Post # 1
The “Great Bar Debate” thread got me thinking about this. Recap: My family and most of my family friends are opposed to alcohol for religious reasons. It’s very presence would be seriously offensive to them and they would be uncomfortable. So, we are having a brunch reception that is completely dry. I think most people don’t miss alcohol at 11am! The people that will really mind are our younger friends and some of FI’s family members, but they aren’t the majority of our guests.
Still, Fiance and I do like to have a “grown-up good time”, and so we are hosting the after party later that evening. Still, because we are on a budget and will have just paid for a big brunch reception with abundant food, AND because it is an after party and not a traditional reception, we decided that only paying for wine would be fine, and beer and mixed drinks will be available on a cash or credit card basis. I would love to also pay for beer but we can’t bring our own in and our venue’s is $4 a glass! 100 guests X 3 beers at $4/glass = $1200, and that’s assuming no one overindulges! We’re hoping our guests will not begrudge us, seeing as we are feeding them twice and providing a full day of merriment 🙂 If they want an alcoholic drink on us, there will be plenty of wine.
I am not super worried about letting our guests know ahead of time because A, many of them already know that my family is conservative, and so drinks will be a bonus, not a given, B, its an after-party so the expectations are not the same as a traditional reception, and C, there will be SOMETHING (wine) on us.
Still, I don’t want it to be awkward for one of our friends to saunter up to the bar, order a gin and tonic, and then hear “That will be $6”, when they weren’t prepared to pay for it. So I was thinking I would make a couple drink menus to put in frames on the bar that say something to this effect:
Beer – $4
Cocktails – $6
Enjoy On Us!
Iced Tea, Lemonade, Soda
Is that weird? I’m afraid it might not be clear… How else would you handle it? I was thinking of maybe including the word “complimentary” before the wines to make it extra clear, but I’m afraid that might make it seem like we’re making it a big deal that those things are hosted, and I don’t want that to put people off.
Post # 3
I added a poll to make my thread more enticing 🙂
Post # 4
A lot of times friends go out after the wedding to continue partying and they pay for their own drinks then so I think how you’re handling it seems fine.
Post # 5
The only suggestion I have would be to let people know, in advance, that they’ll be needing to bring their purses to the after party. I’ve read a few threads on here about fellow bees going to weddings not knowing it was a cash bar so they didn’t bring cash.
Otherwise, I really do think it’s a great idea to have a menu indicating which drinks are on the house and which need to be paid for.
Post # 6
I typically expect to pay for my own drinks at an after-party, so your option is not only a pleasant surprise, but the menu idea sounds great! Frankly, a number of weddings I’ve attended lately had cash bars, and my only “complaint” would be that I don’t know the cost of the drink before I order it. Your menu kills the proverbial two birds with one stone: tells guests the drink options AND prices!
Kudos to you for this thoughtful plan!
Post # 7
I think the menu is very thoughtful. I like the idea of maybe writing “complimentary” as opposed to “enjoy on us”. I think since it’s an after party providing some alcohol is actually an added bonus.
Post # 8
If you’re sending out information about the after party, I would include something like “Hosted wine reception; no host beer and cocktails” so that people know beforehand. I also think the menu idea is good so that people can make their decision while in line. I definitely think it’s fine that you’re doing a cash bar for an after party, I think it’s just important to make sure to communicate that to your guests.
Post # 9
Thanks for the reassurance! Sometimes I worry some of our guests will still think its tacky (ugh, hate the T word!) that we are “charging” for some drinks. I know its an after party so its a different situation than a reception, but since our reception is dry I feel like its a little different. Still, this is what we can afford.
We already sent out invitations with a card about the after party included, and no info about alcohol one way or the other. I think I might spread some word of mouth on the topic?
Post # 10
I think its a great way to let people know what is hosted and what isnt. You dont want someone ordering a cocktail thinking its hosted and then realize they have to pay when they wouldve chosen something that was hosted.
Post # 11
Thanks, naangel55. I am one of those brides that gets paranoid about offending guests or generally not making each one of them happy!!
Post # 12
I really like it! Honestly, you could probably get away with not paying for the wine either since most people pay for their own drinks at an after party.
Post # 13
@MissAsB: I know… I just feel bad because our actual reception is going to be completely dry, and I feel like our friends that come from out of town deserve a drink on us!
Post # 14
I’m just curious… Are you inviting 100 guests to the wedding or are you expecting 100 guests at the after party?
Post # 15
@EvaBostonTerrier: We are inviting close to 300 people to the wedding. We are expecting 200-220 at our wedding ceremony and brunch reception. 20-30 of those are children, who are not invited to the after party, and then another 60 or so are my family members / people from church who will not attend the after party for religious reasons. And of course we assume a handful of people won’t come because they want to travel back, just don’t care to, etc. So that’s what’s giving us the 100 people at the after party number, though I really hope it is less than that! We included it on the RSVP as a separate line so we know what to expect.
Post # 16
So I’m doing the same thing: what do you think of “Hosted” for the wines & beers that are complimentary?
Our bar is at a restaurant so they will literally be able to do any other drink, so not sure how to word the “Other” section, since I don’t want to list out every other drink they can make and their prices. Any suggestions? Maybe “Other selections available by cash/credit” ?????