Christian Weddings

New Here and Need Some Reception Advice

My FI and I are getting married in Nov. My FILs want to pay for us to have an open bar at the reception, but my dad says that if there is too much drinking (people getting drunk) he will leave. I am not against alcohol, as long as it is drank in moderation.
I think our guest list is split pretty evenly with people that would drink (and too excess), and people that don't drink or only drink very small amounts. My FI doesn't care either way, so the decision is up to me on whether we have an open bar or not. 

This is the most stressful wedding decision I've had to make. (I have been in tears multiple times because of it) I don't want to offend my FILs (there's already been some drama years ago on my stance on alcohol, and they feeling like I judge them for drinking), and I want everyone to enjoy the reception. One of my biggest worries is that I will want to also leave my own reception early if we end up having an open bar.

Anyone have any words of wisdom for me?


 Wedding Countdown Ticker:)


Re: New Here and Need Some Reception Advice

  • That is very tough place to be in but I do think you have a couple of options.  


    1. Only host wine and beer.  Of course people can still get drunk off this but that is a risk you have to take.  You can't control your guests.  If they want to get drunk, they will (even if this includes bringing their own hard alcohol).

    2. Have a dry wedding.  Since both you and your father are uncomfortable with people over indulging in alcohol that seems like that might be the best option for you.  I know it will make your FIL annoyed but if you are paying for it, he doesn't get a say.  He may suggest but you don't have to follow his advice.  Once again, you can't control guests who really want to get drunk and this might be the best way to minimize your amount of drunken guests.  I would suggest not telling anyone you are having a dry wedding if that is the way you go, since that often invites people to bring their own alcohol.


    However, I do promise you will be having such a great time that you won't notice anyone who is drunk around you.  Hopefully, your father will feel the same way.  My FIL was completely blitzed (something I knew was going to happen and I wasn’t happy about) but I didn't notice nor did I let that affect my reception.   It’s really not a decision worth being so stressed over.


    If you end up doing a dry wedding and FIL confronts you with doing it because you disagree with drinking, both your FI and you should just telling him that you did it for your own reasons which had nothing to do with him. 


    Well I hope that novel helped you decide! Sorry it was so long.  GL.

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • Welcome to the board, flutterfly!! Can you do an intro post? :)
  • I agree with the advice about talking to both sides of the family. Let them know where your FI and you are coming from and let them know your concerns. We only had wine and beer at our wedding. Like Ravenray said, if someone gets blitzed, you will be too busy enjoying your reception to notice.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • flutterfly88flutterfly88 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2013
    Thanks for all your suggestions, I appreciate those of you who told me that they really didn't notice the people who got drunk at their wedding, that has relieved some of my fears. I think I will talk to my dad to ask him how serious he was about leaving early and tell him how much it means to me that he be there.

    We have to hire our own bartender, and haven't started looking yet, so I think one of the things we will look for is someone who would not be afraid to not serve someone if they were starting to get out of hand. I forgot to mention this earlier, but another thing that worries me about alcohol is that we have to get a liquor licence and in that it says that we are responsible for our guests actions after the reception. But if we have a professional bar tender, they should be able to know when to cut people off :)

    I think I'll ask my FI to talk to his parents about the concerns we have with people getting out of hand (they'll probably just say we're worrying too much) and somehow tactfully tell them that we'll reserve the right to close down the serving of alcohol early if it gets out of hand (or conveniently run out of alcohol early in the night, tehehe) 

    So thanks again on all your suggestions :)


     Wedding Countdown Ticker:)

  • It's not unusual to have to get your own liquor license.  Where we got married I think it was $50.  It's really just a technicality.

    Our caterer provided bartenders for us, which was helpful.  Even if your caterer doesn't provide them (s)he may be able to make a recommendation.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • you could have the bartenders make the drinks more watered down ( less booze in them so people wont get to intoxicated
  • We also had to get our own liquor license. Very easy to do, we did ours online and were approved within a couple days
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • Thanks for all your advice ladies. We've talked to both sets of parents, and come to some good decisions. I clarified with my dad, and what he meant by out of hand was people getting into fights. My fi and I talked to his parents about our worries and they were very supportive. They said that it's our wedding and we need to decide what we want to do.

    So our plan is to have the bar open before dinner for our guests to have a drink, close it during dinner, and just have a bottle of wine on each table to have with dinner and open the bar back up during the dancing. My future step-MIL said at her wedding to my FFIL her family was great about making sure people get into cabs and get home, and she said that they would be doing that at our wedding as well. We've also asked a friend from church, who used to bartend as a side-job to do the bartending, as he'll know when to cut people off.

    One less thing to stress about, on to the next!


     Wedding Countdown Ticker:)

  • Sounds like a great solution Flutterfly! 
    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards