Hello! I'm new to this site but I have partaken in other sites' forums. My feedback there and what I've found perusing these boards is conflicting advice. I'm posting my question again here, along with the information I've thus gathered. I've separated it into QUESTION and BACKGROUND for your convenience. Thank you in advance! Please help me understand what actually is within etiquette:
Is it poor etiquette for us to not host our guests with an open bar (as opposed to a dry wedding)?
I certainly wouldn't want our guests to miss out. If I don't do an open bar, would it be acceptable to just provide a nice bottle or two of wine in the appropriate parties' welcome baskets? As an apology for my wedding not having the opportunity for them to indulge?
My fiancé and I are of a religion that prohibits the consumption of alcohol. However, we are also not to mandate our practices on those who don't share our beliefs. That said, we are, with our families, hosting a wedding of ~350 people. Of those people, <60 are open to drinking alcohol. We will have freshly made juices, blended beverages, teas and coffees, and carbonated drinks available.
Note: Between my FH and I, we do actually have a personal and intimate relationship with each and every one of these people.
I know the ones that don't drink actually don't drink because of one or more of the following: religion, being sober for personal/health reasons, having a career that has them on call and/or requires sobriety, being underage.
Note 2: In my culture, wedding toasts are not a custom. We celebrate the B&G in other ways.
(An example, because I was badgered about this being possible on one of my other posts on another site: people come to the B&G and feed the couple traditional sweets and fruit with their hands as a way of passing blessings. Please don't shame this custom as it's special to us and I respect it if you're not into it. I wouldn't force anyone to partake.)
Here is the advice I received on my posts about this on other sites:
• I cannot guarantee that people don't drink even if they're members of a religion that prohibits it.
• > Thereby I shouldn't assume they wouldn't like to drink and should offer them an opportunity to drink because that is their right as a guest.
• People will want drinks to toast. (Please see Note 2)
• Weddings without alcohol are not fun.
• > Since it is rude to not entertain guests, an open bar is necessary for everyone.
My culture that I was brought up with is that of my parents' homeland, although I've been raised in the States - where my wedding will be held. I figured that the above advice was the norm in the States. I just began looking for how to arrange an open bar despite contentions from my FH. Then I stumbled here and now I'm confused. Thanks for helping me out!