Wedding Etiquette Forum

Does Grooms family pay for alcohol at wedding?

My family is paying for our very traditional wedding in a church in hawaii.  His family is paying for the rehersal dinner of course.  But my MOH said its customary for his family to pay for the bar at the reception.  

Please advise!

Thank you,

Laguna Niguel, Ca

Re: Does Grooms family pay for alcohol at wedding?

  • In my area, yes traditionally the groom's parents pay for the alcohol at the reception.  BUT you should not expect or require that.  His parents will offer to give money or contribute if they want to.  You shouldn't ask them to or demand it or anything. 
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  • Yeah, those traditions about who pays for what don't really hold water anymore. I wouldn't go around asking anybody to pay for anything.
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  • Nowadays I think it's more customary for people to pay for their own weddings, unless the bride or groom's family OFFERS to pay for something.
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  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Does Grooms family pay for alcohol at wedding?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Nowadays I think it's more customary for people to pay for their own weddings, unless the bride or groom's family OFFERS to pay for something.
    Posted by salt78[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this, we paid for our own bar. And everything else.

    OP, your parents are paying for the "wedding"? If they've offered, clarify exactly what it is they are offering.
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  • lets assume that BOTH sets of parents agreed to this "traditional" wedding with splitting of costs according to the past.

    in that scenario, then i think that the grooms family would pay for the alcohol at the reception.

    but unless this agreement was reached by both familes, i dont want OP to march up to her FIL's and say, great, you guys are paying for the booze, adn then plan accordingly.
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Does Grooms family pay for alcohol at wedding?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Nowadays I think it's more customary for people to pay for their own weddings, unless the bride or groom's family OFFERS to pay for something.
    Posted by salt78[/QUOTE]

    That is true.  We waited until my H's parents came to us and said "we'll take care of the rehearsal dinner and bar at the reception".  Up until that day came, we just worked under the assumption that we would pay for it ourselves.
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  • I would definitely avoid assuming that anyone wants to pay for anything until they offer to pay for it.  If your groom's family offers to pay for it, great.  If not, pay for it yourself.
  • Why am I surprised that people think stuff like this.  These questions get asked almost everyday and yet, everytime.  I'm surprised.

    Ditto PP.  Salt and Dani said it best.

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  • Ditto dani.

    Don't expect or ask them to pay for anything. If they offer, fine, you can take them up on it.

    My IL's paid for the RD and that helped us tremendously. I wasn't expecting them to do that, but they found a way to pay for it. We paid for our own wedding and reception.
  • Yes, that is the "traditional" way, and my parents did that (rehearsal dinner & bar) for my brother's wedding about 8 years ago.

    For ours, my parents were prepared to pay for much of the wedding--dress, reception hall, food, & videographer. H's parents/stepparents weren't in a position to pay for the traditional things, but his dad & stepmom did our photography as our gift (they are professionals) and his mom & stepdad gave us a very generous gift to cover our honeymoon. H & I paid for a lot of other stuff as I made all decorations, favors, flowers, jewelry etc. H paid for the rehearsal dinner, and in the end, my dad offered to cover the bar cost as well.

    He'd had a significant amount of money put away for years for just this day, and we did so well budgeting and DIY, that covering the bar wasn't a problem and we got an amazing check to put in our savings after. Not a gift, just what we hadn't used to pay for WR stuff. But not everyone's parents can do that. We were very grateful my parents could, and we were not mad or upset that his parents could not. Plan on paying for it yourselves, and if someone else offers, wonderful.

    One way we saved money on the bar tab was serving beer & wine (& soda) only. We did red & white wine, and light & dark beer. It was great, I heard no complaints.

  • Only if they offer.
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Does Grooms family pay for alcohol at wedding?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Only if they offer.
    Posted by NillaWafer10[/QUOTE]


    Traditionally, they did.  The same tradition decrees that the bride lives at home until her wedding, though, and that the Groom's family pay for the flowers and RD as well.  It's pretty rare that people follow those traditions to the letter anymore.  If they offer, you're free to accept, but if they don't, you'll need to pay for it yourselves.  Please don't ask.
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  • Yea, this tradition is not so much alive anymore. I expected that the FI and I would be footing the bill for everything, so I was grealy surprised when my parents offered to pay for catering and his offered to pay for the photographer. Now, we just have more money to save for after the wedding. As well, I always like to think that if my parents or his got into a financial bind I would have the resources to not make them feel like jerks for ruining my wedding, because we don't have the funds.

  • You've asked us to respond with our personal experience, and I have never heard of this.  I've never been to a wedding where the groom's parents paid for the bar at the reception, and that didn't happen at my wedding either...
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I've heard of the tradition before.   We have a huge drinking extended family and my parents pick up the bar taps for my brothers' weddings using that tradition.    I know some of my aunts/uncles picking up the tabs at their sons' weddings.

    My sister's in-laws took care of the RD and flowers, but not the bar (not that anyone  expeceted them to).   My MIL did not contribute anything, DH and I took care of the flowers, officant and the RD (all known to be traditions things the groom takes care, but none are required.)

    But like everything else, unless they offer, you can assume you are paying for it yourself.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Plan to pay for it yourself unless they offer to pay for alcohol. The traditional assignment of wedding costs has pretty much gone by the wayside in this day and age.
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  • Definitely one of those traditions that doesn't hold up everywhere and that more people are moving away from. Both of our sets of parents happen to be traditionalists, so my parents are paying for the wedding stuff, and his family is covering the alcohol and rehearsal dinner. However, FI and I did not bank on this, or ask his parents to cover it; they came to us and said they'd like to. 

    If they decide to pay, that's fine, but they are under no obligation to pay for anything. 
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