Etiquette

Drink Options for Reception

Hi, I am getting married in August. We will be providing 2 bottles of wine on each table and sparkling wine for the toast. We will be paying for coffee/tea as well as pop.

What I'm wondering is, do we have to provide more alcohol than this? Or is this acceptable. So if the bottles run out should we buy more? This is what I would like to do, but my FI doesn't see why. He would like to do a cash bar, which I am firmly against. (He still doesn't see why it's rude, I think because a lot of his family does this)

Also, is it rude if we do this (have only the wine) but buy mixed drinks for ourselves at the bar? My gut tells me it would be rude, so I'd like to find a solution where we can be polite to our guests. Thanks for any helpful suggestions!

Re: Drink Options for Reception

  • edited January 2016
    levioosa said:



    Hi, I am getting married in August. We will be providing 2 bottles of wine on each table and sparkling wine for the toast. We will be paying for coffee/tea as well as pop.

    What I'm wondering is, do we have to provide more alcohol than this? Or is this acceptable. So if the bottles run out should we buy more? This is what I would like to do, but my FI doesn't see why. He would like to do a cash bar, which I am firmly against. (He still doesn't see why it's rude, I think because a lot of his family does this)

    Also, is it rude if we do this (have only the wine) but buy mixed drinks for ourselves at the bar? My gut tells me it would be rude, so I'd like to find a solution where we can be polite to our guests. Thanks for any helpful suggestions!

    Any drinks hosted need to be hosted fully.  There is nothing wrong with having beer and wine offered with tea, coffee, and pop, if that is what you can afford. There is also nothing wrong with a dry wedding, as long as the non-alcoholic beverages are hosted fully.  It is very rude to pull a bait and switch and only offer partially hosted alcohol, or to have a cash bar.  You also need to drink what you offer your guests, which means you can't have mixed drinks for yourselves/WP while only giving the rest of the guests wine.  All beverages offered must also be fully hosted for the duration of the event.


    If your FI fights you on it, ask him how he would feel if friends invited him over for dinner, poured him a glass of soda, and then told him if he wanted to add vodka or have wine instead it would be $5?  The same rules apply for a reception.  The reception is a thank you to your guests for attending the ceremony.  It would be a pretty awful thank you to expect them to pay for any portion of the reception, including their own drinks.   

    Thank you! I figured as much and I will just have to make him see reason.
  • AddieCake said:

    I would like to suggest skipping the sparkling wine for the toast. We did that, and it was honestly a waste. Most people just toasted with whatever they were already drinking, and we could have saved money not having those extra bottles opened. 

    Thanks for the suggestion, we definitely want to avoid wasting anything.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    Skip the sparkling wine as Addie suggests.  Whatever you can afford to host, host it all of the reception.  Could you do beer & wine, plus one or two signature drinks all evening?  That way you could have mixed drinks, but your guests would be given free access to them as well. They would also have beer & wine options.  This is often cheaper than a full open bar. 

    If you can only afford the wine during dinner, it might be better to have a dry wedding and use that money from the wine towards something else.  A candy bar, upgrade entrees, add an additional appetizer, etc.

  • edited January 2016
    banana468 said:



    Hi, I am getting married in August. We will be providing 2 bottles of wine on each table and sparkling wine for the toast. We will be paying for coffee/tea as well as pop.

    What I'm wondering is, do we have to provide more alcohol than this? Or is this acceptable. So if the bottles run out should we buy more? This is what I would like to do, but my FI doesn't see why. He would like to do a cash bar, which I am firmly against. (He still doesn't see why it's rude, I think because a lot of his family does this)

    Also, is it rude if we do this (have only the wine) but buy mixed drinks for ourselves at the bar? My gut tells me it would be rude, so I'd like to find a solution where we can be polite to our guests. Thanks for any helpful suggestions!

    How many people on each table?   Will there be different types of wine?

    Keep in mind that one standard 750 ml bottle of wine pours about 4 nice glasses.   So two bottles of wine will pour 8 glasses.   And if it's a bottle of white / bottle of red or perhaps a bottle of rose instead, that's not a lot of options in case the interest isn't an even split.   If you have 10 people at a table, it's not enough wine. 

    Also, how long is your reception?   One glass of wine is good for approximately one hour.  The champagne toast is good for about 5 minutes and is rarely more than a couple sips (sad for those like me who like it - sad for the couple who watches the champagne sit and go flat).  It's kind of a bait and switch IMO to offer one drink only for the entire reception.   I'd rather you either budget for the alcohol that you can host for the entire event.

    This may not be what you're doing but in my experience, the couples who went with something like this had a two bottle wine pour at a country club.   At one wedding in particular, the couple had a cash bar for everything including soft drinks while they had the country club event and limos for the bridal party.   I'm all about drinking responsibly but I felt like it was super cheap to go for the expensive venue, expensive cars, etc and then spring for only one drink PP.   I would have preferred a BBQ with pulled pork in a backyard and keg beer that didn't run out over being told that anything beyond the ONE drink I wanted in a 5 hour time frame was on me.   My experience is that if you're having a 5 hour reception, the average drinker doesn't switch from alcohol to nonalcoholic drinks until cake cutting and dessert is served.







    We are having 8 ppl per table. We're not doing any of the expensive cars or anything, will be driving our own car. And yes, it's 2 bottles per table, 1 red 1 white. That's why I'm concerned and want to provide more drinks.
    Our reception is going until 12, so I think that's a long time to be expecting guests to buy their own drinks! I think my FI is mainly concerned because the bar at our venue (a hotel) is by consumption.
    The dumb thing is, I've budgeted for the drinks from the beginning and assumed we would pay. My FI only brought it up recently that he wants a cash bar so I have time to convince him.
    SP29
  • Skip the sparkling wine as Addie suggests.  Whatever you can afford to host, host it all of the reception.  Could you do beer & wine, plus one or two signature drinks all evening?  That way you could have mixed drinks, but your guests would be given free access to them as well. They would also have beer & wine options.  This is often cheaper than a full open bar. 

    If you can only afford the wine during dinner, it might be better to have a dry wedding and use that money from the wine towards something else.  A candy bar, upgrade entrees, add an additional appetizer, etc.

    This is what I would like to do, personally. Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm glad to know I had the right instinct.
    SP29OliveOilsMom
  • Hi, I am getting married in August. We will be providing 2 bottles of wine on each table and sparkling wine for the toast. We will be paying for coffee/tea as well as pop. What I'm wondering is, do we have to provide more alcohol than this? Or is this acceptable. So if the bottles run out should we buy more? This is what I would like to do, but my FI doesn't see why. He would like to do a cash bar, which I am firmly against. (He still doesn't see why it's rude, I think because a lot of his family does this) Also, is it rude if we do this (have only the wine) but buy mixed drinks for ourselves at the bar? My gut tells me it would be rude, so I'd like to find a solution where we can be polite to our guests. Thanks for any helpful suggestions!

    How many people on each table?   Will there be different types of wine?

    Keep in mind that one standard 750 ml bottle of wine pours about 4 nice glasses.   So two bottles of wine will pour 8 glasses.   And if it's a bottle of white / bottle of red or perhaps a bottle of rose instead, that's not a lot of options in case the interest isn't an even split.   If you have 10 people at a table, it's not enough wine. 

    Also, how long is your reception?   One glass of wine is good for approximately one hour.  The champagne toast is good for about 5 minutes and is rarely more than a couple sips (sad for those like me who like it - sad for the couple who watches the champagne sit and go flat).  It's kind of a bait and switch IMO to offer one drink only for the entire reception.   I'd rather you either budget for the alcohol that you can host for the entire event.

    This may not be what you're doing but in my experience, the couples who went with something like this had a two bottle wine pour at a country club.   At one wedding in particular, the couple had a cash bar for everything including soft drinks while they had the country club event and limos for the bridal party.   I'm all about drinking responsibly but I felt like it was super cheap to go for the expensive venue, expensive cars, etc and then spring for only one drink PP.   I would have preferred a BBQ with pulled pork in a backyard and keg beer that didn't run out over being told that anything beyond the ONE drink I wanted in a 5 hour time frame was on me.   My experience is that if you're having a 5 hour reception, the average drinker doesn't switch from alcohol to nonalcoholic drinks until cake cutting and dessert is served.




    We are having 8 ppl per table. We're not doing any of the expensive cars or anything, will be driving our own car. And yes, it's 2 bottles per table, 1 red 1 white. That's why I'm concerned and want to provide more drinks. Our reception is going until 12, so I think that's a long time to be expecting guests to buy their own drinks! I think my FI is mainly concerned because the bar at our venue (a hotel) is by consumption. The dumb thing is, I've budgeted for the drinks from the beginning and assumed we would pay. My FI only brought it up recently that he wants a cash bar so I have time to convince him.
    I don't think that's a great plan then.   My point is if you want a reception that goes until midnight then you need to host the whole thing.    I'm not saying that I'm going to leave a party when the drinks go to cash but I do think it's really really really cheap to want an evening reception so you can have that nightly party feel but you don't actually want to pay for it yourself.

    I think you need to talk to your FI about a budget of some type.   I'd start with adding another bottle of each kind of wine to the tables and then maybe go with beer and wine all night.   Yes, it's going to be an expensive night, but if you want a party that goes until midnight, you need to pay for it - not your guests. 
    STARMOON44adk19
  • banana468 said:



    banana468 said:



    Hi, I am getting married in August. We will be providing 2 bottles of wine on each table and sparkling wine for the toast. We will be paying for coffee/tea as well as pop.

    What I'm wondering is, do we have to provide more alcohol than this? Or is this acceptable. So if the bottles run out should we buy more? This is what I would like to do, but my FI doesn't see why. He would like to do a cash bar, which I am firmly against. (He still doesn't see why it's rude, I think because a lot of his family does this)

    Also, is it rude if we do this (have only the wine) but buy mixed drinks for ourselves at the bar? My gut tells me it would be rude, so I'd like to find a solution where we can be polite to our guests. Thanks for any helpful suggestions!

    How many people on each table?   Will there be different types of wine?

    Keep in mind that one standard 750 ml bottle of wine pours about 4 nice glasses.   So two bottles of wine will pour 8 glasses.   And if it's a bottle of white / bottle of red or perhaps a bottle of rose instead, that's not a lot of options in case the interest isn't an even split.   If you have 10 people at a table, it's not enough wine. 

    Also, how long is your reception?   One glass of wine is good for approximately one hour.  The champagne toast is good for about 5 minutes and is rarely more than a couple sips (sad for those like me who like it - sad for the couple who watches the champagne sit and go flat).  It's kind of a bait and switch IMO to offer one drink only for the entire reception.   I'd rather you either budget for the alcohol that you can host for the entire event.

    This may not be what you're doing but in my experience, the couples who went with something like this had a two bottle wine pour at a country club.   At one wedding in particular, the couple had a cash bar for everything including soft drinks while they had the country club event and limos for the bridal party.   I'm all about drinking responsibly but I felt like it was super cheap to go for the expensive venue, expensive cars, etc and then spring for only one drink PP.   I would have preferred a BBQ with pulled pork in a backyard and keg beer that didn't run out over being told that anything beyond the ONE drink I wanted in a 5 hour time frame was on me.   My experience is that if you're having a 5 hour reception, the average drinker doesn't switch from alcohol to nonalcoholic drinks until cake cutting and dessert is served.





    We are having 8 ppl per table. We're not doing any of the expensive cars or anything, will be driving our own car. And yes, it's 2 bottles per table, 1 red 1 white. That's why I'm concerned and want to provide more drinks.
    Our reception is going until 12, so I think that's a long time to be expecting guests to buy their own drinks! I think my FI is mainly concerned because the bar at our venue (a hotel) is by consumption.
    The dumb thing is, I've budgeted for the drinks from the beginning and assumed we would pay. My FI only brought it up recently that he wants a cash bar so I have time to convince him.

    I don't think that's a great plan then.   My point is if you want a reception that goes until midnight then you need to host the whole thing.    I'm not saying that I'm going to leave a party when the drinks go to cash but I do think it's really really really cheap to want an evening reception so you can have that nightly party feel but you don't actually want to pay for it yourself.

    I think you need to talk to your FI about a budget of some type.   I'd start with adding another bottle of each kind of wine to the tables and then maybe go with beer and wine all night.   Yes, it's going to be an expensive night, but if you want a party that goes until midnight, you need to pay for it - not your guests. 

    Thanks, this is how I'm going to explain it to him I think. We can definitely afford it, he's just used to cash bars. His family is from the same area of he country that holds "Jack and Jill" fundraisers. Take from that what you will.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    Ugh, yeah. If he is used to cash bars and fundraisers, no surprise he doesn't get it. I hope you can convince him what the right thing to do is! 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • I like you, @anidorikiladra. This is not how I thought this thread was going to go. Good luck with your planning!
                 
    adk19
  • AddieCake said:

    Ugh, yeah. If he is used to cash bars and fundraisers, no surprise he doesn't get it. I hope you can convince him what the right thing to do is! 

    Thanks! And if he doesn't I'll tell him too bad, I'm paying for it.
    SP29MyNameIsNotkmmssgonefootinthebayou
  • Ugh, yeah. If he is used to cash bars and fundraisers, no surprise he doesn't get it. I hope you can convince him what the right thing to do is! 
    Thanks! And if he doesn't I'll tell him too bad, I'm paying for it.

    Maybe point out...since his family and friends are used to cash bars...they'll be extra excited and blown away, when they are fully hosted at your all's reception.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29mollybarker11adk19


  • AddieCake said:

    Ugh, yeah. If he is used to cash bars and fundraisers, no surprise he doesn't get it. I hope you can convince him what the right thing to do is! 

    Thanks! And if he doesn't I'll tell him too bad, I'm paying for it.

    Maybe point out...since his family and friends are used to cash bars...they'll be extra excited and blown away, when they are fully hosted at your all's reception.

    I like this idea!
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Something else to consider ... will your venue allow you to have alcohol on the table without a bartender to serve it? There may be liability / legal issues with allowing guests to serve themselves alcohol.



    Anniversary
  • I believe they will have a bartender in any case because the soft drinks will be at the bar I think. I don't know if the laws are slightly different in Canada but I've been to a lot of events where wine was at the tables but there was no bartender. For example, my work Christmas party is always at a local hotel and has wine at the tables but no bartender.
    holyguacamole79
  • My love also wanted a cash bar for anything other than wine and non-alcoholic options. I was very careful to bring it up at time where I thought he would be most receptive and he agreed to a full hosted bar. I think cash bars have become more common (as wrong as that might be) and trying to do things right can be difficult. Good luck!

  • I believe they will have a bartender in any case because the soft drinks will be at the bar I think. I don't know if the laws are slightly different in Canada but I've been to a lot of events where wine was at the tables but there was no bartender. For example, my work Christmas party is always at a local hotel and has wine at the tables but no bartender.

    You can have wine on the table as long as there is a bartender present (I'm in ON). I've been to several weddings where this is normal during dinner and you get all your other drinks at the bar.
    IwantSomeKnotStuffSP29
  • I believe they will have a bartender in any case because the soft drinks will be at the bar I think. I don't know if the laws are slightly different in Canada but I've been to a lot of events where wine was at the tables but there was no bartender. For example, my work Christmas party is always at a local hotel and has wine at the tables but no bartender.
    You can have wine on the table as long as there is a bartender present (I'm in ON). I've been to several weddings where this is normal during dinner and you get all your other drinks at the bar.
    I was going to say, I've seen this many times too (wine on the tables). But I believe there still needs to be a licensed server(s) at the event- not that the person with the license is doing the pouring. 
  • SP29 said:



    I believe they will have a bartender in any case because the soft drinks will be at the bar I think. I don't know if the laws are slightly different in Canada but I've been to a lot of events where wine was at the tables but there was no bartender. For example, my work Christmas party is always at a local hotel and has wine at the tables but no bartender.

    You can have wine on the table as long as there is a bartender present (I'm in ON). I've been to several weddings where this is normal during dinner and you get all your other drinks at the bar.

    I was going to say, I've seen this many times too (wine on the tables). But I believe there still needs to be a licensed server(s) at the event- not that the person with the license is doing the pouring. 

    Oh ok, good to know. Our venue provides the bartender in our package anyway so we should be good!
  • ernursej said:

    My love also wanted a cash bar for anything other than wine and non-alcoholic options. I was very careful to bring it up at time where I thought he would be most receptive and he agreed to a full hosted bar. I think cash bars have become more common (as wrong as that might be) and trying to do things right can be difficult. Good luck!

    Good advice, I haven't discussed it with him yet but I'll try to time it well.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards