Post # 1
Ok so in the midst of planning the reception and it seems we have a dilema when it comes to the situation of alcohol.
The few people that will be attending from my side (including my side of the wedding party) are not drinkers. We partake however not to the point of getting completely wasted. I also want to add that my mother is a recovering alcoholic. My fiance’s family well it seems they have alcoholism that runs in the family but no one really discusses it. Our best man drinks beer to the point of getting pretty drunk a lot. I am not really concerned about the rest of my other half’s family as they are older and have some comon sense.
While I like the idea of having drinks available at our reception because I for one would like to have a couple have not voiced any concern other than we will not be having an open bar quite frankly because we can’t afford the best man’s drinking habits. Seriously this man drinks a case at a time (more if he has it on hand). My suggestion was to do a cash bar and unlimited for the bridal party because honestly I don’t want my girls to have to pay for a drink or two.
My fiance just recently voiced a concern over the whole alcohol issue. He is thinking about not having any alcohol at all. He is afraid that his family is going to look bad to my family. (More so his bm who is also his cousin) I am in a quandry – our venue also has a martini bar that will be open to the public during our reception. That is not a big deal to me as they are in completely separate areas of the building, however if we do a dry wedding then people can still go in and order drinks.
I have guests coming 6hrs to the wedding and others driving 2 hours to the wedding so I don’t want them to come and not have a good time. I am open to any and all suggestions on how to handle this.
Post # 3
Maybe you could do a wine service with dinner? Or put a red wine and a white wine on the table for guests to have at dinner (or 2 of each, if there are several guests at a table).
Post # 4
@DaneLady: That’s not a bad idea. We were going to do a cocktail hour while we did our pictures – any suggestions on what to do with that?
Post # 5
Don’t do a cash bar (tacky).
The wine idea isn’t bad, but I think you go with the regular and hope people are on their best behavior, or tell the barender to ‘watch out’ for a few people.
Post # 6
Could you have beer and wine available during cocktail hour? This would probably keep the best man away from having more than a drink or two. You could also open the bar back up for a drink during toasts.
But a dry wedding isn’t a bad thing either. I’ve been to a few and we still had fun.
Post # 7
@sassycleo: You could do just beer and wine, or a signature cocktail. Also-
@bridenj12: has a good point… you can give the bartender photos of the guests you’re worried about and ask that he pour a little less liquor into their drinks.
Just had another idea pop in my noggin… you could do a red and a white sangria, it’s tasty but not full of liquor!
Post # 8
@bridenj12: Agreed. I’d just ask the bartender not to serve more than 2 drinks (or whatever) to the best man, and anyone else you want to watch out for.
Post # 9
I would provide drinks during cocktail hour and with the meal, and then I would give people drinks tokens. If they want more drinks than they have tokens, they will have to pay, and I don’t think that is tacky at all if you have already provided some drinks. I have never been to a dry wedding, but I have been to a few which used the tokens. The other great thing about the tokens is that you can just keep a whole bunch in reserve and slip them to the bridal party… nobody need ever know that they had more tokens than anyone else, LOL!
You can also use it to control problem drinkers by just giving everyone two to start with, and then saying that that’s all they get… only those who are a bit more responsible have a few more slipped their way.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Since there’s a martini bar in the vicinity, you’re not going to be able to stop people from drinking. If you have a dry reception and someone wanted a drink, they might leave the reception to go to the bar.
You can shut down the bar early (ours stops 1/2 hour before the end of the reception), shut the bar during dinner, etc.
Also- the bartenders can and should cutting people off if it looks like they’d had too much- they could tell the best man- “I’m sorry sir, I can’t serve you more than 6 drinks.” (He may get other people to get him drinks, but…)
Post # 11
I would serve beer and wine only. And, as PPs have said, just let the bartender(s) know who to watch out for. They should be doing that already and should cut people off when they’ve had to much, but I think a heads up wouldn’t hurt.
Also, please don’t do an unlimited bar for only you and your bridal party and make everyone else pay. It’s very rude to tier guests like that.
Post # 12
Aa a guest who was cut off after her sixth glass of Chardonnay at a yacht club wedding in 2009 – in deciding what kind of bar to host, it isn’t your job to control how much your guests could possibly drink, or to predetermine how drunk they will get. Who knows, you could go through all of this and the best man could decide that he’s teetotal a week before the wedding.
Decide on what you’d like to host for your guests and what kind of party you’d like to throw, and the adults that you have invited to your wedding will be trusted to make their own decisions regarding alcohol use.
Post # 13
We had a situation that the venue that we loved, which was our church hall (much nicer than any of the halls in town) did not allow alcohol. We had an afternoon reception without alcohol, which was still a lot of fun. Then in the evening we had an after party at our house with a fully stocked bar and lots of wine and beer. We had just over 100 people at the reception. The after party had around 50-60 people. A couple of our adult nephews volunteered as bartenders and it worked out great. I feel like we accomodated everyone this way and it was a blast.
Post # 14
Limiting the bar is not going to stop people who want to drink too much from drinking too much. Your guests are adults and you shouldn’t punish everyone because a few don’t make wise choices about their consumption. Trust me- people will buy their own at another bar, bring beer and leave it in the car or find a liquor store.
Also asking a bartender to “watch” a few people is a bad idea and frankly not their job. Unless you give the people you want watched a neon yellow wristband the bartender won’t, and shouldn’t, have to remember who you want to cut off. I have bartended and I would always decline doing it- keeping up with the chosen few is a nightmare and it puts the bartender in a bad situation. Refusing to serve reflects badly on the venue, it is not the venue or bartender’s job to babysit anyone. People get upset when cut off especially when 6 drinks may seem like a good cut off to you, but I can have 6 drinks and not be falling down drunk. So really that is not a good way to go.
Post # 15
Beer and wine only is fine alot of couples do this to cut costs, alot of couples also only have the bar open for a hour or so or during certain times of the night. It works out fine, you have one or two people that get totally wasted sure but they end up looking like a fool. Honestly if it was a dry wedding I could care less. I do not go to a wedding to drink.
Post # 16
It is totally fine to have no alcohol or limited alcohol.
Regarding telling the bartenders to watch out for the heavy drinkers… bartenders have enough to do without watching for Uncle Steve and friend Sally with drinking problems. Heavy drinkers can also tell when their drinks are being watered down, and could cause more of a scene than if they are just plain drunk.
I think having a bottle of red and a bottle of white at each table is a good idea, and you can make sure to have a lot of other interesting non-alcoholic beverages as well.