Open Bars Are A Bad Idea. Hire On Site Security Or Consider A Cash Bar…

I recently declined to book an event with an open bar. Too many guests, an open bar and no budget for security? 

The how and why I decline new bookings will surprise you but the facts as to why I just say no will enlighten you. Experience matters. 

We no longer book large events with alcohol AND no on site security. Why? Because the need exists to protect not only my staff but also the guests and also my clients. No one wants to find themselves in a fist fight or bar room brawl at a wedding and much less a funeral. 

Most dedicated readers will recall the “beer swilling big mouthed brother” at a Pawning Planners Event who not only consistently interrupted my ceremony and intimidated my client, Joanna but who also smashed wedding cake in the faces of both the bride and the groom. What the? Good Lord who invited that idiot? 

I’m intolerant of bullies but, I cannot be everywhere on site. This type of behavior from my clients brother was something I had never encountered before and because there wasn’t alcohol on site, I felt the need for security was unwarranted but, I was sadly mistaken. Joanna’s brother was uncontrollable. I will never forget him yelling at me “I object.” He continued similar disruptions and shouting throughout the wedding ceremony. I continued to ignore him. It was awkward, confrontational and unforgettable. 

In-laws and Out-laws. Who are these meddling people? Well, they are the people you either gain as a gift of marriage OR the people you wished you had never met and will continue to be spending time with. Are they dangerous? As a whole, the answer is no but, throw these “chili stirring problem makers” into the mix at your Dream Event and you will quickly recognize that a better option was to not invite them at all. 

A few years ago, a brawl between an old boyfriend crashing the wedding and the groom ensued. Shocked guests and family members were horrified while I was instantly agitated. I addressed this party crasher myself and escorted him out while he continued to attempt to seranade the bride. This fiasco was titled “the banjo playing boyfriend gets the boot.” I wasn’t wearing boots but you get the point. 

Last year, a beautifully orchestrated event had my client “adding security” on to her initial contract as an after thought. Why? Because she had heard that there would be party crashes and didn’t want any problems. The expense of additional security is a good investment I can assure you. 

It’s very rare that security is warranted at a wake or memorial BUT… it’s happened. What? That’s right I’ve had clients request security solely because they are uncomfortable on site with the In-laws and Out-laws. 

One bereaved widow flat out told me “his children hate me and I’m fearful for my safety.” Should anyone be forced to being fearful at a funeral? No. But, funerals are the one time where Out-Law relatives feel that they have nothing to lose. Why? Because funerals are final. 

I’ve been knocked over a casket by a daughter who wanted to see if her father was being buried in his Rolex watch. I’ve been pushed aside by an ex wife who wanted her tie back. 

I’ve been shocked by the outrageous conduct of others and I’ve learned that if your relatives are unpredictable, you NEED ON SITE SECURITY. 

“It’s an additional expense I wasn’t planning for.” Okay, but let’s look at my experience and your budget one more time…you are planning one event. I’ve planned and officiated hundreds of events. Your budget and my experience either meet in the middle or they don’t. 

Last night in Dallas, a venue was the location of a mass shooting. A venue I’m familiar with. There were far too many people in the venue that accommodates 500 people. Some estimates put the number of people at 750. Where was security? Is it now necessary to add metal detectors on site at large events? I’m going to tell you that if you have over 300 people on site that you NEED SECURITY and not rule out metal detectors either. 

A few of you will think I’m being an alarmist. Others will wonder about the expense? Without order there is chaos. Can you put a price on peace of mind? 

Last year, a drunk boyfriend barged into an upscale stockyards venue. The groom and several groomsmen became enthralled in a fist fight that resulted in several arrests. 

At YET ANOTHER WEDDING a photographer was arrested for public intoxication last year. What is going on with guests, party crashers AND even vendors behaving so badly that the police are called to what was supposed to be a beautiful event? Lack of security and open bars. Alcohol and events don’t mix. 

When budgeting your event, it’s essential to address the necessity for alcohol, security and what’s really important to you…