Post # 1
Imagine you’re at an 8pm reception with around 200 people, following a 7pm wedding. The invitations clearly stated that no one would be feeding you, and that the reception would be for drinks, dancing and cake. You do NOT have an assigned table, but there are couches, tall standing tables, etc around for common usage, and SOME minor finger foods, as well as cake.
Which of these options would you consider the least tacky for a budget-minded bride to use?
(I realize a lot of people will have issue with not doing a meal, or worry that people will be hungry; that’s not really what I’m looking for feedback on. I’m just trying to figure out if this is a do-able option for our budget or not, hehe.)
Post # 3
i voted for free wine with paid other drinks, is there any way you could have free wine AND beer? i think that’s really the best option as that keeps most people happy 🙂
Post # 4
I have never heard of a wedding with no food and asking the guests to pay for drinks. In my opinion this is very tacky and I’d be offended as a guest.
If you are on a strict budget, think about:
– cutting your guest list
– have a champagne and cake or wine and cake reception
– serve food and not alchol
– have a morning wedding and reception brunch
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I actually wanted to do a cocktail party type of wedding (appetizers, drinks, dessert, but no sit-down meal), but if I did, there’s no way I would have had guests pay for their own drinks. If it’s absolutely necessary that you invite 200 people (which is an awfully large wedding to have a non-dinner reception, IMO), and you absolutely can’t afford to host an open bar all night (which I think you should absolutely try to do), then at least offer two free drinks per person (you can do this by having drink tickets passed out when your guests arrive).
Post # 6
I agree with OttawaBride2011. Free wine and beer would be great and then if people want more after that then they can pay to get drinks at the bar. I was worried at my reception about the alcohol situation and people not getting as much as they wanted but I figured if they want to drink that much, they can go to a bar afterwards! If you offer wine (and possibly beer) there’s your drinks right there so it’s not like you aren’t offering them something.
Post # 7
The time of your wedding and clearly stating in the invitation that there will be no food is a good move on your part. People should not be coming hungry.
I voted for the completly open bar. You could, however, do this on a budget. Beer and wine are pretty standard and then you could have 2-3 signature drinks. This will help keep the cost down greatly!
Post # 8
I’d say free wine and beer (most venues lump wine and beer together in a limited bar package with soda and water), and they can pay for their other harder liquor drinks. I’m sure 99.9% of people can find something they like with those options and/or can pay for their own hard liquor themselves. My friend did this at her wedding in July and it went great (and is what we plan to do). 🙂
Post # 9
I think a lot of people view their wedding gift as “paying for their meal” when they buy it. If people with this view buy a gift and get basically no food and have to pay for drinks, they might be pretty disappointed. I know a lot of my friends and family look at it this way.
Personally if I went to a wedding with limited finger foods and buy your own drinks, I’d probably still have a good time, but I wouldn’t stay as long as I would at a dinner party. Maybe that’s what you’re looking for? A short reception party?
Post # 10
@texasmeredith – I actually AM considering all of those options already; like my post said, this specific post is ONLY trying to figure out if we can feasibly consider THIS option (among others) or not.
200 is a lot, I realize, BUT J and I talked about for a long time, and decided that it means a lot to us to be surrounded by those we love more than looking fancy or keeping up with the Jones’, so we’re looking for a way to keep price per head lower instead (our current budget allows for $15 per person after drinks, gratuity, etc.). I haven’t actually priced bar… bars? bartenders? bar services? not even sure what to call it 🙂 THE COST OF ALCOHOL in my hometown yet, haha, so we MAY be able to swing an open bar… maybe. @LittleBear, I’ll definitely take your advice when pricing my options! Thanks! 🙂
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
I know you’re probably not looking for, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to serve alcohol at all if you’re not providing food. Having no alcohol would cut down on your costs. 🙂
Post # 12
@brianalaura- that is kind of what i have heard too. That you are supposed to try to estimate what your meal cost the couple, and get a gift of the same cost (unless of course its a close friend/family member).
I think if you can’t afford to host beer/wine unlimited you should scrap alcohol all together and just provide food. or provide food and do an all-cash bar.
Post # 13
I agree with Beagle. If you’re not serving food of any kind besides cake, you shouldn’t be serving mass quantities of alcohol–maybe a glass or two of champagne.
That said, if you do decide to go with alcohol, I think that having any less than an open bar is just going to make your guests feel a little put out. If you really can’t afford it, I’d go with beer & wine.
I should add another thing: I know that you personally view it as being surrounded by loved ones instead of “keeping up with the Joneses” but many guests may view it as a way to get more gifts/money, and then would be doubly offended when they couldn’t even get a free glass of wine. EDIT: totally not trying to be harsh, just realistic! Sorry if it came out harsh.. I wish you all the best with planning!
Post # 14
I voted for the free wine, bc I think if you can afford it, it’s always best to have some kind of free drink. We’re doign free beer and wine. But if I showed up at your wedding with any of these options, I wouldn’t be offended. I’ve had to pay for my own drinks plenty of times at weddings and it’s not a big deal. Your ceremony sounds like it’s starting late enough that I’d definitely be getting dinner beforehand. Just keep in mind everyone attending your wedding is there because they love you, and that means they won’t be totally aghast at your choices. It also means you should try to do as much for them as you can afford 🙂
Post # 15
Control consumption with smaller pours / smaller glasses – beer and wine only – and also incorporate waitstaff table service versus a bar that the lushes can just belly up to all night.
Post # 16
I voted for the open bar, but you can make it more affordable by having beer/wine/soda only.
If I’m being completely honest, if I went to a wedding with that large of a guest list, I would feel offended if I was expected to pay for drinks without receiving a meal after having travelled, bought a gift, etc. I could also see cynical people (there are some at every wedding, it seems) wondering if the point of inviting that many people was to get more gifts, rather than because they really wanted every one of them to be there.
I’m not judging or saying that’s the case in your situation AT ALL, I would just be afraid that those types of thoughts might cross the minds of some guests.