(Closed) Alcohol-Free Reception?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 61
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We’re having a dry reception. My family has a history of alcoholism, so I don’t drink at all (I also have an addictive personality, so I get easily addicted to things and choose not to drink because of it). His family has a few heavy drinkers who would take advantage. We’re also on a very very tight budget and would rather have good food than alcohol for our guests.

My sister made the comment that she’s just going to sneak a flask in. I told her that if she does, she’ll be the one paying the fine because we’re renting a city owned building for our reception and Florida liquor laws are very strict. If she (or anyone else) got caught, we’d get a pretty big fine. If she wants a drink, the reception is over at 8 and she can go to a bar afterward.

Everyone’s reasons for having alcohol or not are different. Ours came down to the fact that neither of us drink and, of course, the budget.

Post # 62
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
pineapple54:  i wouldn’t make it a dry wedding. i went to a casual dry wedding (reception was at a fire house) and it was honestly the most boring thing ever. i went bc i love my friend and wanted to support him, but it felt more like some boring work luncheon then a wedding celebration.

granted, they did not have any form of entertainment like fun silly lawn games, but still. if you aren’t going to serve booze, i suggest really making sure there is plenty of other entertainment so your guests won’t miss it. 

alternatively, i highly doubt that you not having booze at your wedding will stop your mom from drinking that day. so if that is you MAIN reason, it’s sort of a moot point. also, my humble personal opinion is that some drinks, especially fun ones, make the party feel more festive (ie: a bright colorful sangria punch bowl, a beer/shandy bar…etc.) 

Post # 63
949 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
pineapple54:  I think your reception sounds fun, and like something I would enjoy, alcohol or no alcohol.

I’ve been to weddings where I haven’t had alcohol that I’ve really enjoyed, and one that I didn’t (it was a very religiously conservative wedding without music or dancing either and the group of friends I was with was asked to go onto a stage at one point). That was a very interesting wedding, but I enjoyed the other things we did with the bride and groom much more than the actual wedding.

Post # 64
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I’m very sorry to hear about your step-mother. I think it is so sweet of you to consider this, for her sake! But ultimately, I think you should go ahead and have alcohol. 

1. People like to have a drink at weddings. Unless you are morally opposed to drinking as a whole, I think it is being a good host, to provide drinks for your guests.

2. You should not change a major aspect of your wedding, to suit one guest. I understand you have the best intentions, but it is YOUR day. Not hers. 

3. Unfortunately alcoholics will find a way to get a drink, no matter what. Whether it is drinking from a flask in the bathroom, or whatever….having a dry wedding will not prevent a relapsed alcoholic from drinking.

Some suggestions:

1. have an open and honest conversation with your father about this decision, so he knows how much you care, and is prepared for the event.

2. Stick with pre-packaged and colored drinks. For example: beer. If you are worried about your step mother sneaking drinks from the bar, make it a little harder for her to do so.

       a. It takes a LOT of beer to get drunk, so it is harder to get drunk covertly

       b. it is hard to hide brown alcohol (whereas vodka can be presented as water, for instance)

       c. it is harder to hide a bottled drink, rather than adding a quick pour out of a liquor bottle, to               her soda or whatever

Hope this helps! Best of luck!

Post # 65
1707 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2016 - Garden

Same here my moms side of the family are heavy drinkers. Well my dads side too but I don’t know that side very well. So anyway my Fiance and I aren’t drinkers but I’m pretty sure if we don’t have some kind of alcohol 1/3 of the people will jet out of there.

My Fiance doesnt want any alcohol in our reception, so what I plan on doing is bring champaign. NO REFILLS. Not a continuous thing all night. One cup that’s it. but my family are clever they’ll sneak it in some kind of way…. That’s why I will have security! The rest will be some martinellis apple and grape cider :)) hmmm my favorite!!

Its a matter of who you bring too if you don’t want people to drink then don’t let them drink, let them not come. If they can’t spend the night ONE night ONLY a couple hours away from drinking and can’t focus on the special night celebrating the bride and groom then they really don’t need to come I’m sorry. 

Post # 66
1001 posts
Bumble bee

My partner and I do not drink.  In fact, the smell of alcohol actually makes my partner physically ill.  (We were on vacation with my family once, and they wanted to do a wine tasting, so we went into the venue with them, and even though we only went as far as the foyer, he had to leave because he got nauseous and light-headed.)  I hate the smell, and the few times I have tasted it (even in food!), I’ve hated the taste, regardless of variety.

We do not host parties with alcohol.  Period.  It does not matter what kind of event it is.  If we’re the hosts, alcohol is not part of the package.  In addition, we make it clear to our guests that if they bring alcohol, they will be asked to leave.

Post # 67
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I hate alcohol, period. I wanted a dry reception. After careful discussion with DH, he told me the guests wouldnt enjoy themselves as much. Since most of the guests travel to us, we chose cash bar. My DH’brother is having an open bar wedding. Will see how it turns out.

Post # 68
2121 posts
Buzzing bee

Wow, I would absolutely be okay attending a dry wedding. Morning, afternoon, evening, casual, formal – if the bride and groom want a dry wedding and consider me close enough to invite me, I’m in. 

Basing a decision on whether or not to attend a wedding based on alcohol availability seems pathetic. Also, if it were a formal event I would be more than happy with mocktails. 

Post # 69
8 posts
  • Wedding: June 2016

I am an alcoholic and can tell you – your wedding will not affect whether or not your step mother continues to relapse. I know it is hard, but this is not a situation you can control. It is up to her. It sounds like you are a super sweet and thoughtful daughter. If the underlying reason to go dry is to keep her from drinking, don’t bother. If the underlying reason is that it gives you one less worry, go for it. Either way, I strongly recommend you talk to your Dad and Step-Mom about how this all affects you and makes you feel…it won’t go well (alcoholics are unreasonable at best), but it will absolve you of any responsibility you are feeling. Alanon is a good resource. I think this goes a bit deeper than answers people on the Bee can provide. 

Post # 70
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I have this same issue with a family member.  Your stepmom’s drinking problem is not a reflection of you.  You should provide alcohol for everyone, since you said that most people there will be expecting it and would like to have it.  I’m sorry you have to deal with this.  If she’s being sneaky, it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t provide alcohol and then your step-mom brought her own after finding this out.  I would just ask someone to deal with her if she gets out of hand, and enjoy your wedding with the rest of your guests and provide alcohol for them.

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