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  1.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
      Is poweruserJust marriedBadgeBadge
     
    OK, so, we're putting a decent amount of money behind the bar: hopefully about £2.5k. However, we need to impose restrictions due to the cost of certain drinks at our venue (eg cocktails start at £9 each; some of the spirits cost £24 PER MEASURE (!), some of the wines cost around £100 a bottle... You get the idea.

    Originally, we were going to offer beer, one of each type of wine (1 red, 1 white, 1 rose) in 175ml glasses, and some single spirits and mixers (basically the ones costing £6.25 or less). Problem is I went through the list and if we do that, we will need to provide menus of some form explaining that there is a limited tab, and what is and isn't available. I worry that this could get confusing for both the guests and the staff, and I'm also worried that people who don't usually bother with spirits will see that they're 'free' and order them for the sake of it. Further, only ONE guest (my MOH) will only drink spirits; everyone else will happily drink beer and wine. So it isn't like loads of people would be left feeling left-out, if that makes sense (and I'd give her money or a voucher with her gift to the tune of what most other people will get).

    So, now we're wondering whether we should keep it simple and just offer beers, wines, and soft drinks. That way it's easy for the staff and guests, and it should also mean that the tab goes a lot further (I reckon it will easily last all night, probably with cash left over). If it's going a lot further than we thought, we can always then choose to open it up to more drinks if we want (we could have menus that reflect this as part of 'Plan B').

    What does everyone think? I'm kind of torn. I would love to offer spirits and mixers as there are some people who prefer them, inc a couple of my best friends. At the same time, we're not forcing everyone to drink beer and wine; they can purchase other drinks if they want to (in fact I might try a couple of cocktails myself lol). What to do?!
  2.  
    • Showgirl
      CommentAuthorShowgirl
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
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    Could you maybe issue vouchers to your guests with a set amount (the average cost of a beer or glass of wine) and if they want a cocktail above that amount they can either use multiple vouchers or pay the difference themselves? Or instead of the vouchers just inform the bar staff that if a guest asks for certain drinks then they are to be informed that they will have to pay x amount for it themselves.
  3.  
    • DanielleMystic
      CommentAuthorDanielleMystic
      Getting married in 9 years
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
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    maybe make it clear to the guests that they can only order 1 or 2 GLASSES of drink each to ensure everyone gets a drink. I know someone who put raffle tickets in the invites and they could exchange that for a drink on tab but once they'd used their tickets if they wanted more drink they had to pay. that way if people have tickets they're not going to use they can give them to other people who are - hope thats not too confusing :) x

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  4.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
      Is poweruserJust marriedBadgeBadge
     
    We're not going to do tickets as I think it's a lot of hassle, and TBH with the amount we're putting behind we don't really need to; we'll have about 80 guests max who will be drinking, so that allows around £30 a head, which is enough for 6 glasses of wine, or 7 beers; which I think is more than enough. I think tokens will just get complicated.

    So basically our options are to include single spirits and mixers on the tab, but have a menu detailing which ones are included, or just have beer, wine and soft drinks only on the tab, and people pay if they want anything else. I think if we go with the latter most people will just stick with beer and wine, as everyone bar my MOH drinks those things.

    If we go with the beer/wine/soft drinks approach then the bar staff will let people know :-)
  5.  
    • LauraK7
      CommentAuthorLauraK7
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
     
    My brother and his wife did beer and wine only but my dad likes a good whiskey and at some points they specifically asked for one or two for him from the staff x
  6.  
    • InDreamland
      CommentAuthorInDreamland
      Got married 7 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
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    You're very generous. We didn't provide any drinks at the bar. The only drinks we provided and paid for were the reception drinks after the church when everyone arrived at the reception venue with canapés and wine and bottled water during the wedding breakfast with a glass of bubbly each. Anyone getting drinks from the bar and in the evening had to pay for their own.

    Personally I'd limit their options to beer, certain wines, certain spirits and soft drinks if you do want to buy guests drinks.

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  7.  
    • AprilS61
      CommentAuthorAprilS61
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
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    I must say, there's no way I would set up a tab so you're being generous enough as it is! Our guests are just having the welcome drinks and to toast at the breakfast etc, just the average drinks package included in our package.

    If you're wanting to include spirits, I woud probably have vodka, gin and rum sorta thing. Three most common or whatever you know your guests are more likely to drink. Then you coud have that with the beer and wine if thats what you want.

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  8.  
    • Mrschapman2b.
      CommentAuthorMrschapman2b.
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
     
    Well that's generous you are offering a paid for bar it isn't something I've given any thought to tbh I feel guests can other than perhaps a toast drink provide themselves. My honest thought? Unless it's a custom or something in your family and a typical thing to do. Go on a even better honeymoon!
  9.  
    • CommentAuthorMrsRobson2Be
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
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    I would go with the beer, wine & soft drinks, with spirits I think people could take the pi55!! ie with the single unit only, whats to stop your guests ordering 3 vodkas with a dash of coke & then pouring them into 1 glass.
  10.  
    • CharlotteE98
      CommentAuthorCharlotteE98
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 26th 2014
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
     
    H2B's Sister and Brother in Law just had a bar tab for themselves (to save carrying money etc around) and had the option to 'buy' people a drink if they wanted to. We didn't know anything about it until after the wedding but I believe a couple of people benefited from it :o) We had thought about doing a 'have a drink on us' ticket for our guests but it's going to be too expensive.
  11.  
    • ErinV
      CommentAuthorErinV
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
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    I would personally stick with the beer, wine & soft drink option otherwise it will just be too confusing and difficult to manage. We are thinking about doing this as well, but nowhere near the amount you are, but not 100% yet - depends on what's leftover with regards to budget.
  12.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
      Is poweruserJust marriedBadgeBadge
     
    Thanks guys!

    Also, my dad did mentioning about getting certain people different drinks if he chooses to; my concern with that is that other guests might feel put-out/like their second class citizens. I kind of feel it should just be one rule for everyone, apart from my MOH who we'll give a few £ to to cover some of her drinks.

    Re having just one of each spirit: this could be quite tricky. It's quite a fancy venue, and they have an extensive selection of spirits. I wouldn't want to limit it too much if we do include spirits, as, for eg Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire gins cost the same, but taste totally different; so how would you decide which to offer? I kind of feel it would be better to have a cut-off based on price eg everything up to £3.75 (just for the spirit) is included, anything over isn't.

    Still haven't quite decided, but leaning towards just keeping it to beers, wine and soft drinks for simplicity's sake.

    Keira: I don't think anyone would order several, our guests aren't like that, they're very polite. However, they might be more likely to, say, try a new spirit if they know it's on the tab. That and single spirits and mixers start at £5.75, whereas beer is £4 and wine is £4.70; people often drink spirits more quickly than pints or wine, so I think it might get used up more quickly, that's my main worry.
  13.  
    • lala "mod" bunni
      CommentAuthorlala "mod" bunni
      Got married 8 years ago
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
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    why not do beer wine and a signature cocktail that has been made just for you

  14.  
    • CommentAuthorMrsManiatt
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
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    Wow you must really trust your guests! The last 2 times I went to weddings with open bars there was hell from where people drank too much, took the p*** and ended up ruining the night for a lot of people (Riot vans nearly took FOB and Uncle carted off in ambulance, that kind of hell). So for ours we have said no bar tab. We are giving a drink for welcome and toast, and that's it, if they want it, they buy it. Hopefully that will keep people more calm. Hopefully you're guests are more considerate! xxx
  15.  
    • Elinor Claire
      CommentAuthorElinor Claire
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
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    We're not doing a bar tab. There's unlimited wine provided with the meal, and afterwards people can get there own. There's one person we don't want to encourage to drink anyway.

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  16.  
    • MrsCross2be
      CommentAuthorMrsCross2be
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 27th 2014
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
     
    I like the beer and signature cocktail idea - or could you (instead of paper menus) write on an easel or something similar the names of a selection of included drinks - beer, wine, soft drinks, mojito and vodka and coke etc?
  17.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 28th 2014
      Is poweruserJust marriedBadgeBadge
     
    lala and Mrs Cross: I had thought of signature cocktails, but cocktails at our venue start at £9 for something very simple, and go up to £14; so even if we had something at the lower end, it would still be very pricey ie the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine/2.5 pints of lager/cider/beer. So if we do spirits it def won't include cocktails of any form, it'd be limited to single spirits and mixers (which cost from £5.75 each, so, more reasonable!)

    MrsManiatt: Yeah, we do trust our guests lol. There is no-one coming who will take the p*ss; I've been to events with fully-open bars with a similar crowd and if anything people were more restrained than they would have been if they were paying. So that is just not a concern of ours :-) Plus I tend to think if people are going to get sh*t faced they will regardless of whether they have to pay or not lol
  18.  
    • GhilaL
      CommentAuthorGhilaL
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 28th 2014
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    We get a 400.00 bar tab with our wedding package so with the invites we are going to put a free drink ticket and and check with the venue if they have had that before so it's fair that everyone gets a free drink 80 guests and if hey want more than that they can buy it!!
  19.  
    • TheFutureMrsK
      CommentAuthorTheFutureMrsK
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 28th 2014
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    you are being very generous :) do you have a drinks package as well or is the tab instead of a drinks package? Our drinks package is going to cost that alone so we're not doing a tab. xxx

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  20.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    Ghila: that's pretty cool that they include one with the package! And I agree that in your case tickets would be the way to go so that everyone gets a free drink.

    FutureMrsK: Personally I think £2.5k is unnecessary, but my parents are insisting on it lol. We do have a drinks package too, which comes to £2100 for the 58 drinkers (that includes 2 welcome drinks (1 sparkling wine; 1 buck's fizz); 1/2 bottle of red or white wine OR 2 bottles/pints of lager OR 2 bottles of cider; glass of champagne for the toast), then soft drinks for the 5 who don't drink and water for the tables will probably cost another £150 or so :-s Approx 20% of our budget is going on alcohol/drinks alone... :-/
  21.  
    • TheFutureMrsK
      CommentAuthorTheFutureMrsK
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    lol fair enough, are you parents paying for the tab? Your drinks package sounds really good, there is a lot in it xxx

    “Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”
    -Ambrose Bierce

  22.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    They are, yes; they're paying for most of the wedding (about 70%), with OH and I paying for things like the honeymoon, rings, thank you gifts, cake, his outfit, etc.

    Yeah I'm quite pleased with the drinks package; it's £36.50 a head (well technically it's £30 but that only includes one welcome drink, so we added a second one on for an extra £6.50) which I didn't think was too bad. Likewise I didn't think the food was too expensive: £50 a head and guests get to choose (in advance) from 3 different desserts and starters and 4 main courses, which was important to us. The venue have been very accommodating TBH.
  23.  
    • kittyh
      CommentAuthorkittyh
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    If it was me I would include the spirits and mixers and obv make sure you can't order doubles but thats cos I absolutely hate wine and beer and most of my friends only drink spirits. I would then make some menus with the drinks that they can choose

    eg.

    Please have a drink to celebrate on us!

    wine
    beer
    vodka & mixer
    jd & mixer
    gin & mixer

    and just keep it very limited....we are having a bar tab as well but luckily our venue doesn't have a huge selection! i don't think it matters if you just pick one spirit of each (the cheapest haha!)- if people are that bothered about the difference between vodka A and vodka B then they are fussy enough to pay for their own!
  24.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    kitty: with the exception of one person (my MOH) everyone coming drinks beer/lager/cider/wine; and not just drinks them, but it would be their drink of choice generally speaking (ie what they'd order on a night out). There are people who will drinks spirits and mixers, but usually later on; likewise we have a couple of people who like a whiskey or 3, but again they tend to drink it later on and start on beer.

    My worry is that because the cost is higher and because people often drink a spirit and mixer more quickly than a pint of lager or glass of wine, it could run the tab down much more quickly; and it would be nice if some drinks were 'free' all night.

    I'm still torn, just trying to weigh up the pros and cons, which I think can probably be summarised as:

    Including spirits and mixers:

    Pros:
    More choice

    Cons:
    People who don't usually drink them might because it's 'free'
    More expensive
    Bar tab won't last as long (kind of relates to points 1 and 2)

    Beer and wine only:

    Pros:
    With the exception of 1 person (who we'll give an allowance to so she isn't left out) everyone coming drinks beer and wine
    Bar tab will go much further (probably all night)

    Cons:
    Less choice

    Urgh! First world problems, hey?!

    If we had a lot of people who only drink spirits it would be easier: we'd just include them. But that isn't the case and I don't want people ordering them 'just because', it feels kind of wasteful. And they might because it's stuff like Grey Goose and nice Scotch whiskies which people tend not to splash out on themselves.
  25.  
    • kittyh
      CommentAuthorkittyh
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    haha yeah i defo wouldn't be including the grey goose on there! i would just put the boring options on - smirnoff/bacardi blah blah blah i reckon people would just stick to what they would usually drink so if they are lager drinkers then thats what they would order i don't think people would change their drinking habits just for the sake of it but maybe thats just me. but i can see what you mean about the cost meaning the tab would go quicker...if your guests are generally beer/wine drinkers then maybe just limit it to that then as there won't really be anybody too bothered. first world problems indeed! :)
  26.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    They don't really do any 'normal' spirits lol; the cheapest vodkas are Zubrowka, Grey Goose and Belvedere, and the cheapest gins are Tanqueray, Plymouth and Bombay Sapphire; same goes for the whiskies; basically, the things that would be among the most expensive in most places are among the cheapest here lol. One of the liquers is £17.50 for a 25ml measure! :-0
  27.  
    • kittyh
      CommentAuthorkittyh
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    haha i would want a shot of gold for that money! :)
  28.  
    • AH86
      CommentAuthorAH86
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    I think having a bar tab is very generous so honestly, I would stick to beer and wine and for members of bridal party/ family who specify other drinks, maybe set up tabs for those people? Either way if it gets too tricky I would just do beers and wines in general not he tab. Then give those family members an amount up to £30 as you have with the others on the tab.

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  29.  
    • CommentAuthorHelainaH
      Posted: Apr 29th 2014
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    I would stick to beer, wine and soft drinks on the tab. It makes it easier for the bar staff to keep tabs on what is and isn't included.
    Plus, you could always say that after 10pm (or something like that) the tab can include selected spirits.

    Me and the hubby went to a wedding a year before we got married, and they had an open tab. People went crazy - seriously!
    You say you don't have anyone like that, neither did this couple until the said "open bar". These were all middle class people, on really good salaries (doctors, geologists etc). Moral of the story, even the tame sensible people go crazy when drinks are free. For example; people were ordering cava-bombs (I'd never heard of them before), jager 'bombed' in cava :-S

    It really opened up mine and the hubby's eyes. Because of this, we bought 2 casks of ale, and a load of white and red wine, and some port and baileys for our guests to help themselves to. The port and baileys was brought out for when the cake was served. The soft drinks were cheap enough, and everything else could be bought at the bar by the guests. We informed our guests of the drinks situation, so they could bring cash if they felt they'd need it.

    I hope that helps x
  30.  
    • ErinV
      CommentAuthorErinV
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 30th 2014
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
     
    I think you have answered your on question with the pros and con's list. More con's on spirits tab and more pros on wine, beer tab so I would ho with that and give mil her own tab for spirits, keep it simple - less hassle that way.
  31.  
    • barbie86
      CommentAuthorbarbie86
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Apr 30th 2014
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    Helaina: I do agree that people can go crazy, but honestly, I've been to open-bar events with the same crowd as is coming to our wedding and in general, people were more reserved if anything, and conscious of looking like they were taking the p*ss (and that was a fully-open bar, no restrictions).

    That said, I see your point; and I think in our case it wouldn't be people going crazy for the sake of it/to take the p*ss, but more that people might see that, say, Grey Goose is included and think 'Ooh, I've always meant to try that; I might get one and see if it really does taste better seeing as it's free!' and it not cross their mind that actually it isn't 'free', someone (ie my parents!) is paying for it.

    Erin: Yeah I think I probably have lol. I think we'll probably start with just beer, wine and soft drinks and if there's loads left at say 11pm, open it up to include other drinks. Or, like others have said, my dad can always get drinks for people on the tab (though my worry with that is that it might look like favouritism and people might be put out if he's going out of his way to just get a handful of people spirits; that's also why we won't give my MOH a tab as such, we'll just give her cash so that no-one knows).
  32.  
    • Whovianbride
      CommentAuthorWhovianbride
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Apr 30th 2014
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    I would just say nothing over £5 per drink!

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