(Closed) Mentioning “Open Bar” on our wedding website

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Could you leave it maybe to his mom or dad to just casually mention it to family from further away?

Post # 4
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

hmm, i dunno.  i thinkc cocktail reception implies open bar…

Post # 5
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I wouldn’t put it on the website. It doesn’t matter if people know ahead of time they will find out it is open bar when they get there!

I think most people are responsible adults and this message does not even need to be mentioned; however, if you Fiance insists I would probably encourage:

“If you plan on drinking please arrange alternate transportation.”

Post # 6
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

I would just say something like “Since alcohol will be provided at the wedding we encourage our guests to make use of cabs, public transit, and designated drivers to make sure everyone has a fun and safe night”.  That way you are letting everyone know you want them to be safe.. but you’re not actually using the words “Open Bar”

Post # 7
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I 100% agree with Future Mrs. Martin. I don’t think the open bar is something that needs to be mentioned explicitly.

Post # 8
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Well, the rules on the wedding website aren’t as strict as the formal invite.  So honestly, I’d let him win that one.  While I wouldn’t of mentioned it at all, if I were in this situation and I fought him on this, he’s throw his hands up quickly and be reluctant to take on any other wedding related task (total cope out, but sometimes his ego is fragile, as is the case with a lot of men!).  But, if there’s a way to make him take it out without causing any drama, do it.  Stating on the invite that its a cocktail reception should clue your guests in that alcohol going to be flowing freely, if not they’ll just end up coming with money and being able to save it.  And regardless of if its a cash bar or open bar, your guests will most likely make arrangements for transportation.  I wouldn’t sweat it.

Post # 9
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I can see his point.  You and your family don’t think it’s necessary because it’s the norm for you.  He however, explained that it’s not the norm for his family.  SO he wants to make them aware.  I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

Post # 10
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m with Future Mrs. Martin – get your Fiance to take it off the website.  If his family thinks it will be a cash bar, they’ll arrive and be plesently surprised that they don’t have to pay for drinks and get to keep their money!  It really does come off as a “drunk fest / college frat party” type vibe to me to explictly say it will be an open bar.

If your Fiance still wants to include the info for cabs, transit, etc (which I do think is a good idea) maybe you guys can put a useful information page or something on the website that includes this info.  I’m sure your friends are responsible enough to figure out their own way home whether its a Dirty Delete or a cab.

Post # 12
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I just worked on our website and ended up needing to put verbiage about bringing your ID (since my bartender told me they would card).  We will have an open bar, but I didn’t put anything to the fact on there.  I have a section for “Wedding Events”.  Under the reception section, I said “Please enjoy the cocktail and hors d’oeurves reception immediately following the ceremony.”  To me, that implies that there will be food and drink for people to enjoy.  It was after that I added a line about if you were fortunate to look underage, please bring your ID to enjoy the bar service….

I didn’t like doing that – but, figured better safe than sorry.

Also – something to point out to your Fiance.  If you are going to a wedding and drink – open bar or cash bar, you’ll know if you’ll be drinking.  Meaning, people should be able to figure out transportation logistics ahead of time (and don’t need to be explicitly told to find alternate transportation).

You could perhaps have a transportation link and have the info there (separate from anything about the reception)

Post # 13
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d just say:

“We’re so excited to celebrate with everyone. When the night draws to a close we want to ensure that you make it safely home, please make use of alternative transportation should you require it. Local cab services include…(list names and phone numbers) and public tranport with service to hotel areas can be found at (list intersection).”

Post # 14
4371 posts
Honey bee

Open bars are frequently referred to as “hosted bars” in invitations/web-sites. You can just say “A hosted bar will be provided to our guests.” And then list cab company phone numbers.

Post # 15
374 posts
Helper bee

Legally, you need to be cautious here.  Check w/your insurance or your parent’s insurance whomever is throwing the wedding about party liability.  It is nice to show caution that you are providing your guests w/alternatives to driving.

A more tactful way in place of open bar, may be to say in the website “please appoint a designated driver.”

You don’t want someone involved in an accident after leaving your reception.  The bar tenders have to shut people off; but some people can hold their liquor more than others.  If something happens, who will then be accountable?  The venue or you?  It may be grey.

Err on the side of caution.  A reworking of the wording that points to your due diligence regarding the safety of your guests may be a better way to handle this, rather than pointing to the ‘open bar.’

He can tell his folks to spread the word that it is an open bar.  That’s important because people sometimes figure out their gift based on things like that.


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