(Closed) Alcohol dilemmas!

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
46647 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I was in this exact situation for my first wedding. Out of respect for my then FI’s family’s beliefs, we had an afternoon wedding with a non-alcoholic punch, tea , sandwiches and cake reception following.

Later that evening we had a dance with a licensed bar for those who would choose to attend.We didn’t need rsvp’s for the dance as the band and the batender would be booked no matter how many people attended, and we pretty well knew who was going to attend.

The two immediate families had dinner together, the guests were on their own for dinner.

Post # 4
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m in the same situation but my fiancé and I decided that we will have alcohol. We are adults and it is our day. A glass or two of wine shouldn’t offend anyone. I’m just letting those uncomfortable know up front that I appreciate them sharing in this special day and understand if they leave reception early

Post # 5
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@ShannyK:  My first wedding was similar. We did a very early in the day wedding with mimosa’s available with the spread (if wanted). Once the formalities were over, those who wanted to, went home, while those who wanted to went out.

Post # 6
6582 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m all about being sensitive to people, but at some point people need to suck it up and deal. No one is forcing them to drink the alcohol, nor are they required to stay if they don’t want to be around it. I say have what you want at the reception, and if people don’t like it, oh well.

FWIW, as a wedding photographer I definitely have couples who deal with this issue quite often. The general consensus ends up being “we’re having alcohol, if they don’t like it, they’re welcome to leave after dinner”. 

Case in point, this past weekend’s wedding. The bride specifically figured her conservative guests would leave after dinner/cake, and thus she requested that her DJ hold off on the “party/rap” music until after 8:30pm. Sure enough, almost like clockwork the conservative guests were out of there after dinner.

Not to lump a group together or stereotype, but it’s my experience that the guests who are opposed to drinking aren’t the ones who generally would join in the party/dancing – and they tend to leave after dinner anyway….so I wouldn’t let guests leaving early deter you from anything.

Post # 7
11422 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I know most will not agree with me on this topic, but I am of the mindset that the more conservative approach is best. 

Although my Darling Husband and I do not oppose all alcohol consumption, we and our families view alcohol is the controlled, dangerous substance that it is, and my Darling Husband and I definitely did not want to be responsible for providing alcohol to guests who may be tempted to overindulge in it to the detriment of themselves and/or others. 

Given this, we chose only to provide an option of a single glass of champagne (the other option being sparkling cider) during our toasts, which took place prior to our dinner but after an hors d’oeuvres hour in which heavy appetizers were served.

The hors d’oeuvres hour and the entire rest of our reception featured an “open” bar of only sodas, a variety of juices, iced tea, and water.

Post # 8
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Your guests are adults and you don’t need to babysit them – people can drink alcohol responsibly. It’s your wedding, and if you want alcohol, I’d have it. Your in-laws don’t have to drink!

Post # 9
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I’d probably keep the affair dry until after the meal and the major moments for the reception (parent dances, etc.) and then have alcohol for the rest of the evening when all the dancing and frivolity happens. That way, those who are uncomfortable with alcohol can leave without missing anything and the rest of you can enjoy yourselves.

Post # 10
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As the other Bees have said, you kind of have 3 options…

Dry – Semi Dry – and Wet

How Dry or How Wet… depends a lot on the time of day that you decide to have your Wedding & Reception… and therefore how much heed / respect you choose to show to your Inlaws

There is no right or wrong

And lots ways to get around things as the other Bees have said… thinking outside the box in this situation might just create the Reception you want while at the same time satisfying the needs on both sides of the equation

(Nothing wrong with a good after party)

Hope this helps,


Post # 11
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

I vote for booze. Social lubrication is a necessity for some people. Like me.

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