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The Ever-dreaded Last Call

To Do or Not To Do

Unfortunately, every great party has to come to an end at some point. And typically, other than a house party, most venues have an alcohol cut off, which usually happens somewhere between 15-30 minutes from the end. Just like at a bar, there is typically a last call over the PA system to let everyone know that they have just a few more minutes to grab another drink before the bar shuts down. At a public bar/club, this actually works in their favor because the business can make upwards of $500 (sometimes more) in that short period of time. 

But at a wedding reception, the DJ doing a verbal last call over the PA system is a bad choice, because if you are paying per drink, then it'll cost YOU (or the Father of the Bride) that additional $500. But if you're paying a flat fee for your bar, the venue doesn't make any additional money. But please don't abuse that, and still consider NOT doing a verbal last call, but instead, consider using a picture like this one on your bar.....


I have assembled 4 reasons below why using a sign like the above is a better idea, instead of doing a verbal last call that could actually do more harm than good:

  1. A sign on the bar gives your drinking guests a heads up from the very beginning of the night. There's no doubt when the bar will be closing. 
  2. The last thing that your DJ wants to have to do is a verbal last call over the microphone and lose most of (if not all of) his dancers on the dance floor. Keep in mind that those dancing are sweating, and are typically the ones that are drinking the most, and will without thinking, run straight for the bar when that announcement is made.
  3. Having a last call announced means the bartender will get slammed with a lot of people all at once, which means the line will be backed up, which also means it'll take longer to get the dance floor filled back up to where it was just before the announcement was made. The momentum and energy that your DJ has created over the previous 90 mins or so is instantly gone, and now your DJ is staring at an empty dance floor. Is that REALLY what you want for the last 30 minutes of your celebration?
  4. And finally, one of the reasons that should be most important to you is those that should have stopped drinking a drink or two prior, are going to have yet another drink and possibly put themselves and other's lives at risk if they get behind the wheel.

So to conclude.... from my experience seeing it both ways, I feel the best way to close the bar is either with a "Bar closing at" sign and/or with what's called a "soft close" where no announcement is made, and the bartender just shuts things down quietly. If you are a bride or groom (or parent of a bride or groom) reading this, seriously consider my advice so that you can end your celebration on a high note and have the best memory of all your family and friends on the dance floor with you, singing, dancing, and cheering to that very last note, instead of all gathered around the bar for that very unnecessary last drink. 

Doesn't this dance floor look more fun than an empty one? The Groom is having the time of his life, and the Bride (behind him) is loving every second of it too! This is how a wedding celebration should end!

Photo by 808 Studios Photography

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