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Wedding Planning: To Have an Open Bar or Not to Have an Open Bar

Wedding Planning: To Have an Open Bar or Not to Have an Open Bar

We read an interesting article recently that discussed the idea of hosting a dry wedding.  Certainly, there are those couples for which this would be a reasonable and expected decision.  However, for most, the concept of a dry wedding would only be scoffed at.  In this case, the groom was concerned about the drinking habits of some of the friends and family members to be invited.  The advice he received was that he should not attempt to be responsible for all those who will attend, and, perhaps, to compromise with his bride-to-be and in-laws-to-be by suggesting a beer-and-wine only alternative.

The truth is that there are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to host an open bar at a wedding reception.  Guests will, for the most part, welcome the gesture and be sincerely grateful for the opportunity to drink and be merry at no added expense to themselves.  Of course, there is a major cost that is going to be passed along to you, or to whomever is paying for the event.  So, the cost is generally the biggest deciding factor.

That said, there are other things to consider.  If you don’t pay for the open bar, or you do attempt to throw a dry wedding, there is a very good chance that people will drink ahead of time, or that they will bring flasks into the event with you.  Having people intoxicated before the ceremony could spell more trouble than allowing them to imbibe a bit heavily at the reception.  The beer-and-wine only solution can cut down on cost and also limit the alcoholic options provided to guests.  People generally drink beer and wine more slowly than mixed drinks and shots, so the intoxication is longer in the making, which could play to your benefit as well.  But, if you or your spouse-to-be strongly prefer mixed drinks, then you could be letting yourself down.  Beer and wine do tend, also, to cause worse hangovers than clear spirits do.

The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer.  Don’t try to please everyone else.  Trying to make everyone happy generally leads to no one being happy, most especially, you. Instead, consider your budget and your approach to alcohol.  Make a decision that please you and your spouse-to-be, and it will all work out in the end.

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