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 138

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...

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

  • Ms.Fox
    VIP May 2018
    Ms.Fox ·
    • Flag

    I've heard of venues offering late night snack like sliders and other little finger foods! If you made this clear to guests, I feel that people would be more inclined to stay and dance, knowing that there will be a little snack to keep their energy up!

    • Reply
  • Hopiate
    Dedicated May 2018
    Hopiate ·
    • Flag

    @FutureMrsR I don't mind the concerns when it isn't "you are a poor host". Hopefully I won't have to worry about anyone smuggling in drinks, since I'm having mostly family and the few friends invited are understanding of the dry wedding thing or don't drink anyway.

    @Aurora That's not a bad idea! The venue we picked has a catering package. I'll look into that.

    So far what I've gathered is most dry weddings people attend haven't been that great in any aspect, and if they were great, people didn't notice they were dry. I'm pretty confident in my hosting skills (having thrown both dry and wet parties in the past) but I know weddings are a whole 'nother ballgame. I enjoy all the perspectives, so I know how different people will think of my event.

    • Reply
  • Christina
    Expert June 2018
    Christina ·
    • Flag

    I say a dry wedding is ok if you know your crowd. Otherwise, make sure everything else is awesome and I don't see it to be a big deal. I would be good either way.

    • Reply
  • michelle d
    VIP January 2018
    michelle d ·
    • Flag

    I feel like if there is a religious or cultural reason to not have alcohol it is not poor hosting to have a dry wedding. People expect the wedding to be dry if it is Mormon, Hindu, baptist etc. These people are not cheap, they are honoring their traditions. If you can't be understanding and supportive of this, RSVP no.

    • Reply
  • SenoraG
    Super July 2017
    SenoraG ·
    • Flag

    All of them have been good, but I don't need to drink to enjoy myself.

    • Reply
  • Dulce
    Super October 2017
    Dulce ·
    • Flag

    Most of the weddings I've been to have been dry weddings and I had fun, to us every wedding is like a family reunion, we love to get together with relatives that we don't see that often. Mine is going to be dry too.

    • Reply
  • Gracie Lou Freebush
    VIP October 2017
    Gracie Lou Freebush ·
    • Flag

    Yes, about five of them. It was before I really drank much so it wasn't that big of a deal. Now I may feel differently

    • Reply
  • Snow White
    Dedicated May 2017
    Snow White ·
    • Flag

    Jun 02, 2017 at 5:59 PM • Flag As Inappropriate •

    "I've only ever been to one dry wedding, one of my close friends. It was an afternoon wedding in a beautiful ballroom. It was 6 years ago but I remember very clearly that NO ONE danced, even though they had a DJ and a dance floor. I mean no one, not even the bride and groom. I also remember many guests had brought in flasks and even bottles of Booz and 2-liters of soda they were "hiding" under the tables and pouring their own drinks. I remember thinking how it made the whole event so much less classy. And of course it ended by 5pm!" From Annakay

    The hosts did not serve alcohol but the guests were so it really wasn't a dry wedding. The guests did have alcohol even though they brought it themselves. Yet even with providing their own "social lubricant" as it has been called they still didn't dance or have fun. I guess that shows that alcohol is no magic formula to make a wedding fun. It sounds like something else must have been going on that made the wedding lack dancing and fun. Some groups of people just don't dance or enjoy themselves alcohol or not.

    We served alcohol for our wedding and our kids but I have fun at many weddings without it. I guess because the guests wanted to have fun

    Alcohol is not the determining factor for if I go to a wedding personally

    • Reply
  • Mrs.K
    Devoted May 2017
    Mrs.K ·
    • Flag

    I've said this before and I'll say it again: wedding etiquette does not equal cultural competency. Do what suits you, FH and your guests!

    • Reply
  • CountingDowntoMrs
    VIP October 2017
    CountingDowntoMrs ·
    • Flag

    I've been to one dry wedding, and it was the worst wedding I've attended. No one danced. People were bored. We ate dinner, and left. It was over ten years ago, and I still remember how terribly dull it was.

    • Reply
  • Peggy
    Just Said Yes March 2019
    Peggy ·
    • Flag

    I've been to a few dry weddings and honestly, I'm glad my fiancé and I are choosing to have one. Its sad to me that people put them down like they're boring and no one will dance really irks me. If you can't have fun without booze there's an issue, and maybe its just me but I've never needed to be tipsy to dance.

    I think the thing is, if you have fun music, good food, and people who actually love you and are there to celebrate your marriage then no one will be bored or upset because they respect you and are excited to enjoy that time no matter what you've decided.

    Also, as a side note, I went to an open bar wedding where a man nearly died from alcohol poisoning and they police and paramedics showed up during the reception. To be honest, if I'd been the bride, I would have been devastated knowing I'd remember that about my wedding day. So just because there's drinks doesn't automatically mean the reception will be great.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Dedicated May 2018
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    I've never been to a dry anything because of my culture (Italian). But this is an interesting topic to me because it shows how localized wedding traditions are. I think people get hung up on etiquette, but if the reason you're having a dry wedding is religious and honestly not to save money, it's not really a matter of etiquette. For example, if I went to a Mormon wedding with mostly Mormon guests, why would I expect there to be alcohol? I wouldn't, and I would go have fun anyway.

    However I will say that if your guests would drink in a social situation, it certainly helps the mood to have an open bar. The dancing at my wedding (open bar) got delayed by about an hour and people still tell me what a great time they had. I think they would have gotten bored with no alcohol. That's just my crowd though.

    • Reply
  • K&M
    Dedicated August 2018
    K&M ·
    • Flag

    I definitely think it is improper to not provide free alcohol at a wedding so I am in no way trying to condone it. BUT my answer to this is yes. I went to a dry wedding once that was SUPER fun. Everyone there was up and dancing and having a ton of fun. I think it just depends on the group of people. A lot of people have a hard time loosening up without alcohol, but there are certainly some people who can (I am one of them - I will dance and have fun at a wedding no matter what).

    Keep in mind though that I've also been to one other dry wedding that was extremely boring. They didn't even have music/dancing, though lol.

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Dedicated August 2019
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    I don't understand why people get so worked up about not having tons of alcohol available to them at weddings. The most I've ever had to drink at any wedding is maybe 1 cocktail over the whole night and I still love to get up and dance and socialize with everyone. The type/amount of alcohol has really never been a concern at weddings for me.

    You know your guests, I think it's very considerate of you to not serve alcohol when you know that there are a lot of guests who would have a difficult time with it. Even more so that you're also taking the beer drinkers out the night before. I think you're doing everything splendidly.

    I think you can make the reception just as great by supplying good food, really fun/creative desserts, and having a really awesome DJ! A great DJ will get people dancing/having fun with or without alcohol! Smiley smile

    Best of luck! Ignore the haters! Lol

    • Reply
  • Shanna
    November 2022
    Shanna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Kelly --

    thank you ! Your insight has bee most helpful to me. My daughter's wedding will be a dry wedding. A lot of family and friends. No One's expecting alcohol, and we don't need it to have fun. We have put a lot of thought into the reception food, and DJ. Our coordinator seems to think people won't stay late if there isn't any alcohol, but as I told her this is a family event not a get drunk fest. Alcohol is super expensive to supply for a crowd of 200 .. and not to mention the liability. We are almost a month away from her wedding, and are excited to see how it all unfolds.


    • Reply
  • Shanna
    November 2022
    Shanna ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Peggy -- TRUTH !! I love where you said those that truly love you will celebrate you no matter what ! That is the BEST I have heard so far . Smiley smile

    Smiley heart

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag

    I’ve attended many dry weddings, all for religious reasons. Everyone had a great time.

    If a person can’t go a certain period of time without alcohol in order to enjoy themselves, they are the ones with the problem, not the hosts.

    • Reply
  • Ivory
    Dedicated August 2024
    Ivory ·
    • Flag
    I went to a dry cake and punch reception once and it was one of the best weddings I've ever been to! It was at my church which meant that unlike most weddings I have attended, I knew and liked almost everyone there, and the reception was very warm and casual.
    For me personally, as a guest, I prefer cake and punch to a plated dinner any day, partially because cake and punch= food I actually enjoy (most vegetarian wedding food options suck) and partially because I prefer to stay behind for a bite to eat, congratulate the couple, and then head home while it's still light out, which you can't do at a dinner reception without being rude.
    Obviously there are plenty of people who are happy to party it up all night long, so my experiences are not universal by any means, but I think an intimate cake and punch reception is more appropriate for a dry wedding than a formal evening reception.
    • Reply

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