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Alcohol at Reception

My finance and I are really struggling with this. Our initial thoughts are to offer free wine and beer for our guests or have an hour of open bar. My finance also wants to have an open bar all night for our wedding party...I think this spells trouble. I'm curious what people are doing (or have done)?

Re: Alcohol at Reception

  • edited January 2013
    We're hosting two beer kegs and that's it.
    I would have loved to host wine, one red and one white, but that would just not have worked for us financially.

    ETA: we are also hosting pop/coffee/tea
  • We hosted cocktail hour and then during the actual dance part, hosted beer, wine and soda.  Anything hard liquor was on the guests.  Wedding party members were hosted (not a recipe for disaster - we just said anyone in this red dress or a tux gets what they want on us).
  • We are most likely getting 1 or 2 kegs, and enough wine to put a few bottles on each table and maybe some behind the bar too. We haven't decided if the WP will be hosted or not. I'm thinking about it because one of my BMs is doing that for hers. Everything else will be cash. I'm pretty used to this setup and I'm sure 99% of my guests are too.

    Are you deciding between an hour of open bar and beer/wine hosted all night? I think I'd go with the beer/wine all night. I think that's the easiest way to do it so there's no confusion when they come up to the bar later and don't know that it was only hosted during cocktail hour or whatever. Just a thought.
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  • I would host beer and wine all night. It just makes things easier. As a guest, I'd be annoyed if I started out having a hosted cocktail, only to find that I had to pay for my next one. 

    Also, I'd advise against doing an open bar just for your wedding party. IMO, that's really rude to the rest of your guests.
  • We are still working out details before we can determine what we can afford to host, but my thoughts are that if it's possible in your budget, hosting beer and wine for a least a few hours is nice. I've been to weddings where it was only free for a few hours, and I didn't really mind. Maybe this is just because I know how pricey it is, and I'd feel bad making them spend that kind of money! Although a complimentary wine pour with dinner is a nice thing to do, too.

    One thing we are thinking for our bridal party is to hand out tickets. We'd do that if we can't afford to host anything. That way, they can have a few drinks on us that night, or exchange to others if they aren't interested in drinking much.
  • We will be hosting 2 kegs (will likely last beyond cocktail hour) and wine during cocktail hour. Everyone else will be cash bar.
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  • We have 4 kegs, with an additional 2 on reserve, and 25 bottles each of red and white.  Everything else will be cash.  

    I'm hoping we don't have to go to the 2 on reserve, but I've been to past family weddings where they've run out, so I figure better safe than sorry.
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