Pre-wedding Parties
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Rehearsal Dinner drinks question

My fiance & I are paying for the rehearsal dinner & most of the wedding ourselves so funding is getting really tight.  3 members of our wedding party & their dates are heavy drinkers - & of course its only top shelf for them.  Is there a tactful way to offer to pay for everyone's first alcoholic drink & after that its the guest's responsibility?  Maybe this is bad etiquette all together though...

It's more than just the money issue really.  We don't want our rehearsal dinner to turn into every family gathering of mine with everyone all drunk & loud & obnoxious - the other 20 invited guests aren't drinkers or will have 1 drink & that is it for the night.  Save the partying for the reception the next night.
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Re: Rehearsal Dinner drinks question

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    edited December 2011
    No, there is not a tactful way to pay for only one drink.

    Either do an open bar, beer and wine, or no bar.  Bear in mind, however, that beer and wine only will not prevent people from getting drunk.

    And just because they want top-shelf, doesn't mean you have to pay for top-shelf.  Work with your venue to specify whether you're doing top-shelf or house brands or something in between, and that's what's available.  Period.

    If you're concerned about people getting trashed, then don't host a bar.  But I think it sucks to penalize the rest of your family and friends because a couple of people can't handle their liquor.
    image
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    edited December 2011
    Could you have pitchers of beer and wine out on the tables, which would limit your cost (although not prevent people from getting drunk, as hlq said)?  Then, if people tried to order something else, the server would ask them if they'd like to start a tab.  Just because you don't host unlimited cocktails doesn't mean guests won't have them--I doubt the restaurant will turn away someone that goes to the bar themselves or asks the server to start a tab for them. 
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with PP....talk to the RH venue.  Ours only does a PP cost for drinks....we are doing open bar, but are not worried about our friends/ family.  They are adults, and can deal with the consequences of over-indulgence!

    In your situation, I would just do beer & wine, and limit your costs.  If your family is acting like a bunch of jerks, it's on them.
    image **Married 7/9/11**
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    edited December 2011
    I guess the issue is the rehearsal dinner is at a restaurant where I assumed everyone just orders any drink they want - I didn't think of speaking to the manager to offer a limited drink menu.  Thanks for the suggestion.

    Several of the other guests have urged us to have a dry wedding which we have refused because honestly my family of alcoholics wouldn't even come - the wedding will have plenty of alcohol to go around.  I just don't want the rehearsal dinner to turn into a loud obnoxious night-out for this group where the rest of the guests are uncomfortable because of their antics.
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    kgorman307kgorman307 member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think it's necessary to have a full hosted bar at the RD. We're doing beer/wine. You could just have bottles or carafes of wine on the tables also - my friend's RD had that. If people wanted beer or a drink, they just went to the bar and got it.

    If you do a limited drink selection, I would think about putting "rehearsal dinner drink menus" on the tables - kind of like menu cards for weddings. That way, those in attendance know what's available & if they ask for something that's not on the menu, the server can let them know it's going to be at a charge to them.
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