Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner Drinks

I am helping my mom plan the rehearsal dinner for my brothers wedding. We are hosting it at a restaurant in a private room.  There are 25 people invited, I know of at least 5 people that will not/do not drink (underage, pregnant, do not drink). We are not sure what to do as far as drinks go. Should we offer an abbreviated beer/wine selection? Open the full bar menu up (this restaurant has fancy cocktail around $15 a piece). Something different? My dad is a little concerned about the bill getting out of hand if the full bar menu is available.
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Re: Rehearsal Dinner Drinks

  • I think offering only beer & wine is totally fine! You could also see what the restaurant usually does for larger groups; some restaurants have a "set" shortened list, or they'll suggest choosing 3-4 beers and wines to offer. I would make sure you cover unlimited water & soft drinks though. 

    If the bar is in an area that the guests can access, you can't stop them from ordering a cocktail if they choose, but I'd make it obvious that x beers & y wines are included. You could also print out the shortened menu and provide that for the guests when they get their food menus. 
    ernursejshort+sassycharlotte989875
  • Thanks! I just looked at their bar menu online and it is so extensive it's a little overwhelming. lol.  We are definitely offering unlimited water, pop, tea.  The beer and wine menu itself is 2 pages long. Do you think it would be best just to  pick say 4 wines and 4 beers?

    The restaurant is already printing an abbreviated menu for food so I'm sure adding the drink selections would not be an issue.
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    charlotte989875eileenrob
  • I think 4 of each would be fine! Two reds, two whites, and then a mix of beers ranging from lager to IPA-ish. You could also work with someone at the restaurant and ask what their best sellers are if you're overwhelmed :) 
    ernursejshort+sassycharlotte989875eileenrob
  • yes, such a good idea you guys are having a conversation over. i totally agree!
  • I think 4 of each would be fine! Two reds, two whites, and then a mix of beers ranging from lager to IPA-ish. You could also work with someone at the restaurant and ask what their best sellers are if you're overwhelmed :) 
    I agree with this advice also.  Beer and wine only is just fine for a rehearsal dinner and those are a nice amount of choices. 
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    eileenrob
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    We did beer and wine only for our rehearsal dinner. Bottles of wine on the table, beer selection printed on the menu. Soda, tea, and coffee were included too. The restaurant had a bar if anyone really wanted to buy a cocktail, but I don't think anyone did.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    We did beer and wine only for our rehearsal dinner. Bottles of wine on the table, beer selection printed on the menu. Soda, tea, and coffee were included too. The restaurant had a bar if anyone really wanted to buy a cocktail, but I don't think anyone did.
    This would make me a little nuts.  Just as the host has a responsibility to provide appropriate hospitality, the guest has an equal responsibility to be gracious in accepting that hospitality!
    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875InLoveInQueenseileenrob
  • I think 4 of each would be fine! Two reds, two whites, and then a mix of beers ranging from lager to IPA-ish. You could also work with someone at the restaurant and ask what their best sellers are if you're overwhelmed :) 
    I agree with this advice also.  Beer and wine only is just fine for a rehearsal dinner and those are a nice amount of choices. 
    Also agree with this. I’ve been to a lot of RDs where this is usually the case; a good amount of choices but not top shelf open. I think it sounds great!
    eileenrob
  • MobKaz said:
    We did beer and wine only for our rehearsal dinner. Bottles of wine on the table, beer selection printed on the menu. Soda, tea, and coffee were included too. The restaurant had a bar if anyone really wanted to buy a cocktail, but I don't think anyone did.
    This would make me a little nuts.  Just as the host has a responsibility to provide appropriate hospitality, the guest has an equal responsibility to be gracious in accepting that hospitality!
    It could be oddly done though.   Unless it's specifically stated that the hosts aren't covering the drinks I would wonder if going to the bar wound up being at my own cost.   Some receptions do the same thing with wine on the table but people go to the bar for mixed drinks.   If it's clear that a guest isn't fine with what's hosted that's one thing but I would just try to make that aspect clear.

    I think beer and wine is fine and I'd also talk to the restaurant about what they do.   Sometimes the specialty cocktails are expensive but a straight pour isn't.   If I ordered a Four Roses on the rocks I'd expect that to be a little less than a specialty mojito. 
  • Yeah I’d go with hosted beer and wine which is common for RDs, showers, etc. and just mention it on your menu.  As an extra precaution you could put a sign at the bar indicating what is hosted, in case any guests who do go to the bar to order a mixed drink (you can’t stop them) do get a final reminder. 
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    banana468 said:
    MobKaz said:
    We did beer and wine only for our rehearsal dinner. Bottles of wine on the table, beer selection printed on the menu. Soda, tea, and coffee were included too. The restaurant had a bar if anyone really wanted to buy a cocktail, but I don't think anyone did.
    This would make me a little nuts.  Just as the host has a responsibility to provide appropriate hospitality, the guest has an equal responsibility to be gracious in accepting that hospitality!
    It could be oddly done though.   Unless it's specifically stated that the hosts aren't covering the drinks I would wonder if going to the bar wound up being at my own cost.   Some receptions do the same thing with wine on the table but people go to the bar for mixed drinks.   If it's clear that a guest isn't fine with what's hosted that's one thing but I would just try to make that aspect clear.

    I think beer and wine is fine and I'd also talk to the restaurant about what they do.   Sometimes the specialty cocktails are expensive but a straight pour isn't.   If I ordered a Four Roses on the rocks I'd expect that to be a little less than a specialty mojito. 
    We did specifically state on the menus what beverages were covered. The restaurant wouldn't close the bar since the rest of the restaurant was open (we were in a private room). Considering how many bottles of wine we killed, I'm pretty sure that's what most people drank that night.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • Chiming in late here, but I think your plan to offer a few drinks will work out fine! Give your guests a printed menu and let them choose from that. You may want to offer one or two liquor drinks from the cocktail menu, just in case there are people who want alcohol but don't drink beer (gluten) or wine (sulfites). You do NOT have to do this, but if you can, it would be gracious.

    Most people understand when they are guests at a restaurant that they should only order from the hosts' menu. We went to a party last year that was hosted by hardcore Presbyterian non-drinkers. We were at a big table in a beautiful restaurant, where there were lots of nice cocktails being served. They looked great, but our menu did not include any alcohol. We chose from the hosts' selection, and had an awesome time.
    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875
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