Post # 1
I am so completely different than my parents. I’m not even get into how and why, but it’s really frustrating sometimes. I generally get along with them, but there are so many things that we don’t agree on it gets frustrating. So, tonight I had the second or third conversation with my parents about the reception. I know most of you won’t understand, but the FI and I don’t want to have alcohol at our reception. We drink occassionally, but 99% of his family and guests don’t drink. My family goes crazy with the alcohol. When it comes to our families, they are polar opposites, and I tend to be more like his family than mine. My parents are insisting we have a keg at our reception. I would be okay with having a cash bar, but not a keg. When there is a keg around, my family basically makes sure every last drop is gone. I am terrified that they are going to embarrass me in front of my FI family. I know I am not responsible for their behavior, but I will not be happy and it would ruin my day. I brought up the idea of a cash bar, and my parents are completely opposed to the idea. They don’t want their guests paying for alcohol. That was my attempt at a compromise, but they aren’t having any of it. I want people to remember my reception as being really nice and elegant. I don’t want people leaving and only talking about the fact that there was a keg and my family was wasted. For my brother’s wedding, they had a conference room at the hotel and had an after party which is when everyone got wasted. Why can’t they just do that for my wedding? I know I’m stubborn (which I got from them…) and I’m going to get my way whether they like it or not. If anything is going to turn me into a bridezilla, this is it! It is OUR day, and it should be the way we want it. Or am I just crazy?
I don’t know what to do about this situation. Like I said, both myself and the parents are extremely stubborn. This might be a long, dragged out beat down….
Post # 3
You poor thing. It sounds like they’re putting their wants above your legitimate feelings about your big day. Bear in mind, they are probably acting this way because they will want to celebrate, and alcohol sounds like a big part of how they celebrate.
How much leverage do you have? If you can put your foot down and say “no alcohol”, I think you should. It sounds it makes you very uncomfortable, and you’re right, you don’t want your wedding to turn into something that doesn’t reflect the type of people you and your FI are. If you do go down this route, I think it would be a good idea to put some effort into planning the after party, so that they do have somewhere they can celebrate and so they don’t feel completely excluded.
Hope things work out. 🙂
Post # 4
Are we the same person?
LOL. I am in the EXACT SAME SITUATION! FI is very strict Nazarene and my family…is…well…not. His family does not even dance! At first we were going to host a bar but after seeing how everyone in my family acted at my brothers wedding we decided to have a cash bar. My family thinks it sucks but too bad.
If you want to have a certain atmosphere at your wedding then so be it. It’s your decision. If your family is anything like mine I think you are making a wise decision. Good luck! It will be beautiful!
Post # 5
@mrstj2b: You have legitimate reasons for not wanting a keg. You have the right to remember your day as “really nice and elegant” too, not just the guests. For this battle- Foot down, chin up!
Post # 6
You are definitely not crazy. You know what you want and you have every reason to want your day the way you want it. I’ve been part of an after party of a dry wedding, its been fantastic to celebrate with the bride and groom, so nice of them to feed us, and then for some guests to go on and get any libations we want to afterwards. No requirement for a keg! You need to stress that your wedding is about your marriage, not a big free for all party.
Post # 7
You sound like my younger daughter and all the very hurtful comparisons she made about our family and her FI’s family. She made it seem like they never cursed or spoke unkindly about anyone or anything and she never saw them take a drink, no dancing, church goers,etc. We were highly insulted, as it seemed to us like she was saying his family was somehow ‘better’.
We are social drinkers only (and I never have more than one) and try to be the best people we can be, so to be compared so unfairly and to lump us all into some random category when planning their wedding really got to me. His family offered no help at all, and even on the wedding day as we (my family) were madly scrambling to set up the ballroom, his Dad and SM stood there like zombies and just watched us, never offering to lend a hand. Big deal…they paid for the rehearsal dinner, so that was enough?
We had a full open bar at the wedding, regardless of only half the guests utilizing it. Why should our friends and family suffer because they didn’t drink? They sat on one side of the room like a bunch of duds and looked completely out of place as they hugged their seats. Even the DJ couldn’t get them to get up and move around, but did we care? Not for a minute. They couldn’t control us and we couldn’t care less if that’s the way they wanted to be…their loss.
Now that I know my SIL’s family better from a few gatherings, it turns out that they really are not what my daughter said they were. They are the most judgemental, rude and condescending people I’ve ever met and are the kind who hide behind their religion. Thank goodness my daughter realizes how wrong she was and really enjoyed her wedding despite worrying about what they would think, and her new husband was right beside her having the time of his life.
Only you know your family and how they act at gatherings, so I guess you should make the call. I’m betting, tho, that you wouldn’t even notice if your family over imbibed. You’ll be too busy being happy about your wedding and marriage!
Post # 8
What a fabulous reply and so refreshing to hear the other side of things. The OPs post does seem a bit judgemental of her own family but perhaps they really are crazed alcoholics that rush a keg as soon as it appears. For me, (for me, me, me everyone, not saying anyone else, lol) an elegant affair is one with a cocktail hour and fine wine and food. So a dry reception wouldn’t really be one I would remember as ‘elegant’ (probably, not definetly) but then, neither would one with a keg (only ever saw those at kegger parties). A wedding with a keg sounds like fun to me, but I wouldn’t say ‘elegant’.
OP – the real question is, who is paying for your wedding? If you are – then by all means, make it dry. If they are, then you’ll have to do what they are comfortable doing for the guests. Can you not just have wine poured during dinner? Almost all weddings I’ve been to have the servers pouring a red or white during dinner at the table and since they are pouring it, you can’t really go crazy, you know? That might be a nice compromise and keep it elegant, as you wanted.
Post # 9
@luckyprincess: I don’t think that would be a compromise to them. I would be completely okay with that. I enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. But that’s not the type of weddings my side of the family has. I have never been to a wedding where they have done that (even though I know that is super common).
It’s not that I want the wedding to be completely dry. That’s not really the issue. It’s the fact that there will be a keg. I know that my dad and his family will be dead set on making sure there is absolutely no beer left. I see them having a “I have to get my money’s worth” attitude. I have been to receptions of family members where the groom was so drunk he was on the verge of passing out and the MOH was outside puking because she was trashed. That’s the type of receptions they throw. I know that none of the wedding party would be trashed, but I can’t say that about my father or other family members. I have seen it happen one too many times, and I don’t want it at my wedding! So am I being judgemental? I don’t think so because I have seen it. And my dad tends to say hurtful things to me when he’s drunk, like he would prefer 10 sons over 1 daughter. I don’t want to know what he would say about me at my wedding.
Post # 10
You said you want an elegant really nice wedding and the keg won’t fit in because your family will get so drunk. While if they are that determined to get drunk, a cash bar won’t stop them. I went to a wedding where there was a champagne toast and a drink served with dinner like wine or a signature drink. That’s really the only way to limit them.
Post # 11
Have you proposed the keg at an after party to them?
Post # 12
No sweetie, I don’t think you’re being judgmental. I didn’t mean to make it sound like you were in my other post – I was trying to say that it may sound judgemental but you may know that they go nuts around kegs and it sounds like they do.
It’s a shame that they wouldn’t find the wine a compromise as I think it would be really nice. Don’t give in on the keg. Sounds like it will be a problem and could be embarrasing for you. Plus, you don’t want to have those types of worries on your wedding day. Are you paying or are they?
Post # 13
Ugh this situation stinks. I am sorry to hear your father has said things like that to you. That’s so hurtful. I don’t really have any advice to give but I hope you can work it out. I am having a full open bar at my reception, but I too would not like the idea of a keg, it seems like something you drink from when you are 21 and in college. A cash bar seems like a good compromise, and hopefully they will see the light. This is your wedding, not a college keg party.
Post # 14
OP: I had an open bar at my reception. I thought that my friends (who are party animals) would be a bit ridiculous- which I wasn’t too worried about, I wanted a party…but some people can go a bit crazy with the open bar (including myself). I was pleasantly surprised. The tab and the consumption was not at all what I was expecting. Sure, a couple of people were tipsy…but again, I wanted a true elegant cocktail party, which is what I got. There was an after party where insanity occurred, but I wasn’t there to see or experience it. 🙂
The above is to explain where I am coming from.
Here’s the thing: you KNOW that your family can’t control themselves around a keg. You’re willing to compromise by having a cash bar, which they aren’t willing to consider. You are not wrong to want the event the way you want it. It is your wedding and if you’re not comfortable having a keg then that should be it.
Have you looked into serving a limited bar (beer and wine provided, but any hard stuff is cash)? IF people have to go to a server and ask for a bottle or draft beer, I would imagine that they would consume less. Also, the server should (legally) control the amount of booze each person is consuming while ensuring that folks have a good time. This way, you get your elegant party, while not having a keg where people can over-serve themselves.
EDIT: Just because what you are proposing isn’t the norm in your family does not mean that it is wrong. I would try to figure out if your parents’ concern is that they do not want guests paying for anything at your wedding or if they just want a keg because…that’s what a wedding is to them. We can help you with both problems 🙂 but they are different.
Post # 15
@ItWasntMe: I do take exception to some of the things you mentioned in your post. Just because people don’t feel comfortable dancing (for whatever reason) doesn’t mean they’re “duds”. And you and your family would “suffer” if there isn’t alcohol at the wedding? Really? I think anybody should be quite capable of enjoying themselves at a wedding, regardless if alcohol is present or not.
I think everyone should note that in some jurisdictions, the hosts can be held responsible if an alcohol-related incident involves one of their guests (eg DUI-related death after leaving the wedding), so there are down sides to serving unlimited amounts of alcohol.
My FI and I are taking the middle road – we don’t have an open (or cash) bar, but are serving wine with dinner. We are getting married at a resort, and there are plenty of bars available for after the reception for whoever is interested.
Post # 16
Oh goodness. I can see why you’re upset. A Keg at a wedding? I like what PP said abotu a limited bar. Just beer and wine.