Wedding Woes

Don't plan it around drinking activities?

Dear Prudence,

How do I have a fun bachelorette if nobody drinks?

I know the question sounds awful, but hear me out. I am a 30-year-old woman marrying my wonderful husband this summer. Everything about the wedding is really nice, except for this one thing.

I have four bridesmaids, and three will not be drinking for the event. My maid of honor is three years sober, one bridesmaid stopped drinking for dietary/health reasons, and one bridesmaid is pregnant. Obviously, I DO NOT want to make them drink, given their reasons. I’m not worried about the wedding, but the bachelorette has me full of misplaced self-pity.

I’m not a big drinker myself, but I had wanted my bach to be fun and bonding and all the things I’ve experienced at the bachelorettes I’ve been to. Since childhood, I have suffered from pretty intense anxiety that manifests itself in public. I am very medicated and in therapy, but it still only does so much. Because of my anxiety, I missed a lot of the classic American girl rites of passage. I was very excited for my bachelorette, as kind of a chance to finally have that experience. I’m also worried that without drinking, my anxiety/personality won’t let me “kick back.” The girls don’t know each other, so my anxiety will be on high alert/hostess mode anyways.

I also feel left out. Around here, bachelorettes are typically multi-day destination affairs; for example, my eldest sister-in-law went to Miami, my next SIL did Vegas, my cousin-in-law did a week at Wrightsville Beach, and my closest SIL did a long weekend out at a lake in a gorgeous VRBO. Due to everyone’s schedules, my bach is the day before the rehearsal dinner, is one evening, and is obviously local. I already felt like I’m missing out a little, and with my girls not drinking, I really feel that way.

How do we have fun without alcohol? How do I not feel like I’m missing out? Are there ACTUAL fun things to do at a sober bach? I feel like all the ideas I’ve read are like “go bowling,” which just bums me out more. Despite my anxiety, I have a pretty high bar for adventure, and bowling won’t cut it. (No, cosmic bowling won’t cut it either.) I’m so torn between feeling sorry for myself, feeling like a spoiled jerk for feeling sorry for myself, and dreading my inevitably lame bach. What can I do?

— Bummed Out Bride

Re: Don't plan it around drinking activities?

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    She lost me at "American girl rites of passage". I'm just rolling my eyes at all of this. 

    Plan an activity where drinking can't be part of it. Like rock climbing or sky diving..haha.
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You can have fun without alcohol but not drinking it.  Also - YOU can drink but they don't have to if that's something that they're OK with.  Go to a spa and get a mimosa or go out to dinner and get your cocktail.

    The older I get the more I enjoy a drink but way fewer of them.  If DH and I were getting married this weekend the festivities would not be focused on the beverages.
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Agreed @STARMOON44.  Take the bar money and spend it in the spa. If I ever did a bachelorette party again, it would be a spa weekend or renting a house in, like, Palm Springs and hiring a private chef (that's specific, but someone was talking about it on a podcast yesterday and it's now a new travel goal...LOL).
  • Yeah other non drinking required activities friends have done: private chef, private yoga class, sailing trip, nude drawing lesson, comedy club, theatre, private museum tour. 
  • I'm also eye-rolling super hard.  And is she hosting her own bach party?  I'm getting a whiff of that.

    Most bach parties I've been to aren't just the bridal party.  So there could potentially be a number of her other close friends going, that will drink with her if that is what she wants to do.  However, considering three of her closest friends can't drink, I'd highly suggest that at least the first part of the evening be something non-alcohol related.  Like going out to dinner and then hit the bars.  People who don't want to go to bars can break off.

    But if she wants to keep it mainly no-drinking because of her BP, there are so many things they can do.  Have a one-night stay-cation at a cute or fancy VRBO.  Maybe with a pool.  Ingredients for a few delicious drinks that can be made either cocktail or mocktail.  And/or go to a dinner and a play.  Just to name the first couple things that popped in my head.

    I personally didn't have a bach party at all.  I was a little sad about it but it didn't work out at all, logistically.  And, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a big deal.

    She needs to put down the bridal mags, articles, tv shows, and movies.  Her "experience" doesn't need to look like that.  And at least you don't wake up with a tiger slinking around and roaring for food.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Plan a beautiful spa day and go out to a nice dinner, where you can order wine if you’d like!, and enjoy not being bloated and hung over your wedding weekend. 
    This sounds glorious to me

  • My friend had a non-drinking one. We took a private dance class and then had some really good food and mocktails. If the people are fun and the food is good, then everyone will have a good time. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited May 12
    I also want more on "American girl rites of passage".  Were my sisters and I playing with Molly and Kirsten and Samantha the wrong way?
    LW clearly has some big fancy ideas in her head.  Too bad she doesn't actually come here so that starmoon and mrsconn can give her all of those glorious ideas.

    edit spelling
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You don't have to be a "big drinker" to have a problematic relationship with alcohol. I can't tell if it's that or wanting to check the box of Insta worthy photos of getting smashed in a fancy locale. 

    Either way, grow up. 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I can’t with LW. I love my nights/days out. I like drinking. But there are plentyyyy of things to do that don’t involve alcohol and you don’t need to drink to have fun. High tea? Spa day? Horseback riding at a vineyard (you don’t have to drink if you don’t want to), paying for admission to a really nice hotel pool? Renting a nice beach house and planning fun places to eat/walk around the boardwalk/get one of those bike cart things where 4-6 people can ride? There are literally dozens of options. 

    Also, aside from the one BM she mentions who might be sober for a problematic relationship with alcohol, I bet her other friends would care zero percent if she had a couple drinks. Don’t get sloppy drunk, but seriously who cares? 

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