Post # 1
First things first- it took me a while to realise that “dry wedding” simply means no alcohol served/sold. Where I come from, a “dry wedding” would mean a very boring one, no matter the reasons.
So I make a very negative association when a wedding is described as “dry” for the lack of alcohol.
Details below, but my question is: Do you think the lack of alcohol in and of itself makes a wedding less fun? Or are other factors involved?
FI and I have decided to have a dry wedding *cringe cringe* because we don’t want to run the risk of guests getting drunk and spoiling things. We are responsible for whatever happens at the wedding, and the more sober people there are, the better.
My side of the family gives the most cause for worry- I don’t want drunken people starting fights, disrupting events, making inappropriate speeches and doing dirty dances that would make onlookers uncomfortable.
And yes, the selfish part of me doesn’t want people to go home remembering other guests’ drunken behaviour when they think of my wedding
Knowing my family, those who can’t party without the alcohol will try to sneak it in or drink before they come to the reception (although our having the reception immediately after the religious ceremony might be a deterrent). I’m thinking that to tell anyone who enquires “Will there be alcohol?” that “Yes, it will be flowing!” will prevent them from bringing their own, but then they might be disappointed when they find I was fibbing and not enjoy themselves because of that. Hmmmmm……………
In any case, our friends who will be serving as attendants will be instructed on how to handle any unruly guests
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Post # 3
@Asichka: If you’re worried about how people will act after drinking, then don’t have it there. It’s your right to do as you please at your wedding as far as alcohol service. I wouldn’t lie about it though – just be honest and tell those who ask there will be no alcohol served.
I’ve been to a few different dry weddings, and the atmosphere is definitely different from one where there is alcohol served – not better or worse, mind you, just different. If you’ve got some good music, then people will have fun regardless. I wouldn’t have alcohol served if it’s going to stress you out just because you think it will mean people will have more fun.
Post # 4
I had a dry wedding and everyone had a great time. I didn’t feel the need to provide lots of entertainment — Most of the people invited were adults and can deal for a few hours.
We didn’t have alcohol because we didn’t want people driving drunk.
Post # 5
I definitely wouldn’t lie. I would be very cross if someone lied to me about that. I’d much rather be told upfront. I wouldn’t be very happy about it, because I’m an adult and I am perfectly happy to take responsibility for my own drinking, thanks. I don’t need other adults to tell me otherwise. However, if someone was dead against having alcohol at their event then I would respect that.
I would probably leave early, however, unless I was very close to the host and hostess. I don’t mix well with strangers without at least one drink, and I certainly don’t dance without one. I suppose I might stay for longer if the food was excellent and the entertainment fantastic. But that food would really have to be something…
Post # 6
@Asichka: Personally I wouldn’t have one; it would not go over well in our social circle, plus I find the idea that you’re doing it to somehow ‘protect’ your guests from getting ‘too drunk’ faintly patronising; as grown adults, they should be able to handle themselves. I mean, will our guests get drunk? Yup! Will they get blind drunk and behave like morons? Nope. The worst we might get will be the odd broken glass/spilt drink (and TBF I have been known to drop glasses when completely sober), and some fun dancing. Oh, and we have this weird tradition of providing hats, so people will probably be prancing round in an odd collection of hats come midnight!
Now I guess if your friends/family have a habit of getting blind drunk at social events and damaging property/driving home drunk etc I can see that a dry wedding might be a good idea. But honestly, if I were in that position, whether to serve alcohol or not would be the least of my issues; I’d probably be looking for different friends…
Post # 7
I’m having a dry wedding and have been to a few dry weddings. I do not drink and neither does my FI along with most people in our family and inner circle. I do not think people need to drink to have fun. The atmosphere will of course be different but believe me most people around me know how to have fun without having a drink.
Don’t worry too much about it people should respect that you have chosen not to serve alcohol, surely they are not that dependant on alcohol and can always go home and down a bottle of something if they want to lol!
Post # 8
I have been to two kinds of dry weddings: one where the bride and groom don’t drink for religious reasons and one where the couple didn’t want to spend the $$ on alcohol. I have no problem with the first kind, as the choice is representative of the couple’s life and values, and is not a slight to the guests.
Based on your post, I would honestly be annoyed. Your guests are adults, they’re your family and closest friends, and you’re not their parent. Saying that you don’t trust them to drink responsibly and that they might “get drunk and spoil your day” sounds a little bridezilla. If your guests can’t be trusted to behave themselves at your wedding and respect your wishes on their own accord (or even after a conversation where you’ve voiced your concerns), then I’m not sure why you’ve invited them to your wedding at all. As a guest, if I knew your real reason and what you really thought of me (that I’m not able to make responsible decisions and that I need to be treated like a kid), I think I’d decline to participate.
Post # 9
@Rachel631: +1, well said. Though I can dance without alcohol, but most people I know can’t, so, whether I can is irrelevant, I’m not going to dance on my own lol.
Post # 10
For my family & friends, alchohol is a BIG deal. It wouldn’t fly to not have any alcohol at all. That doesn’t mean we have to fork out for an open bar.. a cash bar is perfectly acceptable if that’s the only option.
I can totally understand people’s reasonings for not having alcohol, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. I also wouldn’t stay as long as I would at an open bar reception – standing around with nothing to do is quite boring to me.. and quite frankly, I can only “socialize” with family for so long.
I don’t even drink that often at all! Maybe once a year, or on very special occasions, such as a wedding.
Alcohol or not, your guests could very likely do all of those things you listed.. get into fights.. making inappropriate speeches, and dirty dances. If you guests WANT to do these things, they will. They are adults and will do what they want reguardless.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
Absolutely don’t lie about it! I can handle a dry wedding – although please don’t tell your guests it’s because you’re worried about drunken behaviour, because I’d find that kinda offensive, I’m a responsible adult and capable of not causing trouble when I’m drunk – but I’d be really cross if I got there expecting to be able to buy a drink and then not being able to.
Post # 12
@barbie86: “I find the idea that you’re doing it to somehow ‘protect’ your guests from getting ‘too drunk’ faintly patronising; as grown adults, they should be able to handle themselves…. Now I guess if your friends/family have a habit of getting blind drunk at social events and damaging property/driving home drunk etc I can see that a dry wedding might be a good idea. But honestly, if I were in that position, whether to serve alcohol or not would be the least of my issues; I’d probably be looking for different friends…”
@Hausfrau: “Based on your post, I would honestly be annoyed. Your guests are adults, they’re your family and closest friends, and you’re not their parent. Saying that you don’t trust them to drink responsibly and that they might “get drunk and spoil your day” sounds a little bridezilla. If your guests can’t be trusted to behave themselves at your wedding and respect your wishes on their own accord (or even after a conversation where you’ve voiced your concerns), then I’m not sure why you’ve invited them to your wedding at all. As a guest, if I knew your real reason and what you really thought of me (that I’m not able to make responsible decisions and that I need to be treated like a kid), I think I’d decline to participate.”
Yes, +1 to both of you… as I said… I would be very cross to be treated like this. The implication is that I cannot be trusted to care for myself, so the bride and groom must make decisions for me. Not cool. Now, if you were a Muslim, say, or your venue didn’t have a license, or you were a recovering alcoholic, that would be different. Subtext is everything. Likewise, I feel strongly that children should be invoted to weddings, but if my host said “sorry, space/money is limited, so could you leave kids at home” I would completely understand… if they said “we don’t like kids, so don’t bring them”, my reaction would be quite different. The underlying message behind the decision matters. Your guests will pick up on that.
Post # 13
I would be really annoyed. Especially if you told me there would be plenty, and I show up and theres nothing. I would probably leave. My FI and I are really shy and we hardly talk to people, let alone dance without a few drinks.
A dry bar would not fly with my family and friends. Maybe a cash bar on FI’s side, but definitely not dry. While we are shy, and we’d be fine with a cash bar, because we probably wouldn’t get drunk at our own wedding, we want our guests to have a great time and host them as we would any other day, so open bar it is. Even if it’s costing more than food.
Post # 14
It’s your decision to limit alcohol at a wedding, but don’t lie to your guests and tell them it will be there if you don’t plan on serving it. Disappointment aside, I’d be livid if I thought the bride, who invited me to her wedding, actually lied to my face.
I’ll be honest – I wouldn’t have as much fun at a dry wedding, and I’d probably leave early. I don’t let loose enough without a little liquid courage, and I just wouldn’t enjoy myself without a drink or two. I never get drunk to the point of embarrassment, and I definitely don’t drive after drinking, but I like to have a few drinks to get the fun side of me to come out.
Post # 15
I have never been to a dry wedding and find the concept strange – unless the couple themselves were against alcohol for religious/cultural reasons. I have been to 3 weddings when pregnant so not drinking and, as fun as they were, I have had much more fun when i can drink! If noone was drinking at all, i doubt there would be much of a celebratory atmosphere among my friends.
Post # 16
I am pregnant and have been to four weddings in the last two months and not had a drink. I have to say- you can have fun without alcohol and even survive socially challenging family. 😉
Having a dry wedding because you want people to not drink is totally within your rights- whatever the reason. I completely understand that you don’t want a night that might escalate with alcohol to involve fights etc. As you have said though, there are some problems with this plan- namely that the main offenders are likely to drink beforehand anyway or bring alcohol. I wouldn’t lie about alcohol being served – mostly because these are your friends and family who you care enough about to want at your wedding- I imagine that you do not want to start your newly married life with them angry with you for misleading them… the direct implication being that they couldn’t be trusted not to drink ( true but offensive).
Personally, it seems that those who are likely to be a problem will likely drink anyway and then you are not supplying alcohol to people who would have been fine and liked a drink! I would try and work out what proportion of the wedding guests are likely to fall into the problem category- if >40% I’d make it a dry wedding; less than this I would just organise servers to evict people who were too untidy and let it be known that this is what will happen. You can blame the reception venue if you want 🙂
it is your and your fiancé’s day- people survived the first 18isn years of their lives without alcohol- one night is not going to kill them but they may choose not to come 🙂
good luck sweetie x x