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Reception Ideas

Alcoholic Family Members

My family has several alcoholics.  Some who have gotten treatment, many who have not.  Also his family has.. more than several.  I'm having an open bar but I feel like, I don't know, maybe that's not responsible?  Or that my guests won't feel comfortable?  Does any one else have a family situation like this?  Did your guests feel like you were rude to have alcohol?

Re: Alcoholic Family Members

  • If you are genuinely concerned for their well-being, nothing says you're required to have any kind of alcohol at your wedding.

    There are many "solutions" to this. Don't offer a bar of any kind, offer a limited bar of beer&wine, only offer champagne for a toast etc.

    Evaluate why you do or don't want the alcohol present and that will give you your answer.

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  • Is it not responsible for them to go to a restaurant- say Applebee's- where alcohol is present?  It's THEIR choice whether or not they drink, not yours.  It's their temptation or care.  My dad is an alcoholic.  By my wedding he'll be sober 20 years.  FIs brother has been sober for 7.  They are adults who can handle themselves.

    If they were going to drink and risk their sobriety, I highly doubt it would be in front of a ton of people they know.
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  • Other options may be less responsible. An open bar will be staffed by a professional bar tender, who knows how and when to cut people off, and is used to doing so. If you tried to limit alcohol in another way (only available during cocktail hour, or only a signature drink), I bet the truly problem guests would find a way around your limitations, and be a bigger problem.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_alcoholic-family-members?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:b75b274a-58bb-40ed-8cc4-ed654d9cfe17Post:fa5f69a6-3338-40b3-a421-cf1a4cb5d5f5">Alcoholic Family Members</a>:
    [QUOTE]My family has several alcoholics.  Some who have gotten treatment, many who have not.  Also his family has.. more than several.  I'm having an open bar but I feel like, I don't know, maybe that's not responsible?  Or that my guests won't feel comfortable?  Does any one else have a family situation like this?  Did your guests feel like you were rude to have alcohol?
    Posted by Negazilla[/QUOTE]

    I have several alcoholics guests coming. One of whom is not receiving treatment and doesn't want it.  I am having an open bar. No one thinks anything is wrong with it. Those who no longer drink don't expect me to ban alcohol because they used to have a problem.  The person who currently has a drinking problem will drink whether or not I have alcohol at my wedding and honestly they are an adult.  I love them and wish them well but it would not be expected for me to ban alcohol from my wedding.

    If you are not comfortable with alcohol, don't have it. It's acceptable to choose a dry reception.

    I do have issues with people who say they want to curb drinking so they opt for an open bar because I just don't believe them. It's an excuse.
  • I don't think you are rude or irresponsible to have alcohol.  Be sure you have a trained bartender that will not hesitate to decline to serve a guest.  I know some weddings have poured wine during dinner--while that's really nice, you might consider limiting it so that people have to go to the bar to get a drink, so that the bartender is the only one who can serve alcohol. 

  • I am in a similiar situation, I have several alcoholic family members, some now sober, some still drinking.  We are having an open bar.
    These are grown adults who are confronted with the option to drink on a daily basis.  Hopefully, everyone will abstain, behave themselves or otherwise conduct themselves respectfully.  But I know I can't control anyone, least of all an alcoholic.   It's not up to me to provide a "safe" atmosphere for these people - I mean, there's a bar at the hotel where we're having the reception.  Make a decision based on what you and your FI want, not what you think is necessary to control other guests...
    I know how difficult it is.  Good luck
  • I think you have a lot of good advice on here! 
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  • I am newly engaged (12-18-11) and have not started planning at all, but I do know that there will be alcohol at my wedding.  Well there is a member of my immediate family that has an alcohol problem and WILL drink too much and I pray she will behave because I need her at my wedding.  I guess we just have to hope and pray they will have respect and behave!  I am already nervous and I don't even have a date picked yet! Good luck :)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_alcoholic-family-members?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:b75b274a-58bb-40ed-8cc4-ed654d9cfe17Post:fa5f69a6-3338-40b3-a421-cf1a4cb5d5f5">Alcoholic Family Members</a>:
    [QUOTE]My family has several alcoholics.  Some who have gotten treatment, many who have not.  Also his family has.. more than several. <strong> I'm having an open bar but I feel like, I don't know, maybe that's not responsible?  </strong>Or that my guests won't feel comfortable?  Does any one else have a family situation like this?  Did your guests feel like you were rude to have alcohol?
    Posted by Negazilla[/QUOTE]
    You are not responsible for other people's actions and choices.

    If you are truly worried about their comfort, consider a limited bar or a dry wedding. Otherwise, accept that if these adults want to drink, they'll figure out a way to do so.
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  • The only behavior your are responsible for is your own.  You can't control what or how much other people drink or don't drink.  If you want alcohol, you should have it.  Why deny your other guests who drink responsibly because of a few who don't?
  • We have our fair share.  Friends too.

    Good bartenders who will 86 those overloading and a safe ride home usually keeps the damage in check
  • i was thinking about doing beer and wine only to prevent excesive drinking by my father. he should be fine with beer but was ordering long islands by the pitcher at my last sisters wedding! yikes
  • Thanks guys, this makes me feel better.  It's hard watching people you love make such bad decisions.  But damn it, it's my wedding and I'm going to want a glass of champagne in my hand while I dance the night away.
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