Wedding Reception Forum

Dry Wedding

My sister (maid of honor) is helping me plan the reception part of the wedding. I have a few specifics that I need to include, but for the most part, I'm letting her play with ideas. One thing that's a must: our reception must be dry. No alcohol. Not even champagne. My partner's father is a recovering alcoholic, and we want him to be comfortable. I also would like to spare everyone the embarassment of what happens when there is alcohol available at my family's gatherings. When I shared this with my sister, she came uncorked (no pun intended). She said that our reception was going to be a complete and total drag, no one is going to want to stay, and unless someone spiked the punch, it was going to be the worst reception in the history of weddings. Obviously she's exaggerating a big. However, does she have a point? Should we have alcohol at our reception? It's expensive- the reception site demands more fees and liability insurance when there's alcohol, and alcohol itself is very spendy where we live. Thoughts?
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Re: Dry Wedding

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you and your FI really don't want there to be alcohol, then regardless of what anyone else thinks, don't have alcohol.  If they can't have fun without it, that isn't your fault, so don't make it your problem.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2012
    In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:5Discussion:2f7dabde-68e5-47ea-8850-9702410613ccPost:37f716ab-dc11-430a-b4ed-4e57ca8c2e24">Re: Dry Wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you and your FI really don't want there to be alcohol, then regardless of what anyone else thinks, don't have alcohol.  If they can't have fun without it, that isn't your fault, so don't make it your problem.
    Posted by Jen4948[/QUOTE]

    Yes! No alcohol is NBD. Do what is important to you and FI only. At brunch or lunch receptions, alcohol is rarely missed. Dinner receptions do not require it, either. Tell your sis it is not her wedding.
  • It's certainly not requred, but I think it's more acceptable for a morning/afternoon wedding.  If I went to a night time wedding that was dry I'd probably leave after dinner.
  • There is nothing wrong with having a dry wedding.  I do agree that they are usually shorter like Stage mentioned, but if you are good with that then go for it.

    I do, however, take exception with your reasoning.  Alcoholism has been absolutely rampant in my (immediate) family.  Most have passed away now but when someone is in recovery they should be able to attend a function where alcohol is served.  If they are having a hard time they can call their sponsor or leave early.  One thing we learned though the co-dependent counseling was not to tailor events to the alcoholic, the alcoholic must learn to be in that environment and be ok.  

    I was especially close to my brother J - we had a very special relationship and he was at my DD's wedding.  He was a recovering alcoholic and he was severely diabetic.  We served alcohol and had a candy bar as the favor.  I remember walking back to my table to find him holding a beer bottle in one hand and a bag of candy in the other.  I just looked at him with a puzzled expression.  He said "this doesn't look good does it?"  He was getting some candy to take home to his roommate (uh huh) and my DD's bustle broke while he was standing next to her and he took her beer so she could head to the ladies room.  He had been in recovery for quite some time and could deal with the environment.  

    The part about "would like to spare everyone the embarassment of what happens when there is alcohol available at my family's gatherings"  hits me as a bit condescending.  If you can't trust these people then don't invite them.

     I have no problem with a couple not serving alcohol because it isn't in the budget or they don't care for it.  I do have a problem with them deciding that they have to save their guests from themselves.
  • It's your wedding and if you want a dry reception then that's what you should have. No reason you have to keep the drinks boring. You can have a gourmet coffee bar, or even still have a bar & have a bartender do a nice assortment of mocktails. So many of the popular drinks now have non-alcoholic versions and taste wonderful.

    Guests who can't have a good time at a wedding without drinking may need to re-evaluate what it takes to make them happy. Good music, good food, and good friends/family should be enough to make the party fun.
  • if you want a dry reception then go for it. it's YOUR wedding, not your sister's.

    i do, however, prefer a wedding with a bar. i'm adult. I know my limits and don't get drunk. t really depends on your guests-if you make the whole reception dry because of one guest-meh-that's odd to me. i mean this guest surely goes out for dinner to restaurants-there are drinks there. surely he attends parties adn there are drinks there.

    the only dry wedding i have ever attended was in rural kentucky. there was no alcohol because it was a dry county. they did it nicely though-a few hours in the afternoona nd had large containers of lemonade, iced tea etc... they didn't have a dj or dancing-it was under a tent behind their church. the food was great, everyone  mingled and then people went home. no big deal.


  • gmg75241gmg75241 member
    edited November 2012
    Its not rude but I think just having a dry wedding based on one person would not be fair to your other guests who may want to drink. However, if its because you and your fiance want a dry wedding then I say go for it since its your wedding. But if you prefer a bar, then do that. But dont base it on someone else. I understand alcoholism but its your day and you shouldnt change what you want based on one person. Maybe let him know that you will have alcohol there and see what route he would want to take....maybe telling bartender not to serve him etc BUT ONLY if he wants to do that. You have more than one guest at your wedding. :)

    For instance, we have older family members that do not listen to the music we wanted and only listen to a certain type since they are heavily in the church. To compromise, we made an annoucement when we would switch the music to the type we wanted so we would not offend them. At that point, those people left so that we could really enjoy our reception they way we want. Just find a compromise lol
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  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2012
    I'm having a dry wedding and it's not rude.  We decided to do that because we don't drink.  Also, the venue we decided on doesn't allow alcohol.  And a lot of the guests, at least 1/2 I'd say, don't drink either.

    You can have other drinks like punch and coffee and such.  I don't see why the guests wouldn't have fun without alchol.  As others have mentioned, if they are incapable of enjoying a party without a drink, they have other problems.  People will still have fun.  I've been at several dry weddings and everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives.

  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    You could split the difference and have wine only. Wine is harder to get drunk on, compared to liquor or beer (certainly not impossible- I know from vast experience). You could include 2 bottles on each table so people have to ration it. That way it isn't dry but no one should be able to go overboard. Like another poster said, alcoholics learn to adapt to their environment, not be afraid to go anywhere there might be alcohol.


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