Post # 1
This was brought up in another thread and since it wasn’t exactly the subject at hand I thought I’d start a new thread for it. What is everyone’s opinion of allowing underage guests to drink?
Personally, as a former bartender, I say no. This shouldn’t be an issue at a reputable venue because they aren’t going to allow an underage guests to get drinks from the bar. If caught, the venue can face fines and the bartender can face both fines, jail time, and the loss of a job. If a guest (whether underage or not) drives after drinking too much then the venue and bartender can be held responsible for any damages caused by that action. This is something to keep in mind if you are having your wedding in a park or your backyard.
Post # 3
I don’t think it should be allowed, but I also don’t think it’s the bride’s, groom’s, BMs’, etc. job to police the situation. Like you said, a good venue should handle it. I would be willing to bet the last thing on a bride’s mind is whether or not one of her 100 or so guests who happen to be underage manage to slip through the cracks and pick up a cocktail.
Post # 4
I feel that under age is under age no matter what the event is.
Post # 5
oh hell no. It’s illegal.
we’re having an open bar and they will definitely be carding. And if I see any of my underage guests drinking I’ll take it away myself.
Post # 6
When my younger brother was 20-and-a-half, we all went to a wedding and he brought a flask. Even though my entire family and the entire family of the bride and groom are all drinkers, it NEVER occurred to any of us that my brother should be allowed to drink from the bar. He wasn’t 21. That being said, nobody cared that he brought a flask (since he wasn’t driving).
Post # 7
Simple, the answer is no.
I only have a couple of children attending my wedding everyone else is over 18, but I would be horrified if someone gave either of the children alcholic drinks.
Though the laws in the UK are VERY different to the US:
The minimum age for the purchase of alcohol is 18. People aged 16 or 17 may consume wine, beer or cider on licensed premises when ordered with a meal. In England and Wales, it must be an adult who orders; however, an adult doesn’t have to be present to order alcohol with a meal in Scotland.
So in many cases its the parent that decides what is correct for their child.
Post # 8
I don’t think this is an easy yes or no answer. Definitely underage guests shouldn’t be getting tons of drinks at the bar, and the venue *should* be carding everyone. However, I know from past experience that they don’t always card if you are close (18-21). I think it depends on the person too. At my sister’s wedding my Fiance (then BF) was underage and they still gave him champagne to participate in the chapagne toast. I think he appreciated being included. He was driving the two of us, so he only had a sip for the toast and then gave the rest to me.
Underage guests shouldn’t assume that they will be able to drink, or get mad when they can’t. But I don’t see any harm in the situation above.
Post # 9
I’m a bit of “stick in the mud” so I voted no, underage guests should not be served.
As you pointed out, it’s a liability. Depending on the state, the host can be in a great deal of trouble for serving an underage guest as well as the bar tender and the the venue. Many states consider providing alcohol to a minor to be a very serious offense.
I understand that a lot of people don’t agree with the current drinking age in the US, and many college students don’t obey that law; but I’m not attempting to make a political statement at my wedding, and I’d prefer if my guests didn’t either. I’ve also been to a college party. (or two…) That’s not the atmosphere that I’m aiming for at my wedding. Yes, if a 20 year old guest sneaks in a flask, I’ll probably never know. But that’s the way I’d prefer it.
Post # 10
I don’t think they should be “allowed” to, but I know that doesn’t exactly stop people from doing so.
Post # 11
A couple of my underage, but college age, cousins were drinking at my wedding. I didn’t have a problem with it since they were with their parents and were not going to be driving. I don’t know if they got the drinks themselves or if they got older cousins/siblings to do it, but alcohol at an open bar wedding is pretty easy to get. But if the bartender had carded them and then said no, I wouldn’t have gotten upset and said they’re guests, they have to be served.
Post # 12
You have to follow the local laws on this one, and while the venue should be expected to monitor and enforce this, in many US states and possibly/probably some overseas jurisdictions, as the host of the event, you’re still on the hook for any trouble that underage drinker gets into or causes. Even if you don’t know about it, you may have some liability because the venue is your agent/employee and the underager is your guest.
Like so many other things, you as the host must set the expectation as to what is and is not acceptable behavior for your guests. If this means having a word with the underager, then so be it.
Post # 13
Illegal is illegal. No way. They wouldn’t get away with it at my wedding, my fiance works at the sheriffs office and all his coworkers will be around. To those who want to drink and are underage at my wedding…good luck.
Post # 14
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I agree that for liability reasons it is a venue’s responsibility to uphold the law.
But on a personal level, I believe this decision needs to be left to the child’s parents. I come from a culture where wine it part of almost every meal. It isn’t really considered strange for an older child (say 13+) to have a small glass with those meals. I started tasting wine when I was about 8-9 years old, and by 12-13 I would have a small glass (usually 2-4 oz.) on special occasions. This is the norm for my culture and my family.
As a result of this mindset, I never really “experimented” with alcohol as a child, and I’ve grown into an adult who rarely drinks, and when I do I almost never get “drunk” or even tipsy; alcohol is just one part of a larger food experience.
That being said, if one of my younger guests walks up to the bar and asks for a manhattan, I’d expect and demand that the bartender tell them No! But, if at the table, a parent allows a child to have a few sips of wine which the parent serves to the child, I am perfectly Ok with that.
Post # 15
I voted other…I don’t think drinking is ok underage to that extent…especially open bar…but I can’t say I wasn’t ever drunk at 16-20 …that’s just me! I think champagne toast, however is harmless….they are usually already on the table anyway…I don’t see it being a big deal, especially 16 +.. it’s like they say….as long as you’re doing it “in my house” except this is around the supervision of close family.