Post # 1
My Fiance and I are offering free wine, beer, baileys, kalhua, smirnoff ice and hot beverages at our reception.
We have to decide whether we want to offer hard alcohol and mixed drinks that guests could buy if they wish. We can offer it to guests to buy themselves or not offer it at all.
I’m trying to figure out what looks more classy while still offering guests what they prefer to drink…
What should we do? Help!
Post # 3
I voted to skip the hard liquor. I think it’ll look classier and be much easier for everyone!
Post # 4
Eh. I’d, personally, rather have the option to buy other drinks than not.
Post # 5
My sincerest apologies, but I have a difficult time combining classy + Smirnoff Ice. I think having booze for coffee is good but I’d get rid of the the Ice.
Post # 6
I voted for the middle, with a clarification.
We’re doing our reception at a restaurant and offering a beer/wine list. But because the restaurant has a full service bar, our guests do have the option of opening a tab if they really want liquor. If your venue is already set up like that, I don’t see much wrong with doing a part open/part cash bar.
But I’m biased cause that’s what we’re doing. 😉
Post # 7
We have smirnoff ice because the venue had it available and a few of my friends only drink coolers
Post # 8
smirfnoff ice seems like an odd choice to offer?
I’d probably stick with beer & wine-and maybe a signature cocktail or two so that you can include the baileys and kalhua.
Edit: Nevermind about the smirnoff, just saw your response.
Post # 9
I’d give the option to have any kind of drink, even if some cost money to guests.
However, as a guest I’d wonder why Kahlua and Baileys are free (along with Smirnoff Ice), but not other kinds of liquor. It seems somewhat random to have those three but not other more generic versions free. I dunno.
Post # 10
@KristenGotMarried: They might be trying to work with the sweeter-beverage option? I don’t like Ice either, but we usually have someone bring that or hard lemonade for themselves when we throw normal parties at home.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
We’re having an open bar with beer and wine. But, we’ll be at a vineyard and that is fairly common around here.
Post # 12
I’m from the UK and cash bars are extremely common; very few couples have a free bar, and not many put any money behind the bar at all (people are very surprised that we’re putting about $3k behind the bar for the evening, as well as providing drinks for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast). So, I am coming from a UK perspective, and I don’t know that the etiquette is elsewhere, but, we’re putting $3k behind the bar, and this will be limited to house wine by the glass, single spirits and mixers, and beer. If our guests would like cocktails, more expensive wines, or champagne, they will need to pay for those drinks.
The reason we are doing this is that drinks at our venue are expensive; some wines cost $15-20 by the glass, and the cocktails are priced at $20 and up. If we included these drinks on our tab, then the money would very quickly run out, so for us, what we’re doing is a good compromise (and a free bar is just no an option; it could quite easily run into thousands and thousands, and we just can’t afford that)
However, we wouldn’t consider removing the option for other drinks, as then it’s unfair for guests who want a cocktail and are prepared to pay for it. And I myself would always like the option as a guest.
What I would say is to make it clear what is and isn’t included if you do give additional drinks options, to save confusion. We will be making sure all our guests know what is and isn’t included, so they don’t get surprised if they order a cocktail and are charged for it.
Post # 13
the kalhua and baileys is for out hot beverage bar – to add to your hot chocolate, coffee etc…
we have a little sign on the bar saying “warm yourself up with a cup of something hot, see the bar for a baileys or kalhua shot!”
Post # 14
Offering a partial open bar (ex. just wine and beer or wine, beer and a signature drink) is perfectly fine!
I’d leave it at that and not have a further cash bar option.
Post # 15
i went to a wedding this summer that only offered beer, wine and coolers and it was awesome. i didnt even think about the missing hard liqour!
Post # 16
@barbie86: This was one thing I was thinking about. I’m pretty sure our venue staff will let people know before presenting them with a tab. I was planning on displaying some prominent drink menus with what we are offering… but in terms of what’s not covered, are you letting people know by word of mouth? A note on the menu?