While reading one of my wedding forums recently (yes, I do a lot of that) I read an interesting debate about alcohol at weddings, and, specifically, open bars. Opinion on this one was almost completely split, with half of the participants saying they’d never been to a wedding with an open bar, and didn’t think it was necessary, and the other half saying that they’d never been to one without one, and would find it incredibly rude if they were invited to someone’s wedding and expected to buy their own drinks.
Well, I’ve been to both kinds of weddings – both with open bars and without them – and I have to say that the latter have far outweighed the former. In fact, I think only one of the weddings I’ve been too had a free bar, and while it was a very pleasant surprise, it certainly wasn’t something I was expecting.
If we had a larger budget than we do, we’d probably consider having an open bar. As it is, we just can’t afford it, so, instead, we made sure we picked a venue that doesn’t charge extortionate bar prices, so that our guests won’t feel like they’re being robbed every time they fancy a drink. We will, of course, be providing wine with the meals, and champagne after the ceremony, and we may also put some money behind the bar at the start of the evening reception, but that’s about as far as our budget stretches and, to be perfectly honest, I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing.
At the wedding I attended where the bar was free, things started out well, but pretty quickly degenerated. At the bar, people were ordering as many drinks as they could carry, and then coming back for more: as you can imagine, the behaviour of the guests degenerated too after not very long, and it all struck me as money that might have been better spent on something else.
What do you think? Are you having a free bar at your wedding?