Post # 1
I am lucky enough to not have to pay for my wedding: my parents and in-laws are splitting the price equally. But now there is a problem that I don’t know how to address. My fiance’s family is hispanic, and they really know how to drink. My Mother-In-Law has already raised the topic of alcohol at the reception, and we tenatively decided that it would be a cash bar along with free wine with dinner. Despite this, alcohol is going to be one of the most expensive parts of the whole wedding (this is non-negotiable, the venue doesn’t allow us to bring our own alcohol).
My father is a recovering alcoholic and has been clean for 21 years. When I brought this up with my family he got very upset, and said that he wasn’t going to pay that much for other people to drink. He is generally fine with other people drinking around him and everything, so I didn’t foresee this being an issue. Now I don’t know how to bring this up with my in-laws. I know that they are going to expect alcohol at the reception, but it seems out of line to suggest that they foot the whole bill, especially since there are other members of my family who will be drinking. It would also be hard for me to pay for half myself, as I am a poor law student. Plus, this would probably upset my parents even more, and may make them resentful of the in-laws for putting that burden on me (I know, crazy). So what should I do? I don’t want to cause any waves between the families before we are even married!
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting your Future In-Laws know that your father is a recovering alcoholic and doesn’t feel comfortable making it a free for all bar night at your wedding. If the ILs disagree then I would politely let them know that they can cover the cost of the alcohol if they want more than what your parents as hosts plan to provide. It is not out of line to ask them to cover this cost if it’s something they absolutely want at the wedding and your parents have good reason not to (and being a recovering alcoholic is a good reason to have NO alcohol at all so kudos for your father for agreeing to wine.)
Talk to your FH first and get him on the same page as you and then invite the ILs over to discuss (do this on your turf, not theirs.)
Post # 4
Your dad is being completely unreasonable.
Is he not wanting to pay for ANY alcohol AT ALL? That is unrealistic, especially considering that some of your family does drink.
Wine with dinner should be determined a “normal expense” of the reception. It shouldn’t be “that” costly…. Have your venue price out the difference between wine and just serving soft drinks… at my venue there is only a $1 difference per person to include dinner wine over just the price of soft drinks.
The cash bar isn’t costing anyone money (except those who choose to drink) so that shouldn’t inflate the cost.
Can you just provide him a “dinner is this much per person” without going into the specifics?
Post # 5
If it’s a cash bar, I’m not understanding the alcohol expense other than wine with dinner?
Post # 6
@CountryRose: Your dad has a problem with the cost of providing wine to your guests at dinner? If you will be having a cash bar outside of wine with dinner, it shouldn’t cost you anything outside of the wine. I don’t understand how it can be such a huge expense if you’re only providing wine. Sounds to me like your dad just really doesn’t want anyone to get to enjoy a drink or two at your wedding and is trying to force his sobriety on everyone else.
As a guest I would be annoyed if there wasn’t at least the option of alcohol and something provided at dinnertime. I have no problems with a cash bar, so long as I’m well aware of it beforehand. If you have a dry wedding expect your guests to leave shortly after dinner.
Post # 7
To be clear, he doesn’t have a problem with there being alcohol at the reception, he just doesnt think that he should have to pay for it. My in-laws are far more reasonable and level headed than my dad, so maybe I will talk to them about it first after all.
As far as the expense, it just comes down to the fact that we live in a cheap area. At $10 a glass, one glass of wine for eveyone will cost almost as much as our entire venue and reception hall rental fees, and is almost as much as our bill for the food. True, the actual amount is not that much, but relative to everything else it will be a large chunk of the wedding budget.
Thanks for the input 🙂
Post # 8
@3xaCharm: “Can you just provide him a “dinner is this much per person” without going into the specifics?”
This may be the route I take. Sometimes it is better just not to argue lol.
Post # 9
Would he feel more comfortable if you said that inlaws will pay for alcohol, and he is paying for dinner and something else to even out the cost?