Ask a Bearfighter: On the Subject of Wedding Booze

Here’s how this new arrogant feature is going to work.  First, I will select a question from a member of Arrogant Nation (or maybe even one of the other people who read this blog for some masochistic reason).  Next, I’ll post a picture that is vaguely related to the subject like this:

Then I post the question, then I solve all your problems followed by you going winning an exotic foreign lottery and sending me a share of the loot just because I am a homie, but then I donate it to charity, not because I am a good person, but because Steve Jobs is there and he’s like, “that’s super generous”, and I am like, “fuck off Jobs, nice work on the iPhone 4” and he’s like, “I like your attitude” and I am like, “good save, Steve.”  Anyway, two hours later, we come to terms on him being able to name his new desktop computers after me and I take my 200 million to the bank and you all go out and buy a brand new iZack with quad core Pentium chips.

Where does the time go…  Anyway, first Ask a Bearfighter question comes from Arrogant National, Ryan who has a question about weddings and booze.  Let’s dance.

Hi Zack,

So my fiance and I are planning our wedding, and I can’t for the life of me decide what to do about the booze situation.  An open tab is out the question.  Do I do a time limited open tab where there is an hour or two that is completely free?  If so, do I do the first two hours or the last two hours?  I feel like if I went this route it should be the first two hours so my guests can be getting hammered while we are out doing the boring wedding party stuff.  Or do I do a prepaid limit?  I haven’t attended many weddings, so I don’t know if there is a greater tendency towards a lot of drinking early on, or if it would be better to do this tab limit so it is free throughout the night (at least until the limit is reached) and the drinkers can pace themselves.

As always, your infallible guidance is appreciated.


Ryan, the key to the wedding is making sure that people get hammered enough that every decision your now-wife made comes off like it was scripted, but not so hammered that your kinda awkwardly religious step-uncle’s daughter bitches for the next six Christmases that you are a heathen (although she will probably do that anyway since you read this blog and I can only assume you know how to chew tobacco and spit in the eye of death).  A limited timeframe of open bar is an awesome solution to your problem and here is why.

You will show the generosity your friends know and love you for, but you will do it within reason.  You can pick and choose the booze selections to avoid that one asshole who barely got invited from ordering Blue Label because they assume someone in your family (actual or in-law) is footing the bill.  Also, I recommend doing this at the beginning of the wedding because if it is done later, you will have drunk orders going on.  Drunk orders constitute anything from ordering drinks you forgot you have ordered (which you still need to pay for) to elaborate college era shots that take your bartender twenty minutes to conjure up, which pisses off the people you actually like who are just waiting to have scotch poured in a glass with simple mixers like ice, water or nothing.

Your point is also valid about wedding party stuff.  The minute you say “I do” or “why not” or “hey, we already paid the caterer”, you will be whisked away on a journey that will involve smiling a lot and it will seemingly take forever.  During this time, your guests will be stone cold sober and waiting for you guys to show up.  This is the time where there will be the most awkward transactions between strangers that came to see you get hitched.  Let them ease into drunk town with melted faces on your dime then.  They will wax poetic about the wedding, how hot your wife’s friends are and so on.  By the time they go inside, they will actually be lubricated to the point they are totally ready to party and possibly excited to see you again.

At this point, they will be drunk enough that they won’t mind buying drinks (or anything else at that point).  A story comes to mind with one of my groomsmen.  We were hanging out on a Thursday night away from our fiancees.  We had no idea what we were going to do for the night, but I had a free bottle of Templeton Rye that the distiller had sent me.  We went to town on it and suddenly, despite the fact we’d already eaten dinner, the only logical conclusion of the night was to go to Mastro’s without a reservation and demand a bottle of scotch at our table (which they refused, not without a fight and several awful acts of social vandelism I doubt they’ve even discovered yet).  Did we need a bone-in filet at 11pm on a weeknight?  Not really.  Can any of us afford to do this on a regular basis, probably not (especially when you are paying child support to over 240 bears for taking out their fathers.  you pay in salmon, but it really adds up).  The point is, when you drink good scotch early in the night for free, money doesn’t feel so heavy coming out of your pocket.

Hooking your guests up with cocktail hour libations is a nice gesture, gives them the option of getting loose and frees you from the need to keep it open all night.  Another option my wife (who invented bearkilling) came across was the concept of signature drinks.  This is a cool budget option that works great in some cases.  You can have the bar mix quantity of a few drinks and those can be poured all night cheaply.  Maybe a vodka drink for the girls (and any Bruins you may have had to invite) and a whiskey drink for the bearfighters.

Remember that everyone is there to see you get married (or to see if you crack at the alter and go running for the hills to live amongst the wildlife in an uneasy pact with the jungle).  If you can swing an open or limited-selection open bar for cocktail hour, you are winning the Heisman of the night, just like 2011 Heisman Trophy Winner Matt Barkley will next year.

Also, yes, I will be happy to serve as officiant at your wedding, or anyone else out there in Arrogant Nation.



Filed under Rants and Musings

2 responses to “Ask a Bearfighter: On the Subject of Wedding Booze

  1. grant

    There is a solution: the Bar Stocking Party.

    Get as many future wedding attendees together as you can for an engagement party/bachelor party/what have you. Each guest is expected to bring a bottle of booze in lieu of a crappy kitchen gadget/other BS you don’t care about. Boom. You have 20 bottles of “free” booze. By the time your wedding rolls around everyone will have forgotten that they already bought all their own booze. The key is that you have the self control not to raid the stash between now and then.

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