Author Topic: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?  (Read 11543 times)

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AndreaBeth105

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Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« on: June 15, 2011, 01:00:30 PM »
I hope that you all can help me out with a question.  In a few weeks, I am co-hosting a low-key bachelorette evening for a good friend.  I am taking responsibility for the food and drinks, and providing the location.  The evening will involve a small group (10) of ladies getting together for Mexican food and chatter.  The party is on a week night.

The bride-to-be is a very, very sweet woman of very strong convictions.  One of her convictions has to do with people driving after consuming alcohol.  She never drives after having even one drink, and would prefer that others do the same.  For the record, she never forces her own opinion on anyone and she does not have a problem with alcohol in general.  I know about this conviction from a conversation that she and I had on an evening where neither of us was drinking.

So here's my question: what should I do about serving drinks?  Since this is a bachelorette party, I think most of the women attending will expect cocktails.  That is the norm in our circle.  However, in deference to the bride, I would like to change it up a bit. 

Would it be rude of me to provide margaritas/sangria during dinner only?  I would just serve pitchers with the meal so that people could drink as many/few as they pleased.  When dinner was over, I would just whisk the pitcher away with the rest of the dinner dishes.  And then, for the remainder of the evening, I'd provide punch, iced tea, coffee, water, and a variety of sodas.  (These would all be available during dinner as well.)

What do you all think?  Is this rude?  If the consensus is that it is rude, should I provide both all evening?  Or should I just cut the alcohol from the menu?

Thank you all for your help!
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Judah

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 01:21:45 PM »
I think your plan sounds fine.  You're not telling people when to stop drinking, you're just closing the bar. I don't see any rudeness at all.
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Winterlight

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 01:29:19 PM »
There's nothing wrong with offering a limited selection or time period for drinks.
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QueenofAllThings

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 03:13:59 PM »
I think you're fine.
I also think that everyone (unless you know differently) can be expected to behave responsibly. If not, plan on having the phone number for a cab company handy.

Wonderflonium

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 03:21:09 PM »
If you wanted to keep the theme going, you could switch to nonalcoholic margaritas and sangrias after dinner. Perhaps switch up the flavors so that it's more about varying the menu than cutting people off. (Not that there's anything wrong with cutting off the alcohol flow, but this might make things flow moer smoothly.)
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penelope2017

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 03:25:12 PM »
It's a good plan, but I have some questions.

-Have you talked to the co-host and she agreed to this plan?

-What do you plan to do if someone asks for another margarita? If I knew you had served margaritas, I wouldn't think twice about saying, "Hey, did you want me to refill that sangria pitcher" or "Hey, can you tell me where I can get a margarita?"

-What do you plan to do if one or more brings wine/champagne etc. as their contribution to the party to share? Are you prepared to tell them they are not allowed to serve it.


This is a private home, not a prepaid bar to cut off. It's also a bachelorette party. You don't know if a group of girls plan to carpool with one as the designated driver to enjoy safely. I don't think you are rude at all, but I have to say I'd be put off if I drove with someone for example, and asked for another margarita at a party, after they've already been served a margarita,  and was denied due to someone else's convictions even though there was no safety issue. You can say you only drink what's served, but this isn't a formal gathering. I don't see someone expecting to be served a margarita if they had already seen margaritas being served. What if they prefer not to drink a margarita with their dinner and save it for later?

You should be prepared for some complications, especially if these are women you know regularly  celebrate with cocktails. The only way I can see avoiding any misunderstandings is to tell people in advance.

ClaireC79

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 04:58:52 PM »
I'd find it weird if I'm honest (and I'm someone who won't drive after having any alcohol) and could well see me asking for another drink if I knew there had been pitchers of sangria etc available during the meal (because I would have arranged for me not to drive home following a bachelorette party)

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 05:06:51 PM »
  I don't think you are being rude but I do think you might be assuming the worse about the other 9 guests.  Is the goal that no one has a single drink 2 hours before they drive and will you be counting drinks at dinner? If someone had 4 drinks at dinner it would be the same as having 1 or1.5-2 depending on their weight and metabolism drink a hour before.  You might  better accomplish your goal by having a dry party or arranging for transportation( arranging meaning making available not necessarily paying for)

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 05:27:54 PM »
Are you communicating to the invitees the background of why there is limited alcohol refreshments? I would easily relinquish an evening of alcohol for my dear friend; however, I think it would lessen potential confusion (and disappointment) for all if the situation were communicated clearly from the get go.

If it is not communicated, I can see misunderstandings and confusion.

I can see someone planning on taking the next day off from work to recover from drinking the night before...I know some folks who would do that. But if the expectations were laid out clearly in advance, and I knew the alcohol was restricted, then it frees me up to plan accordingly (drive myself to/from the party, put in a full day's work the next day, etc.)

gollymolly2

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 05:41:35 PM »
I don't think it would be rude to do what you're suggesting, but to be honest I haven't really thought it through because I'm caught up on another aspect.  I'm one of those, like the bride to be, who prefers that people don't drive after they've had even one drink.  So I don't understand how your plan is to be a solution or cater to her convictions. 

It seems to me that people are still going to drink tequila (margaritas) and wine.  And, indeed, they're probably going to drink more of each since both drinks are fruity and tend to overpower the alcohol taste.  If your goal is to have people "sober up" a bit over dinner, then cool.  But that doesn't really meet the bride-to-be's preference that people not drink (anything) and drive.

It sounds like people will be driving home from your home (or making other arrangements), so chances are that they'll monitor their own drinking anyway.  Now, some of them may drink more then you or the bride to be are comfortable with, but I don't think cutting off drinks after dinner will really affect that.


One other thing

Kinseyanne

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 08:36:03 PM »
I don't think it's rude, I just think it may over complicate things.  Especially if, like a pp said, someone decides to bring a bottle of wine or champagne to share with everyone.  I think it would be easier to just provide non-alcoholic drinks, and then if anyone brings wine that can be what's shared with the group.
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Larrabee

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 10:10:28 PM »
As gollymolly said, the reasoning behind this doesn't make sense.

If the bride is only against drinking if somebody plans to drive then she could just find out who the drivers are, present then with their specially made non-alcoholic cocktails when the margaritas come out and let the drinks flow freely for everybody else. 

As it stands, she's setting a limit for everyone, whether they're driving or not, that is above what would be safe for a driver.

She needs to trust her friends not to behave irresponsibly, or be prepared to confiscate car keys and call cabs if the worst happens.  Either that or serve no alcohol at all.  It seems really off to me to essentially say "Yes, you may drink alcohol but only in a quantity that I deem appropriate."  If these are adult women they can make their own decision!


Brentwood

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 10:46:57 PM »
Your plan is not rude on the face of it, but unless you tell everyone in advance and make it clear ("Alcoholic beverages will be served during dinner only"), you will have people who will be taken aback and possibly insulted. You obviously intend no insult, but I know I would be annoyed/irritated/insulted if someone else presumed to monitor my alcoholic intake for me and decided for me how much is enough and what time is appropriate for stopping. I may have arranged for someone else to drive. I may have allotted myself one drink and prefer to have it after dinner. Simply "whisking away" the pitchers with the dinner dishes isn't likely to work. People who have already been served a drink may ask for another glass of that delicious sangria.

If the concern is that people not drive after having even a single drink, your best bet is simply not to serve alcohol at all. Better to have none than to come off as if you are monitoring and policing others' consumption.

Larrabee

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 10:50:29 PM »
I also think the fact that its a bachelorette party is very relevant.  At least here in the UK it would be very very unusual to attend a hen party where alcohol wasn't freely available, people almost always plan so that they can get home safely keep the next day free etc. 

Brentwood

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Re: Is it okay to offer limited alcoholic drinks?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 10:52:27 PM »
I also think the fact that its a bachelorette party is very relevant.  At least here in the UK it would be very very unusual to attend a hen party where alcohol wasn't freely available, people almost always plan so that they can get home safely keep the next day free etc. 

I thought of that aspect too. Having a few drinks is the norm for bachelorette parties in the US also, or at the very least quite common and often expected.