Beverage Tips For Weddings

My wedding tip is to provide complimentary beverages at a wedding, including alcohol. Beer and wine are fine, and if your budget allows, a full bar. The other point I'd like to stress is to have the beverages available as soon as the guests arrive. This way, everyone starts relaxing and having fun and there's less stress all the way around. The tackiest thing in the world is to expect your guests to pay for beverages at your wedding. They're your guests.

Once everyone's comfortable and chatting with drink in hand, they're suddenly happy they took the time to dress up, drive, and buy you a present. They're chatting with old friends and family members, and everyone's glowing - not just the self-possessed bride! It turns your event into something to be remembered. Obviously no one should be allowed to get drunk and obnoxious, I'm not suggesting that - but a glass of wine or a glass of beer is certainly a good starting point for a festive occasion. One family wedding we went to had a bar where guests were expected to pay - outrageous prices, too, like $8.50 for a crumby glass of wine. Hard liquor was $10+. Everyone I knew hated that, they were bitching under their breath the whole time.

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

It's cheaper still not to serve them at all! ;-) We served an elegant punch (that we made) and sparking grape juice at our wedding and it was a wonderful party!!

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

And while were on the subject of tacky wedding things

Brides and Grooms...PLEASE DO NOT send a preprinted thank you note and just sign your names. I went to the trouble of selecting a gift, traveling 2 hours and speding 2 nights in a hotel for goodness sake. Couldn't you write me a thankyou note? You have 12 months to write the darn thing!

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

I'm with you, cubangirl, on this one.

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

You're right, it's very poor to charge for drinks, if I could imagine the OPPOSITE of hospitality, that would be it! Let the festivities begin when they walk in the door! Will you come plan my next event? (VBG) thanks!

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

My Grandaughter had an outdoor wedding this spring. They had bottled cold water in large buckets of ice. They were a hit in warm Tennessee. They also served punch with the food.

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

I totally agree. A wedding without cocktails is about as much fun as a tupperware party. Nobody stays for long, forget about dancing. The party is a dud. And I agree, the point is not getting drunk and stupid, just having a good, responsible time.

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August 7, 20070 found this helpful

I'm kind of shocked that you are suggesting one must be drinking alcohol in order to have a nice time at a wedding. If that's so, I think a different kind of wedding or reception ought to be planned.

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August 8, 20070 found this helpful

A compromise is always a good thing- especially on a limited budget. At my sisters wedding in June they offered free wine and beer. Anything harder than that and you paid for it yourself. It worked out great!

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August 10, 20070 found this helpful

i have to just say i find this odd. In the UK, its expected for the drinks at the dinner to be free, but all others not. Only really, REALLy suber fancy weddings here have a free bar.

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August 10, 20070 found this helpful

At my wedding I had iced tea, coffee, soda water and champagne - period. But we just had cake with it. Punch is fun, too.

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August 11, 20070 found this helpful

Even though my husband and I are not opposed to alcohol, we did not serve it at our wedding reception. (This was 2 years ago when we were 28 years old.) We served iced tea, coffee, water and what I call "church punch" - 7-up, fruit punch and sherbet. No one complained and no one stumbled out drunk. We served plenty of food. So much so that we ate leftovers for months out of the freezer! Alcohol was simply not a necessary expense.

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March 7, 20080 found this helpful

WE, the bride and groom, do not drink alcohol. We will plan to have a one hour cocktail hour at the reception. We will pay for this one hour. We decided the guests can pay for their own after the one hour.

Any suggestions on a nice punch to serve the remainder of time?

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July 24, 20120 found this helpful

Wow, talk about tacky. Anyone who grumbles that a party "isn't good enough" for them ought not to be invited. In my world the party giver decides what she is going to serve her guests; if that's not good enough, too bad. I'm opposed to providing alcohol at big events, especially as you are financially liable if your drunk guest goes out and causes havoc. And who wants to police and "shut off" relatives and friends during your big day? Also, open bars can run thousands of dollars.

You're supposed to be celebrating your loved one's big day. A wedding is not a "I have to provide free drinks for all of my guests so they'll decide to grace me with their presence" party. And alcohol, cubangirl is very expensive, especially if you're not throwing the party in your backyard. Forget about it. I'm so tired of people who only go to weddings because they think they'll get free alcohol. Do your "friends" a favor and stay home.

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July 25, 20120 found this helpful

I've never been to a wedding that had an open bar, and I've been to some nice weddings. Personally I think giving people an opportunity to drink themselves senseless is a bad idea, anyway. Most weddings I've been to have offered a glass of champagne at the toast and maybe a couple coupons for another drink. Wine might also be served at dinner. All other drinks were paid for by the guests.

It may seem "cheap" to you but bear in mind that providing alcohol for a lot of people is expensive, not to mention the bride and groom have already paid for the buffet, booking the hall, decorations, flowers, etc. And these days especially money is tight for a lot of people. Unless they've left you standing out in the rain with a cold hot dog I don't think you can really complain. Not having to pay for drinks is nice for the guests, but if that's your only concern you might have to ask why you're really at the wedding. A wedding is to celebrate the bride and groom, not just an opportunity to get blitzed for free.

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