It’s not easy to have a non-open bar wedding when there’s so much pressure on brides and grooms to have an open bar. It’s quite the norm in Western culture, where as it’s much less common in Chinese wedding banquets, where usually only a selection of pop, beer and wine is served.
The relationship between drinking and having a good time is so intricately linked in our culture. It seems like we can’t celebrate unless there’s an abundance of alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, some of my fondest memories include laughing and talking over a pitcher of sangria with friends, but I never was a fan of binge drinking. I’ve never partied so hard that I had to vomit in a toilet at a club. Ever. Even on my 19th birthday (the legal drinking age in BC).
Here are some reasons why Stephen and I don’t want an open bar:
- We want to reduce costs. Open bars cost a lot of money, money that can be better spent on food, our honeymoon, and maybe even towards a new car or mortgage.
- We aren’t big drinkers, and we drink maybe only once a month during social events. We don’t believe you need to drink to have a good time (I know, we’re such squares). Having an open bar just wouldn’t really reflect who we are.
- We want our friends and family to act like adults. Now I’m not saying that most of our guests would be knocking over centrepieces and picking fights just because we have an open bar, but the chances of someone acting like a drunken idiot skyrockets by 300 percent when you promise an unlimited supply of free booze.
When I broke the news to my friends that I wasn’t having an open bar, I got some pretty strong reactions. One vowed to bring his own flask of whiskey to my wedding to make sure he could get his drink on.
It was right then and there that he confirmed our decision not to have an open bar.
I’ll most likely be serving a white wine, a red wine, a couple of beer selections, and probably a yummy cocktail punch at my afternoon wedding next Fall.
What about you? Are you going to have an open bar? A limited bar? A dry wedding? Let me know in the comments below!