(Closed) Reception Open Bar Question

posted 9 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Which open bar timeline would you suggest
    Option #1 - Close one hour early : (24 votes)
    75 %
    Option #2 - Close during dinner : (6 votes)
    19 %
    Other - Please explain below! : (2 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 3
    1897 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    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
    604 posts
    Busy bee

    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
    1940 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    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 # 7
    11826 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

    Option #1 is good, as long as guests are aware of what is going to happen!

    Post # 8
    2767 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    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
    1940 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    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
    4485 posts
    Honey bee

    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
    1523 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    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
    3162 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    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
    665 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    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.

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