(Closed) How to handle alcohol at the wedding/ potentially embarrassing in-laws…

posted 6 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Someone not sharing your faith does not make them awful/embarrassing. Their faith is not something you need to “control”. For example, my being an athiest doesn’t make me out of control or out to ruin someone’s religious wedding.

I think they may not realize how deeply you are still grieving for your mother if they themselves have not had such a close person in their life die. Or, they may be trying to put on a happy face for you, since it is a celebration. My grandmother passed away 2 weeks before my wedding, and my family was deeply ensconced in the grieving process. My DH’s mother passed away 6 years before our wedding. We had a seat reserved for her with a photo of her holding my Darling Husband as a baby – and I laid my bouquet on the chair as a symbol of thanks to her for her wonderful son. My bouquet had a picture of my grandmother in a locket on it. There are ways to honor those we miss while still being happy and celebrating.

It also sounds as though you aren’t really communicating with them about your feelings and anxieties. How are they supposed to know that you are still sad about your mom on your wedding if you aren’t telling them? If pranks are a family tradition, they probably need to be told that it will hurt your feelings/cause problems. If you don’t do that, they will continue on with the status quo, which is perfectly acceptable in their own family.

Or, you could loosen up and take it to heart that your mother would have wanted nothing less for you than to have a wonderful, lighthearted, amazing wedding day. And loosen up a bit.

Post # 4
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Beer and wine is better than a dry reception (well at least for them). They will get over the fact that no hard liquor will be served.

You know, it wouldn’t hurt for your fiancé to step in here and have a ”casual” talk with the family. He can ask them not to prank, and they should respect both of your wishes. He can also mention that you have had a a lot on your plate, with the wedding and your mother passing and all, and that he is bringing it up because he wants to try and reduce your anxieties and such. 

Post # 5
3078 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’ll post this here too, since you made two threads for it


Since it is your FI’s side of the family, he is the one that needs to handle it and talk to them.  Having beer and wine only is a great start.  I think that’s what saved my wedding from getting out of control.  You have to remember that you can not control your guests.  If you are feeling that uncomfortable about it you might consider hiring a security guard or two to keep tabs on people.


Post # 6
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

First: I am very sorry about your mother. 🙁 They definately need to know that you are still hurting.

Secondly: Have you considered having a dry reception? Or maybe just some champaine for the toast? That might prevent them from getting drunk and out of control. But I think it would be best to have your Fiance call a family meeting and talk to his family about what you both expect of them on your wedding day. They dont have to share your beliefs to respect them. I can see how that would be stressful though. I think the only way to put your mind to ease is to have Fiance talk to them. I hope you get it sorted out! 🙂

Post # 7
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Have you considered giving out drinks tokens so that they have to pay for drinks after the first few? Or making them pay for all of their drinks after the meal has finished?

Post # 8
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I just wanted to say I have no real advice, but really feel for you.  We had beer and wine only for the same reason.  It’s a shame that you need to do that because people can’t behave.  Thankfully my Darling Husband laid down the law for his brothers and sisters and told them in no uncertain terms that they were not to act at our wedding how they’ve acted at other weddings (grinding, flashing, etc).  And no hard liquor helped (sad!).

Post # 9
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Your fiance needs to be the one to handle his family, honestly. I’m sorry that it has you so worried, and I can understand why — it sounds like their interpretation of a wedding celebration is not yours, even if you weren’t already having some issues with your mom’s passing.

But the other thing is that over the course of the marriage, you (and he) are going to need to take his family as they come, because believe me, you will not change them. I sincerely hope that they get with the program for the day, but they’re going to be part of your family in your married life as well — presuming that your husband still wants to be close to them (and if he doesn’t, that needs to be HIS decision and not yours).

Honestly, it seems like there are two issues here — you are still dealing with your grief, and you’re worried about your in-laws. It will be tough getting married without your mom there, but I’m sure that, while your mom would want to be remembered on such a special day, she wouldn’t want her absence to overshadow your joy. I’m not saying that you won’t miss her or that you shouldn’t miss her (even thinking about losing my mom is hard for me), but you might want to consider seeing a counselor to help you process your grief if you’re still at the point in your grieving process where your sadness might prevent you from truly experiencing the joy of the wedding.

Similarly, I COMPLETELY understand that you don’t want your in-laws to act like clowns…even if your mom was there to celebrate with you. But you must consider that, yes, for the majority of them it will be a celebration, pretty much untainted by your sense of loss. I’m guessing that most of them didn’t know your mom in any meaningful way. While of course they should be sensitive…they aren’t going to feel like you’re feeling, and it’s unrealistic to expect that they would.

If explaining that you’re still grieving will be enough to help keep the rowdiest of your in-laws in line, then your fiance should by all means use that tactic. You definitely have a right to expect sensitivity and classiness from them, but you can’t really expect them to be solemn about the wedding.

But, down to practical advice: if you’re having a hosted bar, let the bartender know about them in advance. They’re responsible if someone is overserved, so they’ll be watching too. If you’re not having a hosted bar, only get enough alcohol for people to have a reasonable amount of booze. If they bring flasks or something…you can’t control that.

And, drunk or sober, if they make fools of themselves, they are the ones who’ll be judged, not you guys.

Post # 10
16 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

Dry wedding! My Fiance and I are getting married at a place that does not allow alcohol which made it a very easy excuse not to have any.  We were already planning on having a dry wedding due to some very similar sounding family memebers that have a tendency to get out of control when they drink.  Everyone might say its lame that you don’t have alcohol but they will get over it!


One concern we do have is that these select people will bring there own alcohol and sneak it.  We have decided to ask a friend (someone we trust that isn’t in the bridal party) to act kind of like a bouncer.  Anyone that is caught drinking will be asked to leave.


Another benefit to having a dry wedding.. it’s CHEAPER! Alcohol is expensive! Even if you were having a cash bar you still need to pay the bartenders!


It’s your special day! You shouldn’t have to worry about it! Good luck! I’m sure your mom would be so proud of you!

Post # 11
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

We didnt have any spirits at our wedding- not because we were worried about guests drinking too much but more because it is wayyyyy to expensive. You could look into only having light beer as well if you dont want anyone to drink too heavy.

I think its your fiance place to talk to his family. Just mention that your wedding is a celebration of your marriage not a party to get wasted at (maybe a bit nicer than that). Maybe talk to your mother in law about her husband pulling a crazy prank and how that would really worry you.

Most of all just remember you are marrying into this family – even if their crazy! so try and be as kind as possible when bring this up. Also you cannot control everything at the wedding. At our wedding a few things when wrong like my flowers never got delieved and my Maid/Matron of Honor passed out during the ceremony but it was nothing major that ruined our day!

Just try and focus on being excited to marry the man you love 🙂

Post # 12
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother!

Last year a cousin of mine got married and my aunt had past away now 4 yrs ago and his bride’s father had passed away when she was a young girl. Her older brother proudly walked her down the aisle. Needless to say it was a very emotional wedding.

As a Christian I also have been troubled by the issue of alcohol for my Fiance and I are not big drinkers and its never been something important to us. I want everyone to have a good time and I know that is possible without alcohol involved, but I would still like to have a little something…ya know…. So we are going the route of providing wine to go with the meal then everything else is going to be a cash bar with a limited time of hard liquor available (still trying to decide if we want to cut hard liquor completely). Going this route as a young couple will save us lots of money, and in my thinking if people have to buy their drinks they will be less likely to drink in excess (hopefully)! Everyone likes to have a good time, but NO ONE likes the overly drunk person ruining the party.

Good luck!

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