Budget Weddings Forum

Alcohol and minors

Hi all,

I'm looking into booking a reception venue and am opting for an open bar. I do however have some minors (under 21) that will be attending and included in the guest count. I have heard different things from different venues about charging for the minors.  Water, soda, coffee and tea are already included with the meals with the minors would obviously be drinking. Some of the venues are saying that they charge the minors in the count for the bar package, while one of the venues said it was illegal to do that since you're essentially buy alcohol for a minor.  I would love to not have to pay for them as I see it as a waste of my money but am not sure how pushy to be with these venues that do include them.  Also, were in Los Angeles County for laws.  I've tried googling and not had much luck.  Thanks in advance :)


Britt

Re: Alcohol and minors

  • Hi all,

    I'm looking into booking a reception venue and am opting for an open bar. I do however have some minors (under 21) that will be attending and included in the guest count. I have heard different things from different venues about charging for the minors.  Water, soda, coffee and tea are already included with the meals with the minors would obviously be drinking. Some of the venues are saying that they charge the minors in the count for the bar package, while one of the venues said it was illegal to do that since you're essentially buy alcohol for a minor.  I would love to not have to pay for them as I see it as a waste of my money but am not sure how pushy to be with these venues that do include them.  Also, were in Los Angeles County for laws.  I've tried googling and not had much luck.  Thanks in advance :)


    Britt

    I don't know about the laws in California regarding this, but just tell the venue you don't agree to pay for alcohol for children and won't pay for a minor to have open bar. If they want your business, they will revise the contract to comply. You're the customer. Don't be afraid to ask. And make sire its in writing.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    It might depend on the venue and how they word their package.   

    I worked on a boat in St Thomas.  We had 3 levels of pricing.  3 and under free.  4-12 half off.  13 and up full price.  The price included a full open bar.     So even though a 14 year old wasn't served alcohol, they paid the same price as someone over 18 (drinking age is 18 there).  

    Some venues have a set price that includes an open bar and dinner.  They bank on those being underage or do not drink at all will  balance out the heavy drinkers.   That is how the boat worked.   We didn't say dinner was this price and bar another price.  The price was all-inclusive.

        Others have separate dinner and bar packages.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    scribe95 said:
    Our kid price was reduced but included soda so I thought that was fair. 
    This was how ours was done as well.

  • My rehearsal dinner cruise, was set up like PP noted, with a set price per person. It didn't matter the age, and it had an open bar.

    The contract for my wedding venue also defaulted to the same price for everyone. I simply told them I wasn't paying for children or our Muslim relatives. I was prepared for it to go either way. Because it only accounted for 8 of the 60 people, they did end up only charging us $8pp for their soda instead of the $40pp for the bar.

    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Our venue didn't charge us the bar price for any kids meals that we had. If someone under 21 was getting an adult meal then they were charged in the bar also. The venue justified it by saying that they would still be drinking soda and juice from the bar. I only had 2 people under 21 so it didn't really matter. 
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Our venue didn't charge us the bar price for any kids meals that we had. If someone under 21 was getting an adult meal then they were charged in the bar also. The venue justified it by saying that they would still be drinking soda and juice from the bar. I only had 2 people under 21 so it didn't really matter. 
    I've seen kids drink more in sodas than an adult in alcohol.   In the islands at least juices and soda cost as much as booze.  

    True story - when I moved to St John a bottle of Cruzan Rum was $2.50.  A 6-pack of coke was $5.   A can of pineapple was $6. Gallon of milk was $7. Small bag of ice was $4.     Yep, it was cheaper to drink alcohol.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    esstee33Liatris2010
  • arrrghmateyarrrghmatey member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2014
    I also live in California (Alameda County, though). We looked at a handful of venues and every one had reduced prices for minors. Ages 11-20 were charged $20 less than the adult price, and children under the age of 11 were charged a flat fee of about 50% the adult price.

    If the venue you like doesn't offer this, then try to negotiate the price for those minors. If they refuse, then pick a different venue if you're not able/wanting to afford the full cost of the minors.
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  • I think it's fine to negotiate a reduced bar price for those under-21 but like PPs I wouldn't expect the fee to be waived completely as its likely your under 21 guests will use the bartender's services for some beverages of the offered beverages or non-alcoholic specialty drinks (Shirley Temple, anyone?).  A venue that really wants your business will determine a price that reasonably accounts for what those under 21 will drink.
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  • I would push the issue with venues that want to charge minors as part of the bar package- since obviously they won't be drinking. If they were to drink, the venue would be breaking the law.
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