Post # 1
I’ve been reading the boards for a long time but have never actually started a post until now, so bare with me! I have a question regarding our reception timeline and would love all of your opinions.
Our reception is at a banquet center and will last 5 hours. The first hour will be a social hour followed by a seated dinner and then dancing. In the all-inclusive package only 4 hours of open bar is provided. We do have the option of purchasing an extra hour, but that is really not financially feasible. So my dillemna is when to close the open bar. The banquet center’s coordinator suggested two options, and I keep going back and forth about which I prefer.
Option #1: Close the bar the last hour of the reception. The bar will stay open the first four hours, and wine will be served by waiters tableside during dinner. This gives guests some time to sober up before leaving! 🙂
Option #2: Close the bar for an hour during dinner, so it will be open the entire dancing period. However, because the bar is closed during dinner, no wine will be served tableside.
Which would you suggest or do you have any other ideas?
Post # 3
We have no restrictions regarding the open bar hours and we are still choosing to close the bar one hour early. It has nothing to do with costs either… I think closing the bar signals the end of the party and it does give people a chance to sober up!
Post # 4
Yea close it an hour early is probably your best option. Plus, I’m sure there are those that like their wine with dinner ha
Post # 5
Our reception facility has a policy that they will not serve alcohol the last hour (even if you want to purchase it extra for that hour). They want to make sure people are not drinking then driving immediately thereafter. Honestly I think it is a smart policy to have in place.
Will most of your guests be driving after the reception?
Post # 6
@EvaBostonTerrier Yes, most guests will be driving since the facility is not at a hotel and we probably aren’t providing any transportation
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion
Option #1 is good, as long as guests are aware of what is going to happen!
Post # 8
Option 1, and then go to cash bar for that last hour. Most people leave by then anyway or aren’t drinking much by then so I don’t think it will be that big of a deal. I would just make sure they keep the bar open for cash bar that last hour in case someone actually does want liquor then. Or check with the venue and see if they will stop serving an hour before or 30 minutes before so guests don’t drive drunk. That way if people get mad that the bar is closing an hour beforehand at least it won’t be your fault, you could blame it on the venue’s rule instead.
Post # 9
I made sure my venue had liquor liability insurance (or whatever it is called). I got worried that if someone drank then drove and got in an accident and was hurt or hurt someone else, we could somehow be at fault because we provided the alcohol (i.e. we hosted the event). Or what happens if a minor is able to get a drink (over age friend gets it for them, or whatever) and then drives and is hurt.
I’m not quite sure how all this works, but my reception facility assured me that they have the appropriate coverage in the unfortunate event something where to happen.
Sorry, that was kind of off topic… I guess I discussed it with my venue when I discussed their policies on alcohol (like not serving the last hour).
Post # 10
I’d rather have it closed the last hour, which is what most caterers/bartenders do. Then serve coffee, cocoa, etc to help “sober” people before they head out. If you have it closed during dinner, then you will have a mad rush at the bar before it closes and the bartenders may be very overwhelmed with the volume at that time since drinks do take time to fix. Plus if someone wants a refill of anything during dinner, which is very common, then they’re out of luck if the bar is closed at that time and won’t have anything to drink (including non-alcoholic choices unless those are at their own bar that is seperate) until it opens again.
Post # 11
We have the same set-up four hour open bar. Our venue will close the bar for a half an hour at the start of the reception (right after cocktail hour) and also close the bar a half an hour before the reception ends. I odn’t think anyone will care that the bar is closed right after the cocktail hour because toasts will be occuring and everyone will have champagne in their hands!
Post # 12
I voted #1 but I kind of like what jaylii suggested even more. If it’s possible to split it up into half hour periods, I would do that. The people that want to drink will always go for that last cocktail before the end of the cocktail hour, so they’ll already have a drink when the receptions starts and they’ll have a champagne toast, as you said. The only problem with that could be the wine service during dinner, which would then I guess be only a half hour of wine service.
I’d either close for the last hour or split it up.
Post # 13
At my friend’s wedding they closed the bar like 20 mins before dinner for dinner… the last guests were still arriving. People didn’t get there in time and didn’t know it was closing… so some people were mad they did not get to have drinks w/ their dinners.