Post # 1
So here’s the deal. We have 24 people for our rehearsal dinner. I found a resturant that has tax, tip, beverage (coffee, tea or soda) and food cost all wrapped up in one for $20.95 per person. That puts us at $502.80 for total cost. Our budget is $500.00 so thats only like three dollars over. We are paying for everything ourselves.
Problem is its at a Irish Restaurant so you know they have plenty of booze options. I would love to provide champagne for a toast, but its not in the budget. I know the groomsmen will want beer, but its not in the budget. I don’t think our table will be anywhere near a bar, we will be in a private room, which means people WILL ask the server for beer, wine etc. Even if its not on the custom menu because they will know the restaurant will have it.
I want to say in the invite that any alcohol drinks are at your own expense. I know it may be tacky to say it in the invite, but I know I will worry about this like crazy if I dont’ say it up front. I really don’t want to have people ask me at dinner if its ok to get drinks, have people order drinks assuming I am paying- awkward, or have my Future In-Laws announce they will pay for the booze at dinner when they already said they didn’t want to contribute to the wedding or anything having to do with it (so they look generous in front of others). I’d rather it just be understood before dinner. Please help with the wording.
Neither set of parents are involved. This is all us. I can’t have anyone else discretely explain to people.
Post # 3
Just put “cash bar available” at the bottom of the invite, it’s not a big deal.
Post # 4
our rehearsal is at a bowling alley (that has a full bar) so on my invites I put “Food, Soda and Lanes provided!” hopefully that explains it well enough for them.
I also dont want people all drunky the night before our wedding. So I hope people dont go overboard
Post # 5
You could put something on the invite like:
“Complimentary non-alcholic beverages included” -or
“Cash bar available”
With regards to the servers, simply tell the restaurant manager to have them indicate that beer and liquor can be purchased at the bar if they are asked.
Post # 6
I was thinkign the same thing as MsMindle and stating clearly that only non-alcoholic drinks will be included. I think people generally don’t have a problem with buying alcohol as long as they know ahead of time so they know to bring cash with them. That’s a great deal you’re getting! kudos!
Post # 7
Yes, both of the PPs have good suggestions. We are also doing our RD at an Irish pub and planning to host the food but not alcohol.
One other option, if you can stretch your budget a little bit and want to be hospitable: you could put “The first drink is on us!” and pre-purchase a round/buy drink tickets that you distribute, so that people get one hosted beverage and then they know they’re on their own after that? Only if you feel comfortable that you can afford that, though – it looks like you did an excellent job of sticking with your budget, so don’t feel pressured to exceed it now that you’ve hit the mark so beautifully!
Post # 8
I would just say Non alcoholic drinks are complimentary and just let the servers know booze is not covered, then they will be the ones to say something if alcohol is ordered.
Post # 9
Freaking alcohol is so darn expensive. FI and I were just tallying up the bar tab for having alcohol at our rehearsal dinner (Not including food) and it’s around 1650$. So stupid. Our venue requires we do all alcohol through them. It kind of pisses me off.
Post # 10
I’ve been to cash bar weddings (so not quite the same but just adding my 2 cents) – I didn’t like it simply because ALL drinks we had to pay for ourselves aside from tap water, if soft drinks had been available I would have been a much happier bunny. You are providing soda and coffee, that should be enough to keep any guest happy – I agree with PPs that you should just state the menu on the invite (i.e. please join us for food, soda and coffee) and add ‘cash bar available’ at the bottom. That way people know they will have something to drink, but alcohol is extra and they can come prepared with some cash.