No alcohol at reception?

posted 3 months ago in Reception
Post # 61
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

rosemaryandthyme :  Like so many things wedding-related, I think this is certainly a know your crowd thing.  If your social circle/family is used to having alcohol at weddings and you chose not to because of budget reasons, it could mean that your crowd leaves early and you’re not going to have the party atmosphere you expect.  If you have an early afternoon or brunch wedding, then I think it’s fine not to have alcohol, but a Saturday evening reception gives off a different vibe.

I don’t drink much and my husband chose in college not to drink at all after his best friend killed himself while driving drunk.  But we still have alcohol in our home for when guests come over and we chose to have a full open bar at our reception because that’s what our guests expect.  We don’t have any raging alcoholics and didn’t have anyone get sloppy drunk.  Since we had our reception on a Saturday evening, it would have been very different had we had a dry wedding.

I think the Bees are being very honest with their experiences.  Alcohol is different than food.  For the vast majority of people, alcohol is expected.  That doesn’t mean you have to have a top shelf bar.  Even beer and wine are fine if you’re on a budget.

Post # 62
Member
893 posts
Busy bee

I agree with some of the other posts, if you want a dry wedding, definately do a bunch. I don’t know many people that would drink that early in the day, if any. 

Post # 63
Member
1102 posts
Bumble bee

sunnierdaysahead2 :  Why is alcohol any more expected than say, red meat or another animal protien source?

Post # 64
Member
5193 posts
Bee Keeper

I guess I’m weird, I’d be fine with a dry wedding.  You can have fun without drinking…

Post # 65
Member
2143 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

People are going to have a ton of opinions on this topic, most will say you still need to have it because people expect it as part of the party. Which I totally get! I would suggest keeping it simple with at least wine on the tables and bottled beer. 

 

Post # 66
Member
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

bywater :  I can’t answer for anyone else’s crowd, but with my friends and family, it’s expected as it loosens people up.  I don’t know psychologically or physicologically why alcohol is “needed” (OK, physicologically it lowers your inhibitions, that part I do know) for big social gatherings, but it seems to be a consensus that it is.

Post # 67
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

I definitely think this is up to you and your crowd – a lot of people are passionate about this topic (as evidenced above lol), but at the end of the day, if your guests won’t miss having alcohol there then you’re good. I do want to throw in my perspective though:

I have been to one dry wedding. A good portion of the guests, myself included, spent a lot of the night in the parking lot, essentially tailgating this wedding. We brought beer and liquor in coolers and drank outside. I’m now like 10 years older and realize this was a dick move, but I think that behavior is to be expected when you’re not serving alcohol to a crowd that’s used to drinking at weddings.

I find it so interesting to see where people’s proiorities are in wedding planning – it’s one of the reasons why I love thise site so much! For example, we’re doing a full open bar because that’s one of our biggest priorities. We’ll probably forgo flowers because that’s just meh for us.

Post # 68
Member
6168 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

bywater :  I’m certainly not saying the only way to have fun is alochol. Neither DH nor I drink, and I have plenty of fun. You’re picking apart my post and only hearing what you want to hear. My comment to you was in reply to you comparing a dry wedding to a vegan wedding. Can people suck it up and eat food they don’t like? Of course. Just like they can suck it up and attend a dry wedding. In both cases, the odds of people leaving early to go get food or out of boredom are much higher.

If the OP envisions a low-key wedding that either happens during the day or ends early, she’s going to be totally fine hosting a dry wedding. If she envisions a late night party with lots of dancing, she’s likely going to be dissapointed. Is it completely possible to have a rockin’ late night reception with no alcohol? Yes, I guess it is. But I’m saying that my exeperience as a wedding photographer is that it rarely happens. I shoot more weddings in one year than the average person attends in a lifetime, and in my 10+ years shooting weddings I’ve *never* had a blowout rockin reception that was dry. Literally every.single.one. ended before 9pm and consisted of mostly people just hanging out talking. Even those couples who WANT a party/dancing reception are generally dissapointed when they realize their guests are not getting out of their seats, and ultimately leave early.

The OP knows her guests, we don’t. If the majority of her guests are not drinkers they probably won’t miss it and it will be a non-issue. If her guests are all drinkers and she doesn’t provide alcohol, she should expect they probably won’t stick around long after dinner.

Post # 69
Member
596 posts
Busy bee

I personally prefer get togethers with no alcohol beause I consider drunk people to be a real damper on my fun, so I leave once people start to get drunk. Most all weddings I’ve been to were onces where alchohol wasn’t allowed so I don’t think anything of a dry wedding. A lot of people get into accidents after leaving weddings so I understand the concern. As it is, most people expect alcohol at weddings so maybe having it available for a few toasts could work and switch to beverages with no alcohol after that. I think there can be a balance, you don’t have to have alchohol all night long to the point where most all guests are passed out drunk.

Post # 70
Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee

Depends on your crowd, but most likely the reception is to thank your guests for coming so I would serve a few bottles of wine for each table and enough beer and call it a day. They still get some drinks in, but won’t be too drunk where they will embarass themselves.

Post # 71
Member
4877 posts
Honey bee

dreamingofwater :  lol now I’m picturing a peacock coming out of the smoke to strut his stuff on the dance floor

I’m always surprised at how much importance people place on alcohol at weddings. FWIW DH and I are social drinkers- in fact he makes his own wine- and we had an open bar at our wedding BUT I would not get all bent out of shape or even disappointed if I went to an alcohol free wedding, I can have just as much fun drinking Diet Coke and after all, I’m there for the bride and groom not the booze.

Post # 72
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

The only alcohol at our wedding will be the champagne toast and that’s it. I really don’t care about guest expectations. It’s about cost and what’s best. We are paying for everything except the food (my parents gift to us). We know who can handle it and who can’t and it’s not worth risking it. If you want to drink there are places all around the venue to go to after the event. 

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