(Closed) Thoughts on a dry wedding?

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
Member
836 posts
Busy bee

If you are having an early day wedding as you’ve described, I don’t think alcohol is necessary. I think most people prefer a wedding to have alcohol when it is a “dinner and dancing” type event (which I agree with). Unless you have a really, really extroverted and energetic crowd, I wouldn’t assume that it isn’t going to be a very “happening” party, but it’s your wedding. I have gone to several dry afternoon and brunch weddings and I’ve never even missed it. 

Post # 17
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I actually attended a “dry” wedding a few months ago. The bride was 18 and the groom was 19 (we are from Ontario so the drinking age is 19). Since the bride was underage, most of the family members were quire religious and they were also under a tight budget, they decided on a dry wedding. When I was invited and found out there would be no drinking, my first thought was “OMG WHHYYYY” (I’m 25, been legal to drink forever now, every wedding I had ever been to included drinking) but let me tell you, this wedding was THE MOST FUN wedding I have ever been to. I guess since most of the guests were either underage or didn’t drink often, they knew how to have a good time without getting wasted. 

I say if you can’t afford it or don’t believe you need it, don’t feel like you need to be forced into it! 

Post # 18
Member
1310 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Like others have mentioned, you know your guests, so you probably have a better idea of how people would react or how much they would care. For us, it was one of the most important parts of our celebration as my husband and I are both big craft beer people and so are a majority of our friends. We did a small intimate wedding with 25 people, just family, and had open bar. Then the next night we went to a tap house that our friend owns with all our friends and family, but alcohol was a big part of both nights.

Post # 19
Member
2870 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Heck, you can toast with whatever you want. Grape juice, soda, it all works for your day. I’ve been to one dry wedding. It seemed to go fine, but there was still some family members sneaking liquor in the parking lot. If you are okay with your guests doing that, then you should be fine.

Post # 20
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I went to one wedding that was dry. They really made any sort of juice available. Orange, prune, apple, you name they had it.  They also had a mocktail recipes.

You are young so you have to realize that if you gut is telling you to not serve alcohol. Dont serve it. If your parents get upset, they will get upset with other things you do (not giving the kids piano lessons,  not coming home for christmas).  It will be good practice for setting your limits on other issues when the time comes. 

Post # 21
Hostess
3933 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

catgela:  I’ve been to weddings that were dry, though regionally, it is much more common to do an open bar.  No one danced at two of the dry weddings, and I think just the bride, groom, and a few kids danced at the other one.  The dance floor was packed for the open/limited bar receptions and I personally had way more fun at those, even though I’m not a big drinker.  The vibe is much more jovial; the difference was very noticeable even though many of these weddings were family weddings (ie same guests).  Even as a Bridesmaid or Best Man I peaced out right after the cake at dry weddings.  There just isn’t a lot going on. 

That being said, you know your guests better than we do.  One of my cousins married a Morman so his side was against drinking and dancing.  Some of my extended family is very religious and was completely fine with the lack of alcohol, while the rest were bored and left early. 

Post # 22
Member
3221 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I wouldn’t necessarily expect much for food or beverage at a reception starting in the early afternoon and finishing at 7:00.  

I’m going to assume you are in somewhere like BC or Ontario. If er either province is like Alberta, you may find there are different licenses for resale (cash bar) vs host bar which make life cheaper. What if all you had available was sparkling wine for toasts etc? Would that limit your insurance risk and bring down the cost? it may be worth a phone call.

If you can swing just champagne, I would almost lean that way. A bottle on each table in an ice bucket for when people want to toast? TBH, most people don’t like sparkling wine so you wouldn’t need a whole lot, and any one who is so desperate for a drink they would be disappointed to not be buzzed can make do with the toasting leftovers.

Post # 23
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2015

The option of alcohol is nice. Doesn’t have to be a lot, doesn’t have to be in your face, could even be a cash bar if you’re concerned about cost. Lots of inoffensive ways to have alcohol. I’m not a huge drinker but I find most people like a cocktail before busting out their dance moves. With that said, like all the over bee’s, your crowd, your party. These are your people and you know them best, perhaps more importantly, you know yourself best. You get married once, do what will make you happy.

Post # 24
Member
49 posts
Newbee

catgela:  I just went to a dry weeding last week and had a blast. Everyone knew the couple didn’t drink and understood why they didn’t want it as part of their celebration. People who love you and want to celebrate your union should respect your decision.  

Post # 25
Member
1352 posts
Bumble bee

Really depends on your crowd. Our guests just assume that we’re having an open bar (we are) – I know they would be very, very disappointed if it were a dry wedding. That said, I’m sure they would still attend and not make a big deal out of it.

Post # 26
Member
2176 posts
Buzzing bee

You don’t have to alcohol, a dry wedding is easier on your budget and it sounds like it will be a lot of fun with all the music. 

Another thought is to get a few bottles of wine and put them on their own small table with wine glasses, if the venue allows. Ask your parents or someone you know will drink to open a few bottles when its appropriate so the people who want wine can get some, the people that dont want any don’t have to get some, and you elminate the need for a bartender. I think this is a reasonable solution. You can get wine by the case with is cheaper than by the bottle. If I was a guest, I would not be offended by this at all. This way when the toasts are being done if someone wants to toast with a little wine they can or they can use whatever drink they have. 

It depends on what kind of event you are having. This is just one way of avoiding some of the cost and still providing a good evening for your guests. Good luck!

Post # 27
Member
1780 posts
Buzzing bee

Since your wedding is only 4-7pm… ok, honestly I would expect a very low-key event without a party atmosphere, so I probably wouldn’t expect alcohol or much dancing or any wild fun. To some people dry weddings are nice and great and happy- but I guess I’m part of your parents’ generation haha, and I bet you all of them take off to the bar at 6pm. We like to celebrate with alcohol and let loose.

Post # 28
Member
1319 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

catgela:  We had a dry wedding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our wedding was brunch-style though around noon so alcohol wasn’t entirely expected. The guests who were likely to have issues with not getting a real drink were informed ahead of time. It was a good decision for us. Darling Husband and I really don’t drink (we just don’t really enjoy the taste), and it wasn’t worth the extra money for people to act stupid (some of our family members get a little rowdy after a couple drinks…..*cough MIL*…)

Post # 29
Member
3064 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

catgela:  In m region anything outside of an open bar is a no no but I think for your circumstance it makes sense. And you are ending it early so more power to you. Do what works for your budget, it sounds like a major hassel to get booze anyway!!!

Post # 30
Member
13787 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

In my social circle, a dry wedding is taboo and just not done.  Even a cash bar is looked down upon, to be honest.  Only you and your Fiance know your guests, though, so if the two of you are okay with it, then go with what you want.

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