Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Last Call!

One of the issues that NavyGuy and I agreed on immediately when it came to the wedding reception was the issue of liquor. We're fans. Our families are fans. Our friends are fans. Frankly we don't know many people who aren't fans. This wedding would need to have liquor.

However, we then faced the eternal conundrum... open bar, or cash bar? Both sides have their merits. Depending on the size of your guest list and the size of your budget, this can be a non-starter. Some couples opt for a total cash bar, which I've never found as rude or abominable as many wedding etiquette experts will lead you to believe it is. I don't happen to think that it is outrageous to ask guests to pay for their own alcohol; it's never the only option for them to drink at a wedding (most places will offer water, soda, and juice) so they are not required to spend any money if they don't want to. Most of the weddings I've attending in the past have been cash bars; I always assume I'm going to have to pay if I want to drink, and occasionally I've been pleasantly surprised to receive my white wine gratis.

We felt that provided we could afford it, we would like to offer our guests some complimentary liquor. Instead of having a full open bar, we're hosting wine and beer, along with soda and juice. Other hard liquor for mixed drinks will be available, but on a cash basis. We thought it was a good compromise. Another popular trend at weddings to strike a happy medium between cash and open bar is the "signature drink." Usually given a cute or witty name (based on a wedding word or the couple's names), that specific alcoholic drink is hosted and may be the only alcoholic option available. Some of your bar choice depends on your venue. Ours has a stocked bar and it doesn't cost extra to offer hard liquor; at other venues, it may be up to the couple to bring in the liquor, in which case they may not want to buy lots of varieties of alcohol.

Of course, all of this liquor talk means that as hosts of a party, we need to be responsible and make sure that our guests have a safe evening! Anyone have a strong opinion on the cash vs. open bar? Will our guests be griping that they have to shell out for a rum and diet Coke? (Historygirlie... I'll cover yours :)


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