Everyone is in the mood to celebrate, and that can lead to a few guests having more to drink than they should. Being the gracious host, you want people to enjoy themselves but still being able to remember the reception the next day. Here are some tips that will help your guests place limits on how much they drink and still ensure that they have a good time.
One approach is to limit the range of beverages served at the reception. For example, there is no reason why the selection cannot be limited to one or two wines, a couple brands of beer, and a wider range of non-alcoholic beverages. The less numerous range of selections is likely to have the effect of encouraging people to nurse their drinks rather than gulp them.
Another approach is to only have the bar open for certain periods during the reception. This is not as unusual as it sounds. Think of how many sporting events you’ve attended where the bar was only open up to a certain point in the game. Employing that same approach with the reception will help to keep the alcohol from flowing so freely.
Consider a schedule along these lines for the bar. Have it open for the first hour of the reception and then close it. After that, the guests get to raise a glass of champagne in honor of the happy couple and that’s it.
If the decision is made to have the bar open once or twice during a longer reception, make sure the last round of opening is completed at least a couple of hours before the event ends. That provides time for people to take in more non-alcoholic beverages and be in a better condition to find their way home.
Not everyone likes the idea of having a cash bar at their receptions, but it does have the practical benefit of making people stop and think before they decide to purchase one more. Guests who would otherwise treat the bar as a never ending flow of alcohol may end up having no more than two or three drinks during the evening.
Take a good look at the guest list and the number of people who will be at the reception, then decide which approach would work best. In the long run, everyone still has a great time and there will be fewer hangovers the following morning.