Hopiate
Dedicated May 2018

Has anyone had a POSITIVE dry wedding experience?

Hopiate, on June 2, 2017 at 4:19 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 138
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After searching these forums pretty thoroughly, I'm genuinely curious - has anyone ever enjoyed themselves at a dry wedding?

Most posters just talk about all the negative things about a dry wedding i.e. poor hosting, cheap reception, boring, etc. But have there ever been any positives?

We are going to have a dry reception because of a variety of reasons (religion of guests, medical reasons for myself and guests, AA guests, etc.) and I come from an area where dry receptions are pretty common (LOTS of Mormons) so I'm not worried about my guests giving me side-eye. I just would like to know if anyone here has had a good time at a dry reception, and if you did, what made it fun, despite not having the typical party atmosphere? Was there really good food, a fun non-alcoholic drink bar, or something else?

(I'm not looking for the typical "No. Just don't have one." responses. I've already read plenty of reasons not to have a dry reception.)

138 Comments

Latest activity by Ivory, on April 26, 2021 at 10:58 PM
  • Harleybeachbride
    Master May 2017
    Harleybeachbride ·
    • Flag

    I'm just curious, since dry weddings are very common in your area....please share your own experiences, as you likely have many that you can share with us? :+)

    • Reply
  • Anna
    Super November 2017
    Anna ·
    • Flag

    I have. It was for a wedding that was dry for religious reasons, however I think they made up for it with sugar and caffeine. It may have been the sugar/caffeine high... they had plenty of candy and chocolate, shakes, icecream and coffee. The photobooth was fun, they played games, and they had a really fun DJ. I knew a lot of the people there, and nobody expected alcohol, so it wasn't an issue.

    • Reply
  • Jennifer VR
    VIP April 2017
    Jennifer VR ·
    • Flag

    I've been to a few weddings which were dry for religious reasons. If there isn't alcohol, then there better be really good food. Take extra care with your seating chart. Mostly, there wasn't dancing at the dry weddings that I have been too, but that could also be because we missed it due to leaving early (right after dessert).

    • Reply
  • New
    VIP May 2017
    New ·
    • Flag

    The best part of the dry receptions we've been to was when we left.

    One had these "mocktails" that was supposed to be cute but ended up being a hassle. It was 2 choices of some kind of juice or lemonade and the "bartenders" made a big show of shaking them and serving them like Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail.

    All that fanfare was ridiculous and just kept guests waiting longer for their drinks. The food was decent, though.

    The other dry reception was just poorly planned overall. The bride's father was running around last minute to buy sparkling cider for a toast. The food choices were all carbohydrate based (potato AND pasta bar). The music was awkward and nobody danced. The best part was when we said goodbye.

    So to answer your question, no not a positive dry wedding experience in either case.

    • Reply
  • Sheri
    Super May 2020
    Sheri ·
    • Flag

    God bless you for having one !!! I am not having alcohol at mine either. Absolutely had a good time fellowshipping? with friends and family at the wedding I went to.

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @Harleybeachbride Most of them were open cake and punch receptions, so guests just came, said hello, ate a cupcake then left. But we're having a closed reception with real food haha so I have no experience. The closest was a friend had a waffle bar and she had plenty of dancing. I was dancing with her and friends most of the reception, but I knew some people were sitting down most of it and I've no idea what they thought. I just remember wishing there was food other than dessert waffles.

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  • New
    VIP May 2017
    New ·
    • Flag

    @Hopiate, what are you serving for food?

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  • Madelayna
    VIP September 2017
    Madelayna ·
    • Flag

    There wasn't anything special about the last dry wedding I went to besides a pretty location. The food was shit (Olive Garden), the cake was your usual store bought cake, no booze of course. Shockingly, there was dancing. But there were also lots of children dancing so that's why I think it was happening at all. I did not dance. I need some alcohol before I can dance. But dry wedding- so no dancing for me. I attended with a few women from my family but after an hour into the reception we were all ready to leave. If the food was better I'd probably not feel so negatively about it. Just make sure your food is good and you have something special like a dessert bar or something so your guests who would've loved free booze get something else that's free and fun.

    ETA- OP a wedding you went to only had dessert waffles??? Nothing else? What time was the reception?

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @MrsD17 Ideally we'll have both hot and cold hor d'oeuvres, a dinner buffet, with different meat and vegetarian options and a dessert bar. We're still searching for the perfect caterer. The only thing for sure we have decided is there will be cheesecake (FH's favorite).

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  • New
    VIP May 2017
    New ·
    • Flag

    I think you're on track with your dinner options by keeping in mind the comfort of your guests.

    • Reply
  • Ann
    Dedicated June 2017
    Ann ·
    • Flag

    I've had some really great times at dry weddings with family. Where I live, alcohol is not that commonplace, with many counties still being dry. I get anxious fairly easily, so I tend to drink too much to compensate. I may have felt like I was having more fun at open bar receptions, but remembering all of my loved ones' special day made them more enjoyable in the long run. Yes, I know I have a problem with alcohol. I've been sober for over 13 months and my wedding (that is today) is dry.

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Super June 2017
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    I've been to several dry weddings/receptions, and I had fun at all of them, but I knew large numbers of the other guests and it was fun to socialize and catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while. Personally, I'm not dancing without some alcohol, or tons of others on the dance floor, but that's just me and doesn't mean I'm not having fun.

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @Madelyn Dessert waffles. With a topping bar. And wedding cake. From 5-8. Yep. Totally went straight to food afterwords. (I would have left early, but I was MOH.)

    • Reply
  • Natalie
    VIP June 2017
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    'a fun non-alcoholic drink bar'

    You can't make lemonade fun. Don't even try. I've been to one, it wasn't great. I would feel hideously guilty if I couldn't even offer my loved ones a glass of wine.

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @Natalie I meant like a coffee bar or something haha I'm definitely leaving the lemonade alone, especially after hearing MrsD17 horror story.

    • Reply
  • MrsB
    VIP June 2017
    MrsB ·
    • Flag

    My sister's wedding was dry. I honestly don't think she even thought to serve alcohol--dry weddings are the norm in our crowd. They had an afternoon ceremony and sort of a "high tea" reception. I had a great time. There was plenty of food, lots of different drinks in addition to tea, an amazing cake, and dancing (we dance in the checkout line at the grocery store, though...). Even without the alcohol, they put a lot of thought into their guests' experience.

    My brother's wedding was also dry, and it was the most boring wedding I've ever been to. No consideration at all of their guests experience. They chose a venue (government building) where we couldn't have dancing or alcohol (plus the bride was only 20...), only served cake and cookies, and didn't have enough seating.

    • Reply
  • Natalie
    VIP June 2017
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    Dry weddings just aren't done where I live. Why is alcohol so offensive to some people, sure most of your guests don't drink but there will always be one or two that would enjoy a glass of wine with their meal.

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @Natalie Religion has always been full of different perspectives, but our reasons for a dry wedding aren't really about being offended by alcohol. I have some family who I know love having a beer or two, so I plan on inviting them out to bars the night before and covering their tab. Making everyone happy isn't always possible, but that's why there are compromises

    • Reply
  • Natalie
    VIP June 2017
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    That's nice that you're doing that Hopiate! But I'll be honest, the only advantage of being a guest at a dry wedding is that I won't be hungover the next day.

    • Reply
  • L
    Expert November 2017
    Lck5002 ·
    • Flag

    I've only been to 1 dry wedding and the fact that it was dry wasn't the worst part. Their food sucked, they ran out of the small plates for happy hour, ran out of the water/lemonade that they did have--it was just overall crappy. I'm not a big drinker personally so if everything else was really good it wouldn't bother me that much, however, I may not dance much either.

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