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Open Bar???

Hi There,
My Fiancee and I differ in opinions on open bar.
 
I come from a family and grew up in a place where we think if your guests are coming to share your day it is appropriate to feed them a nice sit down meal and not make them pay for any drinks....

My fiancee grew up in a small town and thinks people should pay for their own drinks or they will abuse it and we will have 160 drunk people falling over.  He also has a few recovered alcoholics in the family...

Should my other guests suffer because a few people couldnt control themself?
I think people should know how to handle an open bar. 

My maid of honour agree with my Fiancee (she is also from a small town)

Is it tacky to compromise and provide drink tickets to all of our guests for free?  If we do that what if people want to drink more, It is law here that you have to sell liquor for a certain amount therefore we can only sell them or give them away I believe....

Please help! 


Re: Open Bar???

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    I also believe that guests should never have to pay for anything.

    I have been to many, many open bar events where no one got "falling down" drunk.  I have also been to many, many events that had a cash bar and people were "falling down drunk." 

    I believe it is more the nature of the guest rather than the price of the drink that determines their liquor consumption for the night.



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    I'm not a fan of cash bars and don't think that overdrinking is a particularly good reason to use for the choice of open vs cash bar.  But full open bar is also not a necessity unless always expected in your area.

    Can you compromise and do a limited bar (beer and wine, maybe a signature drink or two) or just confirm with the bartender that those who are visibly inebriated will be cut off and perhaps ask that shots not be served.  You could also either just serve wine/beer with dinner or close the bar during dinner and have it open the rest of the night, if your FI's concern is cost.
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    I've been to plenty of events with an open bar and with a lot of heavy drinkers, and I have yet to see anyone who was out-of-control drunk. And I'll add that I've seen these people get pretty sloshed at casual get-togethers and football viewing parties and stuff like that, so I think that most people (unless they're just total pieces of trash) know that there's a big difference between a classy wedding and just hanging out in a friend's living room.

    I agree with you - guests should not have to pay for anything at your wedding, and it is quite unfair to punish all your guests just because you fear that a few might not be abe to handle themselves (and it would be an absolute waste if the people you're nervous about end up acting fine).

    And I would also point out to your fiancee that if someone truly wants to get rip-roaring drunk, it won't matter whether they have to pay for the alcohol or not. So not only might you piss off the well-behaved guests by having a cash bar, but you will also still have to deal with the drunks in that case.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_open-bar-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:ece6f80a-ba61-4113-b010-8c4609059399Post:c0ba8932-c9df-46ae-8930-5fe697dc68fd">Re: Open Bar???</a>:
    [QUOTE]I also believe that guests should never have to pay for anything. I have been to many, many open bar events where no one got "falling down" drunk.  I have also been to many, many events that had a cash bar and people were "falling down drunk."  I believe it is more the nature of the guest rather than the price of the drink that determines their liquor consumption for the night.
    Posted by MOBinFLA[/QUOTE]
    Completely agree. If someone wants to get drunk, paying for a drink won't stop them. If you are hosting an event (which you do as the bride and groom), then your guests should never open their wallets at the wedding for any reason. They wouldn't in your home either. A wedding is basically just a large party that doesn't fit in your house and most of the same rules apply.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_open-bar-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:ece6f80a-ba61-4113-b010-8c4609059399Post:51d4bbbb-4b67-4a6a-b0e2-2e783d068df4">Re: Open Bar???</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've been to plenty of events with an open bar and with a lot of heavy drinkers, and I have yet to see anyone who was out-of-control drunk. And I'll add that I've seen these people get pretty sloshed at casual get-togethers and football viewing parties and stuff like that, so I think that most people (unless they're just total pieces of trash) know that there's a big difference between a classy wedding and just hanging out in a friend's living room. I agree with you - guests should not have to pay for anything at your wedding, and it is quite unfair to punish all your guests just because you fear that a few might not be abe to handle themselves (and it would be an absolute waste if the people you're nervous about end up acting fine). And I would also point out to your fiancee that if someone truly wants to get rip-roaring drunk, it won't matter whether they have to pay for the alcohol or not. So not only might you piss off the well-behaved guests by having a cash bar, but you will also still have to deal with the drunks in that case.
    Posted by mbcdefg[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly how I feel....well said!
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    I agree with both of you. Guests should not have to pay for anything at your wedding. But, having an open bar may be a risk (that you may or may not be willing to take.) For my wedding,  I am opting to have a open bar with wine and beer, sans hard alcohol. You may want to do the same!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_open-bar-2?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:ece6f80a-ba61-4113-b010-8c4609059399Post:51d4bbbb-4b67-4a6a-b0e2-2e783d068df4">Re: Open Bar???</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've been to plenty of events with an open bar and with a lot of heavy drinkers, and I have yet to see anyone who was out-of-control drunk. And I'll add that I've seen these people get pretty sloshed at casual get-togethers and football viewing parties and stuff like that, so I think that most people (unless they're just total pieces of trash) know that there's a big difference between a classy wedding and just hanging out in a friend's living room. I agree with you - guests should not have to pay for anything at your wedding, and it is quite unfair to punish all your guests just because you fear that a few might not be abe to handle themselves (and it would be an absolute waste if the people you're nervous about end up acting fine). And I would also point out to your fiancee that if someone truly wants to get rip-roaring drunk, it won't matter whether they have to pay for the alcohol or not. So not only might you piss off the well-behaved guests by having a cash bar, but you will also still have to deal with the drunks in that case.
    Posted by mbcdefg[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this 100%






    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. 
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    Malphabet hit it again!

    Your FI and MOH share a similar, illogical viewpoint. 
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    We're doing beer, wine, and soft drinks.  That is cutting the bill considerably, and our venue provides a licensed bartender, so I trust he knows when to cut off people who are getting a little too tipsy.  You may want  to have a talk with whomever is tending bar to make sure that he knows this is a concern for you.

    Whatever you do, no drink tickets! 
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    As a guest I have no prob buying my own drinks. If the wedding was dry and I no option, I would be pissed. I consider open bar a perk at weddings but not a requirement.
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    mbc really did give you the right answer.  While it seems from this discussion that in some circles cash bars re more accepted, I think if you are hosting a reception it should come with free drinks, even if the drink types are limited (ie beer, wine, etc)
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    I have only experienced one cash bar wedding, as it is not the norm among the people I know.  People were still sloppy drunk, now I think it was more of the type of people that were there, I agree with the others who have said, if a guest wants to get that drunk they will do it regardless of whether they have to pay or not.  Honestly, I don't agree with having anything other then an open bar, but that is how I was raised and nothing against people who grew up differently.  It sounds like you are having a formal and classy wedding, I would have an open bar.  

    As for the recovering alcoholics, if they are going to fall off the wagon TRUST ME money will not be the deciding factor, nor if the drink is free will it make it easier for them, Let your FI know that alcoholics don't think that way.  
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    megk8ozmegk8oz member
    First Comment
    edited January 2010
    I hate the cash bar ... but honestly, I'm from an area where they put your head on a pike if you have one.

    Anybody who's going to get drunk off their butts will do it whether or not there's a price tag on it. So charging isn't a deterent, just something that will anger people.

    Also, there are cash bar supporters that try to take the holier-than-thou route of "Oh well, I'm just discouraging the alcoholics". By that same token, these same people should be morally obligated charging guests for a slice of the cake to "discourage" obesity and unhealthy eating.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.
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    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
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    I think shorti nailed it: if it's a cost issue, just do beer, wine, and soda.  If it's a behavior issue, confirm with the bartender that people who are out of control will be cut off.  If you're really concerned about it, hire plain-clothes security to keep an eye on things.  (Some venues require this anyway.)
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    For my wedding in october 2010, we are doing a limited open bar, we are serving beer, wine, and a signature drink that we are calling the purple people eater.
    loving being a mommy Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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    The most tasteful way is to show him this post.  :-)
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