(Closed) Open bar…how do I keep people from drinking too much?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I think that is really on the bartender.  The catering company has a liability to not overserve any of your guests that are clearly drunk.  I would just make sure they know this is a concern of yours.

Post # 4
4465 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I really don’t think you can do anything that I can think of, but if it’s in your budget, provide transportation!  We had a trolley from our reception to the hotel and LOTS of people used it.  At my friend’s recent wedding, she had a bus back to the hotel.

Post # 5
13010 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

All you can do is to tell the bartender.  My caterer said they have no problem cutting people off, especially if they have the bride and groom’s permission to do so.

Post # 6
10714 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

The bartender isn’t supposed to serve anyone whose falling down on the way up to the bar and they should know peoples limit, that is their job. If people plan to drink they should already have a designated driver before they even walk up to the bar so I think you’ll be okay. Maybe just remind people to make sure they have a DD?

Post # 6
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve never been to a wedding without an open bar, and while some people do drink too much, it was usually the people who would have too much to drink even if they were paying for it. Provide transportation if you have the budget for it and are really concerned. 

Ultimately its up the bartender to determine if someone needs to be cut off.

You could put up the little sign if you wanted, but I feel that providing our guests with alcohol doesn’t mean that I am responsible for making sure no one drinks too much. They’re all adults. 

Post # 7
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

I think that you just have to trust that everyone is an adult and can take care of themselves.  People go out and drink all the time so I’m sure they can control themselves.

Also the bartender’s job is to make sure not to overserve anyone.  

Just in case make sure your day of coordinator or your point person for the day has numbers for some local cab companies.

Post # 8
5785 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

This is the bartenders job, other than that the only thing I can think of is not let people take shots.

Post # 9
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Close the open bar an hour early. Also, provide transportation and cab vouchers if you can afford it. That is what we are doing!

Post # 11
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Talk to the bartender, Im going too. Only allow people to take a max of 1 drink at a time (no double fisting!!) and to cut them off if they start sturring or stumbling. The last wedding I was at had a open bar, but it was a 5 drink max per person. Which doesnt seem like a lot…but it is. Most people only had 2 or 3. But unfortunatly some take advantage over the open bar and get stupid.

Post # 12
1562 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding that wasn’t open bar.  That said, people are adults and can handle themselves.  I wouldn’t worry about this too much.

Post # 13
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

You have to trust your guests to be respnsible adults. At our venue the bartenders know how much alcohol should be consumed by x number of guests, once they reached that threshold they stopped surving. My friends are drinkers so I was pretty upset that I’d paid for an open bar all night but it got shut down. Our friends just kept ordering shots all night long. Some people got cut off earlier in the night and eventually they shut 2 out of the 3 bars down entirely. Everyone just moved to the 3rd bar that hadn’t met the threshold yet. I was upset so I talked to the bar manager, she told me that legally they can’t serve anymore because they would be liable.

Post # 14
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

What do you drink with Jager?  I’ve only had it as a shot or as a Jagerbomb, which is basically a shot.

Post # 15
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Ashley_B:  Oh, don’t have it be only one drink at a time!  My Fiance often will stand in line for both of us…  Most guys will do that for their dates, so it’d be a bummer to have to both go and get the drinks.

Just trust in the bartender, alert the bartender if there is anyone you are specifically worried about (and alert friends to keep an eye on those few).  Basically, if you go out ot the bar with them now and they are ok, I’d trust they’d be fine at a wedding.  You can look up liability laws for your state if you are very worried.  And perhaps help people on arranging carpooling/give out info on cab companies.

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