Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving

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StijnLucia Posts : 8 Registered: 11/21/08
Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 3:34 PM

Hi everyone,

I have found a really nice place I would like to have my wedding however it is about 60 minutes away from where I live. There are also a bunch of winding roads that you have to drive on. I wouldn't consider any of my guests to be drunks but I want them to have a good time. I am worried about them driving home, especially that far. Does anyone have suggestions? I thought about getting a charter bus but I'm not sure how to coordinate that. My idea was to have everyone get picked up and one location (close to home) and then get them dropped off there at the end, that way they have an hour to sober up and only a 5 minute drive home (for most). The problem I see is...what if people want to leave early, etc. I'm not sure what to do about it and I really love this place so I don't want to change it.

Any suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time.

Lucia

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 3:55 PM Go to message in response to: StijnLucia

I wish more people would think about this at their events! A few simple and practical ideas:

1. make sure you have good non-alcoholic beverages. A lot of people spend time thinking of great signature drinks without spending any time on the non-alcoholic drinks. We offered some non-alcoholic champagne, that tasted fabulous as I am sure non-drinkers get tired of the gingerale option, as well as the usual pop and juice.

2. close the bar an hour before the end of your wedding - its not a guarantee people won't be intoxicated, but it can help.

3. taxis. If you aren't sure about taxis in the area I would do a little research and find out if they are available and maybe give them a heads up about the wedding. Have the taxi number printed out somewhere so its easily accessible - right on top of the bar would be a great place.

4. ask for help from friends and family - Everyone wants everyone else to get home safe and sound. This is particularly good if you have any guests who are known to be heavier drinkers.

You could look into a charter bus if this is something you really want to offer, although I suspect it might be fairly expensive. Hope this helps

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CocaMarie1378 Posts : 76 Registered: 11/4/06
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 4:24 PM Go to message in response to: StijnLucia

I too had this dilema for my out of town guest and because of this, I chose to have the reception at the same hotel guest will be staying at. My FH's family will be coming in from the east coast so it made since to use the ballroom where they will be staying. Besides it was free. I applaud you for even considering your guest most people would not have truly thought of it. One idea that comes to mind is to request that each guest be given x amount of tickets for alcoholic beverages (3 or 4). This way once they are out of tickets that is it. You can have the tickets personalized but if you think this is tacky then just have the bartender he has the right to refuse a guest. Now if they have a problem with this, than he should contact you. Another thing you may want to look into is a cab company. You can contact a cab company to see if you could work something out for your guest.
Wishing you PEACE, LOVE and HAPPINESS

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StijnLucia Posts : 8 Registered: 11/21/08
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 4:33 PM Go to message in response to: CocaMarie1378

Thanks for your ideas. I had thought about cabs/taxis however I think that would be VERY expensive because it is about 35 miles away. I'm willing to pay for a charter bus, it is not cheap but I'd rather do that than just let everyone drive home. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can handle the bus idea? (Making everyone get there and leave at the same time) I guess I could always offer it and give the times ahead of time, that way they have a choice if they want it.

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 4:44 PM Go to message in response to: StijnLucia

If you really want a bus here are some suggestions:
1. the bus could run on a loop, but with just the one it would probably only come around once an hour. You would have to rent the bus for the whole time so you might as well have it running back and forth the whole time.
2. is the 35 mile mark the closest place you could let people off? I once went to an event where they had a continuous shuttle that ran every half hour and dropped people off downtown where taxis and buses were available. It worked out great.
3. let people know ahead of time when the bus is available and also have it printed somewhere at the venue. I think a lot of people would take advantage of it if they knew ahead of time.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 4:56 PM Go to message in response to: StijnLucia

Dear Lucia,

The bus is a very good idea. My suggestion is to talk to a bunch of your guests, those who you know will attend, and see what they think. Would they make use of the bus, or would they just want to drive themselves?

Another alternative would be to be very proactive about getting designated drivers. Assign someone with an assertive personality to figure out who in each carload is the DD, then give them wrist bracelets or something similar so they won't get served alcohol.

I guess the final answer would depend on how responsible and mature you think your guests are.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 9:47 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I guess the final answer would depend on how responsible and mature you think your guests are.

Absolutely true. You are bending over backwards, but, in the end, each person is responsible for himself/herself. Drunk driving is illegal. You could have your reception five minutes away from where people live--and someone still could get into trouble by driving drunk.

The bus is a very good idea, as is closing the bar early. Have something like a coffee bar for the last hour. You also could serve limited alcohol (e.g. beer/wine, rather than full bar with hard liquor). And, be sure to give the bartender a heads-up about anyone that you know is a potential problem. Bartenders also are obligated NOT to serve anyone who's visibly drunk or anyone that they know has had more than enough.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 11, 2008 12:20 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Rather than have just one big bus, you might want to consider several smaller buses that leave the reception site when they are full, nearly full or at a preset time. If you do take this approach, you have to be careful you don't have more guests at the end of the night who need transportation than the buses can hold. You might also want to talk to the coordinator at your venue. I'm sure you are not the first person to consider this issue. As such, the coordinator can tell you how others have resolved this issue.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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StijnLucia Posts : 8 Registered: 11/21/08
Re: Reception Dilema- Drinking and Driving
Posted: Dec 11, 2008 1:14 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

I appreciate everyone's responses. I did email the site coordinator last night to ask about options. She advised me that they can set up a shuttle to run to a certain hotel of my choice which is then still 30 minutes from home but that alleviates all of the "windy road out in the middle of nowhere driving". At that point it is up to my guests if they feel they can drive home or not, we will have a few rooms on 'reserve' in case they are needed. I think everyone is mature and responsible enough to make their own decisions.

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