(Closed) Dry Wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4819 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’ll be honest. Do what you can afford, if you can’t afford alcohol- don’t have it. Fine… however, don’t get pissed if people leave early to get their party (and alcohol) elsewhere.

BTW there will never be uproar- but it will in all likely be talked about behind your back- that’s just the way it goes. People enjoy drinking at celebrations generally.

Post # 4
3442 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Well, I think it all depends on how you view the day.


Do you think the wedding day is about you hosting an event to cater to your guests, or do you think it is a day about you & the groom and your guest being loved enough that they were asked to witness it?


I never even attempted to cater to all my guests beyond what was reasonable. I know, some people will think I sound rude, but it is what it is. I provided refreshments, comfortable seating, a nice environment, and music. I think I did my job.


Alcohol is a nice addition to the wedding (I opted to have an open bar, but that’s also because my husband & I also wanted it for ourselves lol), but it’s certainly not necessary. I say, if anybody thinks you are rude for not offering alcohol, they are rude for not being happy with what you are already offering. And, if anybody says you are not doing your wedding correctly due to not serving alcohol, I would question them “how can you know I’m conducting my wedding incorrectly when this is the first time in history that (yours groom) & (yourself) are getting married? I didn’t realize my wedding had to be a reflection of anybody but myself & my husband..”


Post # 5
8847 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

To be honest, I’d be a little butt hurt if I went to a wedding where they spent 10 grand but didn’t have any booze… especially if you have a ton of fancy non-alcoholic drinks. I don’t *need* it to have fun, but if I’m going to a big fun celebration, a glass or two is a nice addition.

Just don’t be offended if people leave early, I guess. They’ll be there for the wedding and the dinner, but maybe not for an all-night party.

Post # 6
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I don’t think you should be embrassed or anything. There is nothing wrong with a dry wedding in my opinion. We have contemplated doing a dry wedding and I think it’s whatever you guys want. People need to respect that and really ( just my opinion) whether or not you have alcohol should not matter. 

Post # 7
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

There are some pretty strong opinions on this board about this, but ultimately, everyone has different social circles, and as such, feelings about alcohol will vary pretty drastically. 

Among the people I know, and among my family, it’s pretty rude to have any evening event without serving alcohol (usually it’s 3 dollar bottles of wine). I’m a Ph.D. student, and even at department functions, anything after 4 PM has alcohol. My family also grew up drinking wine with dinner every night. 

I also learned that at an event where many people don’t know each other and want to meet other people, alcohol is an incredibly effective social lubricant. It makes social situations less awkward, and makes it more likely people will be comfortable. Our wedding was 90% our of town guests, many from out of country, and we found that one the booze started flowing, people began making friendships that have even lasted after our wedding (we love seeing DH’s friends meeting my friends in cities around the world after they all met at our wedding!)

Yet there are crowds where this is not the case, and I can’t speak for your family or friends. I think that you should NOT get alcohol just to not look cheap. That seems like a silly reason. However, I think you need to be prepared for the fact that people might be frustrated, and might not want to stay very long, and it might be a somewhat awkward affair where people don’t socialize much. I went to a wedding once where the friend, trying to get people to dance, sprung for a dance instructor to give basic dance lessons while the bridal party took photographs, but the wedding was dry. In the end, absolutely NO ONE danced. Every wedding I have been to, when the booze flows, people will dance until the party is over.

As for the money issue, there are ways to save. Could you buy your own alcohol and bring it? Just serve wine and beer? Maybe have the drink coupon thing, where everyone gets 2 drinks? I agree with pp, people are going to appreciate a glass of wine in general WAY more than a fancy non-alcoholic drink. 

Or, to avoid all of this, have a day wedding. No one expects booze during the day (though everyone likes mimosas at brunch). But I think at an evening affair, there are many people who will get irritated. 

Post # 8
3202 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I’ve been to a dry wedding. It wasn’t rude, exactly, but people did kind of talk about it. There was definitely some talk like “I heard she spent 3 grand on their dress and they couldn’t even have beer and wine?” Also, people went and got drinks in between the ceremony and the reception. People also left quite early, but that might have been because the A/C was barely functioning and it was Florida in July.

Honestly, it was fine for us, but we did go out and eat and drink afterward. I didn’t feel quite as “hosted” as I have at other weddings. I certainly don’t judge the couple for it, but I do think others did.

Post # 10
2322 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I definitely think it depends on the circumstances.  If either member of the couple or an important family member is a current or past alcoholic I would never question a dry wedding.  Also if I went to a wedding and saw that the budget was clearly maxed out just providing the bare minimum (think backyard wedding, hot dogs, costco cake, dress from Forever21 or the like, really the uber-cheapest one can go) then I wouldn’t mind a bit either, I’d think it was awesome that the couple invested what little they had to celebrate with us and I’d be honored.  That being said if I went to a wedding where the bride was in a beaded ballgown, the venue was gorgeous, the food was expensive, and there was no booze, I’d be miffed.  And I’d never say a word to the couple, but I can guarantee people would be talking about it.


Also if anyone would be embarrassed it would be the groom’s family, as they’re traditionally the providers of the liquor.  I’d make sure they’re aware that it’ll be dry.


Post # 12
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

You should do BYOB and set up a self bar haha 🙂 I personally wouldn’t bother with an evening wedding without alcohol. I’d rather do a lunch or something. I mean, do people dance w/o alcohol? If your planning on doing an afterparty, I would cut that out cause everyone will most likely leave early. (I know I would and I would go somewhere that served it..).. I would let your parents pay for either an open bar (ideal) or a cash bar if you’re doing a reception. Or provide one bottle of white wine, red wine and champagne for each table.

Post # 13
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’re not having alcohol at our wedding either. We’re both recovering alcoholics. We don’t mind if people drink around us normally, but we’d just rather not have it at our wedding. Most of our family members and friends don’t drink or are recovering themselves, and the ones that do drink tend to not drink responsibly. We’d just rather avoid drama 🙂

Post # 14
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Also, if people NEED alcohol to help a couple celebrate their marriage, I feel sorry for them.


Post # 15
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve never been to a wedding with alcohol. Our venue didn’t allow it, but if it had we would’ve only had champagne for toasting. Honestly I think that its really sad people feel that they need alcohol to have a good time.

Post # 16
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We are having a dry wedding. Both my fiancé and I don’t drink much. We both maybe drink once a month no real reason why we don’t we just don’t feel the need to drink most of the time. Our wedding is about him & I saying “I DO” and having a lovely evening with our family and friends. Our wedding ceremony starts at 6:30pm so by the time they get to the reception venue its 7:30-8:00pm till everyone eats the light meal; we cut cake, garter, and the normal rituals it will be after 9pm and than the bonfire. If people leave they leave. Our wedding party, which is our brothers and sister and their husbands and wives and their children will be there the whole night which is the perfect company if people start to leave. Don’t worry about if people leave. If they leave just look at it as an opportunity to celebrate with the ones that really care and are there for you two and not to just get drunk and hook up with someone. 


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