Raise a glass, legally

August 10 • 2012

Toasting at Migis Lodge<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

When you’re knee-deep in the planning process, it’s easy to forget about the decidedly unromantic legal implications of your wedding. And the need to grasp the law of the land doesn’t end with your marriage license. Unless you’re planning a dry event, you need to know the host state’s liquor laws.

For those planning to tie the knot in Maine, we’ve saved you the trouble of spending a Sunday afternoon poring over the state liquor laws yourself.  Here’s what you need to know:

Big, fat disclaimer: These guidelines apply only to state law; check with your venue/caterer about their individual requirements.

If you’re charging guests for alcohol:

  • A employee of a licensed venue or caterer must serve the drinks
  • The venue or caterer holding the license assumes liability
  • You may ask the licensee to serve alcohol at no charge up to a certain value, say $2,000 worth, and then charge for any drinks above that limit

If you’re not charging guests for alcohol:

  • You may arrange for your own bartender, but the purchaser of the alcohol assumes all liability
  • Minors may be present at your event, but if they consume any alcohol, the purchaser is on the hook legally
  • Tips for drinks count as a “sale,” so don’t allow your bartender to accept them unless you’re prepared to trigger the requirements above for charging guests for alcohol

If you’re having your reception at a state park or historic site:

  • “Intoxicating beverages” are not permitted (neither is “coarse language,” for that matter; see other rules here)
  • Alcohol is banned at many locations within Acadia National Park; check here for details

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  1. Love and Lobster
    10/08/2012 at 1:26 pm Permalink

    wow, great timing on this post. I was just looking for this info because we were trying to have a welcome party for our guests on the beach in Kennebunkport. Turns out there is no alcohol allowed on beaches there either!