Barring Open Bar: How can I prevent intoxicated family members from causing trouble?

Q: I am worried about having an open bar at my wedding because there are a few members of my fiancé’s family that we believe would take advantage of the open bar, get really drunk, and embarrass us.  We are also concerned about being liable if they choose to drink and drive.  How can we handle or prevent this situation?



A: There is no “rule” that states you must have an open bar at your reception. It is your choice whether to have an open or limited bar or none at all.However, if you decide to have an open bar, your fiancé or a close relative might speak beforehand to those members of his family that may overindulge or “assign” another person to monitor them at the reception. You may also say to your caterer that anyone who is on the verge of becoming intoxicated will not be served any more alcohol.

One Comment

  1. Lillibette

    I definitely agree that a limited bar (as in beer and wine with no hard stuff, not limited in that it turns to cash bar after a certain time) is a great option for keeping alcohol consumption low, but also trust your bartenders not to over-serve anyone. Asking a family member to babysit a drunk will just make the babysitter resentful and have no fun. Also – I know I’ll get flack for this suggestion – if adult people can’t be trusted to behave appropriately at a wedding then don’t invite them!

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