Alexandria
Beginner March 2022

Alcohol...

Alexandria, on October 29, 2021 at 1:54 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 3 39
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I know a lot of people have alcohol at their weddings, but I'm really on the fence.


When my fiance and I started planning our wedding we started no alchohol because his great aunt and uncle are sober and since they are honoring us with the gift of their first wedding ring set, we felt it appropriate to honor them by having a dry wedding.
Recently my soon to be brother-in-law got married and had a BYOB wedding. And seeing everyone relaxed, having fun, and drinking made my fiance start to question our plan to have a dry wedding.
I still want to have a dry wedding as we are not big drinkers and neither is my family. My fiance wants to do BYOB since that saves us the cost of alcohol.
I said I would only consent to it if everyone brought their coolers to the bar before the wedding and no alcohol was present before dinner, and have it served by a bar tender so as to not have guests get to drunk.This way we could still have the time after the ceremony when we are taking pictures to spend with his great aunt and uncle. Since at his brother's wedding they left as soon as the ceremony was over because many people had been drinking since before it started.
I would much rather just not have it at all, but I understand compromise.
Is it fair to have the rule that guests who bring their own alcohol store it behind the bar, wait until dinner, and then be served by a bar tender so as to not have any guests who are to drunk?

39 Comments

Latest activity by Kari, on November 6, 2021 at 12:25 PM
  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
    • Flag

    I personally believe that if you're telling people to bring their own if they want it then you don't really get to have a say in what they do with the alcohol they bring. I'd be pretty upset if I took a couple of wine coolers to a BYOB party and was treated as though I needed to be "kept in line" by having to ask someone else to give them to me.

    If you don't want alcohol then have a dry wedding. If you want to make sure a bartender is in charge of drinks, then pay for beer and wine or something. I feel as though you're going to ruffle way more feathers in policing alcohol that people had to bring themselves than by just having a dry wedding.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    It is a disaster waiting to happen with bring your own alcohol. Unless this is a backyard wedding, you will not find a venue that allows it for liability reasons. Etiquette says don’t host a party and ask guests to bring their own food and/or drinks. Whatever you choose to and can afford to offer, you don’t and don’t serve anything else or request that of your guests.


    As a guest, I would prefer a dry wedding any day over bring your own alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, they are perfectly acceptable and not rude in the least. Sometimes having a dry wedding is preferable to other situations, if the couple and their guests don’t drink or they can’t afford it.
    If you want to serve alcohol, you need to provide it yourself. Find out if your venue will let you bring in alcohol on your dime from a local BevMo type warehouse which is cheaper than going through a caterer.
    A licensed bartender must be on site at all times to serve. For liability reasons or you will be responsible for anything that happens.
    • Reply
  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Completely agree with this
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree with this. I’d be pretty miffed if someone told me I had to bring my own alcohol to a wedding and then hand it over to someone to keep an eye on me. How will you ensure that people get their own drinks? Or that the bartender won’t give out someone’s drinks to someone who didn’t bring any?
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar May 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    I would agree that a wine and beer wedding is really not that expensive, and is a compromise to both sides. You can tell them not to serve alcohol til after the ceremony so no one gets drunk too soon, but I would not presume that your aunt and uncle care if you have alcohol just cuz they don't drink. Either way you go with, don't try to take away people's alcohol if they bring it themselves. That's something people will complain about for a LONG time lol

    • Reply
  • Melinda
    Devoted March 2022
    Melinda ·
    • Flag
    Why don’t you do a cash bar? That way you’re not paying for it but people can buy drinks if they want them.
    • Reply
  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    I think BYOB would be more upsetting to your aunt and uncle as it just likely lead to people getting hammered. I would serve beer and wine, they don’t have to drink. “hosting” your guests means they don’t incur any charges (cash bar or byob would require them purchasing items for *your* party). All or nothing but I’d do wine and beer.
    • Reply
  • Alexandria
    Beginner March 2022
    Alexandria ·
    • Flag
    Unless I pay for for a mobile bar to come and set up there isn't space in the reception hall for a cash bar.


    Like I stated, I would prefer to just not have alcohol. But I was just looking to see if byob with their staff passed to them by a licensed bar tender once dinner is served would be an acceptable compromise.
    • Reply
  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I understand where you're coming from, but while that would be a decent compromise for you and your FH, that's not a great compromise for your guests.

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  • CountryBride
    VIP April 2022
    CountryBride ·
    • Flag

    Coming from experience if you do a dry wedding not many people will stay past dinner, I will have alcoholics at my wedding and I am not a big drinker but my better half is and we would rather have a party atmosphere than have half the guests leaving after dinner,

    • Reply
  • Jacks
    Master November 2054
    Jacks Online ·
    • Flag

    Don't make your guests subsidize your wedding costs. They should not have to provide anything to the event that you're supposed to be hosting. This is the case for both BYOB and cash bars.

    A dry wedding is not against etiquette, but you probably won't have the "party"atmosphere.

    I would host beer and wine only, and for sure have a bartender for liability reasons.

    • Reply
  • Ashlee
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Ashlee ·
    • Flag

    You could keep it dry up until dinner. Then have wine with dinner and open the bar to beer and wine after dinner and for dancing.

    • Reply
  • Heather
    Savvy October 2021
    Heather ·
    • Flag
    Just want to let you know you're not alone wanting a dry wedding and it's totally valid. My fiance and I wanted no alchohol and we compromised with our parents by offering 1 champagne toast during dinner- everything else was soda, juice, and a hot cocoa bar. We made it work by offering the aforementioned hot cocoa as well as having a 10 am ceremony and a noon reception to lower people's expectations of alchohol. Everyone said our reception was still really fun and yes, people still danced like crazy!
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Depending on social circles, this is frowned on equally. Some venues don’t allow it either. Many people feel that if you are not offering something out of your own pocket, don’t have it period because guests should not open their wallets at a hosted event. If it was a potluck picnic that would be one thing but most weddings are not.
    • Reply
  • Heather
    Rockstar November 2021
    Heather ·
    • Flag

    Does your venue allow outside alcohol? Either way, you should be aware and understand the venue's contract and liabilities when it comes to alcohol.

    I've been to a wedding where it was open bar, but because the majority of their guests were non drinkers so it wasn't utilized as much. I've been to a wedding where it was cash only and open for a certain time frame and they limit how many drinks their guests can order at a time. This was totally understandable because a lot of their guests were heavy drinkers.

    In a nutshell, know your guests. Based on that will determine on what you want and should do Smiley smile. Just know the decision is always up to you!

    • Reply
  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    Very few venues/vendors will let you bring your guests bring their own alcohol. I'm shocked your BIL was able to do it.

    Honestly, BYOB for a wedding is tacky. That's the kind of thing that goes on at college parties, not weddings.

    Either go dry and then welcome people to join you for an afterparty with booze, or pay for booze to be there in some fashion.

    Anyone who can't have fun at a dry wedding has a problem, and it isn't yours.

    • Reply
  • Frankie
    Dedicated April 2022
    Frankie ·
    • Flag

    "Is it fair to have the rule that guests who bring their own alcohol store it behind the bar, wait until dinner, and then be served by a bar"I would seriously be upset with you for being told when and how to drink and I would even leave since you would treat me like a kids...

    The issue with your wish to do a dry event, is not the wish itself but the reason why you want it: to accommodate 2 people! You want to honor them (it's kind of you) but did this gift come with string attached???

    There are other ways to honor them: in a speech,a program (if you're doing it) .. and, better, in-person on the big day.

    Last but not least: These 2 didn't request a dry wedding. I'm ****% sure they wouldn't be offended by you doing a bar. They wouldn't be forced them nor pressured to drink, would they?
    If your groom does want a dry wedding, it's another story but he doesn't!!

    In lieu of a BYOB that will lead to unnecessary troubles, you should either do a dry event or a bar. You still want a dry wedding because you and you family are not big drinkers: this is not a reason to skip it: Does your fiancé's family matter or not ? ( Yep: alcohol is unnecessary ... but so is the reception , when you think about it!)

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
    • Flag
    Agree with the posters saying to either do a completely dry wedding (and perhaps move the wedding up to an afternoon type deal instead of evening— evening weddings really should at least have beer and wine) or host a beer and wine bar. Many venues don’t allow for BYOB.
    • Reply
  • Fiona
    Expert May 2024
    Fiona ·
    • Flag

    I had a dry wedding and I don't regret it. I just don't like being around people who are drinking like crazy or getting drunk but that's just me Smiley smile. it is completely fine to have a dry wedding and I think you would be better to do that than to try and organise everybody's drinks Smiley smile.

    • Reply
  • George
    Just Said Yes May 2023
    George ·
    • Flag

    Honestly, this sounds like a bad idea. If you want a dry wedding, just go with that. It's your wedding so you should do what you want. Personally, I prefer to have alcohol but you should do what feels right to you and fits in your budget.

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