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Budget Weddings

"What, no alcohol?!"

My FI and I are having a dry wedding reception because we don't want to make his very religious family uncomfortable.  Our reception will still have plenty of food, cake and non-alcoholic drinks for everyone.

We've decided that following the wedding reception that we would just go to our favorite bar and invite the wedding party or anyone who wants to come to have a beer with us.  This invitation would be by word-of-mouth. We are getting suggestions from friends that we should pay for any drinks that are purchased at this "after party" or provide a keg of beer and some bottles of wine for anyone who comes from the wedding reception. These suggestions are from friends who we plan to ask to be in our wedding party and we both feel a little bit of pressure.  There is definitely an expectation from them that we will provide alcohol at some point during the day since it's a dry wedding reception.

I'm afraid as time goes on that there's going to be hurt feelings/expectations about this "after party."  We can't afford to have an open bar tab for everyone.  I thought that by keeping it, "We're going to go to ABC place afterward if you want to join us!" that would be enough to express that this isn't a separate, hosted event. There's no room reservation or no invitations; it's literally FI and I walking from the reception in dress and suit to our favorite bar to have celebratory drinks after the reception wraps up.

I've already stated to a couple of friends that we have a small budge but the suggestions of "but you can at least have a keg for the wedding party!" keeps coming.  FI is now worried we may now need to begin to budget for a properly hosted "after party."  

Any suggestions as we move forward?  Has anyone experienced this before?
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Re: "What, no alcohol?!"

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2015

    Well, nobody is entitled to expect free alcohol from you guys at your after party.  (They are entitled not to have to pay for anything you make available at your wedding, but you're entitled to not provide alcohol at your reception.)

    But if you're going to invite people by word-of-mouth to an after party and they keep bringing up you paying for alcohol, tell them, "If you want to join us, we're happy for you to do so, but you need to realize that we won't be paying for alcohol for anyone who comes-whether they were in the wedding party or not.  No one is 'entitled' to alcohol at our expense.  We hope you can come to the after party, but if not, we look forward to seeing you at the wedding."

    [Deleted User]Fosmoh[Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Your friends are being incredibly rude.  You do not have to provide them alcohol at any point throughout the day.  And the fact that they are pressuring you is just ridiculous.

    If they say anything to you again then just say "Sorry but we are not providing any alcohol.  The "after party" is just a time for whoever feels like coming out can come but it will not be hosted in any form."  Repeat as necessary.

    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you!  I'm just super annoyed that all weekend long I was told about how at their weddings, alcohol was the most important element.  I totally get it.  I enjoy wine and drinks, too.  But if we could afford a completely separate event, we would totally have wine and beer at a hosted wedding after party.

    I was asked, "so, are you going to give people bracelets to wear at the bar so the bartenders can keep track of the tab?"  NO. NO. NO.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    yep, you will just have to tell these rude people that NO, you will joy be hosting anything at the after party.
    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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  • I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
  • I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!
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    [Deleted User]zitiqueenHeffalump
  • I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.

    Even in the event that FI's family would be cool about alcohol, I wouldn't have alcohol unless we could budget for it and be able to properly host it at the wedding reception.
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    Maggie0829dramamonkeyFosmohlnixon8
  • justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
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  • justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
    Wait.  Are you going to have one single glass of sparkling wine for each person but nothing else?  I'd go with sparkling cider or grape juice if that's the case.  I'd be more pissed about only having one tiny glass of champagne than I would about not having anything.
    justsie
  • I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Wow!  You are just rife with bad advice on this board.  "Hey, come to my wedding.  Bring a plate of pasta and pay for your own wine."
    Heffalump
  • adk19 said:
    justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
    Wait.  Are you going to have one single glass of sparkling wine for each person but nothing else?  I'd go with sparkling cider or grape juice if that's the case.  I'd be more pissed about only having one tiny glass of champagne than I would about not having anything.
    I agree. No alcohol, fine by me. Wave one glass around and then take it away- I'll be confused and probably go searching for where the bar is since there is clearly alcohol at the wedding. 
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    [Deleted User]Fosmoh
  • edited June 2015
    adk19 said:
    justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
    Wait.  Are you going to have one single glass of sparkling wine for each person but nothing else?  I'd go with sparkling cider or grape juice if that's the case.  I'd be more pissed about only having one tiny glass of champagne than I would about not having anything.

    I guess I hadn't thought of it that way?  I think most of our wedding guests who aren't FI's family are going to already raise eyebrows since we aren't providing alcohol but they probably are going to think "We are seriously toasting with sparking cider?" that I had thought the compromise would be to at least offer both. But maybe not.  I keep getting told by people we plan to invite to the wedding that they can't believe we aren't at least providing champaign to toast since there's no wine or beer.  I honestly never believed that our friends and guests would be upset about this nonsense, and that's becoming the first question when we share with them about our wedding date.  "So, there's an open bar right?!  No bar?  Wine?  Beer?  Why?   We have to have champaign for the toasts at least!"

    ETA:  I feel like I should add that most have stated they understand why we aren't serving a bar at the reception but the follow up question has been 99% of the time has been about if we plan to have an after party and serve alcohol then.  One friend remarked "But aren't weddings supposed to be for the guests to get drunk on your dime as a thank you?"    I know I should probably just not say anything more about wedding reception details to anyone at this point but I can't help but think there's going to be disappointment from people who attend thinking they are getting one experience but it's not.

    But I do appreciate being pointed out about the champaign.  I honestly was trying to find a compromise but it's not.
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  • adk19 said:
    justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
    Wait.  Are you going to have one single glass of sparkling wine for each person but nothing else?  I'd go with sparkling cider or grape juice if that's the case.  I'd be more pissed about only having one tiny glass of champagne than I would about not having anything.

    I guess I hadn't thought of it that way?  I think most of our wedding guests who aren't FI's family are going to already raise eyebrows since we aren't providing alcohol but they probably are going to think "We are seriously toasting with sparking cider?" that I had thought the compromise would be to at least offer both. But maybe not.  I keep getting told by people we plan to invite to the wedding that they can't believe we aren't at least providing champaign to toast since there's no wine or beer.  I honestly never believed that our friends and guests would be upset about this nonsense, and that's becoming the first question when we share with them about our wedding date.  "So, there's an open bar right?!  No bar?  Wine?  Beer?  Why?   We have to have champaign for the toasts at least!"

    ETA:  I feel like I should add that most have stated they understand why we aren't serving a bar at the reception but the follow up question has been 99% of the time has been about if we plan to have an after party and serve alcohol then.  One friend remarked "But aren't weddings supposed to be for the guests to get drunk on your dime as a thank you?"    I know I should probably just not say anything more about wedding reception details to anyone at this point but I can't help but think there's going to be disappointment from people who attend thinking they are getting one experience but it's not.

    But I do appreciate being pointed out about the champaign.  I honestly was trying to find a compromise but it's not.
    Nope. Sorry, it's not.  You seem to be friends with rude people.  I'd ignore them all.  Your plan sounds lovely and not at all snark-worthy.  I can't believe they want you to pay for them to get boozy.  Have good food, delicious non-alcoholic beverages, a seat for every butt, and these rude friends of yours are just going to have to get over themselves and their expectations.
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    adk19 said:
    justsie said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Nope nope nope. Cash bars are rude, your guests should not have to pay for any part of the party that is meant to thank them. I agree OP that it is up to you to provide alcohol or not, but please make sure you are properly hosting your guests regardless!

    We definitely have plenty of heavy apps, cake and non-alcoholic drinks to serve at the reception.  There's definitely a chair for every butt at the ceremony and reception.  We even plan to have champagne/sparkling for the toasts but we can't have beer, wine or liquor flowing beside Aunt June and the rest of the family because it will make them uncomfortable. 

    I'm being firm with our friends that we can't afford to buy out the bar for them when do our own thing afterward. I wish we could afford to have a separate hosted event where we provide wine and beer to all but, hey, that's life. 
    Wait.  Are you going to have one single glass of sparkling wine for each person but nothing else?  I'd go with sparkling cider or grape juice if that's the case.  I'd be more pissed about only having one tiny glass of champagne than I would about not having anything.

    I guess I hadn't thought of it that way?  I think most of our wedding guests who aren't FI's family are going to already raise eyebrows since we aren't providing alcohol but they probably are going to think "We are seriously toasting with sparking cider?" that I had thought the compromise would be to at least offer both. But maybe not.  I keep getting told by people we plan to invite to the wedding that they can't believe we aren't at least providing champaign to toast since there's no wine or beer.  I honestly never believed that our friends and guests would be upset about this nonsense, and that's becoming the first question when we share with them about our wedding date.  "So, there's an open bar right?!  No bar?  Wine?  Beer?  Why?   We have to have champaign for the toasts at least!"

    ETA:  I feel like I should add that most have stated they understand why we aren't serving a bar at the reception but the follow up question has been 99% of the time has been about if we plan to have an after party and serve alcohol then.  One friend remarked "But aren't weddings supposed to be for the guests to get drunk on your dime as a thank you?"    I know I should probably just not say anything more about wedding reception details to anyone at this point but I can't help but think there's going to be disappointment from people who attend thinking they are getting one experience but it's not.

    But I do appreciate being pointed out about the champaign.  I honestly was trying to find a compromise but it's not.

    I think your instincts in the bolded is the right way to deal. 

    If these people are disappointed, that's on their head.  You invited them to your wedding because you believed (apparently erroneously) that they cared enough about you, regardless of what you were serving as long as it was enough, to be there for you when you get married.  Sadly, they believe that your invitation to them obligates you to give them the opportunity to get drunk on your dime.  I agree with @adk19 (yet again today ;-)) that they're being rude to expect that. 

    If they can't take "no, we're not having alcohol or an after party" for an answer from you without pushing back, I think they don't deserve your friendship.  They're just too immature.

    [Deleted User][Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • edited June 2015
    @adk14 and @jen4948 Thank you both for the reality check. I needed that. I told FI this evening that we don't need to worry about whether or not we are providing a booze fest for people or not. It's not what we want at the end of the day. I've decided to say to people who ask about whether they are getting drunk on our dime that, sorry, that's not happening. I still want to spread by word of mouth that afternoon that if anyone wants to see us at the bar later then please drop by.

    ETA: I can't spell or type on my phone. Gah at my typos and grammar.

    ETA 2: This is a rant but the alcohol question has been the number one question asked when wedding planning comes up. Seriously. "Man, can't wait to get wasted at the reception with you!" I know FI and I are friends with people who love booze like we do but even we know we can have a good time without booze and don't need it to get through a wedding.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I don't blame you for needing to rant. Just remember, it's okay to say to them just what you're saying here: that it isn't happening.
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road.

    What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that.

    Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive.

    As for the after party, they are being very rude.
  • primafaba15primafaba15 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited July 2015
    What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. 

    I would be very, very careful doing this (no offense to you, @TheCheeseWench -- I think hypothetically it would be an okay idea!). I don't know where you're located, OP, but in my state (MA) it would be very illegal for anyone to bring in outside alcohol to our venue (we were told we could not even bring in little bottles of alcohol for favors). A coworker just got married in VT where this is also apparently not legal or at least was against venue policy. Several of her friends brought in outside drinks without her knowledge, and sure enough halfway through the reception the coordinator was interrupting the bride and groom's celebration to fuss at them and insist they do something about it. So, I really wouldn't recommend doing this unless you know it is OK with your state laws and your venue. People might do it by themselves anyway, but you do not want to be in the position of having encouraged it. 

    As to the rest of this, your friends are being unreasonable. We are having a limited open bar (wine and beer only) and we are already getting crap for that from friends and cousins. I don't understand people's obsession with alcohol at weddings, but then I'm just kind of boring. Stick to your guns! You're not doing anything wrong. By all means, explain the family situation if you think that will make your friends feel better. I do agree that the champagne toast could give the wrong impression about why you are cutting the bar. 
    snowywinter
  • Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road. What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive. As for the after party, they are being very rude.


    While I definitely understand the suggestion of sneaking in a flask, FI's family isn't so much offended by being around alcohol as they are around people who are intoxicated. Knowing our friends, they would take the suggestion of "sneaking a flask" and still be just as tipsy/drunk as if they were just openly drinking. FI and I are trying to avoid having any one appear intoxicated in front of his family.

    I've come to terms that our wedding reception is probably going to be a huge disappointment to a lot of friends who had receptions with open bars and big dinners but I can't do anything about that. I think we are still being good hosts by making sure there's a least plenty of heavy apps and cake to eat, a variety of non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy, a chair for every butt and the reception is taking place between 2:30-3:00pm which is a non-meal time. We've ditched the champagne toast idea and will just have sparkling cider for toasting. I'll make sure our wedding website has information about our reception menu and if anyone asks me why we aren't serving any alcohol then I will explain why and move on.
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road. What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive. As for the after party, they are being very rude.
    Sorry but those guests were rude as hell.  A wedding does not have to have alcohol.  And to expect it and then get all pissed when it isn't provided and then walk out is just so hella rude. Just because someone is into craft beer doesn't mean that they have the means to host alcohol. Also, they may have had a dry wedding because that is what they wanted.

    I would like to know what time of day this wedding took place because if it was around a meal time and they didn't provide enough food to constitute a meal then that was wrong of the couple. And they should have offered more then just lemonade as a drink option.  But if this was an afternoon wedding and they had a cake and punch style reception well they hosted properly.

    But for guests to walk in to the reception then get pissed that there isn't any alcohol and walk out just shows their true colors and if I were that couple I would not want to stay friends with them anymore.

    As for your suggestion, I would urge OP not to do that.  Unless you thoroughly research the venues liquor policy, OP could get into trouble.  Also, alcohol is not necessary.  If these people can't go to a party for a few hours without alcohol then maybe they should just decline the invite.

    hellohkbFosmoh
  • edited July 2015
    Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road. What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive. As for the after party, they are being very rude.
    Sorry but those guests were rude as hell.  A wedding does not have to have alcohol.  And to expect it and then get all pissed when it isn't provided and then walk out is just so hella rude. Just because someone is into craft beer doesn't mean that they have the means to host alcohol. Also, they may have had a dry wedding because that is what they wanted.

    I would like to know what time of day this wedding took place because if it was around a meal time and they didn't provide enough food to constitute a meal then that was wrong of the couple. And they should have offered more then just lemonade as a drink option.  But if this was an afternoon wedding and they had a cake and punch style reception well they hosted properly.

    But for guests to walk in to the reception then get pissed that there isn't any alcohol and walk out just shows their true colors and if I were that couple I would not want to stay friends with them anymore.

    As for your suggestion, I would urge OP not to do that.  Unless you thoroughly research the venues liquor policy, OP could get into trouble.  Also, alcohol is not necessary.  If these people can't go to a party for a few hours without alcohol then maybe they should just decline the invite.

    @primafaba15 and @maggie0829 ; - Our venue has a very lax policy on alcohol but you are absolutely correct in that venues and states can have strict policies on where and how alcohol is served. Sneaking in flasks and alcohol could be illegal.

    @TheCheeseWench - I would also like to know the time of day this couple's reception was hosted because I thought the same thing that it was terribly rude of the guests to leave their reception just bcause there wasn't any alcohol.
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  • Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road. What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive. As for the after party, they are being very rude.
    Sorry but those guests were rude as hell.  A wedding does not have to have alcohol.  And to expect it and then get all pissed when it isn't provided and then walk out is just so hella rude. Just because someone is into craft beer doesn't mean that they have the means to host alcohol. Also, they may have had a dry wedding because that is what they wanted.

    I would like to know what time of day this wedding took place because if it was around a meal time and they didn't provide enough food to constitute a meal then that was wrong of the couple. And they should have offered more then just lemonade as a drink option.  But if this was an afternoon wedding and they had a cake and punch style reception well they hosted properly.

    But for guests to walk in to the reception then get pissed that there isn't any alcohol and walk out just shows their true colors and if I were that couple I would not want to stay friends with them anymore.

    As for your suggestion, I would urge OP not to do that.  Unless you thoroughly research the venues liquor policy, OP could get into trouble.  Also, alcohol is not necessary.  If these people can't go to a party for a few hours without alcohol then maybe they should just decline the invite.

    @primafaba15 and @maggie0829 ; - Our venue has a very lax policy on alcohol but you are absolutely correct in that venues and states can have strict policies on where and how alcohol is served. Sneaking in flasks and alcohol could be illegal.

    @TheCheeseWench - I would also like to know the time of day this couple's reception was hosted because I thought the same thing that it was terribly rude of the guests to leave their reception just bcause there wasn't any alcohol.
    I actually thought the 30 minute drive between ceremony and reception was way ruder than no booze.
    kimmiinthemittenJediElizabeth
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    adk19 said:
    Okay, I know it is old but I just came across this post. I recently attended a wedding reception where both families are pretty religious. The ceremony was held in a church that is super conservative about alcohol (thank heavens my fam is Episcopalian. We throw boozy parties at the church). The reception was held at a separate venue 30 minutes away (not even in the same city) and since the groom is a HUGE craft beer geek, we figured they were trying to be respectful to the family by not serving booze in the church's reception hall but would do so at the reception. Nope, it was dry too. The rumble of complaining from people as they wandered from room to room looking for the bar only to discover that they had driven way the heck out of the way TWICE and all that was served was a pretty light spread of food and some lemonade was clearly audible. I counted about 15 people walking out the door within the first 15 minutes. Since I was just a few days out of the hospital after multiple surgeries, I didn't have the energy to stay out long (and FI had snuck away from work for a couple of hours to attend), so we gave our best wishes to our friend as his new bride and left. As we drove out of the parking lot, we saw all of the guests who had just left walking into the restaurant/pub a block down the road. What if you explain the family situation (though I agree with the PP that it is YOUR wedding, not theirs) and for those who must have booze to be happy suggest that they bring a small flask to discreetly make themselves a cocktail at the reception? I heard a few people say they would have been less annoyed had they known in advance so they could have done that. Also, I think that by serving a Champagne toast, it makes it look to your guests like your reasoning for not having a bar is that you don't want to pay for it, rather than it being a family comfort issue. If they are REALLY offended by alcohol, Champagne will not be any less offensive. As for the after party, they are being very rude.
    Sorry but those guests were rude as hell.  A wedding does not have to have alcohol.  And to expect it and then get all pissed when it isn't provided and then walk out is just so hella rude. Just because someone is into craft beer doesn't mean that they have the means to host alcohol. Also, they may have had a dry wedding because that is what they wanted.

    I would like to know what time of day this wedding took place because if it was around a meal time and they didn't provide enough food to constitute a meal then that was wrong of the couple. And they should have offered more then just lemonade as a drink option.  But if this was an afternoon wedding and they had a cake and punch style reception well they hosted properly.

    But for guests to walk in to the reception then get pissed that there isn't any alcohol and walk out just shows their true colors and if I were that couple I would not want to stay friends with them anymore.

    As for your suggestion, I would urge OP not to do that.  Unless you thoroughly research the venues liquor policy, OP could get into trouble.  Also, alcohol is not necessary.  If these people can't go to a party for a few hours without alcohol then maybe they should just decline the invite.

    @primafaba15 and @maggie0829 ; - Our venue has a very lax policy on alcohol but you are absolutely correct in that venues and states can have strict policies on where and how alcohol is served. Sneaking in flasks and alcohol could be illegal.

    @TheCheeseWench - I would also like to know the time of day this couple's reception was hosted because I thought the same thing that it was terribly rude of the guests to leave their reception just bcause there wasn't any alcohol.
    I actually thought the 30 minute drive between ceremony and reception was way ruder than no booze.

    I have no issue with a 30 minute drive between the 2 events.  The distance between our church and reception was a mere 10 miles, but with traffic would easily take 30 minutes.  I would not want a much longer drive than that, however.

    @TheCheeseWench, I do not think suggesting flasks is a good idea at all.  I think it's rude to suggest that guests bring something that they personally find lacking at a hosted event.  What if I don't care for the entree being offered?  Would you suggest it OK to bring something more palatable to me?

    @crabbylucy, please stand firm with the reception you have planned.  It sounds lovely.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MobKaz said:
    I have no issue with a 30 minute drive between the 2 events.  The distance between our church and reception was a mere 10 miles, but with traffic would easily take 30 minutes.  I would not want a much longer drive than that, however.

    Yeah I am not miffed by the 30 minute drive either.  I live like 6 miles from my work and if I leave right at 5pm (rush hour) it takes me at least 30 minutes to get home due to traffic and traffic lights.

  • What is all this? I say no explanation necessary. It is YOUR wedding, and those friends that just want to get drunk at your expense are not much of friends. I do think the champagne toast sends a confusing message. If its going to be a DRY reception then keep it dry and have sparkling cider/white grape juice for the toast. Either of those would be bubbly and resemble champagne close enough to keep the mood of the toast. You either have alcohol or you don't. The guests that want to get drunk can do as they please when its all over or not bother coming. But for the sake of everyone's sanity esp. you and your FI i would nix the champagne confusion. 
  • For those asking what time of day the wedding was, it was at 10:30am, which meant by the time the ceremony ended and people drove the 21 miles (luckily we did not hit awful traffic and it was largely highway) it was Noon when we arrived. I think part of the confusion (crankiness) for people was that it had been referred to as a reception brunch, and many people equate that to being different from breakfast or lunch not so much for the timing, but that cocktails are more often involved. As for so many guests leaving, I am not sure if it had more to do with the alcohol situation (that was definitely an audible part of it) or the lack of much food since it was lunchtime. The line was very long so plenty of people seemed to be fine with it. Like I said, we couldn't have stayed either way since I was in a wheelchair (which I was not supposed to stay in for more than an hour or so at the time due to a recent hip surgery) and FI had to get back to work. I don't know how the rest of the reception went. I don't say this to offend anyone in their early 20's, but FI and I (both 35) wondered if it had anything to do worth the fact the couple are both 23, as I would imagine are many of their friends since they dated through high school and college. Perhaps the "newness" of being able to drink at celebrations played a role, or perhaps it's just a lesson in etiquette not yet learned. Then again, maybe they just know a lot of people who don't care about manners.

    As for off-site booze, I know it does depend on local/venue laws. Technically here if there is going to be booze there has to be a licensed bartender on property, but I can think of about a dozen places that don't care if you byob as long as they don't also sell it so I thought it might be a way to silence the whiners . If it really is a family issue with people drinking though, they can come or not. Either way you just need to make sure they are all 100% aware that you are not hosting an open bar at the after party. You don't need to try to close your own tab just to find that people in your party have been walking tabs because they assumed it was on you, and you'll probably need to tell the bartender that the only drinks going on your tab are yours.
  • For those asking what time of day the wedding was, it was at 10:30am, which meant by the time the ceremony ended and people drove the 21 miles (luckily we did not hit awful traffic and it was largely highway) it was Noon when we arrived. I think part of the confusion (crankiness) for people was that it had been referred to as a reception brunch, and many people equate that to being different from breakfast or lunch not so much for the timing, but that cocktails are more often involved. As for so many guests leaving, I am not sure if it had more to do with the alcohol situation (that was definitely an audible part of it) or the lack of much food since it was lunchtime. The line was very long so plenty of people seemed to be fine with it. Like I said, we couldn't have stayed either way since I was in a wheelchair (which I was not supposed to stay in for more than an hour or so at the time due to a recent hip surgery) and FI had to get back to work. I don't know how the rest of the reception went. I don't say this to offend anyone in their early 20's, but FI and I (both 35) wondered if it had anything to do worth the fact the couple are both 23, as I would imagine are many of their friends since they dated through high school and college. Perhaps the "newness" of being able to drink at celebrations played a role, or perhaps it's just a lesson in etiquette not yet learned. Then again, maybe they just know a lot of people who don't care about manners. As for off-site booze, I know it does depend on local/venue laws. Technically here if there is going to be booze there has to be a licensed bartender on property, but I can think of about a dozen places that don't care if you byob as long as they don't also sell it so I thought it might be a way to silence the whiners . If it really is a family issue with people drinking though, they can come or not. Either way you just need to make sure they are all 100% aware that you are not hosting an open bar at the after party. You don't need to try to close your own tab just to find that people in your party have been walking tabs because they assumed it was on you, and you'll probably need to tell the bartender that the only drinks going on your tab are yours.

    I would hope if I told my friend, "hey, I'm gonna have a drink later at ABC if you want to meet me there!" would not lead my friend to believe that I was picking up the drink tab. 

    Now, if we were hosting an after party in the way of reserving a room, providing food, sending out invitations...then sure, I could see where someone could think we would be responsible for the full bar tab. But not for an informal invitation.  Maybe I'm wrong to think that.

    Nevertheless, if we decide to hit up our favorite bar after we clean up the reception and tell folks about it, I'll make sure to tell the bartender and make it clear that, sorry, we're not picking up your drink tab.
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  • adk19 said:
    I think that everyone is being rude about this. Religious or not, it is up to YOU if you'd like to provide alcohol.

    Try just offering a cash bar so it implies that alcohol is ALLOWED, it's just not necessarily ENCOURAGED. It's about compromise.
    Wow!  You are just rife with bad advice on this board.  "Hey, come to my wedding.  Bring a plate of pasta and pay for your own wine."
    I may be a terrible person, but I think that sounds awesome.  I'd be all "LET ME FEED YOU!"
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited November 2015
    This post is many months old.  Why did you resurrect it?
    @WandaJune6, zombie thread alert.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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