Pre-wedding Parties

Do we have to pay for alcohol at Rehearsal Dinner?

Hey guys,

We're on a pretty tight budget, and I'm wondering if we are responsible for paying for alcoholic drinks at the Rehearsal dinner?

Our wedding is actually at 11:30 AM the next day so I honestly don't really want anybody drinking too much anyways (obviously not something I can really control).

I wasn't sure what the etiquette was for this?  Is it okay to host the dinner at a restaurant and pay for dinner and just soda, iced tea? and if they want drinks its on them?


Re: Do we have to pay for alcohol at Rehearsal Dinner?

  • edited December 2011
    I think it's ok.  While at a hosted event you should be paying for everything, if it's at a restaurant, you can't exactly stop people from ordering from the restaurant's bar.  It would be nice, if you could afford it, to offer something like a set number of bottles of wine.  Then, if someone ordered a different drink, the server could ask them if they'd like to start their own tab so it was clear they would need to pay. 

  • tlopes07tlopes07 member
    edited December 2011
    I agree with Jessica, if you're having the RD at a restuarant limit a number of bottles of wine per table, and if they want beer or mixed drinks have the server/bartender ask them how they'd like to pay for it.

    Good Luck!
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    I disagree.

    Your WP is spending money and most likely incurring expenses - a day off from work, travel and / or attire.  For what they're doing for you, it's appropriate for you to host the beverages that are customary with dinner.

    Now if this isn't part of your social circle I may buy it.  However where I am, serving some kind of alcohol i part of being a good host and asking your guests to pay is just unacceptable.

  • vwhitney2107vwhitney2107 member
    edited December 2011
    My FI and I are also on a tight budget with the RD and we are having it at Old Spaghetti Factory. We will be paying for drinks like soda, milk and tea but we won't be covering alcholic drinks. But our wedding party likes to drink quite a bit and there's no way we could cover that cost.
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  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    I think jessicabessica is onto something.  If you know your guests are drinkers then don't provide PART of the refreshement.  Scale back the meal so that you can afford all of it.

  • edited December 2011
    Another option, if you don't feel great about this, would be to have a less formal RD.  Get some pizza, wine, and beer and have it at your house and call it a night. 

  • ekelly83ekelly83 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The place we had our reception had their own liquor license. If we wanted alcohol at the RD we had to pay a fortune for their bartenders. We just didn't have it. We put sodas out and water and no one complained. We also had alcohol out in the hotel when we got their, it worked out perfect!
  • edited December 2011
    Personally I recommend to at least pay for some alcohol if your family likes to drink (Even in moderation). I would say the majority of people are intelligent enough to not get trashed the night before a wedding. 
    We are having our RD in a private room of an italian restaurant and exactly half of the people there will probably drink alcohol.  So, we are probably having 1 red and 1white wine available, possibly some beer too.  KNowing our crowd, most of our guests will want wine with Italian food so it doesn't make sense to offer a full bar option for the RD.  The next night at the reception they can drink whatever they want at the reception. 

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  • kdyer09kdyer09 member
    edited December 2011
    Here's another idea, since I'm in the middle about paying for all alcoholic drinks and not paying for any alcohol at the RD.

    At my rehearsal dinner location, a brewery no less, they offered to use drink tickets.  So my fiance's parents are providing two drink tickets per person.  Once the person has their drink tickets, they can use them for beer, wine or liquor. If someone doesn't use one or both, they can give them to others.  I figured this was a good middle ground to limit the amount spent on alcohol (and hangovers the next day). They amount spent is based on the tickets redeemed. 
  • cindyn9178cindyn9178 member
    edited December 2011
    You can serve alcohol such as wine, without having a full on open bar. It is less expensive, and still provides some alcohol for your guests. If people wanted hard liquor or beer, they could buy their own and I think that is COMPLETELY acceptable for a rehearsal dinner.
    Or, you could choose a BYOB restaurant, and bring your own wine, and save even more money.
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