I want a free bar at my wedding but my fiancée doesn’t – what do I do?


As we strategy marriage ceremony season, Metro.co.uk has roped in Alison Rios McCrone, venue proprietor and planner, to assist clear up your dilemmas in a weekly agony aunt column…

Pricey Alison,

I am hoping you may assist. 

My fiancée and I are presently at an deadlock: I desire a free bar and she or he would not. Even worse, all her family and friends agree it is a unhealthy concept however all of mine assume it must be accomplished. 

I do not need any of our visitors out of pocket on our large day, and at each marriage ceremony I have been to the place there’s been a pay bar, folks have grumbled at having to get their wallets out (myself included). 

My fiancée, alternatively, thinks it is a horrible concept and that in addition to including to prices for us, folks will get overexcited and drink an excessive amount of, inflicting havoc. 

It is the one factor we disagree on and I can not see a manner ahead. What do you assume we must always do?



Do you may have a marriage downside you want some recommendation on?

Weddings are joyful events – however they’re additionally extremely nerve-racking. Whether or not you’re a bride or groom, finest girl or man, member of the family or good friend of the couple, the run as much as the massive day might be very tense.

When you want a little bit of assist together with your quandary, Alison, who has run a venue for 10 years and helps {couples} plan weddings, is right here to supply a serving to hand.

E mail platform@metro.co.uk to share your situation anonymously with Alison and get it solved.

Pricey Mark, 

Many thanks for taking the time to write down to me about your marriage ceremony dilemma.

Sadly the answer to this isn’t going to be discovered by selecting one choice or one other, however by compromising. 

It’s essential sit down together with your fiancée and see if yow will discover some center floor. Pay attention to one another and attempt to perceive one another’s views – as you each have made very legitimate factors. 

Don’t fret an excessive amount of about this deadlock, as you may have quite a lot of choices – it’s not merely a case of all or nothing. 

You may supply a free welcome cocktail or a collection of complimentary drinks. You may supply {a partially} subsidised bar. You may present a restricted open bar for a specific period. You may give visitors a sure variety of tokens to alternate without cost drinks. 

Usually, most weddings supply their visitors a complimentary drink after the ceremony, 1/2 bottle of wine throughout the meal, and a glass of fizz for the toasts throughout the speeches.

Weddings are thrilling, so I can fully perceive your fiancee’s trepidation about folks getting carried away (Image: AKP Branding Tales)

After that, you may select the extent of free booze you need to be on supply. 

However there are a number of areas of concern for you and your associate, so I’m going to interrupt my recommendation down to deal with every of these points: Prices, drunkenness, and wanting to ensure your visitors are sorted. 


Firstly, you and your fiancée have to work out how a lot you need to spend on alcohol and the way a lot you realistically can afford to spend. 

After getting a determine in thoughts, you may meet together with your marriage ceremony venue, caterer or whoever is operating the bar on the massive day, they usually can information you on value expectations and likewise how they serve alcohol in order that issues keep manageable. 

That is their space of experience and one thing they may have encountered many instances earlier than. 

Ask the particular person answerable for bar providers what their common spend per visitor is for a marriage – along with the complimentary drinks talked about above.

After getting an correct quote you may work out whether or not letting visitors depart their wallets at house is a financially viable choice for you. 

When you determine to go along with this, however you needed to maintain the value low, you would go for a restricted bar. This implies asking the bar workers to make sure there aren’t any cocktails, single malt whiskies, double servings of spirits, no giant (250ml) glasses of wine, and undoubtedly no photographs. 

If visitors then needed these, it will be their cash paying for it. It solely takes one desk ordering photographs for each different desk to hitch in – which might be an costly, drunken mess! 

When you choose to have a free bar for a restricted interval, talk about together with your provider when is the very best time to do that. For instance, do they suggest doing this after the primary free drink throughout the reception or after the first dance

No matter which choice you select, determine on the utmost cash you need to spend and make sure the bar is aware of this determine. 

I might advise in opposition to supplying malt whiskies (Image: Getty Photographs/500px)


Weddings are thrilling, so I can fully perceive your fiancee’s trepidation about folks getting carried away – particularly if there may be an open bar. 

However there are methods to handle this. 

While you meet your marriage ceremony coordinator, allow them to know you’re contemplating providing complimentary drinks of some variety. If they’re Licensed Premises, they’ll management folks’s consumption so it doesn’t get out of hand. 

You may additionally ask the venue/caterer if the workers may pour the wine throughout the meal. This provides extra management and prevents wastage as bottles will solely be opened as wanted. 

Nobody will go with out, but it surely additionally stops visitors over-pouring. 

If it helps reassure your fiancee, the consumption of alcohol does decelerate when meals is served. When you don’t assume that can cease your associates, you would maybe go for a heavier meal alternative – slightly than sharing platters or wonderful eating – to assist line the abdomen. As a substitute of crisps for a late evening snack, you would carry out sarnies. 

One other nice choice I’ve come throughout in my time is offering drinks tokens in your visitors. On high of the complimentary reception drinks, toast glass, and half bottle with dinner, you would determine what number of drinks you need your visitors to have on the home for the remainder of the evening. 

These tokens, alongside their place setting, may very well be exchanged without cost drinks after meals. This may be a good way of protecting the alcohol flowing at a smart price, and if folks did need to drink extra, they might cough up. 

Taking care of your visitors 

When you personally could not like having to pay for drinks at weddings, a full complimentary bar shouldn’t be usually anticipated or all that widespread. 

It’s clear you need to be sure your visitors are having a pleasant time, and whilst you might not be giving them completely every little thing without cost with say, {a partially} subsidised bar, you’ll nonetheless be taking care of them. 

The choices I’ve urged get you to center floor together with your fiancée and already put you past the standard free glasses of fizz and half bottle of wine. 

It doesn’t have to be full free bar or a complete pay bar – there are various methods to ensure your visitors don’t must pay an excessive amount of if they need extra alcohol than you may present. 

And finally, your mates and household are there to have fun you – not get actually drunk without cost – so something you determine ought to have their backing. If not, then that’s their downside and never yours. 

Mark, I’ve managed many bars at weddings earlier than, and whereas free bars might be a superb gesture for visitors, they are often costly and have to be managed effectively.

In addition to your monetary scenario, and your fiancée, I might additionally search steering out of your venue and use their data to discover a path that works finest for you and your associate.

Compromise and discovering widespread floor are important for a profitable marriage. Keep in mind to worth one another’s opinions, as it’s going to assist to discover a decision.

I want you an exquisite marriage ceremony and a lifetime of affection and happiness. 

Discover out extra about Alison right here: alisonriosmccrone.com; and discover particulars of her marriage ceremony venue right here: altskeith.com.

Do you may have a narrative you’d prefer to share? Get in contact by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views within the feedback under.

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