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Sarah
Expert July 2021 Ontario

Venue not allowing shots at bar

Sarah, on June 5, 2020 at 14:07 Posted in Wedding reception 0 29
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Was going through our renewed contract (due to date change) and noticed they do not serve shots at the open bar. I asked and the catering manager said it’s a legal thing etc. (In Ontario)
Is this common among other venues? I’ve been to weddings before and we did shots with the bride and groom etc .

Not a huge deal if we can’t just wondering if this is the norm

29 Comments

Latest activity by Sarah, on July 3, 2020 at 09:41
  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    This is what we think we’ll end up doing!!
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Interesting!
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Good to know! Thank you!
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  • Niki
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Niki ·
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    At first our venue said the same- that shots were not permitted (our venue is in Cambridge, ON), but we talked to them about how we must have shots (to us and our culture it is a celebratory thing) and they worked with us and we got the approval for shots. I believe they had that policy in place due to past experiences with heavy partiers and drinkers being out of control, but after conversing with them about it they had no problem being accommodating Smiley smile

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  • Jennifer
    Beginner April 2021 Quebec
    Jennifer ·
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    Not sure about Ontario but in Quebec I doubt there is a law since every wedding I have ever been to has had shots the bar. What a strange law.
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  • Allison
    Curious October 2020 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    This is a pretty common clause. I would say it’s the case at about 50% of weddings I have been to. Another one I have seen at two venues that are semi popular: no drinks on the dance floor.
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  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    Never heard of that before...

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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    Our venue is allowing us so I'm not too worried.

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  • Alissa
    Frequent user September 2020 British Columbia
    Alissa ·
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    The Loft at Earl's in yaletown has this rule.
    However, I personally think it's just in writing for liability. The bridal party was definitely taking shots. Maybe they were just ordering their mixers seperate? Op, I wouldn't let it deter you from booking your dream venue. No one seemed to miss them before the bride and groom pulled them out. And everyone got just as rowdy in the meantime
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  • Layan
    Newbie December 2021 British Columbia
    Layan ·
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    I’ve been to a few weddings where shots were not allowed but they had a loophole where you could ask for (let’s say a shot of tequila) but on the rocks. Maybe your venue bartenders might have that same loophole!


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  • Olivia
    Frequent user October 2021 Ontario
    Olivia ·
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    We’re getting married in Stratford and we are allowed to have shots, I know St Marys GCC does not allow shots after 10pm but the reasoning is just because guests get too out of hand
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  • Alison
    Frequent user August 2022 Ontario
    Alison ·
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    Our venue also doesn’t allow shots. They’re reasoning was also along the lines of people getting too drunk. We thought about it but then ultimately decided it would have been a big deal for us if we were still in our 20s but being in our mid-thirties now it wasn’t a deal breaker.
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Never heard of this in the contract or from a venue though its understandable to keep guests sober point watered down drinks. I don't even know if our venue offered shots at the time of reception.

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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Lucky!!!! I wish we could
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    I know when I’ve done shots as past weddings we did them at the bar so makes sense
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Ok good to know! I thought my venue was just being really lame but I feel better knowing it’s a thing
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Wow that’s intense. I get not wanting people to be overly intoxicated I guess. Sucks because we’d love to do some shots with our friends!
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Half of the venues we looked at during our search didn't allow shots because they didn't want to deal with over inebriated guests. Some just don't because it's more profitable for them to serve watered down cocktails. A few that allowed shots requested we hire additional security. Some wouldn't even allow one person getting multiple drinks.
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    I can't speak for Ontario, but for BC there's no issue with us taking shots at my venue for my upcoming wedding

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  • Charlotte
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Charlotte ·
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    Our venue and others we looked at all did not allow shots either. The recent weddings I’ve been to also did not allow shots. All within the Kitchener-Waterloo area. I have a feeling it has to do with keeping guests from getting completely inebriated - venues do have several responsibilities of consumers.
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  • Daniela
    Frequent user September 2020 Ontario
    Daniela ·
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    In many venues I visited around the GTA they didnt allow shots so I wouldnt say its completely out there but not super common. I think it just depends on the venue and policies!
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  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
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    I've never heard of an open bar not having shots, but I've been warned that it creates a lot of wasted top shelf expensive alcohol as people will order rounds for people who don't want them. A lot of bars require people to drink the shots at the bar so the staff can keep an eye on who is drinking too much and to know when to cut people off.


    It's annoying, but unless you and your friends are people who usually do many shots they might not be missed.
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  • Kelsie
    Master July 2021 Ontario
    Kelsie ·
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    That’s strange - never heard that before. We are having shots in our receiving line (not even at the bar) and it’s allowed. We just can’t have our siblings pass out the shots, it has to be licensed liquor servers.


    Shots are also available at our bar through the servers.
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Wish I knew this ahead of time, although it’s not really a make it or break it thing but would’ve been good to know
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  • Victoria
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Victoria ·
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    My planner told me that many venues don't allow shots and for me to ask before booking if it was a big deal.
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  • Vanessa
    Devoted December 2021 Ontario
    Vanessa ·
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    I actually just double checked our contract and shots are available but we just didn't purchase that package.

    The Pearl venues are more within the GTA so I don't believe that venue is apart of the list.


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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Ok well if your venue is not allowing it then I feel a bit better lol hmmm not sure if it’s a Pearl venue? It’s The Briars in Jackson’s Point
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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    I can't speak for the legalities in Ontario - but here in Manitoba we had no problems with having shots at both my wedding as well as my wedding social.

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  • Vanessa
    Devoted December 2021 Ontario
    Vanessa ·
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    I wasn't aware that this was a "legal thing" in Ontario but our venue also doesn't allow shots either. I think we may have questioned this when going through our contract but I couldn't remember their reasoning. Is your event space a Pearl wedding venue? Just wondering if it's their rule but I've definitely been to weddings where shots are allowed.

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