‘Why I want to have an alcohol-free wedding.’

I have a wedding coming up for a family member and while I’m really looking forward to it, I’m a bit nervous. There are quite a few family feuds going on and I can imagine the couple’s attempts to do a seating chart looks a bit like The Red Wedding on Game of Thrones.

The only comfort is that both sides are as bad as each other so it’s not like someone’s family is more problematic than the other one.

Each is it’s own brand of crazy.

With that in mind, and my own nervousness being taken into consideration, I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to serve alcohol at this wedding. I’m not a drinker but even I’ve been tempted to knock back a couple of shots of “liquid courage” just to get me through this one.

But what if it makes me too relaxed, too confident and too talkative?

In the movie The Wedding Singer, drunk best man and brother of the groom Dave reveals a little too much during his toast. Courtesy of New Line Cinema. Article continues after this video.

Even if I turn out to be a happy drunk intent on hugging my enemies and spreading love, in a situation such as this one it is likely to create more problems. Then there could be some angry drunks … I shiver at the thought of how this particular wedding will end up.


It turns out I’m not the first one to consider a “dry wedding” and it’s not just family feuds leading couples to stick to non-alcoholic beverages at weddings. It’s also the cost. I stumbled across this post on a wedding discussion board at the website Wedding Bee. This couple is having an afternoon wedding and wondering if they can get away with not serving grog.

So my fiance and I have been wedding planing like crazy and we are trying to decide if we really want alcohol at our wedding. The majority of his family can and will drink a TON, and things can escalate quickly. Meanwhile my family is fine without. What are your feelings on a dry wedding? We are aiming for a early afternoon wedding, small (50 people, mainly family). Like I said, the driving for is that his side of the family cant always handle alcohol. Plus it can save money


There was a lot of support, with people suggesting that because it was an afternoon not evening wedding they could get away with it and that a few delicious mocktails might soften the blow.

Another suggested still serving champagne for toasts.

If it’s an afternoon wedding I can’t imagine anyone would be disappointed.  Maybe including a champagne toast would be nice – no one can go overboard with one glass of champagne!

Although someone else suggested this may be confusing for guests who upon being served champagne may wonder where the rest of the alcohol was being kept.

The consensus on website Wedding Bee seems to be that alcohol-free weddings are just rude. Image: The Wedding Singer, New Line Cinema

The consensus, however, is that alcohol-free weddings are just plain rude, like not giving guests a proper meal or assuming wedding cake is an adequate dessert.

I attended my first dry wedding a few weeks ago. Not a fan.

And then this, which goes to the heart of why I don't want alcohol and this particular wedding.

And please stop using the excuse that it is because other people can’t handle their alcohol as to why you are not having it.  You should not be trying to control adults.  If they get drunk and act crazy that is on them.  Your real reason is that you just don’t want to host it because you don’t want to have to pay for it which is perfectly reasonable and understandable.

I am assuming that by not serving alcohol I can control the behaviour of other adults. I'm guessing that the only altercations that will occur will be as a result of alcohol. If people are going to fight, they are going to fight. If people are going to go out of their way to avoid each other, then it's going to happen, regardless of how much they've had to drink.

Most Wedding Bee users suggest at least champagne for toasts at otherwise "dry weddings". Image: The Wedding Singer, New Line Cinema

Also most guests wait until after the formalities are over before they start smashing them back so perhaps the key to surviving this wedding mentally and physically intact is to make an early exit, which is a bit rude, so perhaps sitting in the corner and trying to mind my own business is the second-best option.

Some Wedding Bee users who did have dry weddings said it turned out okay, with most of the complaining happening ahead of the event.

I had a dry wedding. We wanted champagne to toast, but the venue actually didn’t allow it. A few people were disappointed, but no one cared that much.

DH’s family did this, twice in a row. They are not religious or alcoholics or anything that would prohibit alcohol, it’s just not important to them. One of the venues did not allow alcohol, the other one–the bride and groom just did not offer it. It’s fine if you do not offer alcohol, it’s your party. But don’t expect people to stay for hours on a Saturday night without it.

You can totally have a dry wedding. My sister did and it was great! It’s didn’t last last into the night and there wasn’t a lot of dancing, but it was really nice. I think a glass of champagne for everyone during the toast  and non-alcohlic drink the rest of the night would be a great solution for you!!!

My fiance and I don’t drink. My side of the family doesn’t really drink either. His side of the family are heavy drinkers and have been known to cause drunken drama at get-togethers. We’re not having any alcohol at the reception. A few of his family members have complained but they really don’t have to come. It’s our wedding, our decision.

Alcohol is definitely being served at the wedding I'll be attending, despite my feeble suggestion that it may not turn out to be such a good idea. Her wedding choice. I suppose if I spot anyone stumbling over to have a word with me I can always hide under the table, spend an hour or so in the bathroom or sit in the car until I receive an all-clear text from my husband.

I've never been so close to drinking in my life - liquid courage - but may have to fall back on acting like a mature adult instead. It's time to face the music, so to speak, and do my best to thoroughly enjoy this wedding.


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