dry wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
525 posts
Busy bee

Hmm…your dad (if like mine) will just come drunk. But with that expectation in place, I think it is a fantastic choice to have a dry wedding.

Post # 4
Member
42510 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@alerose:  I was in the same position for my first wedding.My in laws didn’t drink at all, nor did their family.  My Dad was an alcoholic and I did not want him to  be drunk at my weding. Therefore, we had an early afternoon wedding, with hors d’oevres and punch, tea and coffee.

We left for our honeymoon. Everyone was on their own for dinner.My Dad hosted the drinkers at a party at my parents’ place in the evening. My in-laws hosted their family in a suite at their hotel for coffee and cake.

You could do something similar, or have a morning wedding and serve brunch.

Post # 5
Member
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I had a dry wedding. We wanted champagne to toast, but the venue actually didn’t allow it. A few people were dissapointed, but no one cared that much.

Do you already have a venue booked? Do you know what time it will be? If you can find a venue that no one in your family has been to before you could say that the venue doesn’t allow alcohol and get out of it that way. Also, at a lunch reception (like ours was) people aren’t as likely to expect alcohol. They also aren’t as likely to party and dance though.

After hearing about your family, I just want to say, it is definitely the best idea for you to have no alcohol or just champagne for a toast. Please don’t let anyone talk you into having it! As the bride I’m sure you will have a much better day if you don’t have to worry about your guests getting drunk and doing unpleasant things.

Post # 6
Member
5199 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think that because your dad is an alcoholic (and not even a recovering alcoholic) that you have extenuating circumstances to choose a no-alcohol event.

Choose to just have champagne for a toast if you think he can handle that.  If you aren’t comfortable with it, then skip that too and serve a sparkling cider.

If you really want a way around this, I would suggest having a brunch or lunch reception.  People have less expectation of drinking.  And for those who really want to, the event will end early enough that they can go out together for a drinnk afterwards.

Post # 7
Member
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

If it were normal for you and your friends to drink, I would say that you have to offer alcohol at your wedding. However, since you don’t drink and dislike being around people who are drinking, I think it’s totally okay for you to have a dry wedding. I went to a Mormon wedding reception once (which didn’t have alcohol or caffiene), and everyone still danced and had a great time. 

Post # 8
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@alerose:  Knowing my alcoholic Dad doesn’t drink anything but beer, we only served Mimosas (we also got married at 10:30am). He paid to have the bar opened in another section of our venue so he/the other guests who wanted to could drink and we wouldn’t know about it!

So while I wholly support a dry wedding, I’d also make sure your venue understands that there will be alcoholics attending and no one should be served!

Post # 10
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee

@alerose:  I see no problem with a dry wedding. If people are only coming to drink, in my opinion they can match their happy a**es to the nearest bar. Alcohol is NOT the most important thing at a wedding, in spite of what people seem to think. If you’d like, have servers offer everyone a glass of champagne for the toasts; that way everyone is limited to one glass and can’t get smashed. 

Post # 11
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I am a big drinker and am usually a pro alcohol voter in any poll, but from your post I see NO reason for you to serve it at your wedding. Anyone who knows you will understand why it’s a dry wedding. Yes, your dad will bring alcohol or show up drunk, as a PP said, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up about him being sober. (Expect the worst, hope for the best, I would say!) But 

It’s your wedding day; do it EXACTLY how you want. Anyone who can’t handle being sober for your wedding need not come. That being said, I’d make it clear that it’s a dry wedding. And for invitation wording, we will have to wait for the etiquette ninjas. 

Post # 12
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@alerose:  do whatever you want.  its your party. 

Post # 13
Member
42510 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@alerose:  If an evening wedding is important to you, just don’t be surprised that when an alcoholic father is aware that you are having a dry wedding, he finds a way to bring alcohol to the wedding and get drunk anyhow.

It’s so much easier for them to stay dry early in the day.

Post # 14
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

I think alcohol at weddings is something that makes everyone judge-y. You’re in a tough spot here because either side of the family could potentially get upset regarding whether or not there is alcohol served.

I think having a dry wedding with a champagne toast would be really nice. Many weddings I have attended provide champagne glasses at the place settings and the servers fill them up right before the speeches. One glass for each person. If your venue allows this, maybe this could be a solution for you?

I also agree with PP that having an earlier wedding would virtually eliminate the issue, as many people do not expect alcohol at a brunch or luncheon. Plus, if you are truly concerned about your dad making a scene, he likely will be drinking beforehand, especially if he knows it will be a dry wedding. An earlier wedding time would give him less time to get totally sloshed. Maybe you can get married around lunchtime and take photos with your husband at sunset? That way you get the best of both?

Post # 15
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@alerose:  I fully support the decision to have a dry wedding, or champagne toast only. As for the invitation, there’s no need to state that it’s a dry wedding. People who list “cocktail reception” only do so to warn people there’s no meal, just appetizers. The rest of the invitations don’t come with an “open bar” statement. Just let it be. plus, the fewer people that know it’s a dry wedding, the less likely it is that people will show up already drunk or sneak alcohol in. Just my opinion. 🙂

Post # 16
Member
2519 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@alerose:  typically I would say just have an open bar..but given your circumstances I would for sure  have a dry wedding.

Why would you pay for an open bar that half the guests won’t even use ( most places charge per person, and you can’t just say “oh only half the people will have a drink)

And given your dad’s issues I would just not have alcohol. The guests either won’t really notice (since they are non drinkers) or the ones close to you will understand why. Its your day! Do what you want!

 

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