Christian Weddings

To drink, or not to drink?

I can't decide whether or not to have alchohol at my reception. I don't drink, and neither does FI. However, my family is a drinking family, and expect alchohol. His family could take it or leave it. Most of my friends are the same way. I'm not offended by it at all, though some of my man's family is strict on no drinking.The biggest reason why I don't want to have it is because of the cost. I would only have beer and wine, and possibly one signiture cocktail, but it would still be an added cost to my budget wedding. I want dancing at my wedding, and I feel like I need to have alchohol if I want people to dance- the two go hand in hand. I might feel awkward having it though, considering that we don't even drink! So, I'm not sure. Any thoughts? Should I just do what I want and have dancing and no drinking, or have a dry wedding, and just have people mingle and do other activities?

Re: To drink, or not to drink?

  • mattycammattycam member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Hi There,

    As a born again Christian, I am having an open bar at my wedding. This came with our reception package and wouldn't have made much of a difference in cost if we decided not to have a bar. I am not a drinker but our guests may enjoy a glass of champgane or a beer with their meal or toasting. I understand your dilemma because I do not want to be held accountable for anyone going overboard.  For the people who don't drink, they have other options at the bar such as juice or non-alcholic cocktails. I inquired about bringing in non-alchoholic champagne and the venue that we are going with does not allow us to bring outside drinks in. They would have ordered it for us but their costs are way higher than what's in stores. It depends on the people who you are inviting. If you are anticipating a rowdy crowd, then it may be best to skip the alcohol but if they are more on the reserved side, then you may not have to be concerned about anyone going overboard.

    Overall, the guests we are inviting at our wedding are not "heavy drinkers" so I anticipate a good and safe time!
  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    This was a big issue for us.  My parents are both very against alcohol and although they were not paying for the wedding, I knew that they would have a big problem if we had it.  My DH's friends and most of his family would expect it.  I did not want it because:

    1.  I wanted to honor my parents
    2.  I did not want to pay for it or the service fee for it to be served.
    3.  I did not want the hassle of getting it or filling out the contract (to have wine and beer, we had to fill out a contract, get permission from our venue and provide it ourselves).
    4.  I did not want to feel responsible if someone had too much.

    I talked to some people whose opinions I really valued and after talking it over with DH, we decided to do 2 hours of wine and beer (appetizers and dinner hour) and then close the bar.  It was a compromise. My parents were both very upset but I explained that the "no alcohol" opinion was their opinion and many of our guests don't share that opinion.  I knew that nobody would be getting drunk or causing a scene. 

    A lot of people left shortly after the bar closed but that could have been partly to do with the fact that everyone had about 1 1/2 hour drive to get home and they didn't want to be out too late.  But I believe that a lot of it had to do with the fact that the meal had been served, cake had been served and the bar was closed.

    We still had a fabulous time and I still feel that I would not have wanted any alcohol, but it all worked out okay.

    People can mingle and dance without alcohol.  Some people won't dance without it, but that's their choice.  Talk it over with your FI.  If you invited friends or family over for dinner, it is not likely that you would have it.  So in that case I would say not to have it at the wedding. 
  • edited December 2011
    We aren't having alcohol. It actually didn't save us a ton of money but we just didn't want alcohol. Neither of us drink and while some of our guest may drink they know us well enough to not be suprised that there wont be alcohol. I will say however that a lot of the other Christian weddings I've been too lately have had alcohol but that just isn't who we are so we are going to be set apart :)  I'm sure our guest will still dance and have a great time.
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  • edited December 2011
    I was having that exact same dilema! I was talking with my parents about it and they said that this wedding is a representation of Stephen and myself. Why would we have something that doesnt represent us. We dont drink, even though our family and friends do, so we have decided on no alcohol. you and your fiance, and me and my fiance know that we can have tons of fun withought alcohol.
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  • katanne9katanne9 member
    edited December 2011
    You can do what you want but I do NOT think dancing and drinking go hand in hand. To me that's silly.

    We're having wine. We're also having non-alcoholic signature drinks for fun (recipes in bio) as well as coffee and soda.

    We are also definitely having dancing. I've been to many dry receptions that were very fun dancing receptions. I wouldn't worry about it.
  • ShavonB214ShavonB214 member
    edited December 2011
    Hey koriemoe! my advice is not to have alcohol. If you and your fiance don't drink then why have it, especially since it is an added expense. If people want to dance then they will dance, alcohol or not. Many people have a misconception that you can't have fun without alcohol, I think your guests will enjoy themselves regardless. My fiance and I are not having alcohol at our reception because we dont drink and we can have lots of fun without! Laughing
  • edited December 2011
    It's your one day to celebrate you and your Fi and if you both vote no to alcohol then that's the decision. We don't drink but many of our family members do but we're paying for it and there is a bar downstairs if they really need to drink.
    Should your loved ones truly love you then it shouldn't make a difference whether alcohol is present. If they need to be buzzed to dance and have fun then they're laaaaameee.

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  • TimsGirl10TimsGirl10 member
    edited December 2011
    Neither FI or I drink.  My parents are very anti- alcohol.  Fis parents drink socially.  A lot of my family drinks socially, as does FIs.

    We are not having alcohol at our wedding.  Here are the reasons why:

    1) Neither of us drink- so having no alcohol at our recption is a relfection of us as a couple.
    2) My parents are very ANTI-alcohol.  My mother was physically abused (and on a few occasions alomost died) by my real father, who is an alcoholic.  She takes a very firm stance against alcohol, it makesher physically uncomfortable to be in a situation where those around her are drinking.  For this reason alone, we will not have alcohol.  We want to respect my parents- even though they are not paying for our wedding.  I know it will be offensive to my parents for us to have alcohol at our wedding, in fact, it would be extremely hurtful to my mother.  Why would I want to KNOWINGLY hurt and offend my mother?  For something I don't even partake in?  (1Corinthians 8:8-13)  I don't want to be an offense or stumbling block to others.
    3)1 Thessalonians 5:22- Abstain from the appearance of evil
    4) Cost- we have a tight tight tight budget- when I say tight.... I mean less than $3K.  Even if we wanted alcohol, I don't think it would be being a good steward of our funds to put towards alcohol.  I have better things to spend my little bit of money on than alcohol.

    I agree with the PP who said tha tdrinking and dancing DON'T go hand in hand.  We will be having dancing at our reception.  It will be a good time.  We won't need alcohol to have a good time.  If anything, we hope to be a testimony to some of our unsaved friends/family that you canhave a fabulous time and you don't have to be liquored up to do so.
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  • golden1215golden1215 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I don't understand the logic of if you don't like, your guests shouldn't either.

    I don't like prime rib, but I'm having it as an option for guests.  Your reception is a thank you to the people who have come to witness your marriage vows.  If you feel your guests would enjot a good beer or glass or wine- why not offer it to them?

    If one of Jesus' greatest miracles was wine at a wedding, how can it be wrong?

    But I will say drinking and dancing- while fun together- do not have to go hand in hand.
  • edited December 2011
    FI and I really had to think long and pray hard about this. We have very few Christian family members, and I have a large family who loves to drink. Ultimately, we decided to honour God even if it disappoints our family. Being as we are two of the few Christian influences in their lives, we decided it would inappropriate to have an open bar and essentially "promote" drinking. We decided to have a 2 bottles of wine on each table for the guests to enjoy with dinner, as customary at many biblical wedding celebrations. However, to each their own, this is just what we felt God has put on our hearts. 
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  • mattycammattycam member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I have attended a few wedding without Alcohol and they have all been lovely! As long as Christ is at your wedding then everything will go great regardless! Don't let Alcohol determine what kind of day you are going to have :)
  • SuMmErKuTiESuMmErKuTiE member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Both DH and I are born-again Christians and it was no question whether or not to have an open bar at our wedding. Neither of our parents are big drinkers, but they do enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine which there's nothing wrong with. The Bible talks about wine and I even came across a passage the other day that talked about beer, it just says that you should not get overly intoxicated. We have lots of friends who enjoy drinking and others that don't. But we weren't not going to have alcohol at our wedding since the reception is for us and our guests and the guests that would like to enjoy a few drinks should be able to do so.

    We've been to a lot of Christian weddings and they have all offered open bar. Even while meeting with our pastor for pre-marriage counseling he offered us a glass of wine sometimes and other times we were offered tea or coffee. I believe it has everything to do with moderation.

    I think you should do what you would like for your own wedding. Yes, alcohol and dancing definitely tend to go hand in hand. I know several people who don't need to drink to get out on the dance floor, but all the weddings I've been to the dance floor gets more packed as the night goes on and people have had more to drink. If you'd like to compromise, you should just offer beer and wine instead of a full open bar. Maybe your mom will be more comfortable with that option. HTH!
  • edited December 2011
    wow..I have the same issue. I do drink sometimes, my husband does not.  His parents are muslim and they do not drink either. My parents are Christian and I doubt they have ever had a drink in their lives.  Sadly, my mom is a judger and I can't bare the judging or dissappointment that my parents will have if we have a drop of alcohol at our wedding.  I am so torn.  The rest of my family drinks, I drink, my friends drink its just my parents who will be highly offended. They would probably even leave.  I'm still not sure what I will do.
  • edited December 2011
    We dont drink, but the venue offers the packages with an open bar. we discuss with them the fact that we dont drink and most of our guest dont drink and they said they are willing to offer virgin drinks, but the cost was going to be pretty much the same. I really didnt know if that was fair or not but I didnt really make a hassle b/c we are getting a good deal on the venue anyways. I am not really worried about anyone drinking too much or acting silly.
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  • lizziedarcylizziedarcy member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="">Re: To drink, or not to drink?</a>:
    [QUOTE]FI and I really had to think long and pray hard about this. We have very few Christian family members, and I have a large family who loves to drink. Ultimately, we decided to honour God even if it disappoints our family. Being as we are two of the few Christian influences in their lives, we decided it would inappropriate to have an open bar and essentially "promote" drinking. We decided to have a 2 bottles of wine on each table for the guests to enjoy with dinner, as customary at many biblical wedding celebrations. However, to each their own, this is just what we felt God has put on our hearts. 
    Posted by RNShellyF[/QUOTE]

    I really like your reasoning.  There are alcoholics in both of our families, so I do not think we will have any alcohol at all.  But I am glad to know that others agree.  I would like dancing, but FI is not a big dancer.... I really want to do first dance though!  I'm just afraid no one will dance without drinking.  I know some people will, but I also know that a lot of my family might not...
  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    We chose not to have alcohol for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that our reception ended up being in the church and they wouldn't allow it :-P  (and after seeing what happened at H's cousin's wedding when everyone was trashed, I'm really glad we didn't do it.  It's been almost 8 years since their wedding and they're still paying off the damage that was done).

    Anyway, we did have dancing and everyone had a great time and the dance floor was packed all night.  It's so much more about the mood/atmosphere that is set and not as much about the alcohol.  For some, the alcohol sets the mood but we found other ways of doing that and it was fine.

    Many will tell you that people will leave earlier, and that may be true.  I personally generally leave after the cake is cut, open bar or not, but I'm also not a big drinker.  We pretty much planned on our reception being over around 9 (4:30 ceremony), which was fine with us because we wanted to go to the annual Christmas party at our friend's house anyway.
  • MrsTucker2011MrsTucker2011 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our venue doesn't allow alcohol, so that took it out of our hands, which was nice.
    We are going to have an espresso bar instead. It's a fun alternative, and definitely not something that our wedding guests have seen before. :)
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  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Mrs T, that sounds awesome!  Friends of ours did an Italian Soda bar and that was a lot of fun too.  We tried all kinds of crazy flavors.
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