Post # 1
How would you all handle this situation? I know what my thoughts are, but wanted to get other opinions.
We offered guests choices for both the food and drinks. The drinks options were red wine, white wine, lager, cider, or a soft drink. I assumed that anyone under 18 (there are 3: 11, 12, and 16) would select a soft drink/that their parents would select one for them; so I was surprised to receive the RSVPs from OH’s uncle, aunt and family to see they’ve selected white wine for their 16 year old (just).
Now, it is legal to drink with a meal at 16 in the UK; but the official drinking age is 18. The drinks come as a package, at £37 a head (around $60), and some of them won’t be served with the meal. Personally I think it was quite rude of them to select an alcoholic drink for her (we’ve had other issues with them as well). I’m also concerned that she will get far too drunk. We also have a semi-open bar in the evening, where she is NOT legally allowed to drink, and again I’m worried that if they’ve selected wine for her for the meal, she will end up getting paralytic in the evening; and I have major ethical issues with someone underage getting really drunk on drinks we’ve paid for, as it’s almost like we’re allowing it to happen.
My dad thinks we should just include her in the drinks package and not mention anything to the venue in the evening. My mum thinks that we SHOULDN’T include her in the drinks package because she thinks her parents have been a bit tacky and rude, and my mum also thinks we should mention to the venue that there will be some under 18s and can they please ask for ID.
What would you guys do?
Post # 2
I would not include her in the drinks package and simply tell her parents that the venue’s policy is not to serve anyone under 18 alcohol. I also agree about the IDing. If her parents want her to drink that badly, they can get it for her and give it to her, and then it’s on them.
Post # 3
Is it possible that they were ordering the wine for themselves, but putting it under your cousin’s name so that they could get an extra free glass?
It’s up the venue to be responsible and ask for ID for anyone who they think could be underage.
Post # 4
- Wedding: Either Philadelphia City Hall or a small chapel.
Honestly, as somebody who is of legal drinking age in probably one of the strictest liquor law countries (the US), I don’t really see the big deal about a wedding. Sixteen is plenty old enough to handle herself. It’s a social event, not some bar about to be raided. I personally side with your dad.
Post # 5
Is there a way to mention to the bartender to watch out for this particular guest and her family? Also have them ID everyone.
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s rude at all. It legal, they are guests, and you gave guests a choice, they’ve done nothing wrong there. I would have someone, inconspicuous, point out to the bartender the under age person to make sure they don’t drink after that. The bartender will take care of it from there without inconveniencing the rest of your guests.
Post # 7
I don’t think you should include her in the package. If it was just wine at dinner, fine, but it’s a package. I don’t think it should even matter how drunk she could potentially get…I just don’t think you should pay for a package that she’s only getting a very small portion of. Waste of money to me.
Post # 8
Yeah, if it’s legal, let it be. I don’t think it’s really your call if she can legally drink wine with her meal at 16.
Post # 9
barbie86: my concern in this situation would be your liability if anything were to happen (she gets too drunk and is in an accident). This is the exact reason we are having a 21+ wedding (in the US). So I would either not let her drink at all or only allow her to have wine with dinner then specifically inform the bartender everyone is to be IDed or just point her out to the bartender and do not allow her to be served.
Post # 10
I had a 19 year old guest at my wedding. Her parents (who were also there) allow her to drink wine at dinner at home, so they got her a glass of wine during cocktail hour. Because we were in the US, where the drinking age is 21, it was 100% illegal (unfortunately), so I asked her if she could just out it down somewhere and stick to juice and soda. I think you should do the same. She’s not of legal drinking age, so couldn’t someone call the police? I mean, not that that would happen, but you wouldn’t want to worry.
Also, why is autocorrect so weird on the phone? It just corrected “and” to “ame” twice.
Post # 11
- Wedding: Either Philadelphia City Hall or a small chapel.
future.mrs.koban: You can’t even drive in the UK (in England anyway) until 18 so I’m assuming she’s attending with the parentals.
Post # 12
Why don’t you ask the venue their policy? If it’s legal, and the venue is okay with it then I think you should leave things. But if the venue is not okay with this, then I think you’ll have to do something.
If you could get into trouble for this, then it’s not worth it.
Post # 13
I don’t think it’s rude at all. It’s legal… moreover, depending on the license of where the wedding is, it may even be legal for her to drink at the bar as well (depending on whether this is private property, licensed property, or who is serving and under what license etc).
Schatzie821: “I would… tell her parents that the venue’s policy is not to serve anyone under 18 alcohol.”
I’m reasonably sure this is of dubious legality. You can refuse to allow certain private services based upon age, but not others… I think I’m right in saying that the venue could forbid her from entering if she is under 18… or 21… or 48, for that matter… but they could not refuse to serve her once she has entered, provided that it is legal for them to do so. The exception would be if it is illegal, of course, forbidden under their license, or if she met other criteria (for example, if she was intoxicated).
Post # 14
future.mrs.koban: She has no liability, no matter how old the guests are.
Post # 15
Re: wine at dinner- if its legal, then that should be good enough. I would stop trying to parent her.
I dont think you should include her in the bar count, as that is not legal. She will just have to sneak drinks like the rest of us had to.
As per having your venue crack down… I would worry about other things. If she wants to have a drink at your reception, she will find a way. Her parents will be right there after all, so I dont think you need to be fretting so much about whether she has a drink or not. Its their problem. Youre the bride, not the bouncer.