Post # 1
I have a dilemma. I am having an Indian wedding, and for our rehearsal dinner or Sangeet, we have about 85 people. We have a lot of family and a lot of people flying in from out of town, so we only felt it necessary to invite them to this event.
That being said, I am really worried about alcohol costs. Our event takes place for 5 hours. What is the proper etiquette for alcohol? I am not sure if we should have an open bar for 5 hours…
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
Perhaps it’s because I’m Gujarati (and we do a Garba-Rass, not a Sangeet), but it’s my understanding that since the origins of the Garba/Sangeet are religious in nature, alcohol should not be served at the dinner. None of the Indian weddings I’ve ever been to have served alcohol at the Garba.
That said, among my family it’s expected that there will be an open bar during the entire reception so we have similar concerns as you. (Our reception is four hours long followed by a 2 hour afterparty.) One option is to serve a limited selection of beverages, like beer, wine and a signature cocktail. Our venue charges based on consumption rather than a flat per-person-per-hour rate, and they told us that we could set a cap after which the bar would switch from hosted to cash. Could either of those options work for you?
Post # 4
Well, honestly, the etiquette for about 90%* of Hindu Indian weddings is that neither meat NOR alcohol should be served, so if you do either you’re violating religious dictates, which pretty much what everyone does these days. But to answer your question, you are under no obligation to provide either meat or alcohol at any functions of a Hindu wedding, if we’re going purely by cultural and religious etiquette.
Now, getting to the actual etiquette of regular folk in the modern era, we didn’t serve booze at the sangeet and people went up to the bar upstairs and got it for themselves. We served a limited amount of alcohol at the wedding, basically 3 glasses of wine per person at dinner and champagne toasts, but my parents are very religious and didn’t want a lot of it around. I like to think we made up for it by paying for everyone’s stay at a 5 star resort in Goa but who knows? I personally don’t care that much if people were upset at there not being a lot of alcohol.
*Leaving aside obscure sects