Post # 1
We had our reception at a restaurant and paid for everything except booze (mother’s an alcoholic and I did NOT want to enable her). A few cousins purchased glasses of wine, but other than that, it wasn’t a big thing. Next year, we’re planning on going totally dry because Darling Husband and I don’t want to be in a room with close to 100 of our nearest and dearest…all getting relatively tipsy.
So, for those who had dry receptions…How did it go? Was there any sort of complaining, or did guests hardly notice? If you’re planning one, do you expect any conflict?
Post # 3
@Mrs Grape: I think our guests will be fine, but we live in a rural, conservative, Southern Baptist-ified area where we’d have a LOT more people offended if we didn’t have a dry wedding (in a church), including most people over 50 in either of our families 😛 That cultural context makes a biiiiiiiiig difference in how alcohol at receptions is received here.
Post # 4
Neither my SO nor I (nor my parents for that matter) drink. So having a dry reception is a no-brainer. People will expect it from us I’m sure.
Post # 5
We made sure to spread the word (by mouth) ahead of time, and heard almost no complaints. One friend was like, “Yeah, my bf asked if there would be alcohol and I said I wasn’t sure, and he said he wouldn’t dance if there wasn’t.” My response? “Oh, it’s cool, he can bring a flask as long as he’s discrete.” And he did dance, no complaints on the night of.
Post # 6
My fella and I rarely drink, however, both our families can really put it away! We thought maybe Champagne for toasting, then after that, non-alcoholic wine and beer all round.
Mostly so we can have a good giggle at everyone staggering out of the venue at the end of the night when we know they’re stone cold sober!
Post # 7
@BlueRidgeMere: That’s how our area is, minus the rural part. My sister had alcohol at her wedding, and some family members left early because they were offended by it. I’m having alcohol at mine because the package is pretty cheap at our venue, but it’s just not that big of a deal in our social group.
Post # 8
Keep in mind that if guests don’t complain to you, it doesn’t mean that they were necessarily happy that it was a dry wedding. I am never happy to attend a dry wedding, but I would never dream of complaining to the bride/groom/hosts about it (or complaining to someone that would relay the message to them). That would be rude.
That said, it’s your wedding and do what you want! Your decisions are never going to satisfy everyone in attendance.
Post # 9
We just got married in September, and we struggled with whether or not to have alcohol at our reception. My fiance’s family is So Baptist, so they weren’t really into it, but there are always open bars at weddings in the town we got married in.
We opted to purchase a case of wine and then we did a lemonade stand. The caterer brought in lemonade in cute drink decanters and had different flavored syrups and fruit garnishes for guests to make their own “cocktails.” We weren’t sure how that would be received, but it was a HIT. So much so, that we only went through 4 bottles of wine the whole evening….everyone was so busy creating their own lemonades that they didn’t even miss the alcohol. And, the best part was that the caterer included it as part of their regular soft drink price package, so it was very cost effective!
Post # 10
@xmasbby78: Okay, that sounds awesome 😀 And now I’m craving lemonade!
Post # 11
@doingathing: Agree with this completely. I would never ever say anything to the bride and groom but I wouldn’t be the happiest guest!
Post # 12
I also grew up in the bible belt, and it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I even realized that some people DON’T have dry receptions. All the dry receptions I’ve been to have been fine…lots of talking and laughing and joy for the couple. Give people some fun things to do, and don’t worry about it.
And, of note….the fact that we are serving alcohol is making some of my family VERY angry, and my grandmother isn’t even going to come to the reception. So know that you will never please anyone 🙁
Post # 13
I think it’s fine, don’t let anyone get to you. I think there will be a few people complaining at my reception but I don’t care enough to reply to them!
Post # 14
I think our guests would be more unhappy if they had to witness an overload of drunk-crazy at the reception, haha.
Post # 15
We had punch and a coffee bar at our simple little reception immediately after the wedding. We had no complaints. However we did have beer at the pig roast the next day. Darling Husband and I do not drink alcohol.
Post # 16
My cousin had a dry wedding and there was quite a bit of complaining beforehand. I think his brothers brought flasks. On the day of, though, everything seemed to flow smoothly and 3 years later they’re married with a baby and it really doesn’t matter that they had a dry wedding 🙂