Pimms or a Pint?

(39 Posts)
Icklepickle101 Sat 19-Nov-16 09:23:11

In the early stages of wedding planning and looking at budget in the terms of alcohol. We cannot afford to pay for all drinks for the whole day but do have some money so just trying to work out the best way to spend it.

My idea so far is to have a Pimms or a Pint for each guest on arrival (soft drinks like cordials etc also available) and then bubbles for speeches etc and table wine. My partner also like the idea of adding a 'drink ticket' to everyone's invites which can be exchanged for a free drink of their choice at the bar on the night so the evening guests will also have a drink on us. I have a feeling most people will forget to bring the voucher on the day (but I suppose that would lower our bill and we have made an effort!)

What are your thoughts? Are those sufficient arrival drinks? Does it come across as cheap?

Artandco Sat 19-Nov-16 09:26:00

Personally I think it's bizarre to invite guests and then expect them to cover costs of something they wouldn't have gone to if it wasn't a wedding.

I think you need to half the number of guests so you can pay for everything for that number

Helbelle75 Sat 19-Nov-16 09:30:42

We did exactly that. People don't expect their drinks provided throughout the day in my experience.
After the ceremony we offered bucks fizz or a cup of tea (it was in October!), then first drink free at the bar, then prosecco for toasts.
We decided against wine on tables as most of our friends don't drink wine and a lot of them were driving.
A drink ticket sounds great to me.

moomoogalicious Sat 19-Nov-16 09:30:52

Really artandco?

Most weddings I've been to don't have free booze for the whole day. Usually a glass of bubbly/pimms on arrival at the reception then wine with the meal.

OP I think your idea sounds lovely smile

Artandco Sat 19-Nov-16 09:40:07

Yes, many people can't afford to go to weddings otherwise or do but detrimental to the rest of their months income

For example for us to go to wedding last month:
£80 petrol
£100 hotel overnight
£250 ish on drinks for 2 adults and 2 children ( expensive venue they chose)

Childcare would have been £200 if children couldn't come
Plus many have to buy additional clothing if none suitable

£400+ on a wedding that isn't ours.

The £250 on drinks was just because wedding venues charge a fortune not because we drank loads of alcohol. The children were obviously solely on soft drinks and Dh and I half and half.

Dh and I couldn't afford to pay for everything at a nice venue for 100+ guests. Not overnight accomadation, drinks unlimited, food etc. So we had just 22 guests, could afford to pay for hotel, unlimited drinks and food and everything else for those 22. It's our wedding, why should they pay?

Icklepickle101 Sat 19-Nov-16 09:45:53

I understand what you are saying artandco, but if I ask if friends want to go for a night out does that mean I have to pay for all their drinks for the night?

We are having our reception in a marque in a field and are hiring a bar who's prices are very cheap (much cheaper than the local pubs!), only a few guests live over 10 miles away and those that do we have offered to pay for their accommodation.

We are trying to find a good compromise

wobblywonderwoman Sat 19-Nov-16 09:52:47

We had a five course meal for guests and two bottles of wine per table

Tea and cupcakes etc on arrival

It was plenty

Dozer Sat 19-Nov-16 09:52:52

All sounds good, although I'd personally prefer fizz or glass of wine to pimms or a pint. apart from the drinks ticket thing: there might be other ways for guests to get a first drink.

Redglitter Sat 19-Nov-16 09:53:50

I've never been to a wedding with a free bar.

Normally it's a drink on arrival. Wine on the table. A drink for toasts. After that you're on your own

wobblywonderwoman Sat 19-Nov-16 09:54:44

Sorry - in answer to your question. A pimms on arrival would be lovely and you could make the little 'free drink' voucher into the wedding favour (or tie it to the tea cup or whatever) as it could get lists.

wobblywonderwoman Sat 19-Nov-16 09:55:11

Prosseco on arrival would be good

botanically Sat 19-Nov-16 09:55:46

That's more free drinks than any wedding I've ever been to before, I'd be quite chuffed! Usually it's a glass of bubbles after the ceremony and table wine.

Artandco are you American? I know wedding etiquette is very different in the US when it comes to cash bars.

Artandco Sat 19-Nov-16 09:56:03

No I think for a night out it's easier for friends to just say they can't come if they can't afford to or can but dont want to spend. But a wedding many feel guilty as should be a one off so they feel they have to go
The issue is if your average marrying age then many people have more than one wedding a year to go to.
We can afford to go, so for us it is t a huge issue, but I know for many it is so I wouldn't want to pressure those into coming and being worse off due to us

As a idea, we have attended 6 weddings this year. Each cost us between 300-1000 a time to attend ( had one abroad to fly to, two needed overnight childcare paid for as well as regular costs). It's about £5000 this year that we could have saved or spent as a family.

Artandco Sat 19-Nov-16 09:57:03

No I'm British. I'm not saying it all needs to alcoholic either, I just think wedding hosts should cover all costs of their wedding

JassyRadlett Sat 19-Nov-16 09:59:19

OP, what you describe is pretty standard. We were lucky enough to have an open bar at ours (we hadn't quite met the minimum spend for the venue, so we decided to put it behind the bar) and we were left in no doubt by our guests that they found it very unexpected.

Artandco, I've never been to a wedding, including some incredibly posh venues, where standard drinks weren't below £10 and soft drinks under £5....

wobblywonderwoman Sat 19-Nov-16 09:59:31

Something like this but you could make paper hearts

redshoeblueshoe Sat 19-Nov-16 10:00:54

Ickle that sounds great. I've never been to a wedding with a free bar. Artandco wow that's a lot. maybe I should start charging for babysitting

whowouldknow Sat 19-Nov-16 10:01:10

We did a free bar but that was only because the venue we had made it a viable option. Apart that and a wedding aboard I have never been to a wedding with a free bar.

Arrival drunk, wine on the table and toast is fine. I really only get invited to good friends or family so am happy to be part of their big day and have never felt resentful in paying for my own drinks! Also a free bar can get messy-people are greedy!!

JassyRadlett Sat 19-Nov-16 10:01:39

And frankly, a drink on arrival, half a bottle of wine per person (what every venue we talked to provided as part of the cost), a glass of fizz and a drink in the evening would be plenty for most folk. That's quite a lot of alcohol.

redshoeblueshoe Sat 19-Nov-16 10:02:54

wobbly that's cute

redshoeblueshoe Sat 19-Nov-16 10:04:29

£5k ! Blimey our wedding didn't cost that !

Lovelybangers Sat 19-Nov-16 10:07:52

That sounds fine to me.

We had open bar for the first hour or so after the ceremony, so that covered the arrival drink.

Then had wine on the tables for the meal plus champagne for toasts.

In the evening we again had free bar for the first hour or so as the welcome drink. All other drinks were paid for by the guests.

We had approx 70 guests and our bar bill was way less than I anticipated. It wasn't an expensive venue though.

I have never been to a wedding with a free bar - I think it's quite normal.

Celticlassie Sat 19-Nov-16 10:09:28

I have never been to a wedding with a free bar and would never expect the bride and groom to pay for my alcohol. It's my choice to drink - why should they foot the bill. Having said that, it does grate when it's a super fancy venue and drink are £10+.
We gave our guests a cava or a beer on arrival and wine on the tables, plus a cava or beer on arrival for evening guests (another MN faux pas!). A lot of evening guests didn't have their arrival drink for whatever reason, so we redistributed them later in the night!

Artandco Sat 19-Nov-16 10:11:21

Red - that was the cost of 6 weddings to attend. Most friends and family don't live nearby.
£200+ babysitting is because we need someone a good 24hrs + by the time we drive 2-4 hrs to destination, wedding, hotel and back in morning

ErrolTheDragon Sat 19-Nov-16 10:15:20

OP - what you propose is in the generous side of normal. The last weddings I've been to were a glass of prosecco or OJ on arrival at the reception, wine and water on the table and a free drink ticket on each place setting, and then fizz for the toast. I donated my ticket to other people as the rest was more than enough for me.

Unlimited soft drinks or at least water might be nice, esp if there are families and lots of people needing to drive.

Re the 'pimms or a pint' - I like that idea but with the proviso that there should also be half-pints available.

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