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Budget Weddings

Alcohol or Not

So my Mother feels like we should have alcohol due to that being a big wedding thing. But my fiancé and I are either way about it because his father is a recovering alcoholic that keeps falling off the wagon.Neither my fiancé or I drink much so we are not really pressed about it, but my mom thinks that some people may be upset about not having at least a glass of wine. Not sure what to do. Do you all think that may people will mind if there is only one drink per person or not drinks at all but sodas/tea/water, etc.

Please assist.... 

Re: Alcohol or Not

  • dlglucy15 said:
    So my Mother feels like we should have alcohol due to that being a big wedding thing. But my fiancé and I are either way about it because his father is a recovering alcoholic that keeps falling off the wagon.Neither my fiancé or I drink much so we are not really pressed about it, but my mom thinks that some people may be upset about not having at least a glass of wine. Not sure what to do. Do you all think that may people will mind if there is only one drink per person or not drinks at all but sodas/tea/water, etc.

    Please assist.... 
    You cannot limit drinks per person. (How would you even do that? Drink tickets are dumb in general, and absolutely incorrect etiquette for a wedding or any other type of hosted event) Whatever drinks you do host must be available the entire reception. (Though you can close the bar a half hour to an hour before the end, to signal that the party is winding down) Hosting just wine and beer is an option. Cash bar is not. (I know you didn't bring it up but I wanted to throw that out there just in case) You can instruct your bartender to watch your dad extra closely. Or you can just remove the temptation and host a dry wedding, which is still perfectly acceptable etiquette-wise. You don't need to explain to anyone why it is dry.

    I do have to ask... why doesn't your mom want to help support your father's attempts to recover by limiting his exposure to drinking? That seems odd.
    image
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    dlglucy15 said:
    So my Mother feels like we should have alcohol due to that being a big wedding thing. But my fiancé and I are either way about it because his father is a recovering alcoholic that keeps falling off the wagon.Neither my fiancé or I drink much so we are not really pressed about it, but my mom thinks that some people may be upset about not having at least a glass of wine. Not sure what to do. Do you all think that may people will mind if there is only one drink per person or not drinks at all but sodas/tea/water, etc.

    Please assist.... 
    You cannot limit drinks per person. (How would you even do that? Drink tickets are dumb in general, and absolutely incorrect etiquette for a wedding or any other type of hosted event) Whatever drinks you do host must be available the entire reception. (Though you can close the bar a half hour to an hour before the end, to signal that the party is winding down) Hosting just wine and beer is an option. Cash bar is not. (I know you didn't bring it up but I wanted to throw that out there just in case) You can instruct your bartender to watch your dad extra closely. Or you can just remove the temptation and host a dry wedding, which is still perfectly acceptable etiquette-wise. You don't need to explain to anyone why it is dry.

    I do have to ask... why doesn't your mom want to help support your father's attempts to recover by limiting his exposure to drinking? That seems odd.
    "My mother" and "his father" - two different sides of the family. 

    But the PPs have everything covered. If you don't want alcohol - don't. You're under no obligation to do so. But if you do, it should be free and unlimited. 

    image
  • In the history of my being, I have never, nor have I ever seen anyone "be upset about not having at least a glass of wine" while being hosted at an event.  Because, you know, we're not rude and demanding.  Have we sometimes been a little disappointed that there isn't alcohol somewhere?  Sure, and then we got over it.  But upset?  Nope.

    Having a dry wedding is perfectly acceptable and within the bounds of etiquette.  If people want to bitch about it, then they are the rude ones because it is also good etiquette to graciously accept what is being hosted and not be a jerk about it.

    If you want it to seem a little more festive and it's in your budget, you can talk to your venue about hosting a variety of "mocktails" or dress up non-alcoholic drinks a little more by offering infused waters, flavored lemonades or teas, etc. 
    [Deleted User]
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    It sounds like you don't really want it, so you shouldn't have it. It is possible to have "just one glass of wine," though. That's what we did. We had Mimosas and then non-alcoholic drinks available the whole time and then servers came around and poured everyone a glass of wine for my dad's toast. We regret doing that b/c we think most people just toasted with whatever they were drinking and so paying for that one glass for everyone was a waste. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'd just do no alcohol if there is the concern over the FIL being around alcohol. I've never been to a dry wedding before but I've been to cash bar only weddings when I was younger and that was basically the same thing since I wasn't paying an arm and a leg for a drink. It doesn't really change my enjoyment, or lack thereof, for the event.  I think some people might say that you might not have as much of a party atmosphere since alcohol often helps get people dancing, but I know others have said they had a dry wedding that was a big party so it can go either way.
  • If your mom is paying for the reception, she has a say. If she's not, then do whatever you want. There's nothing wrong with a dry wedding.

    But whatever you decide, you shouldn't limit what people drink. Drink tickets are against etiquette for weddings. So is offering something for only part of an event (like only offering drinks during cocktail hour). Whatever you offer should be available the whole time.

    However, you CAN limit your offerings. So you could offer just a red and a white wine. Or just beer. Or wine and beer. Or just a signature cocktail. As long as whatever you offer is available the whole time, you don't limit it, and you don't make people pay for it, you're in the clear.
    *********************************************************************************

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    [Deleted User]
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    You know your guests.  We don't. 

    A dry wedding is fine.  A full bar is fine.  Wine & beer only is fine.  limiting your guests to 1 drink sounds tacky. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    dalm0m said:
    You know your guests.  We don't. 

    A dry wedding is fine.  A full bar is fine.  Wine & beer only is fine.  limiting your guests to 1 drink sounds tacky. 
    Ditto this exactly. 

    [Deleted User]Knottie1434626497
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    I agree with the PP on the etiquette side of things.

    However, according to the principles of Al-Anon, you shouldn't change your behavior to accommodate a recovering addict.  If he chooses to drink, he chooses to do so because he's an alcoholic, not because he's at a party with alcohol.  I understand where you're coming from and why you are taking that into consideration, and know from experience that it's out of a place of love.  I just want to make sure you know if he chooses to have a drink, it's not your fault, regardless of how much or how little alcohol is available at your wedding.  (hugs). 

    ETA:  Sorry, my signature graphic is horrifically tasteless given this conversation!
    image
    lyndausvi
  • We just hosted my parent's 50th Anniversary and only hosted ALL NA's the entire time (including NA beer and NA Mixers).  My Ma said "We don't drink, we don't think we should have to pay for others to drink.."  So, that's what we did. IMO, I'm all about promoting sobriety, I was in a neck brace for 6mo as a teen because some jackwagon decided to drive drunk and run into us going 65mph and I still have issues from it.  I really didn't want to even host beer/wine/champagne at our wedding, but the IL's did, they were paying, guess who won that argument... 

    I agree - whatever you decide to host, host it the entire evening and let everyone know that you are.  Be confident in whatever decision you make. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Do people expect it a bar at a reception? Yes. Will it ruin your wedding if you don't have a bar? No. As long as you have plenty of other options, you are fine. Do what you and your Fiance feel the most comfortable with. If you feel that you would be jeopordizing your FIL sobriety by having an open bar and you don't want to risk it, then don't have one.
    MesmrEwe
  • You and your fiance need to talk about this. I agree with dalmom. Limiting only 1 drink for your guest is inappropriate. Better to have none at all. 
  • I would say just do a champagne toast at the reception and provide one bottle of red, and one bottle of white per table.
  • It is ok to have a dry wedding. My friend did. But stupid people sneak in alcohol. Her venue didn't allow it.

     
  • I would say just do a champagne toast at the reception and provide one bottle of red, and one bottle of white per table.
    Not the best idea. If you are going to host the wine then host the wine for the full evening not just till you run out. This would basically be the same as doing a consumption bar that cut off when a max amount was hit.
    [Deleted User]
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would say just do a champagne toast at the reception and provide one bottle of red, and one bottle of white per table.


    Terrible idea. That might not even be enough wine for each person at the table, depending on how they pour. And if I knew I was only getting one drink, I would pour with a heavy hand.

    Its an all or none thing.

    BabyFruit Ticker
    [Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would say just do a champagne toast at the reception and provide one bottle of red, and one bottle of white per table.
    No.  If you are going to serve alcohol then you need to serve it all night.  And putting a bottle or red and white on the table just would not work.  People tend to pour more then what is actually considered a serving.  And what happens if everyone at the table wants white?  One bottle is not going to serve 8 people.

    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2015
    If you serve alcohol at all, it has to be free and available the entire reception. It's okay to have a limited selection, such as beer, wine, and virgin drinks only, but drink tickets and other limitations on service are not okay.

    If you're worried about your FFIL or anyone else getting intoxicated and behaving badly and/or endangering anyone or anything, I'd arrange for security. Some venues require this, along with insurance if you're serving alcohol.
  • dlglucy15 said:
    So my Mother feels like we should have alcohol due to that being a big wedding thing. But my fiancé and I are either way about it because his father is a recovering alcoholic that keeps falling off the wagon.Neither my fiancé or I drink much so we are not really pressed about it, but my mom thinks that some people may be upset about not having at least a glass of wine. Not sure what to do. Do you all think that may people will mind if there is only one drink per person or not drinks at all but sodas/tea/water, etc.

    Please assist.... 
    My father is a severe alcoholic. We are still having alcohol because it is OUR wedding, NOT his. We will be informing the bar of the situation that he is not permitted any drinks. We have a few friends on "defense mode" if things get ugly.
    kimmiinthemitten
  • Ditto what Viktoria said. I'm in the same boat, and I knew from the beginning we wanted an open bar with wine, beer, and liquor, because it's our day and I am tired of making sacrifices for that horrible disease! As we get closer (we're exactly one year and one day away), we'll make a plan of what to do if he drinks at the rehearsal dinner, at the hotel the night before/morning of the wedding, in between the wedding and reception, and at the reception. It'll take some work and cooperation from family members, but I know for sure I want to be able to tell a point person to handle it and know it'll be handled without me worrying about it. This is what will work for me, and the family members I'm enlisting are very supportive about it. If you don't have family members like that (alcoholism is an alienating disease), invite a few AA friends/his sponsor--we're also doing this. If he's not in AA, keep brainstorming! There's a way to make it work.

    If, in the end, this is too overwhelming for you, check out the above options of wine/beer, just wine, etc. Good luck!! Feel free to PM me if you want :)
    kimmiinthemitten
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