There are so many sticky issues surrounding serving alcohol at your wedding reception.  Here are 3 common situations and some ways to minimize fallout from your decisions.

Not serving alcohol?  You're ten years sober or your religion doesn't allow drinking or you simply don't want to deal with the extra paperwork and event insurance--no matter the reason, you aren't planning on serving booze.  While your guests may really love to imbibe, it is ultimately your choice on whether or not to serve alcohol.  There are some hard-and-fast wedding rules regarding your reception, such as inviting everyone at your ceremony to your reception or greeting every guest at your event.  But serving alcohol isn't on that list.  If guests complain, briefly explain your decision and then move onto how happy you are to see them.

Guests getting drunk.  Turns out that your college roommate still becomes a hot mess whenever there is tequila in a room.  Who knew?  If you are serving alcohol (especially hard alcohol), some of your guests will get drunk.  They just will.  Make sure water is readily available, and it wouldn't be a terrible idea to stock up on carbs.  Task a member of the wedding party on sloppy-guest management, and arrange for cabs (or sober drivers) ahead of time.

Cash bar offenses.  Everyone has different opinions on cash bars.  Personally, I think they are a bad idea.  Serve what you have the budget for and move on.  But if you do decide to have a cash bar, I recommend offering it for cocktails or premium liquors as an addition to the beer or wine you are already serving your guests.  Make sure that you thoroughly understand the tipping policy of the cash bar bartenders and plan accordingly (it might be a good idea to take care of their gratuity instead of having them display and depend upon a tip jar).


Photo Credit: Hostess with the Mostess