My FH & I are paying for our wedding with minimal assistance from our folks, and we've been doing whatever we can (short of getting cheesy) to keep our costs down, because we're planning a 12-day European honeymoon...which, I'll be honest, I'd much rather spend our hard earned money on an amazing honeymoon than an over-the-top wedding.
We both come from conservative families who, for the most part, don't drink, but we do, and many of our friends do, and we know that a lot of those friends probably wouldn't come (or at least wouldn't stay very long) if no alcohol is served. Plus you tend to get more dancers & just have a generally more fun reception when people have a little "assistance" in their system. So we decided to offer a limited selection of beer & wine, and once it's gone, it's gone.
Here's the issue: Our venue charges an additional deposit & fees for serving alcohol at their venue (they don't have any sort of bar set up, so we have to bring everything in, including a server). It's also a family-friendly wedding, so we have to have someone overseeing the distribution of alcohol for responsibility reasons. Plus there's the cost to us of the actual alcohol itself (and any deposits on kegs, etc.) Our wedding is also on a Sunday afternoon. So, in order to help cover the costs of everything, we've decided to charge $1/glass for alcohol. We won't turn any sort of profit, but it will help ease the extra expense a bit, as well as (hopefully) slow the drinkers down a bit so their not throwing back too many drinks & then trying to drive drunk/buzzed after the reception.
I know it's a sensible idea, and so far all the guests we've told so far have acted like it's a non-issue...but I feel like we're breaking some sort of etiquette "code" by wanting people to pay for wine & beer.
Guess I'm just looking for some sort of confirmation that we're not horrible penny-pinchers. :-)