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Etiquette

Rehearsal Dinner Bar question

Quick question:

Our rehearsal dinner venue will have an attended bar in the party room we're using, however the package we're buying does not include the cost of alcohol (it will include soft drinks, lemonade, etc).

Basically, our intention is that it will be alcohol free (it is a Thursday, so people shouldn't expect to get wasted) however the fact that there's a bar in the room might make people think to get drinks.

Is this rude? Should we foot the cost of a few drinks as well? I don't think the restaurant offers a bar package, so how would this work. drink tickets?

Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question

  • itzMSitzMS
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers Combo Breaker
    member
    edited October 2012
    I had the exact same situation for our rehearsal dinner. We hosted the non-alcoholic beverages.

    Since there was a full-service bar in the place, (per venue requirements, couldn't really change that) RD guests still purchased an alcoholic drink, if that's what they wanted. 

    An intentional cash bar is always rude, but in this situation, you can't change the restaurant's policy.

    Whatever you do, don't do drink tickets.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Don't do drink tickets.  Your guests should not have host-imposed limitations on them on how many drinks they can get from the bar.

    This sounds like a restaurant-imposed cash bar, which you can't do anything about unless you are willing to pay for the alcohol.  You might talk to the restaurant staff and find out if there's a package you can afford and are willing to pay for that does include some alcohol.  But you don't have to do a full open bar if you don't want to.
  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    Wait a minute.  You're the 'all receptions without alcohol are lame and awful" person.  Why would you want your reception dinner to be so boring and lame?  If I were you, I would provide a full open bar, because apparently you and your crowd cannot possibly enjoy yourselves without liquor. 
    Posted by StageManager14
    But it's a THURSDAY...people shouldn't get wasted. Lol.

    OP: I would make it clear on the menus what is paid for. At my rehersal, ILs paid for non-alcholic drinks which was stated on the menus, but we were right next to the bar so if the WP wanted drinks they could just walk over and pay for them. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
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  • We didn't have a drink package. My in-laws just paid for what people consummed at the end of the night. It was a brew pub, so most people drank beer.

    Otherwise, print up a menu that says on the bottom, "Soda, lemonade, tea and coffee are provided, compliments of the host." Then spread by word of mouth than drinks aren't hosted before people show up and start ordering from the bar while mingling.
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  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : But it's a THURSDAY...people shouldn't get wasted. Lol. OP: I would make it clear on the menus what is paid for. At my rehersal, ILs paid for non-alcholic drinks which was stated on the menus, but we were right next to the bar so if the WP wanted drinks they could just walk over and pay for them. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
    Posted by crash2729

    Haha... there IS a big difference between a thursday dinner and a saturday celebration =). I would be more concerned if my rehearsal dinner were on a friday. 

    Also, I was not "the" person who said alcohol free receptions were lame and awful, I just agreed with another poster that they're lame form the guests' standpoint. Like I said, it doesn't RUIN a wedding, but it does make it less fun than others. I'm sorry my opinion doesn't match yours, stage.

    Thanks guys! I didn't like the drink ticket idea either, I just wasn't sure what to do without a bar package and a staffed bar in the room. Its a new restaurant so they aren't well versed in throwing events.  Maybe I'll see if the restaurant could just not staff that one...

    edited to add: I really like the printed up menu idea. We'll go with that.
  • In Response to Re:Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    I wouldnt allow a bar in the party room, if I were not paying for everyone's drinks.nbsp; It may be too late now, but I would sooner have the RD smaller and at my mom's house, if we had too.nbsp; I think it is rude to have the bar there and not pay.nbsp;nbsp; If venue will not allow you to put a sheet over it, or a screen around it, I wouldnt have picked that venue.nbsp; Sorry. Posted by NYUgirl100
    You know what else is rude? Judging the relationships of your friends/family by not inviting their significant others because they don't meet your arbitrary definition of "serious enough". And also rude? Accepting Daddy Pocketbooks money for your PPD but refusing to include his wife, whose money it also is, in any way, shape, or form because you're still bitter your dad cheated on your mom... but not bitter enough to refuse his money of course.
  • OP, I would do as a PP suggested and have menus printed showing what is hosted. If people want to order drinks, they can go to the bar and do so because you cannot control whether the venue has a bar open in their building. FWIW, we did have an open bar at our Thursday night rehearsal dinner and everyone was able to exhibit selfcontrol and imbibe minimally. Your OP rubbed me the wrong way a little with your comment about not wanting people to get wasted or whatever with it being a Thursday night.
  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Oh, I disagree.  In case you don't remember, here was your exact post.  Please note the bolded. I'm sorry, but is that your idea of NOT criticizing dry weddings?  Were you NOT trying to imply that just because the bride doesn't hear complaints does not mean people don't mind a dry reception? 
    Posted by StageManager14
    LOL, stage, I've seen you around these boards desperate to pick a fight, but I'm not really interested.

    "the" is in quotations because I was not THE only person who had that view point. I didn't say I didn't criticize, I said I wasn't the ONLY one who did. There's no reason for you to single me out for agreeing with a PP in another thread. Come on now, the post you copied even refers to a PP.


    edit: Look, I'm sorry you had a dry wedding or whatever. You don't need my approval of your wedding, I didn't attend it. By talking about a lame dry wedding I went to hosted by someone else, to someone else, I was not attempting to engage you in an argument about whatever it is you did for you reception. Arguing with me on the knot is not going to make me feel any differently about your wedding, because I have no thoughts on the matter. It's not going to make your guests feel differently. Either they enjoyed it or they didn't, arguing with me about... I'm not sure what your point is, has nothing to do with it. You don't need to prove a point to me.
  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    I wouldnt allow a bar in the party room, if I were not paying for everyone's drinks.  It may be too late now, but I would sooner have the RD smaller and at my mom's house, if we had too.  I think it is rude to have the bar there and not pay.   If venue will not allow you to put a sheet over it, or a screen around it, I wouldnt have picked that venue.  Sorry.
    Posted by NYUgirl100

    I can't really cut anyone out, the attendees are just people in the wedding and their SOs. I didn't add OOT guests or even grandparents or whatever.

    Also... I went to a RD at the brides house a weeks ago and I would not recommend anyone doing that. Everyone was at the rehearsal so no one was home to prepared the food/room ahead of time (and you COULD ask your friends/relatives to do it, but you SHOULDN'T). It made for a very hungry wait while food was grilled.

    It wasn't a great way to host a party.
  • Agree with PP on stating what drinks are included on the menu. That way guests at least know that they have to pay before they try to order a drink.

    This thread also reminded me of a wedding I went to this summer that had a cash bar. I have been to a lot of dry weddings, and a couple with various levels of hosted drinks, but never a cash bar before. Not only that, but no non-alcoholic drinks were hosted either. My fiance had attempted to grab some diet cokes for us, and came back with tiny plastic cups and less $5.  I was completely stunned. If we knew we were paying I probably would have ordered something stronger...

    OP, As long as you provide a little variety in drinks and make an effort to make your guests aware that the bar isn't hosted, I think you'll be fine. 
  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Do you have a reading comprehension deficit?  I never said you were the only one in that conversation.  And I'm not "singling you out" or trying to "pick a fight".  YOU asked a question about if it was okay about hosting alcohol at a wedding related event, and I simply pointed out that I find your views to be pretty damned hypocritical in light of your views about alcohol at weddings.   Of course, the fact that for you having a drink with dinner seems equal to getting wasted does explain a lot. I don't tend to get sh*tfaced at weddings, so it's really not a huge difference to me.  Likewise, I am more than responsible enough to drink with dinner on a Thursday night and *gasp* not get wasted.  
    Posted by StageManager14
    "Wedding related event" versus "reception."

    That is the difference. It is not hypocritical.

    Also, I didn't equate a drink with getting wasted. I said, people would not neccesarily espect drinks because it is not an event where you expect to drink large amounts (as in, get wasted). You are the one with comprehension skills if you are truly confused on that.

    Also, what you meant to say and what you said are different. you said THE person, not "one of the people." That was what I was clarifying. I'm not interested in splitting hairs over this. What's your end game here if it isn't to pick a fight or single me out?


    Actually, don't answer that last question. I don't care. I'm done with you about this.

  • Why does expecting to drink with dinner equal drinking a lot?

    Serving alcohol at the RD is hardly saying that you're hoping the event turn into a drunk fest.
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  • I think it would be weird to have a staffed bar in the party room (I'm understanding this to be a bar set up in your private room) that is not hosted.  I would pick up the tab, get rid of the bar in the private room, or find a new venue.  Good luck!

  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    Why does expecting to drink with dinner equal drinking a lot? Serving alcohol at the RD is hardly saying that you're hoping the event turn into a drunk fest.
    Posted by banana468
    very true although I have never been to a dry Rehearsal Dinner
  • Me either OOT.   Every RD I've been to has offered alcohol but I'd hardly say that anyone got silly.
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  • People can handle themselves dear. I know a good amount of people who like to have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. Don't do drink tickets or cash bar. Either serve alcohol (with or without an overall limit) or don't serve it at all. If there's just a bar in the room that you're in then ask the venue not to have it staffed during your dinner if you don't want to serve it. People will get the hint. FYI if someone wants to get trashed the night before the wedding they're probably going to do it regardless of you serving alcohol or not.
  • FWIW I've never been to a RD that hosted alcohol. More often than not it was a money issue. Ours was alcohol-free (though we had no bar in the room) because my ILs wanted to pay for the RD and didn't want to pay for alccohol. I had absolutely no issues with that.

    I will say I would find it odd to have a staffed bar in a private room that I'm assuming only your party would be using but not pay for it. As a guest, I would be expecting that bar to be hosted. Now if it was just that there is A bar in the venue but not in your party room, I wouldn't find it odd to not host alcohol. However, in your situation, I would feel weird about having a bartender standing there specifically for my private room but not hosting anything from said bar.


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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator 10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its
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    I'm with OOT and Banana.  

    I've never attended a dry RD.    I come from a HUGE drinking family (damn stereotypical Irish Catholic family) yet I've never attended an RD where people got drunk.   Most had a drink or 2 at dinner and that was it. RDs in my family don't last more than a few house anyway.  ::shrugs::

    BTW - Drinking =/= getting drunk.  Not sure what it being a Thursday has anything to do with it?  Whether I go out for a nice meal on a Monday, Thursday or Saturday, I tend to have a glass of wine.  Does not mean I'm looking to get wasted.   The logic doesn't make sense to me.

    However, you do not have to alcohol.   I just understand the lame excuses on why you don't want to offer your guests a glass of wine at dinner.  It's hardly something uncommon when people got out to a nice dinner, regardless of the day of week.

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  • I'm confused by what kind of dinner you are planning.  Is it a seated meal? Served by waiters?  If it is, I would find it very off not to be offered a choice of red or white wine with my meal, and I would expect at least a few people to ask for a beer or cocktail instead.  Even on a Thursday.

    Or is it a cocktail hour type "dinner" with people standing around and mingling? In which case it would seem rude to me to have a cash bar.

    I don't think it being a Thursday really has anything to do with it at all.  I'd expect people to drink less at a rehersal dinner than a reception, but everyone I know drinks with dinner.
  • TheVirginiansTheVirginians
    500 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited October 2012
    If there is a bar in your private party room and you are not hosting alcohol, then this clearly becomes a cash bar party. I would think then that the host is pretty cheap. It would never occur to me that they were foolish enough to select a venue that did not fit their hosting plan. Yeah, either cheap or foolish or rude or ......
  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    People can handle themselves dear. I know a good amount of people who like to have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner. Don't do drink tickets or cash bar. Either serve alcohol (with or without an overall limit) or don't serve it at all. If there's just a bar in the room that you're in then ask the venue not to have it staffed during your dinner if you don't want to serve it. People will get the hint. FYI if someone wants to get trashed the night before the wedding they're probably going to do it regardless of you serving alcohol or not.
    Posted by lauraandpeterforever

    ...I'm not actually worried about people getting wasted.All the dry versus wet stuff and people needing to be drunk to have fun stuff is Stage bringing in her drama from another thread.

    I have no issue with people drinking, the IL's are on a restricted budget and didn't want to pay for alcohol. I don't care if people actually do get wasted, that wasn't what I said at all. I was saying that having a dry rehearsal dinner shoudn't be a big deal because it isn't a party where one would expect the liqour to flow. My question isn't wether or not it's weird to not have alcohol, my question is about what to do about the staffed bar since my In laws don't want to pay for it.
  • So it is your IL's party... ....I thought it was your party based on your posts about package we're buying and intention and invitations for OOT, etc. Unfortunately you can either have the bartender run a tab for you to cover at evenings end, or you can have your hosting IL's look bad for having a cash bar. If the venue cannot accommodate you by removing the bar, I suggest you cover the expense. It shouldn't be too bad for a small group on a weeknight. Hightail it out of there as soon as you can, go to a different bar, and let everyone reciprocate. Just another unexpected expense right before the wedding. Darn.
  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : ...I'm not actually worried about people getting wasted.All the dry versus wet stuff and people needing to be drunk to have fun stuff is Stage bringing in her drama from another thread. I have no issue with people drinking, the IL's are on a restricted budget and didn't want to pay for alcohol. I don't care if people actually do get wasted, that wasn't what I said at all. I was saying that having a dry rehearsal dinner shoudn't be a big deal because it isn't a party where one would expect the liqour to flow. My question isn't wether or not it's weird to not have alcohol, my question is about what to do about the staffed bar since my In laws don't want to pay for it.
    Posted by thurmanpowell
    Why won't people expect hosted liquor?   That's what I'm not understanding.   It's a pre-wedding celebration that often involves toasting and generally wine with a meal.   Is it because it's the RD or because it's a Thursday that you think people won't drink?   Neither reason makes sense.
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  • arendivaarendiva
    100 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
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    edited October 2012
    I think there's a big difference between a dry wedding receptiona and a dry rehearsal dinner.

    A reception goes on for hours and there's mingling and dancing and it's really nice to have a drink while you are doing those things.

    A rehearsal dinner is just a meal after rehearsal.

    I would be very disappointed to go to a wedding that didn't even have a cash bar option (though I loath cash bars).

    I wouldn't blink and eye at a dry rehearsal dinner. So OP I wouldn't worry about it. I think most people understand that rehearsl dinner is just a dinner and if they want a drink the bar is in the corner. I doubt anyone will be offended.

    ETA: If you can afford to pick up the tab at the end of the night it really would look better. Because PP's are right. If there is a cash bar people aren't going to assume it's their because of venue requirements. They are going to assume it was intentional and that your IL's are cheap.
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  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    So it is your IL's party... ....I thought it was your party based on your posts about package we're buying and intention and invitations for OOT, etc. Unfortunately you can either have the bartender run a tab for you to cover at evenings end, or you can have your hosting IL's look bad for having a cash bar. If the venue cannot accommodate you by removing the bar, I suggest you cover the expense. It shouldn't be too bad for a small group on a weeknight. Hightail it out of there as soon as you can, go to a different bar, and let everyone reciprocate. Just another unexpected expense right before the wedding. Darn.
    Posted by va4ryans

    Sorry if that was unclear. My IL's are paying for it but they expect to do nothing but just show up and have everything arranged which is why we have to be involved.
  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Why won't people expect hosted liquor?   That's what I'm not understanding.   It's a pre-wedding celebration that often involves toasting and generally wine with a meal.   Is it because it's the RD or because it's a Thursday that you think people won't drink?   Neither reason makes sense.
    Posted by banana468
    Because it's a rehearsal dinner. That's not really a pre-wedding celebration as much as it's a utilitarian event. This has so little to do with my question. I'm a little confused about your myopia.
  • In Response to Re:Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Why won't people expect hosted liquor?nbsp;nbsp; That's what I'm not understanding.nbsp;nbsp; It's a prewedding celebration that often involves toasting and generally wine with a meal.nbsp;nbsp; Is it because it's the RD or because it's a Thursday that you think people won't drink?nbsp;nbsp; Neither reason makes sense.Posted by banana468Because it's a rehearsal dinner. That's not really a prewedding celebration as much as it's a utilitarian event. This has so little to do with my question. I'm a little confused about your myopia. Posted by thurmanpowell
    Sorry, but the rehersal dinner is in no way 'utilitarian'. It's a thank you event to the bridal party. The day that 'thank yous' become justdry utilitarian functions is the day that all meaning goes out of the gesture. That's why everyone is recoiling from the idea of not seeing to their happiness and comfort. To then place the blame on the guests, by speculating that they'll behave in an unvicilized manner, and that is why you can't fully thank them, is... It's just depressing.
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  • In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Because it's a rehearsal dinner. That's not really a pre-wedding celebration as much as it's a utilitarian event. This has so little to do with my question. I'm a little confused about your myopia.
    Posted by thurmanpowell
    Have you ever BEEN to a RD?

    I feel like I'm in the Princess Bride.   You keep on using that word.   I do not think it means what you think it means.
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  • edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question:
    In Response to Re: Rehearsal Dinner Bar question : Have you ever BEEN to a RD? I feel like I'm in the Princess Bride.   You keep on using that word.   I do not think it means what you think it means.
    Posted by banana468
    Ok I just laughed inappropriately loudly at the office.  Thanks a lot :P
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