Pre-wedding Parties

Rehearsal Dinner questions

I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

Thanks for your help. 
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Re: Rehearsal Dinner questions

  • You don't have a cash bar full stop. If budget is an issue then host non alcoholic only or just beer/wine, or cut the guestlist till you can properly host everyone in attendance. You need to host your guests properly, until you do that please don't worry about centre pieces. They are not your most pressing issue. 

    It is not a money issue. I should have stated in my original post, that the reason we are doing that is to "hopefully" prevent our guests from drinking too much. The real party will be the following evening. I don't want to cut the alcohol out all together bc I would like a drink with dinner, as do most of our guest. 
  • Mmmhmmm
                 
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]Heffalump
  • Do you normally tell your friends how much they are allowed to drink and monitor their behaviour? Do you have friends over for dinner and say "Susan, that's your second glass of wine. Dont you have a board meeting tomorrow at 9 am?"

    Last time I checked, adults were capable of getting drunk even with cash bars. All you are preventing is your friends and family thinking of you as a good host.  
    Ok, Thanks for your input! 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  


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    [Deleted User]
  • edited March 2016
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    So are you going to actually host the event properly?  Or are you going to continue on with your rude idea of only partially hosting?  And what are they doing in the morning that is going to be so taxing?  All they are required to do is show up, on time, sober, and in the correct attire.  Stop trying to validate your own rude plans.  

    I think you need to explain your theory about drinking and restaurants to the patrons of the expensive restaurant I went to last night who were drinking like fish. On a Monday.  At 6 pm.  


    image
    [Deleted User]
  • levioosa said:
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    So are you going to actually host the event properly?  Or are you going to continue on with your rude idea of only partially hosting?  And what are they doing in the morning that is going to be so taxing?  All they are required to do is show up, on time, sober, and in the correct attire.  Stop trying to validate your own rude plans.  

    I think you need to explain your theory about drinking and restaurants to the patrons of the expensive restaurant I went to last night who were drinking like fish. On a Monday.  At 6 pm.  
    Thanks for the input!
  • levioosa said:
    I'll take that as, "Don't care about being rude! But thanks!!!!"
    No. But thanks for that judgement! It actually means "I'll consider providing an open bar, but make sure I provide all of my bridal party with a wedding day time frame!" Have a wonderful evening :wink: 
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    There is nothing you can do to force a GUEST to limit what they eat or drink, regardless of what occurs the following day. 

    My SIL can indulge in ONE drink and may find himself sick the entire next day.  I may be able to drink like a fish with no issues, but if I eat too much rich food, I may lose a day or two in the process. There is also NOTHING from preventing these adults from continuing their night once they leave your rehearsal dinner.

    Your concern is with hosting the rehearsal dinner properly from soup to nuts.  Your concern anywhere else is not your concern.  If a dry rehearsal is not an option, then you need to host all beverages without limitation. 
    OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMom[Deleted User]
  • banana468 said:
    The idea that having your WP pay for their alcohol is somehow a way to get them to drink less is foolish.   It only works if you count on your WP to be cheap.   And I'd hate to think of my nearest and dearest as cheap.   

    What CAN work: An end time for the RD and knowledge of the time line for the day ahead.   

    I have been to several RDs.     Not a one was dry.    And the next day the wedding party figured out what they needed to do even if it involved some Gatorade and Advil.

    I promise you that your WP will be far happier and appreciative on your wedding day if they didn't feel micromanaged the night before it.   
    Thank you! I like the end time idea! 
  • I'd say that you have the room until X.    

    In my experience, some people get lit the night before and some don't.   But if you come across as micromanaging, people may just go to a bar to get away and chill.  
    OurWildKingdom[Deleted User]kimmiinthemitten
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Nothing is going to make me want a drink more than a micromanage-y, stressed out bride judging and controlling me. If someone was continually reminding me of the early start and judging me having a glass of wine, I'm going to want to high tail it out if that RD and commiserate at a local pub with the rest of the WP how this wedding is making our friend insane. 

    I'm an adult, I agree to a commitment to be there at 7 am, I'll be there. But controlling and judging others is going to have the exact opposite reaction of what you're looking for. It is one thing at 10 saying: "Well, the restaurant is closing the room so I'm heading home. Thanks for coming- See you at X hotel at 7am tomorrow. Do you need a ride?" It is quite another to say "ok, it's 10 and you have an early day so it's time for everyone to go home and go to bed. I don't want you puffy and hungover in my photos".
    QFT
    [Deleted User]charlotte989875LondonLisa
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP, you should absolutely host a full open bar with no limit on drinks. But since you feel the need to treat your guests like a bunch of drunks with no self control, I suggest you invest in a breathalyzer. That way you can check out your guests after each drink. If they're approaching a level of BAC you don't feel is proper, you can cut them off. Problem solved! 


    lnixon8Heffalumparrippa
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2016

    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    What I am gathering is that OP thinks very little of her friends and family and just assumes that they do not know how to behave at a restaurant.  Maybe you should out right tell these people that you do not trust them to act appropriately.  And that you want to control how much they drink so that they aren't hungover the next morning so that they can be fully present for you and your FI because if they had a headache it would just ruin everything!

    ETA:  Also makes me wonder how she is handling the bar situation at the wedding.

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Nothing is going to make me want a drink more than a micromanage-y, stressed out bride judging and controlling me. If someone was continually reminding me of the early start and judging me having a glass of wine, I'm going to want to high tail it out if that RD and commiserate at a local pub with the rest of the WP how this wedding is making our friend insane. 

    I'm an adult, I agree to a commitment to be there at 7 am, I'll be there. But controlling and judging others is going to have the exact opposite reaction of what you're looking for. It is one thing at 10 saying: "Well, the restaurant is closing the room so I'm heading home. Thanks for coming- See you at X hotel at 7am tomorrow. Do you need a ride?" It is quite another to say "ok, it's 10 and you have an early day so it's time for everyone to go home and go to bed. I don't want you puffy and hungover in my photos".
    LOL!  Last wedding I was in, I was trying to encourage the bride to head up to our room for the night around 11:30, so she could get a full night of sleep and avoid the puffy eyes and possible hangover.  Well, she didn't want to, so I went upstairs and went to sleep.  Guess who woke up with the puffy eyes the next morning????  Not me!  Bride did, but some cold compresses got them back to normal.  And she chastised me (in a fun way) about not dragging her out of the hotel bar when I left for the evening!
  • kylexokylexo Finger Lakes, NY member
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    If this is true, trust that your guests know how to behave in such an environment.
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I'm having my rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room. The restaurant is supplying everything as far as linens, etc. obviously, but am I suppose to decorate and provide center pieces and what not? I really just want to show up and not worry about that.

    Also, we have a fixed menu that our guests can chose their meal from, which includes unlimited non alcoholic drinks. We also added each guests to be allowed 2 alcoholic beverages of their choice on us and then they are on their own after that. What's the best way of going about that? Drink tickets? Word of mouth? 

    Thanks for your help. 
    I don't remember money keeping people from getting drunk at the last bar I went to.  

    It is rude to have a cash bar.  You either need to host all drinks, alcohol included, or have a dry rehearsal dinner with just soft drink and tea options.  You wouldn't dictate how others drink in any other situation, and it is equally rude to do so at your rehearsal dinner.  
    Thanks for the input. A dry rehearsal dinner is not an option. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine or two or a cocktail with their dinner. I understand that money is not going to keep people from drinking, IF they were planning on having a wild night out. This is not a bar, this is a nice restaurant. This is not a wild kind of night either. I need these guests to be there for my fiancé and I the very following morning. I appreciate the input and I understand where you're coming from. 
    This isn't true.  The fact that everyone you're inviting expects alcohol to be served does not require you to provide it.

    The plain rule of etiquette that applies here is: Hosts do not make guests pay for their own hospitality.  Cash bars are rude.  If you want to limit alcohol, then you simply don't make it available.  But you do not, under any circumstances, provide anything that requires guests to take out their wallets.
    HeffalumpOliveOilsMom
  • OP, here's the thing... I understand your concern about guests drinking too much/being hungover the next day, but they are adults. You don't get to decide how much they drink, nor will you deter them by limiting how many drinks you pay for. If you are in a venue that serves alcohol, anyone who wants a third drink won't not get one because it's not free - but they will likely judge you for not hosting properly.

    If it makes you feel better, no one at my RD got shitfaced, despite the fact that H and I properly hosted (we just instructed the servers/bartender to put all drinks on a tab we opened with our credit card and told guests to order whatever they wanted to drink). At the end of the night, the total tab for the entire three hours for 35 people was under $200. And not a single person was falling down drunk. And no one was visibly hungover the next day - though I wouldn't give a shit if they were, that's their problem.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    OurWildKingdom
  • scribe95 said:
    Just a question since it's a restaurant - if she hosts beer and wine only the bar is still there and guests can walk right up to it and pay for whatever they want. So in this case I"m not sure how she can avoid that possibility either way.
    I was thinking the same thing. We are also doing our rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room and are serving wine, but I don't see how anyone could avoid a guest going to the restaurant bar and buying a mixed drink if they felt inclined.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    scribe95 said:
    Just a question since it's a restaurant - if she hosts beer and wine only the bar is still there and guests can walk right up to it and pay for whatever they want. So in this case I"m not sure how she can avoid that possibility either way.
    I was thinking the same thing. We are also doing our rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room and are serving wine, but I don't see how anyone could avoid a guest going to the restaurant bar and buying a mixed drink if they felt inclined.
    She either needs to host the alcohol or find a different venue with the bar limited to what she wants to host.
  • scribe95 said:
    Just a question since it's a restaurant - if she hosts beer and wine only the bar is still there and guests can walk right up to it and pay for whatever they want. So in this case I"m not sure how she can avoid that possibility either way.
    I was thinking the same thing. We are also doing our rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in a private room and are serving wine, but I don't see how anyone could avoid a guest going to the restaurant bar and buying a mixed drink if they felt inclined.
    You can put a sign in a frame "Please enjoy X Beer and X Wine as well as soft drinks, courtesy of the Bride and Groom".  Or put something similar on any printed menus you might have.  That way you're trying your darndest to host everything, but won't be stopping Uncle Larry from ordering and paying for a bourbon if he so chooses.  I mean, you tried.
    InLoveInQueenskylexo
  • I mean, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in which on the WEDDING DAY, the GROOM HIMSELF had to get one of the groomsman's wives to start IV fluids on him b/c he was so hungover he could barely move and get ready for the day. he also broke his foot the night before and was hobbling around on it the whole day but didn't go to the dr until the day after the wedding. Guess what? They still got married and had a kickass party and he was out until 4am. some of the professional pics include a shot of him with the IVF hanging and him getting the IV started. Life doesn't always go as planned (though that was very poor planning on his part).... he didn't let a hangover or broken foot get in the way of marrying his wife, so why should you worry about a possibly hungover wedding party member get in the way of you getting married?
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    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMomspockforprez
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