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“Will there be alcohol at your wedding or event?” It's a common question that I almost always ask customers during the consultation and planning process for any event. The Alcohol Factor can play a large assistance in “making” or “breaking” an event. Guests are certainly more prone to dance, enjoy themselves and “break out of their shell” when beer, wine or other spirits are involved in an event, however, one should be aware to not allow guests to go over board regarding the amounts of drinks your guests consume. Of course, the largest challenge when considering serving alcohol at any event, is your budget. If the wedding or event budget allows, and alcohol will be served at your event, you may wish to consider some of the following ideas regarding the drinks to be served.
- For starters, and the obvious, take into consideration your guests, the activities taking place, the environment of the event and the time as well as day of the event. If there is a planned portion of your event for perhaps entertainment (such as a live band or DJ) and therefore dancing, it may be helpful to provide alcoholic beverages for guests to enjoy during this time frame of the event. The time and day of the event is also very critical, as obviously guests are more open to consume alcohol during an event that may occur on a Friday vs. an event that takes place on a Sunday afternoon.
- Liquors and top shelf bottled beverages DO NOT HAVE TO BE INVOLVED. If you desire to serve alcohol, but are afraid your budget may not allow for a large variety of alcoholic beverages to be served at your event, simply consider other alternatives besides the concept of an open bar. Other options include a Cash Bar, where guests must pay for specific drinks if they desire to consume them (which may often limits their consumption of drinks throughout the night) or even simply serving Beer and Wine only for the event.
- Worried that your guests may display their “beer goggles” and cause a scene? One great idea to somewhat control how many drinks your guests consume is to simply limit the hours that the bar is open for your event. For example, if you event is scheduled from 3-10, only have the bar open and a bartender available to serve drinks from the hours of perhaps 6:30pm to 9:30pm.
- Allow the bar to close, 15-30 minutes prior to the conclusion of your event. This is another great method I have seen practiced in countless venues to control the alcohol served towards the end of the night. By placing this practice into the event, it helps avoid “lingering guests” that tend to stay and drink as long as the bar is open throughout the night. It is wise to have the Disc Jockey, Bartender, emcee host or band to provide a last call for the bar 15-30 minutes prior to the actual end of the event if the bar is closing at this time as well.
- If, you're planning for an all out party, and intend for guests to have a great time and drink as much as they please, it is ALWAYS wise, to either have a method of transportation on standby to escort them to their hotel or desired place for the evening, or even have a room and board set up nearby for the guests to go. I personally, have seen party busses, ricksha's and even limos booked to pick up guests from events after a long evening of partying or drinking at an event. If the wedding or event takes place at a hotel or resort, it is always a smart idea to possibly book an extra room or two (when possible) in case guests unexpectedly consume more alcohol than anticipated and consequently decide to stay at the venue for the evening.
Personally, as a DJ and entertainer, I'm all for alcohol at an event. Alcoholic beverages assist some guests in “winding down” mean while helping others “wind up”. The product makes guests more social, and usually more fun and prone to dance and enjoy themselves at events. Should you have alcohol at your event or wedding? I don't think it's necessarily a question of “should”, but more so a matter of “If”. If your budget for the event as well as your venue allows the alcohol to be served at the event, then by all means, go for it, and allow the partying to begin!”
For assistance regarding how much alcohol you may need to be served at your event, feel free to visit this excellent tool used by event planners and bride and grooms, www.thealcoholcalculator.com.