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Outdoor Weddings

Southern Baptist Ceremony Traditions vs a Modern Wedding with Open Bar and Dancing

Hey Girls.  

I am engaged to be married to a wonderful man this August.  I found a beautiful venue to allow for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception.  We are inviting about 180 guests, but about 20 of them are of the conservative Southern Baptist faith.  Their religion frowns upon dancing and drinking.  I come from an Irish Catholic family, where there is lots of dancing and drinking.  Several of those family members of the Southern Baptist faith may choose not to come to the reception, among them, my future in-laws.  As of now, they can't look past the fact that other people around them will be drinking.  I would be very disappointed if they do not come, especially my in-laws.  One solution we had was delaying the open bar from 6:00 to 7:00, but I don't think thats fair to the other 150 guests for whom this is not an issue for.  Are there any other brides out there for which this is a similar issue for?  Any advice on how to handle this?

Re: Southern Baptist Ceremony Traditions vs a Modern Wedding with Open Bar and Dancing

  • You are right, it isn't fair.  My first question whenever this comes up is do these people dine at places like Applebees, Chilis, Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, etc?  These places ALL serve alcohol and these non-drinking family members are sitting in the middle of other diners who are drinking - and it isn't a problem.

    When our last DD got married in 09 we had a bit of an issue with this.  Her biomom's and stepdad's sides of the family are all Pentecostal and do not drink/do not approve of drinking.  DD and her DH wanted alcohol at the wedding as did the FIL's and our side.  Since biomom wasn't paying for any of the wedding, she got no vote.

    Here is what we did do:  we set up non-alcoholic beverages away from the bar with a very nice presentation and we made it look like we put some effort into it.  We had some gorgeous beverage jars as well as a very nice coffee service.  Those who are truly uncomfortable around alcohol didn't have to go to the bar to get something to drink, and those who wanted alcohol got it.

    I encourage you and FI to ask his parents what the difference is between going out to eat at restaurants that serve alcohol and having alcohol at your wedding.  As long as they aren't being asked to pay for it and accomodations are being made for the non-drinkers, I think you should plan on it and move along.

    Would they seriously not attend the reception?  In all honesty, I'd have to call their bluff on it.  We got the same thing from DD's biomom, but the whole Pentecostal crew showed up and they stayed for the entire reception.

  • You should check out www.antebellumweddings.net for a barn wedding!!! Perfect venue!!!
  • Kmmssg had some great suggestions. 

    Seriously, I wouldn't let 20 guests trump the remainder PARTICULARLY if you and your FI both want there to be booze and dancing. 

    They can leave early if it's too troubling for them.
  • Hello, I am having the same issue. My guy's family is southern baptist and I am having a hard time with this too. He suggested if we hold off the drinking until later in the evening. I am trying to be fare to his side and mine. That is the only thing I could figure out what would work and everyone will be getting what they want. The partiers will be out later and the others can leave if they want. Let me know what you end up doing. Smile
  • I like kmmssg's suggestion of having separate beverage areas.  At our wedding, we had dancing under the main tent with the dinner tables, but we also set up couches outside the tent so people who wanted to talk and enjoy the view could do so as well.  Would your ILs be more comfortable if they could be at the reception, but not directly in the middle of all the dancing?
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  • My FI's family is Southern Baptist, but is not that conservative. They drink, but rarely. Our church laws actually don't approve of alcohol at all, I think. That said, we want champagne there, so we're just making sure that nothing gets out of hand.
    I think we skirted the issue a little bit by having a morning wedding and only one or two drink choices. We'll also be providing wonderful punch for those who don't want to drink.
    My FSIL is Mormon and her and her 5 kids make me nervous about having alcohol there at all, but it's not unreasonable to do so, so we're going ahead with it.

    The rehearsal dinner is a little more difficult since we're serving wine.  Our Preacher is pretty easygoing, but I still feel awkward about it.

    My advice for you would be to push back the alcohol serving for an hour or so. Your family can (seriously) go without alcohol during that time. It will give his family the chance to enjoy the reception for a little bit, then leave if they so choose.
  • edited January 2012
     I am southern Baptist and do not see an issue with drinking.  The important thing is the Bible does not speak against drinking.

    Now being drunk and an embarrassment to everybody is another thing.

    I am a wedding officiant/pastor and am comfortable around others drinking, however as a pastor I do not drink.

    Something you do need to consider is that you are responsible for everybody who drinks.

    But getting back to your question perhaps you could separate those who are going to drink from those who do not want to be exposed to it

    And you could put the drinkers in cabs to go home afterwords.
  • This should be the greatest day of your life.   Do people have to be drunk to enjoy your wedding? erhaps you could set up the bar away from the wedding setting.  This way you could celebrate on one side of the room,  and get drunk on the other end of the room.  There is nothing in the Bible about not being allowed to drink.  Most people can drink responsibly.

    Although you do realize that you are responsible for those who are drinking while they are there at the celebration and on their way home.  Could become very expensive. 
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