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I Need Help.....I Just Don't Know What To Do

I'm sorry to bring this this here, but it involves my family, and I can't go to any of them. I don't know who else to ask.

My extended family are heavy drinkers. I mean, they revolve their holidays and get togethers around alcohol. Very seriously...like it's the most important thing. And it has been stated verbatim that the most important thing to them at holidays and family functions is drinking.

My fiancee is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober for over 20 years. The **** hit the fan a few years ago, when I told them that we would no longer be serving alcohol in our home, since he moved in with me. I rarely drink, and don't need it around, and it's vital for his health and safety not to have it around for obvious reasons.

They decided to go celebrate their holidays elsewhere, and that was their choice.

When we had my child's graduation party, that we hosted, we had it at noon in order to serve a luncheon, and because we didn't want alcohol, we figured it made more sense to have it early so they could go drink later. My mother showed up with a case of wine, and literally put it in my fiancees hands at the hall, and asked him where she should put it. It caused some serious issues in my family....both from my fiancee and his family, and my kids who felt it was extremely inappropriate, since we had explicitly stated that we did not want alcohol there, and my extended family who felt it shouldn't be an issue.

We are having a dry wedding. I had a conversation with my mother yesterday, where she confessed that the main reason she brought alcohol to my childs grad party was because her family wouldn't have attended without it, and she didn't want it to be a scene where no one showed up.

We do not dictate what the others do at their parties or in their homes. If they want to drink there, and he becomes uncomfortable, he just removes himself. My whole family knows about our situation and our feelings, however, we have not outwardly 'announced' that it will be a dry wedding, although in any conversations about the wedding we have made it known. My mom told me yesterday that she hasn't mentioned it to anyone. We have been getting comments for months that everyone will just leave after dinner, etc, and have accepted that as their choice, however, we also feel after the comment that was made yesterday, that if they would rather not attend if they cannot drink, we would prefer that they just decline.

So, my dilemma. Do I make some kind of an announcement or declaration about it being a dry wedding? And if I do, where? How? I read another thread where the bride was told not to, but I am not sure considering my circumstances. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks for letting me have an outlet to post this.
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Re: I Need Help.....I Just Don't Know What To Do

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    First off, I'm sorry your famiy is putting you in this position. All I can do here is say what I would do. In my opinion your fiance's needs are the most important thing here. For one he is your future, and as much as you are connected with your family the two of you are each others support system. That being said your family has the ability to live without alcohol, where as you said your fiance's health could be compromised if you include alcohol. I would, in whatever manner you think would get the point across, make it clear on the invitation in an obvious place that the wedding will be DRY. No exceptions. Then you will have to trust that your family will choose your special day over missing out on the bar.
    One thing you may be able to do is offer your family a special event the day before or after the wedding. Explain that while your wedding will be dry, this smaller "pre-party" will have alcohol for those who choose to consume it. Obviously your fiance will not want to attend but maybe organize a guys night out with him and his friends that night? Make sure he has something fun to so as well. Hope that helps! Good luck!
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    edited March 2013
    Unfortunately, your family has already given you a preview of what will happen if you make an announcement: bring their own. I would not mention it at all. Otherwise you risk people getting loaded ahead of time, or sneaking alcohol in. Keep in mind that these types of people will self righteously leave an event early because there is no booze, and they consider that to be essential for fun. Don't get discouraged if the reception is short.
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    My fiance is also an alcoholic. He hasnt been sober as long, but I completely understand what you're dealing with. We aren't having a dry reception. I've just made it clear to our venue and wedding coordinator that neither of us will be drinking so please dont send waiters asking if we want any alcohol. I'm a diabetic so I'm not planning on drinking either. It doesn't sound like you are able to have any alcohol at your reception though, so my advice would be to not say a word about a dry reception. If people know there isn't going to be alcohol, they will definitely bring some. If they think its just going to be a standard reception with drinks they wont feel inclined to bring anything. My cousin only had an open bar for 2 hours so her BIL brought alcohol once it turned to a cash bar but the only reason he knew to do that is because she told everyone the deal from the beginning. I'd keep my mouth shut. If people leave because there's no alcohol that's extremely rude and their problem. Your wedding day is about you and your fiance and his needs come before your family's need to get drunk.
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    Hmm do you think they would bring alcohol in even if they were under the impression there would be alcohol?

    If it was me, I would probably not announce that it is dry and they will just find out when they get there. That way they don't plan to show up with any because it is dry. If when they find out it's dry they want to leave, then let them leave and don't let them back in if they have alcohol. But I don't know your family. If you think they are planning on bringing alcohol whether it's dry or not, then yeah, I would probably make the announcement ahead of time that no alcohol will be allowed.

    Sorry they're so crappy about it.


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