Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar

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SarahSarah Posts : 93 Registered: 10/9/09
Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 4:59 PM

Hello ladies,

I'm trying to figure out some issues with alcohol at my reception coming up (Eee!).

We have to provide our own alcohol at the hall we are at, so it'll be an open bar. We'll have kegs that are self serve, and we've been stocking up on wine. We're hiring a bartender or two from the caterer to serve the wine/alcohol.

I'm planning on doing a signature drink which will be a Blue Hawaii or similar.

I'm not sure if it will be easier for us to pre-make the Blue Hawaii's in containers and just have the bartenders pour them over ice or not. If we do that, we could probably just hire one bartender because they won't need to spend time mixing one drink @ a time...and it would be pretty doable to mix the drinks up ourselves that day.

I'm thinking it would be around 150 adults, and not all will probably drink this type of drink.

Or, should I nix the one drink and just get rum/vodka and a few different mixers?

I'm just trying to decide what would easier, more cost-efficient, etc. It'll be a 5 hour reception and I can't figure out how much to even buy, I've seen too many different type of calculators online!



MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar
Posted: Jul 16, 2011 11:40 AM Go to message in response to: SarahSarah


In some states, if you provide self-serve liquor, you can be considered liable if somebody gets drunk and has an accident. In the event of a severe accident, you could be sued for millions. Having bar tenders mitigates this risk for two reasons. Bar tenders are supposed to be trained to know when to cut somebody off. Next, they provide a buffer between you and a potential plaintiff. Finally, you hope a bar tender or their employer has some sort of insurance to cover this sort of potential problem.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


WoodlandBride Posts : 52 Registered: 1/6/11
Re: Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar
Posted: Jul 17, 2011 5:53 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

Howard is absolutely right. In NYS the social-host laws have gotten ridiculous, but they are the law now. They are trying to make the bride/ groom liable in both BYO AND venue served. Just one of the reasons we will be moving to PA shortly after the wedding.


Beeble Posts : 306 Registered: 11/19/09
Re: Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar
Posted: Jul 18, 2011 11:05 AM Go to message in response to: WoodlandBride

We bough Party Alcohol Liability insurance for our wedding. It covers us for any damages to the property and covers us in case of a lawsuit caused by drinking related incidents. We are required to provide one sober supervisor per 50 people, so at our wedding our bartender serves that purpose.


SarahSarah Posts : 93 Registered: 10/9/09
Re: Alcohol Etiquette/Signature Drink/Open Bar
Posted: Jul 19, 2011 3:58 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

We are in IL, and we did have to purchase dram insurance, which covers us should something happen. So we are good on that, thanks!

I'm not too worried about the kegs being unmanned, I'm ok with overindulgers, haha! We have just one 'black sheep' that we'll be keeping our eye on!

We are gonna go ahead and do 2 bartenders, that way we have one on each side of the room (the place we are having it at we've been to a few receptions, and it works good so there's not a line waiting).

And we're not having a dinner, just appetizers and drinks, so we are serving drinks the full 5 hours.

The closer I get to September, the more I worry. Ugh!


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