Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I need a little help from you!

Being that it's Wednesday and the blogging world loves a good #weddingwednesday post, I'm here with a few problems for which I could use your help.  I'm certainly not Emily Post and my wedding isn't going to be a stuffy affair (no offense if yours was or will be!) but I still adhere to what I believe are the basic tenets of etiquette.  

So, with a little help from my favorite housewife....

First, RSVPs.  

We sent out save the dates waaaaay back in August since most guests would be traveling to the wedding.  Invitations were then sent out last month and the RSVP cards stated to please send in your reply by January 18th. That gives us a few weeks for stragglers so we can finalize numbers with our vendors before the big day.  I'm not even going to stress about the stragglers at this point - I'm sure there will be some and we'll cross that wedding bridge when we get to it.

My question for you all is, how do you handle it when you invited just the Mr. and Mrs. but the RSVP is for the whole fam damily? 

nene Read Hunny gif
To give you a little more background info: we are having some kids at the wedding but very close kids - my nephew (the ring bearer), my little sisters, my cousins' kids who are traveling from out of state.  That's it.  This RSVP for couple plus 3 kiddos came from a relative but we are not close with them.  Additionally, they don't live that far from the venue (no hotel required) and my impression is the kids' grandmother lives close enough to watch the kids.  Call me a B if you want (bitch or bridezilla, take your pick) but we just don't want a lot of kids running around our wedding.  And the kids we do want are the kids we like have a close relationship with!  

nene leakes party

Secondly, alcohol.

If you've planned a wedding or are planning one or are a wedding planner or a bartender, I NEED YOUR HELP!  B and I are having a really difficult time figuring out how much booze we need.  We do not want to run out of drinks but I'm not really interested in grossly overbuying either.
drinking (916) Animated Gif on Giphy
We're having a cocktail hour after the ceremony and then our reception will be about 4 hours long. Both will have an open bar - beer, wine, liquor, margaritas.  Our bartenders recommended more bottled beer than keg beer for two reasons that I thought were pretty excellent: bottled beer is faster to serve (pop a top and go versus pouring from tap) and you get to take it with you after the wedding. Can't take a keg you didn't finish back to the hotel! 

We're hoping to have between 150-160 guests and about 10 of those are kids.  So thinking about 150 drinking guests.  Maybe 50% of our people are beer drinkers, followed by 30% mixed drinks and 20% winos.  We're just making one batch of margaritas, which will serve 75 guests, mostly for the sake of having them since it's a Texas wedding in a barn.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this bar issue.   

How many drinks would you have between a cocktail hour and a 4 hour reception (with dinner)? Would you switch between drinks or stick to one kind?  If you've planned a wedding, please share with me what your bar order looked like and if you thought it was too much, too little or just right.
drinking (916) Animated Gif on Giphy
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go pour myself a glass of wine while I anxiously await your suggestions!


Be sure to check out the co-hosts for the link-up!
Wedding Wednesday


  1. I had to make some really awkward phone calls when it was RSVP time. We have people that decided on their own to bring guests, their kids, etc. My husband & I divided and conquered... most people simply didn't realize that it was only so & so invited. A few were offended, but wed let our moms deal with them :) People need to respect that you're on a budget!

  2. I made my mom do the awkward RSVP call to gently ask about the number of guests and explain the 'tight' quarters the wedding was being held at.
    The bar I can't help with...I think we had a basic flat tab and then once it was used up then our guests had to buy their own drinks (faux pas? too bad) we and our guests aren't drinkers at all and I think my parents ended up getting a refund back because the few drinkers paid for their own voluntarily. Ha!

  3. SO much to say on this!

    The family thing happened to us, too. It was only one family so we just dealt with it. It was my husband's family and my FIL paid more than his share for wedding stuff so we sucked it up. If they are the only ones and that's a possibility, then it makes things easier, as much as it sucks. Otherwise, see if your parent closest to the offender can call and gently say that it really isn't an event for kids, with few exceptions.

    Bars are hard. I order beer and wine all the time for events and still always over-order. I believe that Spec's will let you return things that are unopened with a receipt - you can always call and check. The rule of thumb is two drinks per person, per hour, and then not everyone drinks. And you know your crowd - is it people who are going to take advantage of an open bar and go nuts or mostly older people who will drink more conservatively? Also, know your beer-drinking audience - we always ordered the same beer before I got here and realized that NO ONE drinks Budweiser and we go through twice as much Shiner as everything else, regardless of the crowd. Good luck!

  4. I'm not a huge drinker but I'd say I would probably have maybe 3-4 drinks? One during cocktail hour and 2-3 during reception. I'm a confusing type too....I'd probably switch between different types of drinks! C on the hand would probably have 1-2 more drinks than me and he would either stick to beer or liquor.

  5. oof that's awkward! I come from a huge extended family that is ridiculously close and I always wondered what I would do if I ever got married. I'm not interested in having a big wedding but the size of my family is basically a big wedding. My first thought was to have one of your Mom's make the awkward call. But I also agree with Lauren that maybe if it is just one family it might be easier to deal with it. However, that also opens up a topic for commenters later when they start complaining about why Ruth got to bring her kids but Tammy didn't (made those names up, snazzy yes?). I still say make Mommy do it.

  6. Let me give you the run down on our alcohol, so that you can understand. We did beer, wine, and champagne only for 85 people at a DAYTIME wedding (we didn't expect people to be boozing). We did 48 bottled microbrews, 48 Bud Lights, 2 cases of white wine, 2 cases of red wine, and 12 bottles of champagne. Of the 85 people, 75 or so were drinking. We ran out of beer entirely, used 1.5 cases of white wine, and 5 bottles of red wine. If we were doing an evening wedding, I would have doubled down on beer, and added an extra case each of wine. Since you're doubling our guest list... It is party time!

    We took wine back to the hotel, and didn't have a drop -- too hot, and too tired to be boozing. We drank enormous amounts of water at the hotel, and wished we had some bottled, since we were in a little B&B with not the best plumbing.

    With the weird family situation... do you have a family member who is close with them who might be able to tactfully explain that you are trying to limit the number of little feet at the reception? Coming from a bride it sounds rude, but from a family member whose opinion they respect and trust it might go over much better. Additionally, if you explain that your guest list is a little tight, and you are trying to be extra conscious of numbers by limiting the number of children, they may be more understanding.

  7. Oh man wedding planning was a crazy time! You seem to be keeping your sanity though :)

  8. I am worried about the kid thing too. It just adds to the cost and isn't really necessary. However, I have no idea how to address that especially since they already sent their RSVP back to you. Might just have to bite the bullet on that one. How old are these kids? Are they really going to be running around crazy? I would hope they are on their best behavior for the ceremony.

    For alcohol, I don't know if you have a store like this, but we are getting stuff from Total Wine. My dad went and talked to them, and anything that we buy but don't end up using can be returned. And since it is such a big order, we are getting a discount. Total Wine has every kind of alcohol imaginable. I know it says "Wine" in the title, but that is not all that they sell. I imagine some liquor stores would work with you as well. I hope that helps a little bit.

    Thanks for linking up!!

  9. Oh girl, I got you covered....

    On the bar issue: buy your wine from Trader Joe's -- Charles Shaw is $3.99 a pop and it's delicious. During our cocktail hour, we served the whole gang (beer, wine, liquor [vodka, rum, whiskey]), and then in order to save what we had left, the bar closed during dinner -- mostly as a precaution/liability for the venue so that people didn't get crazy. We actually had gotten 2 kegs (in addition to bottles) of nicer beer, one of which we used all of -- the second though, we had to end up drinking the next morning at our brunch haha. We had 150 people, ran out of the liquor half way through the reception (because my husband's friends are the sweetest maniacs) and ended up just serving the beer and wine we had left, because hey, people are getting free booze and they'll drink anything. I would say to assume each guest will drink 4-6 drinks.

    RSVP issue: You're the bride -- this means you get to call the shots. I had a not-so-lovely encounter with a family on my husband's side, but that's just because they're awful people, so I didn't feel bad about telling them no (ha!). And while they have to respect the fact that you're on a budget (...something I have so much more respect for now that I've actually planned a wedding), is having the whole family there really going to throw a wrench in your budget? Remember -- about 15-20% of the people you invite won't be able to make it and out of those who do RSVP 'yes' about 10% of those won't even show up, which again...super rude, but that's just how it is. Or, you (or dish the responsibility on someone else -- probably the parent whose side of the family it is) could politely tell them that other than the kids that are actually in the wedding, there will be no kids at the wedding. If they can't respect that, then you don't want them there anyway is how I look at it.

    Hope this helps!

  10. I agree with RadiantKristen about the family issue. We are really hoping to avoid this as only family kids are invited...we may finagle the RSVP card with the total number of people invited, etc. Upcoming issues!

    In terms of the booze, we are also closing the bar during dinner and just offering passed wine to save. We have an open bar in our package, so we don't have to buy our own. I've seen some guides on Pinterest to show how much to buy based on guest number. I found this one by doing a search:

    Hope that helps! Please let me know how you ended up solving the RSVP issue!!

  11. Definitely had this same issue with RSVP's. Ultimately, we just let them come because I didn't have the heart to call them about it. Actually, we had a couple families who WERE NOT INVITED (only because we invited only family members and very close friends) show up. They only stayed for the ceremony and left before the reception. Thankfully our wedding was in an orchard, but we only had 150 chairs so a few people had to stand in the back.

    Totally understand about the alcohol. We only had wine, and we served it during the cocktail hour and then until 1 hour before the reception ended. I thought we did a pretty good job of estimating how much we needed, but I was wrong. We still have tons of bottles of wine leftover. Good luck!


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