(Closed) open bar for WP

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would say yes, probably… How will the bartenders know?  Will they have wristbands or something like that?  If you didn’t get there guests open bar, you would probably run into the situation of Wedding Party getting two drinks each time they are at the bar…  

Post # 4
Member
3254 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Yeah, you kind of need to give the open bar to their guests, too…

Like PP said, make sure to have some sort of system put into place so the bartender can differentiate between the WP’s guests and other guests.

Are you having a cash bar for everyone else?

Post # 5
Member
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think either all the guests at your wedding should have access to the open bar, or nobody should have access to the open bar.  It’s pretty mean to only extend that invitation to the wedding party.

Post # 6
Member
3254 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think if you were discrete about it and can’t afford open bar for everyone, it’s okay, but like I said, you’ve gotta have some sort of system in place or it will get hectic and confusing for the bartender.

Post # 7
Member
2767 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

your Wedding Party will start grabbing drinks for everyone most likely.  I just hope you are aware of this.  I’ve been to weddings where there have been open bars just for the Wedding Party.  Once one Bridesmaid or Best Man gets drunk then she will usually start grabbing drinks for all her friends and her date.  

Best bet is just to limit the alcohol for everyone by not having a open bar.   We just had special drinks for the Wedding Party in the limo, and at the head table (like champagne and wine with dinner).  After that they had to pay cash bar if they wanted any special drinks beyond the wine and keg of beer that we had provided for free for everyone.

Post # 8
Member
4582 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Our friends did this at their wedding and the attendants’ guests were included. Though I wasn’t sure how the bartender would be able to tell I was with a groomsman, so I had my fiance get my drinks for me.

Post # 9
Member
3254 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@amariem25: Hmmm, good point about the Wedding Party snagging drinks for others… maybe I take back my advice! 😉

Post # 10
Member
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with the PP’s who said that you should either extend the open bar to everyone or no-one. If I were a guest and had to pay for my drinks but the Wedding Party and their guests we’re drinking for free, I would be kind of peeved. 

Post # 11
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

Anyone who is not the bride and groom (or vendors obviously) are guests. That includes wedding party and parents. All guests are to be treated equally. In this situation, it means everyone gets open bar for the same duration or no one gets any. It is rude to treat some guests as more special than others.

Post # 12
Member
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think it’s such a big deal.  As long as they’re not flapping their jaws about the free drinks, it’s fine.  We had tons of wine on the table and a drink ticket for an alternate drink if someone wanted for each person.  Besides just being like, “see the guys in the tuxes, and the girls in the identical grey dresses, their drinks are free” their drink tickets just said “drinks are on us” rather than “Please redeem for one drink of your choice”.

I actually didn’t have anybody in our wedding party that brought a guest, so it was a non issue there. 

However, the head table had their orders taken right at the table and was served there during dinner, so they never had to go up to the bar and be like “no charge” in front of anyone. 

Post # 13
Member
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Yeah, have to say, if I heard this was going on, I’d be a little offended. Do nice things for your wedding party outside of the bar, then treat all your guests the same. If that means just wine and beer, that’s the gracious solution. 

Post # 14
Member
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

This is somewhat common in weddings I’ve been at. I think the bartender has been notified and they have come up with a system with the bride/groom beforehand. Another way that one PP mentioned was using ‘drink tickets.’ You could provide 2 tickets per guest, and the bridal party can either have more tickets (which would help eliminate them grabbing freebies for all their friends, b/c they’d be using up their 5 extra tickets or whatever), or give them a ‘free pass’ ticket that the bartender knows means free drinks all nights and they just show that same ticket each time rather than turning it in.

Post # 15
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Eh, I am not a fan of free drinks just for the wedding party. It COULD go just fine or other guests could get upset. I think the drink ticket plan is a good one and maybe give like 15 tickets to the BMs and GMs to use for their guests and themselves. 

Post # 16
Member
10 posts
Newbee

I really don’t think it would be that big of a deal to provide free drinks for the wedding party. I would probably be more offended if I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man and didn’t get free drinks–and as a guest I would probably assume the Wedding Party would be getting free drinks. Would it be reasonable to limit them to maybe a two or three hour open bar, and let them know that if their guests want drinks they are responsible for that?

 

I think wristbands for them would be tacky, but the Wedding Party would be recognizable. Limiting the amount of time they receive free drinks might help to cut them off before they got so intoxicated they started throwing liquor at all of their friends.

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