Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Alcohol at our reception... please help!!

I'm not quite sure how to handle the alcohol at our reception. I don't want to have it dry, I want our guests to have the option of drinking if they like. What are your opinions on drink tickets being alloted for each person to use throughout the reception, or, if instead we have an open bar cocktail hour, how do we (tastefully) let guests know that no more alcohol will be paid for afterward??

Re: Alcohol at our reception... please help!!

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Neither of your ideas are going to go over well here.

    You don't have to have a full open bar or any alcohol at all.  But whatever alcohol you do provide must be available throughout the entire event for free.  No cash bars, no drink tickets, no limits on availability.  If you don't want to pay for it, don't serve it.  There are no other polite options.
  • I'm not quite sure how to handle the alcohol at our reception. I don't want to have it dry, I want our guests to have the option of drinking if they like. What are your opinions on drink tickets being alloted for each person to use throughout the reception, or, if instead we have an open bar cocktail hour, how do we (tastefully) let guests know that no more alcohol will be paid for afterward??

    Drink tickets and cash bars are tacky and are a breach of etiquette. If you don't want a dry wedding, you will need to come up with a way to properly host your guests all evening.   Consider having beer and wine only, or beer, wine and a signature drink.  That should help reduce your bar costs significantly. 

    There is no tasteful way to ask your guests to subsidize a portion of your wedding expenses. And by asking them to pay for their own drinks at a party you are supposed to be hosting, that's exactly what you would be doing.

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers

    I'm not quite sure how to handle the alcohol at our reception. I don't want to have it dry, I want our guests to have the option of drinking if they like. What are your opinions on drink tickets being alloted for each person to use throughout the reception, or, if instead we have an open bar cocktail hour, how do we (tastefully) let guests know that no more alcohol will be paid for afterward??

    Please don't do drink tickets.  Tickets belong at a carnival, not a wedding.  Host what you can afford the entire night.  It's perfectly fine to have just wine and beer.  Or even a dry wedding. 

    If an open bar is important to you, the cost should be factored into your budget and you should find a venue that fits that budget.
  • see if the venue could bring down the drink cost maybe using the lower end mixers or just doing basic wine beer and a few basic cocktails. cash bars are very very tacky
  • Ok, so another option would be to have two signature drinks... one my FI chooses (probably with whiskey) and my choice (probably fruity w/ rum)... would that work?? And we would just buy a certain amount of alcohol and once it's gone it's gone? 
    QueerFemme[Deleted User]lasvegasveganbride
  • We are doing a signature drinks. Its cheaper and easier. We are also doing beer. We are country style people so beer is what we prefer as well as our guest.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  •  

    Ok, so another option would be to have two signature drinks... one my FI chooses (probably with whiskey) and my choice (probably fruity w/ rum)... would that work?? And we would just buy a certain amount of alcohol and once it's gone it's gone? 
    Yep, those are good ideas!
  • Ok, so another option would be to have two signature drinks... one my FI chooses (probably with whiskey) and my choice (probably fruity w/ rum)... would that work?? And we would just buy a certain amount of alcohol and once it's gone it's gone? 
    Are you choosing what you guys like (rude mistake) or are you choosing what you know your guests will drink?
  • kmmssg said:
    Ok, so another option would be to have two signature drinks... one my FI chooses (probably with whiskey) and my choice (probably fruity w/ rum)... would that work?? And we would just buy a certain amount of alcohol and once it's gone it's gone? 
    Are you choosing what you guys like (rude mistake) or are you choosing what you know your guests will drink?
    I think it's ok for the couple to choose sig cocktails that they like, as long as they are offering a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage choices to their guests.  I do think it's better to pick cocktails with different alcohols if you have more than one to appeal to more people, which MrsSmith has done.  
    lasvegasveganbride
  • While there are ALOT of people who will tell you what is & isn't rude or proper etiquette on this site, I'm sure we have ALL been to a wedding where we have paid for a drink. In someway shape or form, it's happened. We are providing beer & wine & having alcohol available for purchase. I don't think it's rude, we went to wedding last yr that did the same thing. And I can't fund everybody having fun, but I can pay for some of the fun. The no alcohol isn't an option for us, so this was the best option. Signature drinks are ok, IMO, but, I definitely think you need 2 of them &/or beer as well because what if people don't like either of your sig drinks but still want alcohol?? The thing is, if you worry about what rude/improper/bad etiquette over EVERY detail of this big day, you still won't please everyone. And, you'll be bridezilla. Do what is best for you, I say.
    [Deleted User]lasvegasveganbride
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MNturnsVA said:
    While there are ALOT of people who will tell you what is & isn't rude or proper etiquette on this site, I'm sure we have ALL been to a wedding where we have paid for a drink. In someway shape or form, it's happened. We are providing beer & wine & having alcohol available for purchase. I don't think it's rude, we went to wedding last yr that did the same thing. And I can't fund everybody having fun, but I can pay for some of the fun. The no alcohol isn't an option for us, so this was the best option. Signature drinks are ok, IMO, but, I definitely think you need 2 of them &/or beer as well because what if people don't like either of your sig drinks but still want alcohol?? The thing is, if you worry about what rude/improper/bad etiquette over EVERY detail of this big day, you still won't please everyone. And, you'll be bridezilla. Do what is best for you, I say.
    The fact that you don't think it's rude to pay for only "some of the fun" and not "all of the fun" at your own wedding does not mean that your attitude isn't rude.  It is.

    And sorry, but "doing what's best for you" but not the guests is not okay and DOES make you a "bridezilla."  The guests are entitled to expect not to have to pay for whatever is served.  You want to serve alcohol? Fine.  YOU pay for it-not the guests.  No cash bars, no drink tickets, no "closed at specified times" restrictions.  And that goes for every other cost of the wedding-those are YOUR responsibilities, not your guests'.  If you're not going to pay for it, DON"T OFFER IT.  Dry weddings are not a violation of etiquette-and if someone gets pissed off about it-THEY are the ones being rude.
  • MNturnsVA said:
    While there are ALOT of people who will tell you what is & isn't rude or proper etiquette on this site, I'm sure we have ALL been to a wedding where we have paid for a drink. In someway shape or form, it's happened. We are providing beer & wine & having alcohol available for purchase. I don't think it's rude, we went to wedding last yr that did the same thing. And I can't fund everybody having fun, but I can pay for some of the fun. The no alcohol isn't an option for us, so this was the best option. Signature drinks are ok, IMO, but, I definitely think you need 2 of them &/or beer as well because what if people don't like either of your sig drinks but still want alcohol?? The thing is, if you worry about what rude/improper/bad etiquette over EVERY detail of this big day, you still won't please everyone. And, you'll be bridezilla. Do what is best for you, I say.
    It is still rude, whether you think so or not.  You wouldn't invite someone over for dinner and say "Hey, we are serving chicken, but if you want a steak, leave a $20 at the door."  When you host guests, you host them.  Is everyone going to be thrilled that their favorite top shelf drink isn't being offered complimentary. Of course not.  But, most guests have enough sense to accept what the host is offering graciously.  And the host should be gracious enough not to charge for extras.  
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Ok, so another option would be to have two signature drinks... one my FI chooses (probably with whiskey) and my choice (probably fruity w/ rum)... would that work?? And we would just buy a certain amount of alcohol and once it's gone it's gone? 
    I really think you should host whatever you decide on for the ENTIRE night.  I'd be disappointed if I went up for a signature drink and it was all "sold out".
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    MNturnsVA said:
    While there are ALOT of people who will tell you what is & isn't rude or proper etiquette on this site, I'm sure we have ALL been to a wedding where we have paid for a drink. In someway shape or form, it's happened. 


    I haven't. And if it were to happen, I wouldn't.  Even if it meant drinking water all night. 

    If you offer it, you host it.  Period.

     

    NYCMercedes
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited June 2013
    MNturnsVA said:
    While there are ALOT of people who will tell you what is & isn't rude or proper etiquette on this site, I'm sure we have ALL been to a wedding where we have paid for a drink. In someway shape or form, it's happened. We are providing beer & wine & having alcohol available for purchase. I don't think it's rude, we went to wedding last yr that did the same thing. And I can't fund everybody having fun, but I can pay for some of the fun. The no alcohol isn't an option for us, so this was the best option. Signature drinks are ok, IMO, but, I definitely think you need 2 of them &/or beer as well because what if people don't like either of your sig drinks but still want alcohol?? The thing is, if you worry about what rude/improper/bad etiquette over EVERY detail of this big day, you still won't please everyone. And, you'll be bridezilla. Do what is best for you, I say.
    Nope. Never. Zilch. Nada. Not once a cash bar in over 50 weddings!
  • I have been to ONE wedding with a cash bar. They also didn't have enough food.  It was ridiculous, and we left about 20 minutes after the reception began.  From what I understand, within an hour, there were less than 10 guests left at the wedding.
  • I've been to a decent number cash bar weddings. 

    Etiquette issues aside (i.e. cash bars are rude), trust me, people always get more excited/have a better time at the open bar weddings. Oh, and people do side-eye and grumble about cash bars. I'm personally unwilling to make a decision that will have my guests talking poorly about my behavior. 
    image
  • I understand the idea of wanting/needing to feed your guests at a wedding and give them something to drink, but I have to be honest - I think it's really tacky to leave a reception after 20 minutes because there isn't enough food. Maybe they couldn't afford the extra cost to have a huge amount of food, or mistakenly ordered the wrong amount. You're there to celebrate their union with them, not to get a free meal and bolt.
    lasvegasveganbrideJennyandscott14
  • I understand the idea of wanting/needing to feed your guests at a wedding and give them something to drink, but I have to be honest - I think it's really tacky to leave a reception after 20 minutes because there isn't enough food. Maybe they couldn't afford the extra cost to have a huge amount of food, or mistakenly ordered the wrong amount. You're there to celebrate their union with them, not to get a free meal and bolt.
    I would agree with you about a cash bar--I think it would be tacky to leave after 20 min because you have to pay for your own drink--but not about food.  If I am invited to an event over a mealtime and there is not enough food, I need to leave to find a meal.  I would rather enjoy myself for the 20 min I spend at the reception than stay longer get really cranky because I need food.  I think that's particularly true when the couple means for it to be a longer reception with spotlight dances, toasts, open dancing, etc.  
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2013
    I understand the idea of wanting/needing to feed your guests at a wedding and give them something to drink, but I have to be honest - I think it's really tacky to leave a reception after 20 minutes because there isn't enough food. Maybe they couldn't afford the extra cost to have a huge amount of food, or mistakenly ordered the wrong amount. You're there to celebrate their union with them, not to get a free meal and bolt.
    Sorry, but I totally disagree.  A host should only serve whatever they can afford, and if they can't afford more, they don't provide it.  Period.  That means no cash bars.

    Your guests ARE entitled to free food and drinks by accepting your invitation.  If you can't or won't provide it, then DON'T INVITE THEM.
  • I understand the idea of wanting/needing to feed your guests at a wedding and give them something to drink, but I have to be honest - I think it's really tacky to leave a reception after 20 minutes because there isn't enough food. Maybe they couldn't afford the extra cost to have a huge amount of food, or mistakenly ordered the wrong amount. You're there to celebrate their union with them, not to get a free meal and bolt.

    Their wedding was at 5pm on a Friday night. I had to leave work at 3:45 to get home, feed my dogs and change clothes in order to get there at 5pm. They started 30 minutes late, and had about 75 guests. They had MAYBE enough food to feed 20 people, and it was a cash bar. They didn't even supply soft drinks for free.

    And I'm the tacky one for leaving?   uh, no.

  • I understand the idea of wanting/needing to feed your guests at a wedding and give them something to drink, but I have to be honest - I think it's really tacky to leave a reception after 20 minutes because there isn't enough food. Maybe they couldn't afford the extra cost to have a huge amount of food, or mistakenly ordered the wrong amount. You're there to celebrate their union with them, not to get a free meal and bolt.
    I completely disagree. The ceremony celebrates the union of the couple. The reception is a thank you for the guests. If the hosts fail to do that properly, it's completely fine to leave. What did they expect would happen?
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