Post # 1
Both sets of parents are splitting the cost. My parents have put the down payments on both the venue and catering so far. To my knowledge in-laws have not contributed, yet. I certainly want the basics as far as liquor… Red wine, white wine, champage, beer, rum, whiskey, scotch, gin, vodka. 70 something guests altogether, including children so obviously not everyone will be drinking. I figure several bottles of each kind of wine, keg of beer, maybe 2 bottles of champagne (just for toasting purposes), and 1 or 2 bottles each of hard liquor? Mother-In-Law thinks we need a much more expansive bar, with all kinds of liquor and cordials, and lots of it. Our reception is only 5 hours and as far as I’m concerned, a reception is a marriage celebration, not a tavern. Her reasoning is that what if someone wants to sit and drink (such and such) all night? Once it’s gone the bartender can’t just tell them we ran out. Or what if someone likes (such and such) but we don’t have it in stock? We can’t just tell them we don’t have it.
Um, yes we can. It’s an open bar and our guests are not paying customers. If they prefer to be drunker they are more than welcome to leave and hit up the pub down the road. We are already providing enough food to feed an army. I really don’t care if my guests want to get incredibly wasted also. That’s their problem. Liquor is expensive and I think it would be terribly rude to ask my parents to contribute towards a full bar.
Am I in the wrong?
Post # 3
@Aquaria: Former bartender speaking here: keep it simple, for your guests AND your staff. Go with your gut and stick with basic liquors, beers and wines.
Post # 4
If your Mother-In-Law wants an expansive bar, here’s an idea: she can pay for it!
Post # 5
Stick with the basics but increase the quantity. As a hostess, you don’t want your guests to not be able to enjoy the beverage of their choice, and that may mean stocking the bar a bit more heavily than you’d like. I’m not saying you have to get everyone obliterated drunk, but it’s much better to have a little left over than to run out.
Post # 6
@oneofthesethings: …and drive everyone home or pay for cab fare as well…
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Aquaria: We are offering 6 bottles unflavored vodka (most likely Pinnacle), 4 bottles Crown Royal (for the dads), and 2 bottles silver rum (for specialty drink FH makes.) We will offer 2-4 mixers for the “bar.” We also plan to have a keg of beer and 6 bottles of white wine plus 6 bottles of red wine. We are having 50 guests with 15-20 of us being pretty heavy drinkers. We figure when the liquor runs out, guests can kill the keg.
Post # 8
@Aquaria: Huh? I don’t get it. People can get drunk no matter what kind of selection you have – so I have no idea what you’re trying to say. A bigger selection will end up being more expensive regardless of quantity, so that’s why I said she could pay for it if she wanted it.
Why are you saying she should pay cab fare?
Post # 9
@oneofthesethings: I meant that in regards to her comments about running out of something before the night is through. I personally don’t think it’s necessary for your glass to be constantly full from 5 to 10. If someone doesn’t give themselves time to breathe in between shots I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable letting them drive home.
Post # 10
I agree that you don’t need every kind of mixer on the planet. But I do think you need to stock the bar so everything doesn’t run out half way through the reception. However, you can close the bar maybe an hour before the end, if you would like. The general rule of thumb is 1 drink per person per hour.
I really doubt 2 bottles of champagne will be enough for everyone to have a glass to toast (estimate 5 glasses per bottle of champagne). And I think you may be a bit short on the number of bottles of wine. liquor is closer to where it should be. Here are some estimates from some estimates from online drink calculators:
- 105 bottles of beer (1 keg should be fine)
- 21 bottles of wine (divided between 1 red and 1 white would be fine)
- 6 liters of liquor (1 each of rum, whiskey, scotch, gin, vodka, plus an extra of whatever you think your guests will drink most)
- 90 bottles of beer
- 15 bottles red wine
- 9 bottles white wine
- 15 bottles champagne
- 3 bottles each of vodka and bourbon
- 1-2 bottles each of rum, gin, scotch
Also, do you need to bring your own soft drinks and juices and other mixers as well? Like I said, you don’t need everything, but I would recommend a dark soft drink (like coke), a light soft drink (like sprite). Other good mixers can be sweet and sour mix, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, and amaretto.
Another option is to go with beer, wine, and a couple signature cocktails. This will cut down on the variety needed and, thus, cut costs.
Post # 11
@JenGirl: venue provides the mixers and soft drinks. We just have to provide our own alcohol.