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Wedding Wellness: 4 Strategies To Handle Alcohol Responsibly At Your Reception

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When planning your wedding, you'll have to decide what to do about alcohol. You may choose to have a dry wedding, in which case no alcohol will be served. Some of your guests may not like this idea, but you don't need to worry about handling alcohol responsibly if there is none present. If you do opt to serve alcohol, here are some ways to do so safely.

Manage The Flow

To help ensure that your guests stay safe, consider limiting the flow of alcohol at your reception. You may opt to provide champagne for the toast, but serve no other alcohol. It's also wise to choose a cash bar, as guests tend to drink less when they must pay for their own beverages. If you do provide an open bar, limit the time frame during which it is available, and avoid serving shots. You can also limit the bar's offerings to beer and wine only.

Protect Yourself

It's important to keep your guests safe, but you also need to protect yourself from any liability in the event the unthinkable happens. One way to do this is to hold your reception at a venue with a liquor license. Such venues follow strict rules about serving alcohol in order to keep their license. They also assume the liability for any problems caused by serving alcohol. Be sure to purchase wedding liability insurance if the venue you choose lacks a liquor license. It's also wise to talk to an attorney, like the professionals at Thomas A Corletta, who specializes in alcohol related issues to make sure you're protected if something goes wrong.

Pick Up The Cab Tab

One way to keep your guests safe is to make sure the intoxicated ones don't drive themselves home or to a hotel. Instead, purchase a few taxi cab vouchers or work with a cab company willing to bill you for cab rides from your reception. Providing your guests with a free ride is an excellent way to prevent drinking and driving. Have a few relatives who get a bit uppity when they drink? If you do, consider hiring a security person to help safely direct inebriated guests to an appropriate ride.


Even if your family isn't from Italy, channel the country's infamous love of great food into your reception. Offer appetizers, a meal and midnight snacks. Offering lots of free food all night long will keep your guests munching and ensure that they aren't drinking on empty stomachs. Try to stick to mild foods later in the evening, however, as spicy foods may not mix well with alcohol.

With a bit of forethought and these handy tips, you and your intended can have the wedding of your dreams without any worry. So relax, dance your heart out and enjoy your reception knowing that the alcohol is being handled responsibly all around.

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