Wedding Reception Forum

Wedding Drinks

For our wedding reception we want a dry reception. This is mainly due to the fact that some people should just not drink. I have relatives and he has a lot of relatives that drink and drink a lot. Then when they drink they do stupid things. I want to keep that kind of drama out of my wedding and so does he. Plus neither one of us drinks. Should we stick to this idea? Or would it be a deal breaker to some guests?

Re: Wedding Drinks

  • I'm not a fan of dry weddings unless they are during the day but that's just my personal opinion. You certainly don't have to serve alcohol if you don't want to but there are a few drawbacks you might want to consider.

     A few things I've noticed at the handful of dry receptions I've been to were that people didn't dance as much and often left early. It's just the nature of the beast.

    I really don't think you should let a few alcoholic relatives spoil it for all the other guests. A good bartender will cut people off if they get too drunk. Besides, if people want to drink they will find a way to. I always bring a flask to dry weddings.

    I also don't think it would be a "dealbreaker" for any guests. I think it's petty of someone not to come to your wedding just because you didn't serve alcohol.
  • It's fine to have a dry reception, and it seems like you've thought through it for your family situations.  You can still have fun nonalcoholic drinks, like Italian sodas, if you want to make it a little more festive.  

    Maybe it'll be a dealbreaker for some guests, but I would not say that I couldn't attend a wedding because there was no alcohol (and I don't think I know anyone who would).  That's pretty low, IMO.  
  • It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but I'm not much of a drinker, anyhow.

    I like jessica's idea of doing some fun nonalcoholic drinks!
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  • I only like dry weddings if they day weddings.

    but I don't really like dry weddings. who's to say your family won't have mini-bottles in their pockets.. i've seen it happen.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_wedding-drinks?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:b0f4c6e4-19b5-4ffa-8b62-55ed0040104dPost:bcf27088-cff8-4c15-ad70-bf417eb7de2f">Wedding Drinks</a>:
    [QUOTE]For our wedding reception we want a dry reception. This is mainly due to the fact that some people should just not drink. I have relatives and he has a lot of relatives that drink and drink a lot. Then when they drink they do stupid things. I want to keep that kind of drama out of my wedding and so does he. Plus neither one of us drinks. Should we stick to this idea? Or would it be a deal breaker to some guests?
    Posted by Missy1990[/QUOTE]

    <div>I'm perfectly fine with a dry wedding, but if I were invited to a wedding and caught wind of the idea that the couple kept it dry because they thought the guests couldn't handle their liquor, I'd be highly insulted and offended.  So will your guests.  </div><div>
    </div><div>If you want to have a dry wedding in a "wet" circle, the best option is to go for an afternoon event, where it won't be as noticable.  </div>
  • I would only go to a wedding with a dry reception if it was very close to where I lived.  I would congratulate the bride and groom and leave.  I don't even always drink, but I'd like to be able to if I want to.

    If you do chose to have a dry reception, please make sure guests know ahead of time.

    One time I went to a wedding with a cake and punch (just punch) reception.  I didn't know ahead of time (we were coworkers so he invited us, but we didn't get an actual invitation...I hope for everyone else's sake that it said cake and punch reception).  Several of us drove for about 3 hours to get there.  The ceremony was an hour long (and not even Catholic!) and then we had cake and punch.  I could not believe my wasted time.  If I had known, I would have just given them a present and a card.  
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  • If you're concerned about the drinking, is your relationship close enough with someone in your family with whom you can hash out your concerns?  Word of mouth can do wonders for sticky family situations (my mom is handling the situation if my cousin tries to bring her horrible little brats to the wedding (and I love kids)).  Sometimes if its an aunt or uncle that over does it (I have 2, fiance has 2 as well), sometimes their siblings will be able to help subtly and (importantly) tactfully keep them under control. 

    We're personally just going with open wine/beer/soda and having the cash bar for liquor (with the exception of FOB and FOG) which suits our families the best because his side doesn't hardly drink (with the exception of the 2) and my side thoroughly enjoys their wine and beer (the stapel at any family function lol). 

    You can see if your reception site will allow you to do fun things like mimosas or sangrias in bright lovely pitchers- that way you are still offering a singature drink, but they're cut with juices and don't seem so heavy.

    it is a touchy situation to deal with, but the best advice I have is enlist family who you trust to help you out on your day: they won't want to be embarassed by bad behavior either. 

    - J
    "What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined...to strengthen each other... to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories." -George Eliot
  • I have seen weddings where you get drink tickets like 2 per person or something.  This way people can't have too many drinks... and when the tickets are gone people will just have to have something else?  Just an option

  • Personally a dry wedding is a big turn off for me. I think that people tend expect there to be some sort of drink at a wedding and can be disappointed if there isn't. If you really want a dry wedding then that's what you do but maybe consider small amounts of drinks. Maybe offer drink tickets to limit consumption or have just some champagne and/or wine. I find people tend to drink less when there isn't liquor and/or mass amounts of alcohol.
  • I have to agree, even though I am not much of a drinker.  Wedding receptions are meant to honor your guests who attended w/ a good time.  Not to say you have to drink to have a good time, but for some it certainly helps!  I was a bartender a few years ago and here are my suggestions.  1) 2 drink tix per guest, however I have been to parties where non-drinkers pass off their tix to others...my fiance acquired 7 at our last christmas party...see my point? 2) offer creative non-alcoholic or only slightly alcoholic drinks...schnapps have a smidge of liquor but are delicious.  Try mimosas, sangria,, etc.  3)  Have an open bar for an hour (or two).  & don't be afraid to make it clear to the bartender to deny drinks to any guests who have had more than a couple, let them be the "bad guy." They are trained to notice who's had too much before they even know it.  I've hosted events where I was paid extra to cut people off.  I wouldn't suggest ruining everyone's night for a few other's bad choices, but it is your wedding. 
  • My fiance and I are doing the two tickets/ per person. He is more concerned about his friends drinking too much. If someone doesnt want their tickets, they can give them to someone else. If it happens to be someone who is drinking too much, the bar tender will cut them off.

  • So you want to be everyone's parent?  I have no issue with dry wedding when they're for budgetary or personal reasons, but when it's because YOU think people shouldn't drink because they drink too much, well that gets a little self-righteous and preachy to me.

    Anyway, if you're going to do a dry wedding, I suggest a brunch, lunch, or early afternoon appetizers reception. 

    image
    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • Drink tickets just kill me. Really. Who acts like going up to a bar is a carnival ride at the wedding??

    Also, ditto J&K. Have the dry wedding if that's who you are but to micromanage other people's lives is overstepping your bounds.
  • Meaghan-  I dont believe my ticket idea was meant for you to comment on. No one said it was a "carnival" ride. My FI and I came up with the idea after a friend of ours almost got sued for providing alcohol at a party where someone got in an accident and died. So actually, this is for personal reasons. Instead of arguing with my FI about how to serve alcohol, I agreed with him. So please keep your comments to yourself if they are not directed at you.
  • I think a nice compromise would be to offer wine during dinner and then do fun non alcoholic drinks for the rest of the party. Maybe a low alcohol signature drink as well - like the Sangria suggested earlier! They are really pretty and if you come up with a cute name for it people will remember it later!
  • My dad's pulling the purse strings for our wedding and he's worried that people will get drunk/drink in front of my grandmother.  The venue's suggestion was to have servers pour the drinks (wine) rather than put the bottles on the tables (personally I like the wine on the tables, haha, but what can you do?).  After the dinner we'll have the bar service start up with the dancing.  I confess I'm doing a drink ticket for each person!  I like the idea, but I think it's a little more popular where I'm from (always a cash bar at weddings and no one cares or B*** about it).  I've seen them done really classy, not carnival tickets at all.  One wedding I went to had them at each place setting, a small, white card with nice writing and the same design as the invitations.  Though I like the idea because you CAN give them away if you're not drinking.  If people who like to drink hear that you are having a dry wedding they will most likely sneak alcohol in, just a heads up (well, most of my friends are in their 20's and would do it in a heart beat...).  It might be safer to offer limited drinks on your own terms.  Good luck!
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