Post # 1
When we first got engaged, everyone asked if we were going to have an open bar. We said yes, because it’s pretty cheap at our venue and we wanted to make everyone (including FI) happy and for everyone to have a good time.
In December, though, we found out that my dad has been an alcoholic for three years and we never knew it. We knew he was moody and kind of mean when he used to not be, but he’s had health problems and we figured it was just that. Basically, he hit rock bottom one night and my parents’ marriage almost ended. It’s been a long journey, but we’re moving forward together as a family. My parents’ marriage has healed, but she still wants to know where he’s at, and doesn’t completely trust him.
A couple weeks ago, she asked me how I would feel about not having alcohol at the wedding. I told her not so great, but we talked about it, and I can see where she’s coming from. I should also say that she and my dad are paying for the wedding. Basically, she doesn’t trust him to not slip off to the bathroom with a drink, and she would be worrying the whole time. She also thinks that dad won’t be able to have fun, because it will be the first event where he’s around alcohol, and we’re worried it might stress him out.
Anyway, so we’re comfortable with the decision to not have alcohol. But now I dont’ know how to tell the groomsmen. I don’t really want to just straight up tell them about my family problems, because while I consider them friends, we’re not that tight. We are planning on having a low-key after party in our apartment since it’s an afternoon wedding, so we’ll provide alcohol for them there. Does anyone have any advice on how to approach the situation? I’m at a loss…
Post # 3
i’m so sorry you have to deal with this! just tell the groomsmen that they’re welcome to drink before and after the wedding, but due to various circumstances, there will be no alcohol available. you could even lie and say it’s based on your budget.
on another note, have you and your mom considered al-anon? it’s a great support system for the families of alcoholics.
Post # 4
Since it sounds like you and Fi are united on the decision – what about having him tell them?
You could let them know that based on some issues with alcohol recovery, you’ve decided to not serve. You don’t have to say it’s your dad – just say it’s in the best interest of those that are struggling with it and leave it be.
You could then springboard to saying you want to have their favorite drinks available pre-wedding and to ask what those are. That might be a good way to change the subject and just state the facts!
If they whine about it – just say you understand but that’s the decision you had to make and leave it be.
Edit: be prepared to see some flasks at the wedding – in all the dry weddings I’ve been to – I’ve seen people with their own stash.
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice :). I did already tell them how cheap the venue’s alcohol was because I was happily surprised, but maybe I’ll go with the various concerns thing?
My dad invited my mom to one of his meetings where there are family members, but she hasn’t decided whether or not she’s going to go with him. Since he hid it so successfully for so long, it’s kind of just this one big black spot in our lives. I’ll talk to mom about it, though.
@oracle: We definitely don’t mind if they bring flasks as long as they hide them well :). I really like your idea of telling them about the after party and switching the subject, we’re definitely going to have to do that. I think Fiance and I are probably going to tell them together for some support.
Post # 6
To me, I don’t think you owe an explanation. It would be different if this was a one sided decision, but you and your Fiance both agreeded on it. Just simple state that there will be no alcohol at the wedding, but do inform your Bridal Party that drinks will be there before and after the wedding.
At my friends wedding, they didn’t have alcohol b/c her grandmother is 100% against drinking, so to avoid the granny drama, the Groomsmen & Bridesmaid or Best Man all had a little pre-party while getting ready, and then their after party had drinks. Even though we all knew the reason, everyone understood 🙂
Post # 7
I tend to agree with AnnieAAA that you don’t really owe anyone an explanation…..but, if you did not want to tell them the truth, and you were ok with a “little white lie,” why not be a bit vague but say it has to do with the venue’s alcohol liability insurance “stuff” ?
Post # 8
It’s the first wedding in the group that was supposed to have alcohol and people keep talking about how exciting it is . I kind of feel guilty about it, even though their fun doesn’t take priority on this one. I guess I don’t really owe them an explanation, but they would probably ask about it…
Post # 9
Don’t feel guilty, it’s your wedding. It’s not like the guests can’t drink any other day. You could invite the Groomsmen out for an after party if you’re really concerned they will react negatively.
I like the vague “alcohol liability insurance stuff” mentioned by PP.
Post # 10
If anyone asks just tell them what you’re comfortable with, whether it’s that there was a misunderstanding (which there was, even if it wasn’t with the venue), or that there are some people that are in recovery and that you don’t mind if people drink elsewhere but you just want to make sure all your guests have a safe and comfortable time. Maybe let people know that there is no longer an open bar, though, so they can bring cash if they do want to purchase drinks elsewhere before.
Post # 11
i also agree with those who posted that it really doesnt need an explanation but i also see where you are in a position where you feel like you should explain someTHING about it…if anything- just simply say for various reasons you arent having alc at the reception but def before and afterwards. you may think it will give ppl reasons to complain and yadayadayada…but if its your family and friends, chances are they wont push the issue and be content with drinking before and after. also- since you said its an afternoon wededing, they have the whole night to drink at ur apt! dont stress it- the main idea is that you and ur Fiance are both on board! that’s much better than him feeling diff about it!
Post # 12
While I agree you don’t OWE anyone an explanation, going from “hell yeah, we’re having an open bar it’s super cheap!!” to “we’re having a dry wedding” is going to result in some questions and speculation; that’s just reality. I think it would actually cause MORE drama to not offer up any explanation at all than to just offer up a vague version of the truth.
I agree with the previous poster that you should just let them know that you won’t be serving alcohol at the wedding due to recovery issues, but that they’re welcome to bring a flask (discreetly, of course) and there will be alcohol available to those who want it both before and after the wedding.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, it’s got to be rough.
Post # 13
Thanks. You’re definitely right, there would be a ton of questions. I’ve told my Maid/Matron of Honor because she was with me when I found out, but not even my other BMs know, including my cousin. We haven’t told hardly anyone at all, and so it’s just going to be a little awkward to finally open up and tell people anything at all about it.
I’m just going to put on my big girl panties and I think we’ll tell them in a couple weeks when we have a get-togehter.
Thanks for all the support and advice, ladies. This is why you’re all so awesome :).
Post # 14
@jo.lee: Please look up alanon. It’s important for your family at this point, especially your mom.
Post # 15
I just wanted to give everyone an update :). Fiance told a group of the gms last night that there wouldn’t be alcohol, and one of them asked if it was family problems and Fiance just said yeah. We told them they could have flasks if they’re sneaky about it, and they’re completely okay with it.
Thanks for all the support and bee love :).