(Closed) Paying for non-drinks and tastings

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

No shuttle needed. Adults can figure out their own transportation.

As for tasting fees, I don’t know because I haven’t done one yet. But I’m curious to see the responses. 

For the bar… our venue also offers an unlimited package but you have to pay for anyone over 18, no exceptions. Since most of my fiance’s older aunts/uncles/cousins don’t drink it would be a huge waste for us. So we aren’t doing it. 

Post # 4
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

There is no way to get out of paying for the drinks of those who abstain, but likewise, the venue can’t go after you fopr the person who drinks 3times their share. Rates for open bars are based on the average consumption of the average guest. Some drink none, less, right on average, more, a lot more… in the end, it evens out. You may even have to pay for adults who cannot drink because they are older than the kids meal cut off but under 21.

Most places do not charge for tastings for those who have booked and placed a deposit, but some do. it’s rare, but not unheard of.

It is not your responsibility to arrange guest transportation.

Post # 5
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ve heard that a fee is normal for a tasting.  We didn’t do one though, just picked and hoped for the best based on reviews.

As for the bar package, averaging out the people that will drink them under the table and the people who don’t drink at all is how venues make their money on those packages.  Typically the only way to avoid paying for drinks for people that don’t drink is to go straight consumption.

Post # 6
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@AllieInOhio:  We have a general tasting included, but have to pay to taste the menu we will have. It is worth it for us, but oh so annoying

As far as drinks, we realize half of our guests were not of age or didn’t drink due to pregnancy, nursing, beliefs, or medication. For us, it is cheaper to do a consumption bar. Is that an option for you?

Post # 7
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@AllieInOhio:  ONLY $500 for guest transportation?  Wow!  The cheapest quote I got for guest transportation from the venue to the hotel was $975.  But I live in one of the most expensive metro areas in the country.  Dang, I’m jealous 🙂

But in all seriousness, you are not obligated to provide transportation.  I am providing a shuttle from my venue back to the hotel because the reception will not be over until 11pm or so, and the venue is about a 20 minute drive from the nearest hotel on country roads (it’s at a vineyard).  

Post # 8
8446 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

We haven’t paid for any of our tastings (food or cake).  Our venue is doing our catering and had a group tasting (about 10+ other couples, seated at our own tables), they’re not even charging us for a private second tasting to finalize things.  Our cake bakers also gave us free tastings, we just had to show them our venue contract.  As for guest transportation, I feel that it is only your responsibility if your guests are flying in/out of state (as in, they’d have to rent a car), if they’re local, they’ll know how to get around on their own.  We are also doing an open bar and we figure the heavy drinkers will balance out the non-drinkers.

Post # 9
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We didn’t pay for our (group) tasting, but we’d also already booked the venue. 

As for the bar, if you can do consumption service, do that. You pay per drink rather than a flat fee.

Post # 10
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’re going cake tasting tomorrow and we have to pay $30 but if we get the baker to make our cake for us that gets credited to the final amount.

Same goes with the caterer. We go for a tasting in a couple weeks and we will both get a 3 course meal for $50 (which is a deal!) but when we confirm our booking with them that money will go towards the deposit. We know for sure that we are going to book with both of these vendors because we’ve heard amazing reviews, so in essence we won’t be paying in the end.

Post # 11
3340 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

Paying for transportation is optional.  If you can afford it, great.  If not, you have no responsibility to do so anyway.

Tastings should be free IMO.  And they were in my experience.  I wouldn’t pay $40/plate at a tasting!  Good grief!  Especially if you’ve already booked them, there’s no reason they should need to charge you.

As for the bar thing, you’re kind of screwed there.  If you’re having an open bar, then you’re going to end up paying for a lot more alcohol than is actually used.  But that’s life.  The only way around it is if they’d let you bring in your own alcohol.  Then you could pay for a standard bar package (soft drinks and water) and return any unused booze after the wedding.

Post # 12
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had tastings for the bride and groom included in our package, but if we wanted to add more people we would have had to pay $100/person.


No thanks.

Post # 13
16194 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Our venue had tasting fees. No fun, I know. And your venue is going to charge for drinks based on your total head count, unfortunately.

As far as transportation goes, it’s not your responsibility, nor does it really make sense if your ceremony and reception aren’t at the same place. If the guests have to drive from ceremony to reception, a shuttle to the hotel from the reception doesn’t necessarily help out because a car would get left along the way somewhere. So I would stop worrying about that one if I were you. 😉

Post # 14
13251 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Our caterer did not charge for tastings.  I think its strange when they do, and I think $35 is ridiculous to pay for a tasting. 

I doubt you can get out of saying someone doesn’t drink to not pay for their bar package.  Otherwise, what would stop people from saying “half my guests don’t drink!” when in reality, most would.  The venue couldn’t keep tabs on who was drinking and who wasn’t, thus making them lose money.  So, I think you’ll have to suck it up and pay this one, unfortunately.

On the plus side, no, it’s not necessary for you to have a shuttle.  It’s an added bonus when there is one, but absolutely not necessary!

Post # 15
2084 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

There isn’t a fee for tastings with our venue but we already booked them so maybe that’s why??!!??  And also if transporting your out of town guest is out the budget then don’t do it!!!

Post # 16
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I used to work for our caterer, so a tasting wasn’t really neccessary.  We did go to their Sunday brunch buffet to get a few ideas of what we did and didn’t want.  We ended up paying something like $25 each for that, but that wasn’t anything official through the caterer.  I’m sure that he would have offered something if I’d asked.

As for the drinks, ask the caterer what the option is for people age 18-20 ore even 12+.  That’s old enough to get an adult meal, but not legally old enough to drink.  I would think that they would have to offer something for that age group.  If they do then include the non drinkers in that number. 

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