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Etiquette

Dry Wedding- rude?

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Re: Dry Wedding- rude?

  • eviltwin, I've told this story on here before, but H's cousin and his wife had an "open bar" (and I put that in quotes because they had serve-yourself kegs) and people got totally trashed, to the point that they were doing cookies in the lawn of the house where the wedding was held.  Someone ran into one of the outbuildings and others broke a bunch of flower pots and trampled the flower beds.  The bride and groom just finally paid off the damage done by their wedding guests.  I think we were the only sober people there.  It was pretty sad.
  • I don't understand why a dry wedding would be considered being rude under any circumstance.  You should not worry about explaining it or warning ahead.  If alcohol is more important to them then your wedding then it sounds like a personal problem to me.  By the way I do drink and have attended both types.  I wouldn't base my decision to come on what they were serving or not serving. 

    adwks
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dry-wedding-rude?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:b6d064c7-107e-4ba5-ab9a-7f89aac7f3faPost:4dc6eb49-87ce-4a7c-8e58-f929fee566fd">Re: Dry Wedding- rude?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think it depends why.  If you just don't want to pay for it thats a bit rude.  If your opposed to alcohol for moral reasons, thats fine. 
    Posted by KatyRoseM[/QUOTE]

    <div>Agreed. And like PPs said... a dry afternoon wedding is less of a big deal (or not really a big deal at all actually) than an evening reception. Personally, I wouldn't care if there was alcohol or not because I can still have a good time but I know others who would be unhappy campers.. </div>
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  • I don't think it's rude.. it's your choice.  I do want to share a quick anecdote that may help you decide... A friend of mine got married in a very Christian ceremony and reception where they did not want alcohol.  Because it was spread by word of mouth beforehand, many of their guests had alcohol in their cars and would go out and fill their cups and then reenter the wedding.  Something to consider. 
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  • I was very interested to read the answers to this post, since my venue does not allow alcohol due to it being a city-owned building.  We are planning a Friday night wedding, which apparently is not ok since there won't be alcohol? 

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  • edited April 2011
    I love to drink. Love. But I've had fun at a dry wedding.

    Do many people know you have a family history of alcoholism? If it's an issue you're open about, I doubt it will be surprising. The dry wedding I went to never mentioned being dry (it was also an evening wedding with a sit down dinner) but the religion of the bride and groom prohibit alcohol. The bride's family is not of that religion, but they respected her wishes. Also, many of the bride and groom's friends didn't drink.

    My wedding had an open bar and no one damaged anything or got rowdy, but hey, that was our choice. As long as your provide something nice for your guests - maybe a soda bar or non-alcoholic punch - at least a nice meal if it's at a meal time and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, you're fine.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dry-wedding-rude?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:b6d064c7-107e-4ba5-ab9a-7f89aac7f3faPost:ba0c5523-f05b-4288-9ca9-c3f1c11951aa">Re: Dry Wedding- rude?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Is it rude to have a dry wedding?  No. Is it rude for a guest  to complain that a wedding doesn't have alcohol, or better food, or live music, or anything else?  Yes.
    Posted by CMGr[/QUOTE]
    I agree with this.

    I don't think you have to provide alcohol, nor are you obligated to tell your guests or have some kind of "excuse" or explanation.  As long as you have food and refreshments of some kind (be it iced tea, pop, lemonade, etc.), you've properly hosted.  Alcohol isn't required to properly host a reception, it's just not.

    I disagree with some PPs in that I'd rather attend a dry reception than one with a cash bar.  I don't think guests should open their wallets at a reception.  To expect guests to essentially help host your reception through partially funding the bar is rude, IMO. 

    And conversely, with dry reception, if you do it earlier in the day and really get creative with it (and/or if many of your guests are confirmed non-drinkers), it can be really awesome.  The best wedding I ever attended had a dry reception.

    As a practical matter, though, alcohol does help people socialize, especially during evening affairs.  And so unless it's a really awesome reception otherwise, people may leave after the cake if you choose not to provide alcohol.  If you have an earlier reception, people may be less inclined to drink anyway, and it won't be missed.  If you can live with either a shorter or earlier reception, then by all means go ahead with your plans.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dry-wedding-rude?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:b6d064c7-107e-4ba5-ab9a-7f89aac7f3faPost:a642bb54-6244-4171-8e07-fe99943522cc">Re: Dry Wedding- rude?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think it's rude at all, but IMHO, the wedding would be less fun and people would be disappointed.
    Posted by ajroark[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ditto this.</div>
  • I have been to weddings with cash bars, no bar, just one glass of wine served for the toast etc.   The only type of reception I haven't been to is a wedding with an open bar. 

    The only one I thought was rude was the cash bar with no warning.  I don't think to bring cash with me to a wedding (I know I should) unless there is mention of a cash bar.  

    My wedding to my first husband I  planned a dry wedding.  The reason was 90% of the invites were under 21.   My dad had a fit about this and went to the store to rectify the situation. (The reception was at his house.)

    My room mate is having a dry wedding.  She feels a cash bar is rude.  However she has seen her step-father run up bar bills in exess of $200 in the past, and he tends to drink more when someone else is footing the bill.   That is just one of the heavy drinkers in her family.  So she figures she could afford a host bar for normal people but not her family. So they were struggling with do they go with a cash bar or host bar.  That was till the venue told them they had to get insurance to cover any damage anyone might do to the venue if they serve drinks.  That made up her mind.   She has warned those that expect to find drinks at a wedding. 


  • You don't need to explain your reasons to your guests, so it doesn't really matter why, and it is in no way rude.

    People who can't have fun/enjoy themselves without booze are kinda pathetic to me, personally. Especially at something like a wedding where there are tons of people to talk to, lots of pictures to take, things to read, a dance floor... if people can't enjoy conversation / dancing without booze that's their problem, not yours. Not to mention that, if someone can't enjoy my company/conversation without alcohol, that doesn't say much for our friendship. Granted, you won't be completely immersed in conversation/interactions with every single person the whole time, but i'm sure they can still find ways to enjoy themselves. and if they're sitting around whining about how there's no alcohol, then they're the ones ruining it for themselves, since they COULD be finding ways to have fun instead of being negative nellies, so yeah.

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  • It's not the route we are choosing but no, I dont think a dry reception is rude.  I also don't think you own any of your guests an explantion or that you need to warn them ahead of time. 

    What is rude is for guests to expcet  that you to serve them XYZ.  A wedding reception isnt a guests consolation prize for attending your wedding...  If they feel that they need some type of reward for attending then they need to decline the invite.  When Im invited to a wedding I feel honored that the couple who invited me thinks enough of me to include me in their special day.  I attend their wedding and reception and feel honored that they invited me and because of that I have zero expectations of what they should or should not have at their wedding and/or reception.
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  • I don't think it's rude at all. Especially if it's for religious or personal reasons or even if you just can't afford it. If people are annoyed, this that's their problem!
  • My FI and I don't drink for personal and religious reasons and ditto for most of my family.  FI's family, however, does enjoy drinking.  We offered to have a selection of wine or champagne with dinner, but FI's family said it wouldn't be necessary.  (Sidenote: They are very sweet about FI and I's decision not to drink.  At our engagement party they hosted, they had champagne for everyone and sparkling cider for us.  FI's aunt also made yams for Thanksgiving that same week and made a whole separate dish for FI and I without using alcohol in the cooking process.  It was very sweet.)

    The moral of the story for me was that I wanted to take my guests into consideration first.  They were very considerate about our preferences, so they declined, thus we are having a dry wedding.  I did let them know where there was a bar nearby in case they wanted to go out after our wedding ends at 10, and they probably will.

    OP, it's not rude to host a dry wedding.  Most of your guests will be understanding about it, and those that aren't, like PPs have said, will probably try to find a way around it.
  • look sunshine, it is your wedding, so do whatever you think is the best and if other people cant understand well ... though on them!!
  • I think if you don't want it then you don't have to have it. And if someone doesn't want to come to your wedding simply because you aren't going to provide them with drinks, then they don't need to be there anyways.

    :D
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