If there's one thing most guests hope for (read: really, really want) at your wedding reception, it's an open bar. Whether you choose to celebrate the big day by clinking glasses of champagne, over a few signature cocktails, or with beer or wine, it's always appreciated when you offer guests the option to imbibe without having to pay. But when a close family member doesn't approve of drinking, it can feel disrespectful to offer alcohol beverages, especially if that family member it he mother or father of the groom. Here, our etiquette expert shares how to tactfully deal with future in-laws that are trying to ban booze at your reception.
Ask yourself this: Do you and your future husband want an open bar? If the answer is yes, then have the open bar. As long as the funds are coming out of your pocket (or the bride's family is footing the bill) your future in-law's wishes should remain just that. The situation gets slightly trickier if they're covering some costs, as they might feel their contribution has bought them a say in what you have and don't have at the reception. You and your fiancé should sit down with his parents and tell them you truly appreciate their generous offer to help pay for your wedding, but you feel strongly about giving guests the option to drink and you'll gladly listen to more suggestions they have about other aspects of the day.
If you're worried about them feeling hurt about your decision, there's likely a bigger problem at hand. Maybe they're nervous about guests over-imbibing or the importance of the day being minimized by a party atmosphere. Either way, be kind but clear: Your bartender will ensure no guest will be over-served. No matter what their reaction is, stay level when discussing this hot topic with them.
In the event the conversation is still feeling tense, it's time to let you future husband deal with his parents privately. He'll likely have better luck making them understand, and you'll avoid saying something you might regret later. Cheers!