Wedding Reception Etiquette: Questions on Adult Receptions and Open Bars 11 March 2013 Admin Wedding Posts Planning a wedding ceremony requires proper organization and close attention to details. Similarly, planning a wedding reception needs careful preparation as well. No matter what size the reception will be, you’ll have to deal with a myriad of factors and check every detail - from venue, motif, and decorations, to the menu, guest favors and many more. More often than not, couples reach a point in the planning stage where they are faced with two wedding reception etiquette dilemmas, especially when they’re tight on budget: 1. Is it alright to have an “adults-only” reception? Or is it bad etiquette not inviting children to the reception? 2. Am I obliged to pay for everyone’s drinks at the bar? Or should they pay for their own drinks? To shed light on your problem, here are a few important points: Pros and cons of NOT including children in the reception Pros: A wedding reception sans the children can ensure a more organized event. There will be no unwanted interruptions, sudden screams, fingers into places they shouldn’t be, and anyone running around the room (unless Uncle Tom gets really drunk early on). You can also save a couple of bucks if your reception guest list comprises adults only. You’ll no longer have to worry about hiring babysitters, or thinking of kid activities to keep the little ones preoccupied during the wedding. Cons: It invites criticism. People get pretty fierce when it comes to issues with their children. You might be the next gossip subject if you totally ban children from the reception. Others might argue that since a wedding is considered a wholesome family occasion, it is but normal to invite children as well. For others, they just can’t imagine leaving their little ones at home with a baby sitter. What to do: If you decide to go for an adult reception, make sure it is noted in the invitation. This will your guests time to line up babysitters. Wedding etiquette experts suggest using the phrase “adult-only reception” rather than writing “no children.” Pros and cons of having an open bar Pros: Everyone’s in a festive mood, celebrating with unlimited alcoholic drinks. Cons: It’s very expensive. Paying for everybody’s non-stop drinks will cost you a fortune. However, asking your guests to pay for their drinks isn’t the best etiquette either. What to do: If you’re looking for a way to save up on drinks by not looking tacky or cheap to your guests, here’s a suggestion. Why not pay for, let’s say, 2 drinks for each guest? If the guests choose to drink more than 2, it is up to them to pay for the excess orders. Another tactic is to offer a free signature drink which is related to the theme of your wedding, and nothing else. As a couple, think of a drink that symbolizes the both of you. Some wedding reception venues can even help you choose the right drink. If you are getting married in the morning, you can skip the idea of providing alcoholic drinks altogether. The conclusion Ultimately, it is really going to be up to you on what you feel comfortable doing. Celebrate the wedding and enjoy the reception the way you want to! About the author: Melissa Page is a professional writer and a big fan of weddings. She fantasizes about having a themed wedding at a Las Vegas hotel.