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Mom Refuses To Foot Bill For Open Bar At Daughter’s Wedding After Paying For Everything Else

Bride and groom at bar
Victor Dyomin/Getty Images

Weddings are a joyous occasion.

Planning a wedding, however, is often anything but joyous.

Namely because of how expensive they are, with most wedding gowns selling for one thousand dollars or more.

With that in mind, brides, grooms, and their families often love to find places where they can cut corners.

Redditor Bluntandfiesty and her husband were happy to foot the bill for her daughter’s wedding.

At least up until a point, as they eventually drew the line at one specific element.

One element which was enough to infuriate the original poster (OP)’s daughter and her fiancé.

Worried that she was being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for saying No to an open bar with no limit and calling the venue to set up the limit?”

The OP explained how she and her husband felt they finally had to draw the line at a certain expense towards her daughter’s wedding, much to her daughter’s dismay.

“I (42 F[emale]) and my husband (44 M[ale]) have a 21 yr old daughter.”

“She’s getting married soon.”

“We’re very close to her.”

“We have a great relationship and we absolutely adore her fiancé (22 M[ale]).”

“We spend a lot of time with them.”

“My husband and I are paying in full for their wedding with the exception of her wedding dress, veil and headpiece, that my mom bought for her as a gift from the grandparents.”

“Everything has been going smoothly with the wedding planning.”

“We’ve very much have stayed out of it politely, unless asked for advice or suggestions.”

“We know it’s their wedding and their choice.”

“We have been involved of course.”

“We’ve gone to the food tasting at the venue, did the dress shopping and a few other things they invited us to.”

“But mostly we just don’t interfere and I just happily write the check for the deposits sign the contracts and send them out.”

“The venue, decorator, caterer, bakery, photographer, florist, and entertainment have been booked and all’s been paid for either in full or have deposits made.”

“The issue comes with the bar.”

“They want a completely open bar wedding reception with no limit.”

“My husband and I both immediately said ‘Absolutely not. No’.”

“This is the only thing we told her no to.”

“It’s also the only thing they tried to go over budget with.”

“Both my daughter and her fiancé got angry and told us it’s not up for debate and it’s not negotiable.”

“They’re doing it.”

“Her fiancé, who’s usually very laid back, polite and easy going also called me an AH for trying to control them and dictate what they do for their wedding and I don’t have the right to.”

“I told them that as long as we’re paying for it, it will be within my budget and control.”

“I told them the set amount that we were willing to pay for the bar tab and that’s it.”

“Anything else above and beyond that will be their responsibility.”

“I didn’t yell at them.”

“I would not even have called it an argument.”

“Just a disagreement I guess.”

“They immediately left angry.”

“I didn’t think it was unreasonable for me to set the boundaries for my budget so I wasn’t upset about it.”

“Now here’s where I may be an AH.”

“I called the venue the other day, the day after our disagreement, and spoke with the coordinator.”

“I signed the contract so I have the authority.”

“We had a candid discussion about the size of the wedding, and the average cost for bar tabs that size, and the different options.”

“After that was thoroughly discussed I set a pre determined amount for the bar tab and she noted on the contract that anything after the limit was reached was to be paid by the guests.”

“I then set it so that no drink could be ordered that was more than $10.”

“Generous considering average top shelf drinks are about $7-8 here.”

“I called my daughter after I did that and informed her of what I did and double downed on the budget and absolutely not paying for a fully open, unlimited bar at her wedding.”

“They both called me an AH again.”

“Now they won’t speak to me or answer my calls.”

“So AITA?”

“I don’t think I am, but I’ll take my verdict fair and square.”

“With the current bar package I set up, No one is paying for anything unless the budgeted limit is reached.”

“Then the option is to turn it into a ‘cash bar’ where guests pay.”

“And IF that happens, which it should not, the bride and groom will be informed of the budgeted limit being reached.”

“They can choose at that time to contribute to the extra expense at that point if they want to instead of a ‘cash bar’.”

“But Here’s the deal.”

⁠⁠”The budget limit is still the same amount I told them it would be.”

“The venue coordinator estimated it’s MORE THAN ENOUGH. It’s by far much higher than the average bar tab for the size of her wedding.”

“It should be more than enough to last all evening, and no guests should have to pay for drinks.”

⁠⁠”The bar is still ‘open’ with the exception of a price cap on what can be ordered.”

“Guests cannot order a free drink from the open bar that costs more than $10/drink.”

“The average top-shelf drink there is $7-8/drink.”

“It’s not unreasonable.”

“This way no one can order a $2000 shot or other extremely expensive drinks that would blow through the budget limit in a very short time.”

⁠⁠”There is no quantity limit per person on drinks.”

“And according to the venue coordinator, this is the most common way of doing things.”

“Also if the bride and groom find this unacceptable, they can call the venue coordinator and set up their own contract making them legally responsible for whatever expense is above my limits.”

“They are generally not this way.”

“She’s very humble, kind, and compassionate.”

“She’s a good person and wasn’t raised as a spoiled, pampered princess with no boundaries.”

“She’s had them, and we’re not doormats for her to manipulate.”

“They both work full time, and both make good money.”

“They’re financially independent and stable.”

“He’s always been a decent respectful young man and responsible with his finances too.”

“They’ve both repeatedly thanked us several times throughout this wedding process.”

“They’ve been very grateful and appreciative.”

“I have no idea what caused this abrupt change now.”

“We’re very close to them and typically spend time with the 4 or more nights a week, either at our home or theirs for dinner.”

“And we do a lot of stuff with them in public, too.”

“They take their younger siblings out regularly too.”

“His parents are not contributing.”

“His dad isn’t involved in his life, and his mom is disabled and on a fixed income.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to pay for an open bar at her daughter’s wedding.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s boundaries were more than reasonable, with many pointing out that she went above and beyond to make sure that guests still wouldn’t have to pay for drinks, while many called out her daughter for being ungrateful.


“Your daughter sounds entitled and spoiled.”

“Does she even realize how lucky she is to have someone pay for her wedding?”

“My fiancé and I have no f*cking financial support so forgive me that it makes me sick to see someone so unappreciative of everything you are doing.”

“Keep your foot down.”

“You give in it’ll only get worse. 21 and 22 nowadays feel so young, and I hope they mature throughout their marriage.”- Moony-21

“Holy cow is your kid entitled.”

“A limit is good just in general, no one needs to be getting tanked at a wedding.”

“But you’re literally paying for everything, and haven’t butted in any other plans.”

“I think you should ask her why she truly needs an open bar, and see her sputter in answer.”

“What’s she going to say?”

“All of my friends want to get wasted in your time?”

“NTA.”- RedRixen83

“NTA open bars are a terrible idea.”

“Most people see an open bar as a challenge to drink as much as they can in as short a time as possible.”

“The Last weddings I’ve been to with open bars ended up at roughly £14,000 and £11,000 and they were both over 10 years ago, and prices on alcohol seem to keep going up.”- andurilmat


“Since you are paying, it is very reasonable what you did.”

“They seem ‘a tad’ entitled, the bride and groom.”

“I would rethink the whole ‘paying for the wedding’- concept after their calling you an AH more than once.”

“They could have offered to pay the overs on the bar tabs out of their own pockets, but I guess those pockets aren’t deep enough.”- SnooSprouts6712

“I loved how they said ‘is not negotiable’, like they were paying for it.”


Very few brides and grooms are lucky enough to have parents who are willing to foot the entire bill for their wedding.

Something the OP’s daughter might want to think about before she complains about the lack of an open bar again.

For that matter, since she and her fiancé appears to be gainfully employed and self-sufficient, did it ever occur to them that the open bar could have been the one thing they paid for themselves?

Apparently not.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.