Wedding Etiquette Forum

Dry destination Wedding

My Fiance and I are from two different states with friends and family scattered all over the south. We decided on a neutral wedding location, in Gatlinburg, TN. We invited around 70 friends, family, and coworkers. It is a weekend affair, with a "welcome dinner" BBQ, the Ceremony at 1:00 on Saturday, a break where guests can roam the shops in Gatlinburg, and then a reception starting at 4 in the Great Smoky Mountains National park with a lasagna dinner beginning at 5 (a muffin brunch the next morning as well). It's laid back, camping themed, with lots nearby to entertain our guest (shops, trails, sights, animals). We'll have cake, a s'mores bar, and a campfire. I think it will be a lot of fun, but I'm worried about my guests enjoying themselves after driving between 5-7 hours one way for my wedding. They will be fed 3 times, be in a gorgeous atmosphere in summer, and are being encouraged to make a mini vacation out of this with their family. Is that enough?

My mother, father, grandparents, and fiance's mother and father are deeply religious and think alcohol is for sinners, they refuse to be around alcohol. On top of that, my father is an alcoholic ( I know, right?). Because of potential drama (which most of my guests know nothing about and I don't want to have to tell each and every one of them about my family's beliefs) I was going to just have a dry wedding weekend. I MAY stash some Sangria in a cooler for the wedding reception for anyone who asks/knows/wedding party/etc, but that would be it.

Am I being rude? Is this setup unreasonable? Will my guests have a good time or be disappointed in me?

Thank you!
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Re: Dry destination Wedding

  • If you're worried about the alcohol, don't be. It's perfectly acceptable to have a dry wedding. No explanation is needed.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    nlh85
  • Alcohol is never required at a wedding.  If your guests feel the need to drink, Gatlinberg has lots of bars.  You don't need to provide alcohol.
    You may find that many people won't want as much time as you are planning.  Be prepared for declines.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    nlh85
  • Do I need to somehow indicate to people that it will be a dry wedding? I thought about putting on the website "No bar at reception", so if people wanted to bring a flask that would be ok and leaves me the choice of having a stash. 

    I don't want people leaving the wedding to go get drunk or hanging out by their cars to drink....
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    No.  You never  describe the refreshments offered.  It would be very rude of your guests to complain about the absence of alcohol.
    On the other hand, you have to trust your guests to behave themselves properly.  If they do not, it makes them look bad, not you.

    I agree about the gap.  Move your ceremony up to just before the reception.  Your guests should be treated properly, and leaving them on their own between the ceremony and the reception is RUDE.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • the reason for the gap is because the ceremony site is separate from the reception site. The reception site is in the National park and I have to abide by their regulations. My MIL is catering, she will need the time to transport the food and it gives us time to have pictures taken. The guests are being advised to dress casually and comfortably. This is not a fancy wedding. I gave extra time during the break so people would not feel rushed. They will be given welcome packets that Friday night with things to do, such as a really nice motor trail very close by + the shops. 
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    the reason for the gap is because the ceremony site is separate from the reception site. The reception site is in the National park and I have to abide by their regulations. My MIL is catering, she will need the time to transport the food and it gives us time to have pictures taken. The guests are being advised to dress casually and comfortably. This is not a fancy wedding. I gave extra time during the break so people would not feel rushed. They will be given welcome packets that Friday night with things to do, such as a really nice motor trail very close by + the shops. 
    First, you should not be telling your guests how to dress.  Second, that's not an acceptable reason for a gap.  The time between the end of your ceremony and the beginning of your reception should not last any longer than it takes to get from one site to the other (which shouldn't be more than a half an hour).  You need to host a cocktail hour with snacks and drinks (nonalcoholic is fine) for while you're getting your pictures taken and while your MIL sets up the food. 



    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • I can't afford to pay anyone, and she used to be a professional caterer and insisted on this being our wedding gift from her, which we were grateful for. This is a very laid back, DIY, budget wedding in which we only expect a max of 50 people, including attendants, family, etc to attend. It's small and quaint and I can't afford anybody to set up, to cook, to cater, or anything.
  • Who is paying for your guests entry into the national park?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • The schedule is also on the wedding website, so people can make their own plans if they wish. We WON'T have a registry and when people have asked our attendants what we would like, they have been instructed to say that traveling to our wedding would be our gift. 
  • As long as there was something to do besides simply sitting and waiting, I would be fine with your gap. I love browsing little shops.  Your packets will help them figure out what to do.
    aleighc3
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    The schedule is also on the wedding website, so people can make their own plans if they wish. We WON'T have a registry and when people have asked our attendants what we would like, they have been instructed to say that traveling to our wedding would be our gift. 
    What does that have to do with hosting your guests properly?



    AprilH81doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • Entrance into the Smoky Mountains National Park is free. I was mainly concerned about alcohol, I really don't see how the gap is being rude. I've been to weddings with gaps and I haven't found it to be rude at all. I feel like I just suggested murdering kittens for fun....
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    The schedule is also on the wedding website, so people can make their own plans if they wish. We WON'T have a registry and when people have asked our attendants what we would like, they have been instructed to say that traveling to our wedding would be our gift. 
    This just gets worse and worse.  You don't get to tell people not to give you a gift.

    If you can't afford to host your wedding properly (and you are NOT hosting properly!) then you need to make other plans.  There is nothing wrong with a simple cake and punch reception, but you are trying to have a wedding that you cannot afford, at the expense of your guests' time, comfort and convenience.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • Ok, thanks for some of the helpful advice, I really appreciate it, but I'm not going to take advice on etiquette from such rude people, it's hypocritical. There is no reason for acting that way. 
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Ok, thanks for some of the helpful advice, I really appreciate it, but I'm not going to take advice on etiquette from such rude people, it's hypocritical. There is no reason for acting that way. 
    Since when is honesty against etiquette?
    image



    Anniversary
    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • I was merely asking if I should tell my guest there won't be alcohol, when people know us to occasionally drink and may not know about my family. The schedule was given to give people the idea of when the wedding was held.

    -I felt people were coming across strongly for something I didn't ask for, i.e. RUDE, in all caps, which to me is yelling. I didn't mean to upset anyone, but I felt like I was under attack (I'm not saying I was, but that's sure what it felt like).
    -The MOG has catered several weddings, most larger than this, and her daughters wedding, without flaws. I have complete trust in her.
    -The MOG is paying for welcome dinner and brunch. That is not part of our budget to take out. There is no room in our personal budget to pay for anyone.
    -I did not tell people what to wear. I put in the wedding website the average temps and that this will be a casual wedding. When people have asked me, I have told them to dress comfortably.
    -I am not telling people what to give me as a gift, some people have given me gifts and have already received a handwritten thank you note. We have just let people know that we are not expecting gifts. Most of our friends are working class such as us and have told us they appreciated this.
    -This is a very small scale southern wedding. I have never been to a wedding with appetizers, cocktail hours, or anything. I have been to weddings with everything in the same location and an hour and a half gap with nothing to do, but i've enjoyed it because we sit and talk. No appetizers, no dancing, etc. That's been almost every wedding (and all my guests who are married, when I have attended their wedding, have been this way).
    -My wedding is in a month. The times are set. I've asked family, attendants, and a few guests if they would be ok with a gap and they said it would not be a problem. Since it is an intimate affair, everyone is talking with one another and they know what to expect. The schedule has been given to them, they will have plenty of options, and I doubt they will be bored. We had to pick a neutral location and we picked this one because we thought guests would enjoy it. I cannot change the schedule and have no options but what is set. 
    -My original reason for posting, maybe it was not clear (and if so, I dearly apologize, it's crunch time and I am slightly scattered), is if it would be appropriate to let my guest know I will not be serving alcohol? Especially considering the time of day for the wedding. 
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I was merely asking if I should tell my guest there won't be alcohol, when people know us to occasionally drink and may not know about my family. The schedule was given to give people the idea of when the wedding was held.

    -I felt people were coming across strongly for something I didn't ask for, i.e. RUDE, in all caps, which to me is yelling. I didn't mean to upset anyone, but I felt like I was under attack (I'm not saying I was, but that's sure what it felt like).
    -The MOG has catered several weddings, most larger than this, and her daughters wedding, without flaws. I have complete trust in her.
    -The MOG is paying for welcome dinner and brunch. That is not part of our budget to take out. There is no room in our personal budget to pay for anyone.
    -I did not tell people what to wear. I put in the wedding website the average temps and that this will be a casual wedding. When people have asked me, I have told them to dress comfortably.
    -I am not telling people what to give me as a gift, some people have given me gifts and have already received a handwritten thank you note. We have just let people know that we are not expecting gifts. Most of our friends are working class such as us and have told us they appreciated this.
    -This is a very small scale southern wedding. I have never been to a wedding with appetizers, cocktail hours, or anything. I have been to weddings with everything in the same location and an hour and a half gap with nothing to do, but i've enjoyed it because we sit and talk. No appetizers, no dancing, etc. That's been almost every wedding (and all my guests who are married, when I have attended their wedding, have been this way).
    -My wedding is in a month. The times are set. I've asked family, attendants, and a few guests if they would be ok with a gap and they said it would not be a problem. Since it is an intimate affair, everyone is talking with one another and they know what to expect. The schedule has been given to them, they will have plenty of options, and I doubt they will be bored. We had to pick a neutral location and we picked this one because we thought guests would enjoy it. I cannot change the schedule and have no options but what is set. 
    -My original reason for posting, maybe it was not clear (and if so, I dearly apologize, it's crunch time and I am slightly scattered), is if it would be appropriate to let my guest know I will not be serving alcohol? Especially considering the time of day for the wedding. 

    No need to let them know.
  • I was merely asking if I should tell my guest there won't be alcohol, when people know us to occasionally drink and may not know about my family. The schedule was given to give people the idea of when the wedding was held.

    -I felt people were coming across strongly for something I didn't ask for, i.e. RUDE, in all caps, which to me is yelling. I didn't mean to upset anyone, but I felt like I was under attack (I'm not saying I was, but that's sure what it felt like).
    -The MOG has catered several weddings, most larger than this, and her daughters wedding, without flaws. I have complete trust in her.
    -The MOG is paying for welcome dinner and brunch. That is not part of our budget to take out. There is no room in our personal budget to pay for anyone.
    -I did not tell people what to wear. I put in the wedding website the average temps and that this will be a casual wedding. When people have asked me, I have told them to dress comfortably.
    -I am not telling people what to give me as a gift, some people have given me gifts and have already received a handwritten thank you note. We have just let people know that we are not expecting gifts. Most of our friends are working class such as us and have told us they appreciated this.
    -This is a very small scale southern wedding. I have never been to a wedding with appetizers, cocktail hours, or anything. I have been to weddings with everything in the same location and an hour and a half gap with nothing to do, but i've enjoyed it because we sit and talk. No appetizers, no dancing, etc. That's been almost every wedding (and all my guests who are married, when I have attended their wedding, have been this way).
    -My wedding is in a month. The times are set. I've asked family, attendants, and a few guests if they would be ok with a gap and they said it would not be a problem. Since it is an intimate affair, everyone is talking with one another and they know what to expect. The schedule has been given to them, they will have plenty of options, and I doubt they will be bored. We had to pick a neutral location and we picked this one because we thought guests would enjoy it. I cannot change the schedule and have no options but what is set. 
    -My original reason for posting, maybe it was not clear (and if so, I dearly apologize, it's crunch time and I am slightly scattered), is if it would be appropriate to let my guest know I will not be serving alcohol? Especially considering the time of day for the wedding. 
    You don't have to state it anywhere. If they are close to you and know your views on alcohol, they'd probably assume anyway and if not, then the time of day (if it's earlier, people tend not to drink/drink less) should clue them in anyway.

    As for the gap. I understand that your times are set and the gap may be unavoidable now but maybe you can arrange for a guided tour of the city or a nature walk or something to keep your guests entertained and maybe provide something to munch on and water or something. The gap wouldn't seem so much like a gap then and your guests will likely appreciate the gesture. Although a 2 - 3 hour gap might be stretching it a bit...

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    Hysilvinialithibel
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