Etiquette

Newbie looking for help

Hi all,
I am recently engaged and new to the board (first post). I am very early in the planning process and was wondering the etiquette of serving alcohol at the reception? Do you think it's a must-have? My FI seems to think it is. I'd appreciate any help!
Thanks :)

Re: Newbie looking for help

  • If you decide not to do alcohol, you should think about a morning or afternoon wedding.
  • In Response to Re: Newbie looking for help:
    If you decide not to do alcohol, you should think about a morning or afternoon wedding.
    Posted by HockeyFan4
    Why? Just because people expect alcohol at an evening event? I don't think the bride should have to do a morning or afternoon event just because she's thinking about not having alcohol.

    OP, we didn't have alcohol, for religious reasons, but also because alcohol was not in our budget (and not the norm around here). You don't have to have alcohol, but if it's expected in your circle with weddings, I would try to have something, at least beer and wine, and maybe a signature drink?

    Also, you can oftentimes purchase alcohol and bring it in, but you have to check with your venue and state laws.
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  • JessAndTravJessAndTrav
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited July 2012
    In Response to Re: Newbie looking for help:
    If you decide not to do alcohol, you should think about a morning or afternoon wedding.
    Posted by HockeyFan4
    This, for sure. 

    While it is acceptable to have a 'dry' wedding, people don't expect alcohol during a morning/afternoon wedding.

    Think about who your guests are. Do most of them drink? If so, you may need to look into options for alcohol. If most of them don't, then I think having a 'dry' wedding at any time of day is fine.

    ETA: the bolded for clarification. :)

  • pkontkpkontk
    500 Comments
    member
    Only you know your group specifically.  I've been to several lovely dry weddings, and they were all in the lunch-afternoon ballpark.  As long as your guests are not expected to pull out their wallets and pay for drinks then it will be fine.
  • We're doing beer/wine, plus a prosecco toast.  My father does not want to put any one on the road (as some guests are either local or staying off at a different hotel) with the possibility of being overserved.  So far, only FI's brother is upset that there will not be hard liquor.  My parents are paying so it's their decision.

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  • In our circle, it's common to have alcohol. We have only attended one wedding without and it was for religious reasons. You know your friends and family best. If you want to have alcohol, I would make sure to host it (don't make your guests pay). You can serve just beer and wine to cut costs instead of hosting a full open bar.


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    Vacation
  • Thanks for all the responses! I will have to talk to my FI and look over our budget but I like the wine and beer idea. I would never imagine asking guests to pay for alcohol.

    Thanks so much all!
  • In Response to Re: Newbie looking for help:
    We're doing beer/wine, plus a prosecco toast.  My father does not want to put any one on the road (as some guests are either local or staying off at a different hotel) with the possibility of being overserved.  So far, only FI's brother is upset that there will not be hard liquor.  My parents are paying so it's their decision.
    Posted by cajitasazules
    People can definitely get smashed on beer/wine--I don't even think it's that much less likely.  Have a bartender do the serving, and provide a list of cab companies by the bar or exit if you are worried about your guests not being responsible for themselves.

  • In Response to Re: Newbie looking for help:
    We're doing beer/wine, plus a prosecco toast.  My father does not want to put any one on the road (as some guests are either local or staying off at a different hotel) with the possibility of being overserved.  So far, only FI's brother is upset that there will not be hard liquor.  My parents are paying so it's their decision.
    Posted by cajitasazules
    You know people can get just as drunk off beer and wine too, right? A trained bartender will stop serving someone if they are getting too out of control. Leave that up to them. Have cab company numbers available in case someone needs a ride back.


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  • You can do whatever you want but unless your family/ friends or his don't drink for religious reasons I'm pretty sure you can expect to host a lot less ppl. Not saying its right just think ppl who like alcohol are not going to be interested unless there is a real good reason. I can just imagine if I told my and fis family that. They'd prob pitch in just to have one!
  • like PPs said you can do whatever you want, but it sounds like your FI is pretty adamant that it's a must; which means it's probably expected in his family/circle if not yours as well.

    And I really, really hate the "we're only serving beer and wine so our guests don't get wasted" line.  If your budget only allows for beer and wine, then fine, but saying your guests won't get drunk on beer, and in turn that they WOULD get drunk on hard liquor is just stupid.
  • In Response to Re:Newbie looking for help:
    You can do whatever you want but unless your family/ friends or his don't drink for religious reasons I'm pretty sure you can expect to host a lot less ppl. Not saying its right just think ppl who like alcohol are not going to be interested unless there is a real good reason. I can just imagine if I told my and fis family that. They'd prob pitch in just to have one!
    Posted by Mrw218
    Not going to be interested in the wedding unless there is a good reason? Besides the whole wedding aspect? People who truly care (IMO) will come whether there is alcohol or not. The party may end sooner though.
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  • In Response to Re:Newbie looking for help:
    You can do whatever you want but unless your family/ friends or his don't drink for religious reasons I'm pretty sure you can expect to host a lot less ppl. Not saying its right just think ppl who like alcohol are not going to be interested unless there is a real good reason. I can just imagine if I told my and fis family that. They'd prob pitch in just to have one!
    Posted by Mrw218
    I would hope that getting married is "a real good reason."
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  • lauraanne9lauraanne9
    100 Comments
    member
    edited July 2012
    In Response to Re:Newbie looking for help:
    You can do whatever you want but unless your family/ friends or his don't drink for religious reasons I'm pretty sure you can expect to host a lot less ppl. Not saying its right just think ppl who like alcohol are not going to be interested unless there is a real good reason. I can just imagine if I told my and fis family that. They'd prob pitch in just to have one!
    Posted by Mrw218

    I completely disagree.  My wedding IS a "real good reason" as far as I am concerned, and our wedding is dry.  If this makes people who are supposed to be family and friends decide they do not want to come because they are not interested, I am honestly ok if they do not come.  

    The decision was made for a number of reasons, the main one being that the reception is at a home in the country and pretty much anyone who is there will either be driving or in a car riding with another guest.  We do not really want to be responsible, or even feel responsible, for any accidents that may happen due to a guest who has been drinking.  And as I said, if our wedding is not enough to get someone to give up alcohol for a few hours, I am fine if they RSVP "no"
    Anniversary
  • In Response to Re:Newbie looking for help:
    In Response to Re:Newbie looking for help : I like alcohol, and yet I would find two close friends or family members getting married to be plenty good reason to attend an event that didn't serve alcohol.  It's not a keg party, it's a wedding. 
    Posted by StageManager14
    Like button needs to happen.

    It mystifies me that people actually would leave a wedding, or not attend at all, if alcohol wasn't served. And it's not just "the crowd I run in". While we're not serving alcohol for religious reasons, I know a lot of my friends who drink and love to party have not batted an eyelash when we mention it's a dry event. I have had maybe one or two people complain.
  • hoffsehoffse
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I've been to weddings with no alcohol, beer & wine, and beer + wine + liquor.  They were all fine.  I think people need to get over whatever alcohol expectations they have, particularly if you end up cutting a large portion of your guest list just to have that signature cocktail.  I think there's a balance - obviously you need to host people well, and if that means alcohol is a must to you, then I would maybe do beer & wine.  If alcohol isn't that important to you, people can be hosted perfectly well with non-alcoholic drinks as long as there is plenty of food.  We chose to go beer and wine because hosting people well for us means having beer/wine to serve - while liquor would have been nice, it would require us to invite like 15-20 fewer people, and that wasn't worth it to us.

    Since you've just gotten engaged, my only real suggestion is to budget a lot of money for food - there are plenty of other ways to save (other than cutting out alcohol entirely), such as invitations, flowers, decorations, and even your dress.  The dress in particular.  Not disrespecting anybody who bought a very very expensive dress, but only you know how much it costs - and there are plenty of gorgeous dresses that would allow you to maybe invite another 5-10 people because you're not spending $$$$ on yourself, KWIM?  Throw the bulk of your money at things guests will enjoy, plus maybe 1-2 small splurges for yourself.  For us, the splurge is invitations, because we both really wanted thermography.  For many brides the splurge is the dress, and that's fine - it only becomes a problem when guests start getting cut because the bride HAS to have this, and that, and that other thing, all because it's "her day."  Then the bride comes on here to complain about how she can't afford to host enough people, and then asks if she can have a tiered reception, etc.

    As for the afternoon/evening thing - that depends.  I agree that people can enjoy a great wedding in the evening with no alcohol, and anybody who wouldnt be interested shouldn't be invited in the first place.  That said, late morning/early afternoon weddings are lovely and tend to be a good deal less expensive.  You could do a really full brunch with mimosas, bloody marys, etc. to keep alcohol costs down... and it would be super classy. 
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