News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • May 31, 2016, 07:17:00 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Not providing alcohol/ Bar at venue will be open, no option for it to close  (Read 713 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JoanPD

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
I just found out that a deposit was put down for a venue for my wedding in July. I'm fine with the venue, the only option is, this location has a bar, and due to budget we were only planning on having the champagne toast, and my preference was either we pay for wine/beer, or no alcohol at all. I am opposed to having a cash bar.   

This venue has a bar that will be open, and for obvious reasons, will not turn customers away, which essential gives my wedding a cash bar. While I know in some areas it is common, it is not something that I feel is appropriate, and I'm afraid that people will feel that we are taking advantage of them if there is a cash bar.

Since a non-refundable deposit was already put down on the hall, I don't want anyone to be out that money, but at the same time how do I deal with the fact that now I'm going to have a cash bar at my wedding.

The reception is going to be at a knights of Columbus hall

cross_patch

  • Member
  • Posts: 427
I'd just continue to pay for wine/beer, if that's what you want to do, and then people can access the bar if they really want to. That's pretty normal at every wedding I've been at, and wouldn't be a cash bar (to me, anyway). My experience is Australia/Ireland though, so YMMV.

Psychopoesie

  • Member
  • Posts: 1547
Agree with crosspatch. I'm from Australia though - may make a difference.

The bigger problem seems to be that someone is making key decisions about your wedding (putting down a non-refundable deposit for example) without checking with you first.

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7337
I agree with the previous two posts. Most (all?) weddings I've been to have just had wine/beer/soft drinks available to guests for free. That's plenty.  If guests want more than that, it's on them.

Runningstar

  • Member
  • Posts: 629
My suggestion is for you to add in one premixed specialty cocktail choice to the wine and beer.  It could be a simple mojito or some fruity drink with vodka for example.  They are not expensive to make, and are usually very popular.  Then if a guest doesn't like beer/wine, there is a "free" cocktail choice.

camlan

  • Member
  • Posts: 9409
My suggestion is for you to add in one premixed specialty cocktail choice to the wine and beer.  It could be a simple mojito or some fruity drink with vodka for example.  They are not expensive to make, and are usually very popular.  Then if a guest doesn't like beer/wine, there is a "free" cocktail choice.

This would be a good solution, if it is within your budget. I've been to several weddings, both in New England and in the southern US, where the hosts have done this. No one thought anything of it. If adding a cocktail isn't in the budget, wine and beer are fine.

One thing a lot of us forget is that hospitality doesn't have to change when you are hosting outside your home. The reason you rent a venue is because you can't fit all your guests in your home. At home, you probably don't have a fully stocked bar that can produce any alcoholic drink a guest desires--you have a reasonable amount of the alcohol you drink and maybe one or two bottles of stuff you know some of your guests like. That's the level of hospitality you match at your venue, not the contents of a for-profit bar.

You can have little signs made, and put them in picture frames on the bar, listing a free drinks "menu." The bartenders should be able to tell people what's free and what's not.

I agree with Psychopoesie, though. Who is making decisions about your wedding without you? And why? This needs to be nipped in the bud. If there is a venue you'd prefer over this one, I'd go ahead and book that. The couple of hundred dollars this other person spent on the deposit would be a good lesson not to make decisions without you. Because from my point of view, without any info, it sounds like someone is trying to control your wedding, and this might be just the first of many such decisions.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


HannahGrace

  • Member
  • Posts: 1074
How did a deposit get put down on a venue without you knowing about it until later?  This is a bigger issue than what to serve.

Dazi

  • like the flower
  • Member
  • Posts: 5236
You are not having a cash bar. You are having a wedding reception at a place that happens to have a bar on the premises that will be open. If people choose to utilize the bar, that is on them. I'd stick to your original plan of serving beer/wine only with champagne toast if that's what you still want.

I had a similar problem, only my DH's family requested a dry wedding due to their religious beliefs. Since my wedding was held early in the day, I didn't care one way or the other (I'd like to point out, not having an open bar also saved us several thousand dollars). There were people who did go down to the bar. They wanted a drink, they were adults, their business.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





JoanPD

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
How did a deposit get put down on a venue without you knowing about it until later?  This is a bigger issue than what to serve.

My fiance just got engaged on Saturday, and we have talked about having the wedding July 9th, since our anniversary is the 8th. I did tell him he could choose the venue. His mom found a venue that worked, he liked, and was in our budget, and they had that day available, but they book fast, and it's first come first serve. They did tried to get into touch with me, but since I was at work, they were unsuccsfful. He did tell his mom if I didn't like it he would reimburse her the deposit.

HannahGrace

  • Member
  • Posts: 1074
As long as you are OK with it I guess!  I would not want my future MIL that much involved in choosing things for my wedding without me.

As far as your question, while it's not ideal, I think it's OK as long as there are options for beverages that the guests do not need to pay for, and as long as it's clear to the guests before they order which those are.  I know that some venues do not allow you to put up signs, though, clarifying that certain drinks are free and others aren't, so I would check that with the venue before you move further.

rose red

  • Member
  • Posts: 9684
I'm not familiar with Knights of Columbus halls. Is the bar right in the reception hall or do people need to leave the room to go to the bar?

Oh Joy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1719
Is the layout such that the main bar is open to the public, but your reception is in a separate room?  If so, it may be worth the extra expense for them to set up a portable bar in your area and only stock it with your selected drink menu that you host.  If someone wants a martini or a glass of scotch,  they can walk over to the main bar.

mumma to KMC

  • Member
  • Posts: 775
I'm not familiar with Knights of Columbus halls. Is the bar right in the reception hall or do people need to leave the room to go to the bar?

At most Knight's halls I've been in, the reception hall is separate from the bar area. (My grandpa/father/husband were/are Knights.)

Depending on where the K of C hall is, you have to be a member to buy a drink, OP you might want to check that out as well. (Laws depend on locality, but I know that at our local one, you can't just walk in off the street and order a beer.)

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3159
I hear you!

I live in a community where cash bars are considered a no-no, so I would have the same concern as you do.

I agree with others that a lot depends on the layout.  Is the bar right in your reception room or just outside it, or is it in a separate room you aren't using for anything, or at least pretty far away?  Do you have the entire venue for the evening, or are there other things going on?  Is the bar open to the public during your wedding?  Is part of the venue rental agreement that you must use their bar for your event? 

I like Oh Joy's suggestion: set up a separate bar in your reception room with just the things you are offering.  Then it is clear that the cash bar out in the lobby or wherever has nothing to do with your wedding.  If people want to wander over there and buy drinks, that's on them (and not terribly gracious to be satisfied with what you're providing, but so what), the same as if they went to a wedding in a hotel and went in the hall and bought a candy bar at a vending machine or the gift shop.

But if the layout/terms of rental don't allow this "fix," then I would call them and explain that it is a huge problem for you.  See what they will do for you; they don't want to lose a customer.  The worst that can happen is they say no.

Tierrainney

  • Member
  • Posts: 1178
  • Where the swans winter
Call or visit the Hall to clarify all details.

We had our wedding reception at a Knights of Columbus hall. the choices given were a dry reception, or getting all alcohol through the Hall and paying a very large sum. We went with a dry wedding, using sparking (non alcoholic) cider for toasts, and providing water, punch and coffee for beverages. It wasn't a big deal to us, as on my side of the family, alcohol was usually the occasional beer on a hot summer day, and on his, about the same or less.

The set up was a large room for the reception, then a bar in a separate room nearby. Since we were not buying, the bar was kept locked up during the reception.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.