Should We Serve Shots at Our Wedding?

Etiquette, Food & Drink

One of a wedding guest's favorite things is an open bar. Whether it's champagne and mixed drinks or signature cocktails and the groom's favorite beers, being able to grab a drink at will really gets the party going! Another thing that can start the party? Shots. But this remnant of your college days can also go downhill — fast. Should you serve shots at your wedding, or should you nix the straight shooters? Our experts weigh in.

Before you start thinking about whether the two of you would like shots to be served at your wedding, check with your venue and bartending service. Some have a strict no-shots policy, which will make the decision a lot easier for you!

If you do have the option of serving shots, think about the context. You probably don't want anyone pounding drink after drink (which can make for a very sloppy wedding guest), but you could find a way to serve a shot strategically and then switch back to mixed drinks only. For example, a wedding on the beach in Mexico pretty much calls for a shot of tequila, which you could have passed around for guests to take as the toasts are finished, and then you could request that the bartenders not pour any additional shots for the rest of the evening. You could also only serve shots during a specific time, scheduling a cut-off an hour or so before the reception ends. And be sure to ask your bartenders to keep an eye on guests to make sure no one is over-served.

You'll also want to think through the cost of serving shots over mixed drinks. Because shots are consumed quickly and aren't cut with mixers, people tend to have a few shots in the time it would take them to drink one mixed drink. This means your alcohol consumption will skyrocket a lot faster, which will cost you more money — and could lead to you running out of certain liquors before the evening is over.

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