(Closed) Why is alcohol necessary at a wedding?

posted 11 years ago in Food
Post # 47
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Honestly, I think the only thing that has to be at a wedding are two people getting married. The rest is up for grabs.

🙂

Post # 48
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I don’t think it’s necessary (in fact, I’m considering having a dry reception, and if we do have booze, it won’t be free-flowing!)…but frankly, some people will want to drink. And that’s where a cash bar comes in; if they want to drink, they can pay — just like in a normal bar. And if they don’t want to drink, or just don’t want to pay, then fine. They can either bring their own drinks, or they can go without for a night.

That said, I do agree that a heads-up should be given, just because so many people do expect booze at a wedding. Silly, maybe, but true. 

Post # 49
Member
3331 posts
Sugar bee

Honestly, I’ve never been to a wedding without alcohol.  In my family, maybe it’s cultural (we’re Italian), but pretty much every family event has alcohol of some sort.  My husband suggested cutting alcohol all together, but instead we decided to just do beer/wine. 

Personally, I would be surprised if I went to a wedding without alcohol, but I could handle it.  However, it might be nice to know ahead of time, just so I knew what to expect.  I do think that certain times of the day (i.e. brunch) lend themselves better to having a dry event.  We had an evening dinner reception with lots of dancing, so I just felt like we needed to give people the option.  

Post # 50
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

What an interesting post…and quite a variety of responses.

My feeling is that having alcohol is kind of what is broadly socially expected…though obviously there are regional and cultural differences.  I’m going to guess no one expects alcohol at a Muslim or Mormon wedding, say. 

Given that, you might ask the question, "Why is a meal necessary at a wedding?".  I don’t think it’s necessary, but it’s often expected.  And you would alert people otherwise (e.g. "Cocktail reception to follow").  If your budget allows and you don’t have an objection, I think it’s odd to choose otherwise. 

I think this gets at the heart of what often makes wedding planning stressful.  It’s hard to strike the balance between making your guests happy and remaining true to planning an event that expresses who you are.  Few parties that you will plan will ever be as personal as your wedding, so it’s really hard to decide where to draw the line sometimes.

 

Post # 51
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2009

It definitely depends on your crowd, but if you have no alcohol a lot of people won’t stay as long. Which can be helpful if you are cutting costs. People tend to dance more when there is alcohol. I tend to perceive them as more fun, but I like drinking. Part of my decision to have an open bar was that most of our guests will be coming from out of town, and I want it to really feel like a party. But, I completely respect people who don’t wish to have alcohol, and I think good food and good company (and chocolate) make for a wonderful party!

Post # 52
Member
76 posts
Worker bee

I too find it odd that people seem to get so upset over it. I just don’t understand why some people seem to react as though someone not serving alcohol is a personal insult to every guest. I guess I don’t see it as an essential item, but apparently some people do.

Post # 53
Member
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I completely agree with what Bamboo and Amandopolis are saying. The decision of whether or not to have alcohol should be a decision made by the bride and groom based on their own beliefs and preference with their guests taken into account. I don’t think having alcohol served is wrong or bad, but it really annoys me when people say you must have alcohol of some sort no matter what in every case. 

We had an late afternoon/evening wedding with no alchohol and we didn’t feel the need to notify people beforehand. Frankly, we would have needed to notify some people if we WERE having alcohol. First off, my husband and I hardly ever drink, which everyone who knows us knows, and the same goes for 90% of our guests. The other 10% aren’t heavy drinkers by any means and not the type to go complaining if they have to go without for a few hours. Granted, our wedding did not turn into a big dance party, but there were plenty of people out there dancing, everyone seemed to have a great time, and we had very few people leave early.

What about when the bride and groom are under 21? Is it rude of them not to serve alcohol?

That being said, I’ve also been to a wedding where everyone drank, including parents, grandparents, everyone and I know that a bar of some sort would be expected in that case. I just don’t like when people say every single wedding needs alcohol to be enjoyable and anything less is rude.

To the few people who suggest that you at least have a cash bar even if most people don’t drink just to appease the few who do I’d like to ask you who is footing the bill for the $150+/hr bartender? Why would I pay that much money so a couple people can have a drink? In my case that money would be much better spent upgrading the food for everyone to enjoy.

Post # 54
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Alcohol is never required at a wedding. We are not having any at all. We are having punch and a coffee bar. Anyone who knows us knows we do not drink.

Post # 55
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

It’s never required. It’s nice to have but it is not required. Some people unforunately claim they are not able to enjoy themselves without it for even a couple hours. That type of person is typically considered an alcohol-dependant. Lots of people don’t have alcohol at their weddings and their guests don’t miss it. If their guests do “miss” it, then they usually enough tact and sense to wait until after the reception is over to relieve that desire (it’s not a need even though some people say it is). Certain venues such as churches don’t even allow it so that negates that argument. If someone is a recovering alcoholic, underage, or has religious beliefs that consider alcohol to be a sin (even though the Bible doesn’t say it’s a sin – Jesus and everyone else drank alcohol because regular drinking water was not found there – but drunkenness is a sin and those are two completely different things, contrary to popular belief), then it would be out of place to see alcohol served as a temptation to those folks. If someone still thinks that is not good enough reason (and yes they do exist), then that person who is complaining needs to check into AA or get some other kind of help for their issues on their own time. If someone is that upset over no alcohol, they do have the option of staying home because they obviously are not there to celebrate the couple’s union but rather are there only for the free drinks.

Post # 56
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2009

My fella is not of drinking age and his entire family is LDS. While I’m a social drinker, as are many of our friends, out of respect we won’t be having drinks at the reception.

The afterparty, however, will hopefully be a different story.

Post # 57
Member
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

My twin sister had a dry reception in the afternoon and served finger foods and snacks.  The reception was over within an hour but everyone had a great time.

My wedding is at 4:30 with a 5pm reception following with dinner, alcohol, and music.  None of my guests cared what we do of course, but when they find out it’s going to be a "party" after the wedding most of my guests have been excited and as a result chose to stay for the entire reception (til 9pm) and get a hotel room rather than driving home afterward (2 hours for many).

Sure the wedding would be fun either way, but it would be a very different wedding without alcohol.  My sister had a great time at her wedding and I will have a great time at my wedding.

I’ve been rather shocked through this whole wedding process about how much is "supposed" to be done to please your guests rather than making my wedding a reflection of my Fiance and I.  We like alcohol and we’ll serve alcohol – that’s all there is to it.  Well and the fact that we found an affordable venue and are having a small wedding to accommodate alcohol in our the budget.  If for some reason we felt compelled to invite 200 guests then we would probably just have a kickin after party instead and a dry or cash bar reception.

Post # 58
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I’m on board with those who say that alcohol is never required. There are minimum standards to be met when you’re throwing a reception: basic food, basic beverage, and seating. Alcohol might be high on many peoples’ lists, but it’s not a necessity. You may get better “results” if you serve it somehow (more dancing, talking, partying), and your average guest may be happier if you do—but it’s still up to the bride and groom’s personal preferences. As a party hostess, if I had a difficult time being around alcohol, I would rather have a shorter, less-dancing party than to have a longer one where I wasn’t comfortable. That would be my choice. Others would choose differently, and that choice is their right and I would respect that.

Drinking can be fun, but it’s not a right. To offer someone no alcohol for the span of a few hours is not treating them like a child, either. I think it’s childish and ungrateful for guests to complain about the party to which they’ve been invited.

You might cave in and serve alcohol to save yourself from the whining, but that doesn’t make the complainers right. I say under most circumstances that alcohol is not required but suggested.

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