Jocelyn
Savvy May 2020

Open Bar vs. No Open Bar

Jocelyn, on December 13, 2019 at 7:16 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 21
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Hey everyone!!!

So I have quite a dilemma as far as serving alcohol at the reception goes. Half of my guests are older Christians who do not partake in drinking. The other half of my guests and the majority of our bridal party are drinkers. My hubby and I do not drink. So we are torn of whether or not we should just make it a dry wedding. We want everyone to enjoy themselves but we also don't want to step on anyone's toes. My wedding coordinator brought up a point that because we are young leaders in the church (Deacon and Deaconess in training) we shouldn't have any because it might make us look bad. I don't want our wedding to be a buzz kill but I also don't want to offend anyone or make my FH and myself look bad. So at this point, I am torn on what to do and could use a little advice.

SIDE NOTE:

Probably important to note that our wedding is on a Thursday evening if that makes a difference.

21 Comments

  • Kristen
    VIP October 2020
    Kristen ·
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    Well I feel you need to do what is best and if this is more of a religious type event then may not having it especially if you have a big standing in your church. Two weddings I have been to did not have liquor. I would say if you two do not drink then maybe no liquor since it is not something you two partake in. I think liquor is great but if you have good music and dancing that is a huge part. Is your wedding in a place where people could step out to a bar and buy a drink if needed? Like a country club?

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  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride Online ·
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    If you want dancing, I think you’ll want to offer alcohol and let those who want a drink to have one. Those who don’t drink do not need to partake. If you’re worried about cost or too much drinking, offering beer & wine but no hard alcohol can be a nice compromise.


    I attended one very religious wedding and on the dinner table was one red wine and one white wine. When it ran out, no more. Nobody seemed to have a problem with that.
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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    My brother's wedding was mostly made up of church people and he himself was a church leader. They didn't have alcohol. Him and his bride were also under 21. If you are going to have a lot of people there that don't drink, I would go without the alcohol especially because you don't drink. Alcohol is really expensive so to pay for something that a majority of people are going to enjoy sounds like a waste of money. Your guests will survive one evening without alcohol. Disclaimer: I don't think so I could be bias.
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  • Kristen
    VIP October 2020
    Kristen ·
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    I think I agree with Pirates Bride to maybe just have some wine and beer? I do not think you need hard liquor bur I am a wine person soooooooo I am all for that. Even if it is just a couple of glasses. Much cheaper too.

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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    No, there's no separate bar. Some of the people in the bridal party and guests have said if we don't have an open bar they will probably just drink before or in the parking lot. Drinking before I guess I am okay with. But drinking in the parking lot is a big no-no, the venue has made that clear. So at this point, I'm like maybe we should so that there is a license bartender present.

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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    Thanks that sounds like a good compromise!! Smiley smile

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  • Kristen
    VIP October 2020
    Kristen ·
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    I personally feel that it is one evening and people can survive without liquor. I would almost lean on the side of no because of your standing within your church and because of the regulations. I feel that if you feel that it would be more problematic then do not have it. I would just let guests no so they can plan accordingly. Worse case they don't party all night. If they want a drink the can do it afterwards. Smiley smile

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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    It would cut down costs if we omitted the open bar. But I think more people are coming who drink than not. The majority of our bridal party are drinkers besides the best man. I'll talk it over with my wedding coordinator and hubby to see what's best. Completely dry or at least provide wine. Thanks Smiley smile

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  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride Online ·
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    You’re welcome! 😊
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  • E
    Savvy January 2020
    Elizabeth ·
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    What about a "not open"(?) Bar? Give EVERYONE a ticket good for one (1) alcoholic beverage. This way, everyone has the opportunity for a free drink, (sort of like an Open Bar). Those who do not drink can give their tickets to those that do, and if Those that do want more, they can pay cash.
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  • Allyson
    Devoted February 2020
    Allyson ·
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    I went to a friend’s Christian wedding with similar guests and they simply provided wine and nothing else. The older guests and people who did not drink still found it very classy while my fiancé and I got to have a few drinks and have fun!
    • Reply
  • Fleur
    October 2020
    Fleur ·
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    I’m going to be brutally honest and say it would be somewhat of a buzz kill. The non drinkers are likely used to socializing with drinkers, the real world includes both! I would offer wine and/or beer. Good luck.
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  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
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    Have you considered a consumption based bar? That’s what we did.. many of our guests did not drink so we just paid the tab on a consumption basis- ended up saving us about $1500! I would suggest that!
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  • Valencia
    Dedicated June 2021
    Valencia ·
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    I would have a bar and just have it a cash bar. My venue offers a bar for $95 and then we can either put money on it for an “open bar” or just have it a cash bar. I feel it all depends on the crowd you are inviting... but if you offer something then guests won’t feel the need to get drunk before they show up to your wedding..
    • Reply
  • Alexis
    Savvy March 2021
    Alexis ·
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    I wouldn’t do a totally dry wedding. What about just a cash bar? In your case, I think that would be good. I went to a wedding where almost everyone drank and it was a cash bar and homemade food. Which is cool and all for the couple, but as a guest, I think that was kinda tacky.
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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    Yea I'm thinking this is probably the way to go, with just having bottles of red and white wine. Maybe even do a sparkling cider for the non-drinkers.

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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    That's one thing I am worried about. We have already had comments of people saying they would probably drink before or in the parking lot. I'm pretty sure they were saying it jokingly but were serious.

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  • A
    Devoted May 2020
    Alex ·
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    Maybe do just beer and wine. That way people who want to have a few drinks can.

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  • D
    Beginner August 2020
    Danielle ·
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    My family is super religious and are against drinking. His family is not. We've decided on a dry wedding (mainly because my father is paying for the majority of it). We've told the ones who do drink about our decision, and they have no problem with it.


    I've been to a wedding where alcohol was provided and half of the guests were against drinking which caused a riff within the church. It's an unfortunate situation, but you cannot please everyone.


    I personally don't think not having alcohol at your wedding makes it a buzz kill!

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  • Jocelyn
    Savvy May 2020
    Jocelyn ·
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    Thanks,

    Our situations are similar and the bottom line our faith is more important than people getting to drink on a Thursday night lol. We spoke to our assistant pastor and this is ultimately what we decided to do as well. We are just going to have sparkling cider and mocktails instead but no liquor. Hopefully, everyone still has a good time and stays the whole time if not their loss.

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