Post # 1
I am wary about having open bar at our wedding. My fiance and I agreed on the most basic bar package, which only consists of beer and wine – sans champagne. So my concerns are no longer about cost.
I am worried about certain individuals among our guests who will abuse the open bar and drink themselves silly. Some people who are coming have poor histories with alcohol.
How can I avoid drunken madness at our wedding?
I suggested that we limit everyone to only 4 drinks, and give them each 4 tickets that they would submit to the bartender in exchange for a drink. My fiance said this is tacky, lol.
A friend suggested putting pictures of potential culprits behind the bar so that the bartender can look out for them.
How are you guys handling this issue?
Post # 3
I have a few people that I am also worried about
I think I am going to talk to a freind of family member and make them my "go to" person. If someone is acting really out of line (not just kinda drunk) or doing something that could really make a scene and upset me, I will just have that person ask them to leave.
I am worried about scenes, but I can’t do anything other than have faith that IF something DOES happen..that is will be able to be haandled. Sounds mean..but someone can always be "kicked out"
Post # 4
Unfortunately, I’m just kind of expecting some of my guests to get way too drunk. I definitely do NOT suggest the picture idea though — it would hurt someone’s feelings or make him/her angry if she found out.
Post # 5
if you have a hired bar service, you can let them know they are welcome to ‘cut-off’ someone they think is drinking too much. that way it is not your responsibility. we are providing a shuttle to and from the reception (from the main hotel) to keep our guests from drinking and driving.
Post # 6
Bartenders have a legal obligation to cut someone off if they’ve had too much. I think drink tickets can be pointless, there are always going to be people who don’t want theirs and give them to t he people who do, defeating the purpose. Also, consider that 4 drinks can have a VERY different affect on people, Fiance barely has any reaction to 4 beers, I however… do
Our venue has said that if someone gets "out of control" then they will not hesitate to escort the guest out. My father has very clearly stated that if this is the situation then he expects to be consulted on the issue before anyone is kicked out or asked to leave. Perhaps just vocalizing your concern to the DOC or Bartenders and giving them a go-to person in case someone acts up is the way to go.
Post # 7
I agree with the above posters.. the bar service should handle this. I would sit down and discuss it with them and explain your concerns.. and set rules on how you want them to handle situations that may arise… be specific with them.. dont just say "cut people off".. because you never know what could happen with that
I would never hand out tickets and limit everyone at the party (unless you absolutely had to for money reasons). For the most part, your guests can handle themselves and their alcohol and it could be taken offensively by some guests that you don’t trust them… besides.. during a 4 or more hour reception, 4 beers for an average guy is nothing!!
Truth is, you may end up with "drunk uncle mike".. but as long as its handled properly it wont affect your wedding! My now husband;s uncle… yes uncle mike… got a lil too intoxicated and kept hitting on my bridesmaids! It was totally unexpected but we all have laughed about it since that day and it kinda gave us one of those funny stories to tell
Post # 8
I agree with the previous posters who said that aside from speaking with your venue about your concerns, there is really nothing that you can (appropriately) do. I agree that tickets are tacky and that posting a "wanted" picture of potential booze bags is alienating and frankly a little weird!
The good news is that on your wedding day/night, drunk Uncle Mike will likely be the least of your concerns!
Post # 9
We limited our open bar to 1 hour (during the cocktail hour) and then wine with dinner. This really seemed to work as I had similar concerns. I had two particular people I was most worried about, so I told very close friends of mine to keep an eye on these two, but it turned out not to be necessary. Is there any way you can put a time limit on the open bar?
Post # 10
I’m going to go ahead and say you are kind of stuck here – I am worrying about the same thing but I’m just trying to ignore it and let what happens happen. I am with your fiance in that bar tickets are tacky (does anyone remember the wedding episode on Everybody Loves Raymond?) People who want to get drunk at your wedding will find a way to do it, open or closed bar, tickets or no tickets, bartender or not. I think the best thing to do would be to contact whoever they are coming to the wedding with and say "I hope so-and-so won’t get too drunk". That will only work for people that you know well enough.
Post # 11
Bar services are required by law to cut people off who become intoxicated. However, that doesn’t always happen. But you can warn them that you WANT a cut off if someone appears too drunk. Then they’re the bad guy, not you. But honestly, your best bet is probably to have a limited open bar. Serve for an hour, no bar during dinner (very common), bar for a couple of hours, cut off an hour before reception ends. YOU don’t want to be liable in case they are stupid enough to drink and drive, so make sure you cover your own butt
Post # 12
I like Calioteach’s suggestion that you put a time limit on the open bar….most places will do that. You tell them you want an open bar until a certain time, or until a certain dollar amount of drinks have been consumed, and make it a cash bar from there on our. Even so, I’m of the mind that people who are intent on getting wasted will do so whether they have to pay for it or not, so it won’t completely solve the problem fro you. It’s a good idea to have no hard booze too. Again, it won’t solve the problem but it will reduce some potentialities. In the end, you likely will have some people get too drunk, but between talking to the bartenders and asking two or three people that you really trust to keep an eye on anyone who regularly abuses alcohol, you’ll probably limit the impact of such behaviour. Also, keep in mind that most weddings are incredibly celebratory and full of happiness, and most guests are not really paying attention to other guests’ bad behaviour unless they happen to have a one-on-one interaction with someone.
Post # 13
I just wanted to thank everyone for their input and ideas!
West Coast Bride, I’ll definitely look into setting it up so that after a certain dollar has been consumed it will be cash bar from there on out.
ejs4y8, thank you for pointing out the drinking and driving situation. I will take all measures to protect us and our gests.