Local pub did sil's wedding which was in a marquee in the back garden - proper set up and they cleared up after! Otherwise, could you just charge enough to cover costs? Ie 20p soft drink, £1 for a can of beer or glass of wine, use an honesty box if it makes you feel uncomfortable having someone 'take' money.
Could i throw a third option into the mix......Bring a bottle. Potentially less crass than money talk,invites could say something more tactfully worded than this but 'soft drinks and glasses provided but please bring a bottle of what ever you like to drink'
I'm getting married for the second time. Vey happy, very excited. I am a traditionalist, had very formal first wedding over 20 years ago, everything just so, organised by my Mum, formal wedding, canapes, breakfast, evening buffet, the works. There were some drinks provided in the evening but a pay bar from 9pm. This time we all have families. We have lots of friends with families. We would like to have a family friendly reception with lots of games and fun and a really relaxed vibe. We have two options which tick most of our boxes. One is a barn venue with outdoor space and woudl involve a pay bar for the evening. The other is a hall where we would provide all drinks. My gut tells me that it is intrinsically wrong to talk about gifts and money. Never done it, never want to.....except....if we don't have a pay bar in the evening then we would really appreciate if people stick some money in the kitty to cover the cost of their drinks. If we go for the hall option we can have more flexibility, circus workshop, games, ice cream van, dancing...in short, a really lovely day out for all our friends and their families. But talking/asking about money is so awful. So, to my question...should I risk offense and raise the issue of bar costs, or go for the reception option where people pay a barman for their evening drinks but have less fun stuff for the children?