I’m offering 4 drink options and you just can’t live without Dom Perignon, should you be able to buy it at a hosted event?
Am I way off base here? Should I let guests buy their preferred drinks if they want?
Post # 3
What are your 4 drinks, if you don’t mind me asking?
If they’re all fruity cocktails, then I’d say to let them purchase other drinks. But if it’s something like:
A beer option, a white wine, a red wine, and a signature cocktail, then that appeals to most people.
Post # 4
Honestly, if I were at a restaurant and wasn’t allowed to order drinks from the restaurant bar even though the bar was right there and I could see the bottles of booze I want sitting there, I would be furious. I think it’s one thing if it’s a wedding and those items just aren’t even there to purchase (like, there’s ONLY beer and wine and you can just deal with it). But if they were there and I just wasn’t allowed to buy them … then it sounds like you’re babysitting me and telling me what I can and can’t drink with my own money, know what I mean?
Post # 5
This is a tough one. I like the option to buy something different. Recently I was at an event with no provided alcohol, so I bought a cocktail at the bar.
Post # 6
@Overjoyed: I totally agree with you. Whatever you chose to serve as the host is what is served. I must say that my FI would be heartbroken without a steak option, but it’s not like he’d go order one and bring it over. The same applies for drinks. I would accept whatever you chose to serve graciously, even if it was a dry wedding.
Honestly, cash bar looks cheap. It looks like you could only afford to provide what you did and that the guests have to pick up the slack. Having said that, I think if you are offering signature drinks (and 4 is a decent selection), it doesn’t look cheap at all. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it offputting if I have to pay for something at a wedding.
Post # 7
@iarebridezilla: I didn’t think of that. I assumed that just the drinks that were being offered would be visible. I didn’t envision an array of drinks there to tease you that you can’t have.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I agree with PP that it really depends on what you have to offer. If we were at this event and you didn’t have a beer or non-sweet-drink option, my FI would be pretty bummed that he couldn’t buy his own.
Post # 9
I think you’re providing quite a bit, but if someone wants a beer or wine instead of a cocktail, it would be nice for them to be allowed to purchase it themselves. You’re still being a good host even if they prefer something else and pay for it.
Post # 10
I honestly wouldn’t mind if my guests wanted to pay extra for better alcohol. I know that I’m not offering top of the line, and frankly, some people are alcohol snobs. I rather that they pay and drink something they like and have a wonderful time at my event rather than force them to drink something that they feel is not good enough for them and end up not having any fun.
Post # 11
As long as one of the drink options is a really good wine, I think you’re good to go! A lot of people don’t like hard alcohol but want a little tipsy drink.
Post # 12
@MrsPanda99: I mean even if you can’t see them, I’m just thinking people know they’re at a restaurant and know the restaurant has a full bar available … so they’re just being prevented from getting what they want, even though they’re willing to pay for it. I wouldn’t like that very much!
Post # 13
What are the drinks? Do you mean 3 cocktails like a Mudslide, Cosmo or Long Island Ice Tea? If you are having a dinner then I think you either need to have wine & not cocktails or let your guests order their own wine. Wine & dinner go together like peas and carrots 🙂
Post # 14
I see and understand what you’re trying to say. If it were me, I would still provide the drink options, with a sign posted of what they are on the bar (if this is how it is all set-up). Then, tell the restaruant that if someone orders something totally different, they can pay in cash. I see what a PP was saying – about all the bottles just sitting there. No one is going to be upset that you didn’t have a full-range open bar at your rehearsal. As long as your drink options are considerate (as another PP said) I think you’ll be fine.
Post # 15
While I totally agree with your logic, the fact that the dinner is happening at a restaurant makes it a bit different for me. I don’t necessarily see it as an affront to your hosting abilities, or you not offering your guests enough. Like I definitely think that people should drink what you provide, but I also don’t think that they should be told that they can’t go up to the regular bar at a restaurant event. In most other situations though I agree with your logic 100%.
Post # 16
I feel like it would be weird for someone to offer to pay for say their jack and coke. We went to a RD recently and were only offered sodas, so we all only drank sodas. I did see the groom’s mom with a glass of wine. I know they hosted, but I don’t know what the deal was.
Point being, I wouldn’t think to ask if paying for another drink was an option. Unless they could go to the bar area or something.
I say what you’re doing is peachy.