Post # 1
I am planning a morning wedding and brunch reception and really leaning towards not serving alcohol.
For religious reasons probably 50% + of the guest list won’t drink it (and some will probably think poorly of me to serve it) but my FH’s side are drinkers and I am concerned some of them will be confused why there isn’t any. (particularly FH’s friends) His mom thinks its fine to omit the booze tho.
The cocktail hour will begin before noon, is serving alcohol that early appropriate?
Our site is historical and run by a local historical society…the fines for damages are BIG. I am concerned alcohol might encourage incidents.
EVERY bridal magazine I have looked at has said alcohol is a MUST-the minimum being a champagne toast. I don’t want to come across as forcing beliefs on my guests or not being generous or whatever. I want people to have a great time!
I am afraid the cost of an open bar would make me cry. But I don’t want a cash bar…I am afraid those convey cheap.
Is it ok to have a dry reception? I was thinking some nifty punches and coffees and hot chocolates could take the place of the alcohol.
Please let me know what you think-I need some input!
Post # 3
Well too bad what the bridal magazines say – do what is best for you! Our simple reception will be dry! My fiance has been a member of AA and NA for 15 years and has not had an alcoholic drink or drugs of any time for all of those 15 years and I do not drink alcohol (I lack an enzyme needed to process it and I react to alcohol the same as food poisoning) and many of our guests do not drink. We are serving an non-alcoholic punch and having a "coffee bar".
Post # 4
If you want to offer some kind of alcohol, why not offer mimosas? If it’s early most people won’t be keen on drinking anyways. Then it’s just champagne and oj and you can be a *little* festive but not too much since it’s champagne, right? If you’re taking half of your guests into consideration, that’s an alternative to the other half’s preferences. And nobody in their right mind gets tanked at 11 in the morning, especially off OJ and champagne. If they know it’s dry you might have to be concerned about people bringing their own and spiking their drinks, FYI.
If not, it’s ok to do a dry reception. I never would, but that’s just me–I’d do something small. I love flirty girly morning drinks, even if they have barely any in them. champagne is a good mixer, as is a splash of sparkling wine because it’s soooo minimal. if not, do sparkling cider instead! I do love the idea of a coffee bar. Why don’t you rent a cappuccino machine or something like that? I LOVE fancy coffees. If you have something awesome to offer in replacement of alcohol, you don’t come across as being cheap, but chic! A coffee bar is SO cool! You can do biscotti, too
Post # 5
It’s definitely not a faux paus to NOT serve alcohol. A reception should always reflect the newlywed couple. So, if having alcohol at your event doesn’t seem fitting…definitely no need to stress over including it! =)
I’ve had a blast at both wet and dry weddings….no need to fear about your guests having a good time. There are many other ways to spice up your reception.
Post # 6
I didn’t answer the poll because I didn’t think my answer fit with any of the options. I just answered a post yesterday discussing cash and open bars, etc. Basically I don’t typically support the cash bar, but if it’s a money thing, I would at least like the option of have drinks (and have to pay for them) rather than skip alcohol altogether. However, I do think there are exceptions.
If you have religious beliefs, or a situation such as the groom has an alcohol problem, I think it’s reasonable to not serve alcohol. (I don’t know if I’d skip alcohol if an random guest had alcoholism. But the groom shouldn’t feel uncomfortable at his own wedding.) It sounds like Fi’s mom doesn’t think this is a big deal for her side. It’s just Fi’s friends. Sorry, they’ll just have to deal. You can’t offend your family and betray your religious beliefs just because Fi’s friends want to have some booze. If it helps your Fi to save face, let him blame your religious beliefs for not having any alcohol.
And honestly, wise move having your reception early. I don’t think it’s as necessary to serve alcohol during the day as night. if it doesn’t offend you, maybe you and your Fi can have an after reception party, with his friends, at abar or restaurant, where everyone can drink. Surely they can wait until then.
Post # 7
I had alcohol at my wedding, daytime, beer and wine- and champagne toast- only (gasp! i’m a terrible hostess according to some!), and there were no incidents. I doubt that alcohol would make any of your guests go wild. I offered alcohol because my fiance’s family are BIG drinkers. If you feel like most of your guests wouldn’t participate in drinking alcohol, you’re certainly under no obligation to offer it! It’s all about being a good hostess to your guests. If alcohol is going to make them uncomfortable, don’t include it. Why not offer a fun nonalcoholic signature drink that works in your theme? The drinkers won’t even miss the alcohol.
Post # 8
I am glad to get some positive reinforcement on this one…reading the mags has been somewhat depressing on that front.
I am considering doing champagne and maybe cordials that can be added to the gormet hotchocolates and coffees we are going to do. (I LOVE hotchocolate and coffee–if you ever get the chance to try a salted caramel hot chocolate it is really nifty!) That way I am not completely excluding guests who drink and I think it will go over better with the uber religious who would have issues with say vodka shots or whatever.
Ironically enough the reason we are doing a morning thing is because my Fiance wanted a really laid back reception pot luck kind of thing with moonshine (his family brews their own) in his parents 3 acre back yard.
I could see my grandmother’s face… We get married in a castle with a cathedral train and veil…and then go to a potluck bonfire and get grass stains on the dress. So we reached a compromise, more formal reception in the morning for everybody and all out party that night back at his family home (I expect my more stuffy relatives to bow out on that one) And I gave my Fiance the all clear for whatever bar he wants to host.
Thanks for the warning about people spiking their own drinks btw–that hadn’t crossed my mind but now that I think of it I know at least 3 who would bring the supplies to do it and get me into all kinds of trouble with my caterer!
Post # 9
galandrien, that sounds like the perfect set up. And in December the coffee and hot chocolate station for your formal reception sound fantastic. You can’t go wrong.
Post # 10
I come from a family of drinkers… not alcoholics, but we drink… and any kind of party w/o drinks is not a party. His side too…
I feel the reception is all about the guests… a reflection of the couple, yes, but it’s about them. So, to me alcohol is a must and receptions w/o at least the avalibility is lame. If someone wants to drink, then it should be made avalible to them… just b/c there is alcohol… doesn’t mean your guests have to drink it… maybe no one would, but it was at least an option. I like the idea of some daytime signiture drink.
Post # 11
Your idea of doing cordials in hot drinks and champagne is great. My sister had a brunch reception and offered a full open bar, but not that many people took advantage of it.
Post # 12
I love your compromise. Offering a cordial is NOT the same as offering vodka shots and martinis.
The only time I know people drink heavy that early is a) st patty’s day and b) on the lake/vacation/vegas/etc. Not a wedding
Post # 13
I want to have a dry reception, and it will probably be evening time. We don’t drink, and I don’t want to "force my beliefs" on anyone either, but in that same respect, no one should force their beliefs on me! So, I think its fine. And I love the coffee/hot chocolate bar idea!
Post # 14
We’re doing a dry reception, mainly to save $$$ but also to respect his family. I don’t think its lame at all! It is what you make it. As long as you have a great DJ or awesome iPod set up…you’ll be good! For one of my friend’s upcoming weddings, she’s having it in the afternoon and having a lemonade bar with all different flavors. How cute is that?!
Post # 15
I think the cordials and champagne option is a great idea, like another bee said, many people may try to sneak in booze otherwise and that might end badly. I love the idea of a coffee/hot chocolate bar!
Post # 16
Personally, as somebody who doesn’t drink (much), I wouldn’t really notice it. =) There was an open bar at the last wedding I went to, and I didn’t touch it.
Besides, it’s BRUNCH. Do people really need booze at BRUNCH?!