DEAR MISS MANNERS: We are getting ready to celebrate my daughter’s quinceanera, and have decided not to serve alcohol for many reasons. My mother was mortified when she learned this, and keeps pressuring me to provide alcohol.
She does not drink; however, she insists that the only reason guests attend such celebrations is to drink, and that guests will be disappointed.
Although I have put my foot down on the issue, I want to know if it’s rude not to offer alcohol at such events. Should I let guests know in advance so they can make the choice themselves, and not be disappointed when they arrive? Should it be printed in the invitations?
I say that if guests truly care about my daughter, they will attend regardless, and if they only want to attend for free alcohol, then we are probably better off without them. Of course, nonalcoholic drinks and food will be served.
GENTLE READER: How pitiful that your mother thinks that the only reason your family would celebrate your daughter is free liquor.
If it is possible, hold this event during the day and call it a brunch or a tea. Alcohol will be less expected. Or if it is a less formal occasion, word the invitation with what is being offered, rather than what is not: “Dinner will be served, along with soda and juice.” For those bold enough to object to this situation, Miss Manners suggests that you politely remind them of the reason for the celebration -- and that the guest of honor is not yet of drinking age.