9 Tips to Discourage Your Guests From Over-Drinking at Your Wedding

On August 16, 2017

Most couples are aware that having a cash bar at their wedding isn’t exactly proper. It’s more or less like saying, “come to my house, we will have drinks and dinner…That will be $6 for your beer please”.

But couples are also very aware that guests do over-drink if it is free and flowing. There are a few things you can do to limit your guests’ alcohol consumption at your wedding. Here are 9 tips I recommend implementing to put some boundaries on the drinking at your wedding.


1. Decide if you even want to serve alcohol.

Believe it or not, there are lots of weddings that do not serve alcohol at all. Sometimes it is for religious reasons, but other times it’s just because the couple didn’t feel it was an important part of their wedding.

2. Limit the selection of alcohol that you will be serving.

Stick to beer and wine only, or just serve signature drinks at your wedding. This will stop most over drinkers because of the lack of selection.

3. Shut down the bar during parts of the evening.

Some couples choose to shut down the bar during the dinner and the speeches. This will also help restrict the amount of disruptions during these times.



Photo by Brandi Guzman


4. Have an early last call.

Even having a last call will limit the drinking. If you let your guests go all night, there are definitely a few guests that will.

5. Limit how many drinks a guest can take at one time.

If a guest can only take a drink or two at a time, this will deter them a little from drinking as much. That guest will not likely be getting up every few minutes for another drink.

6. Only have an open bar for the first few hours of the reception.

Some couples choose to serve alcohol for only 2-3 hours and then close the bar (or make it a cash bar after).


orange juice with orange slices on a wooden background


7. Make sure your bartenders will cut off intoxicated guests.

You’d think this goes without saying, but you should still make sure they will be paying attention. This will also help prevent rowdiness.

8. Give your guests tickets for their drinks.

If you give your guests tickets for their drinks, you will be able to keep track of how much they are drinking. To be honest, I am not sure I necessarily like this idea because then you have to worry about the actual tickets, and it feels all little too much like a cash bar. If it appeals to you though, do it.

9. If you are really worried about that guest drinking too much, don’t invite them.

There’s no law on who you should or shouldn’t invite. If you really feel that guest will drink way too much, it’s okay to not invite them. This is your day!


Portrait of a young wedding couple on their wedding day


I’d highly recommend purchasing PAL Insurance if you plan on serving alcohol. Read my blog entry about this insurance here.

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