Say Yes To The Mess: Is It Ever A Nice Day For A Dry Wedding?

The more I’ve been planning this wedding of mine, the more I’ve noticed that people have very ingrained biases about traditions, customs and local habits. And while some are universally acknowledged (ie: don’t inform guests that gifts are mandatory for entrance) some are simply personal preference. And held all the more forcefully.

Where I grew up, weddings are open bar. I’ve never been to a wedding where there was a limit on the number of drinks guests could imbibe. Once, I was invited to a dry wedding. I did not attend. Granted, I was invited solo and I only knew the bride. But still! How would I have made new friends? (Dear everyone in AA: please stop reading now.)

My pro-open bar bias is so deeply felt that I was utterly perplexed when my Irish friend told me the bar policy at her wedding. She married an American, in Dublin. And over there, weddings have a straight-up cash bar. Apparently, Irish guests have a little trouble pacing themselves when presented with free booze.

But for this friend, there was an extra wrinkle. Half of the guests were flying over from America, where it is often expected that the host pays for drinks, especially when cross-Atlantic travel is involved. But the caterer refused to do an open bar, for fear that many of  would be belly up before dinner finished. Apparently those stereotypes about Irish drinkers started in the homeland.

To deal with this, they came up with a compromise. Tables were split by nationality. American guests were served whatever they desired to drink. The Irish tables had to pay per drink. I’m pretty sure that in America this would be grounds for a law suit.

But in Dublin, things went over more smoothly. Eventually, the natives realized they could get free drinks if they switched tables, so new friends were quickly made. (See? Alcohol is the great equalizer…or something.)

Usually, when I tell this story, Americans are appalled. But I happened to mention it in front of a Brit last week, and he gave me a speech on the benefits of a cash bar.

According to him, people pace themselves much better and are far more respectful of the occasion when they are forced to cough up cash for their own drinks.

In New York, I’ve never been to a cash bar wedding. I would likely be hanged if I tried that in October. Or simply danced into the ground by a gang of angry Greek men.

In fact, when I told The Gloss editors about the topic of this post, Jennifer looked at me with a look of confused derision, until I assured her that I was having an open bar. But in other parts of the country, cash bar and no bar are more common. And to be fair, Ashley thought I should just offer drink tickets and let people pay for drinks after they reach a certain limit.

But involving guests in any sort of monetary transaction at my wedding was not an option I considered. Obviously, alcohol can get expensive. But there are ways to lower the cost (I’ve been to more than a few weddings that offered beer and wine purchased by the couple, which worked out great).

If there are drinkers in your crowd (especially if you are not a drinker), I think you owe it to them to provide some alcohol. Unless there’s a religious reason for the tee-totaling. Which is a whole different topic.

Obviously, cutting out the booze is a quick and easy way to cut the budget. But it’s also a fast way to cull your friends.

And If you have the kind of friends who would get so drunk that they’ll pass out at your wedding reception, maybe you should rethink your friendships instead of the bar policy?

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    • Helena

      I thought Open Bar was the norm (I know, I know) until I started looking into things and realised how local the idea is. There are several areas in the South and West where cash bar is standard.

      Still, Open Bar, baby.

    • Chelsea

      The only dry wedding I have ever been to was THE WORST! We toasted the bride and groom with water. That’s right, water. They were too cheap to spring for some sparkling cider.

    • Eileen

      I wouldn’t even say it’s local within the US – more like class-based. My mom told me when I was seventeen and planning a mock wedding for health class that if you can’t afford an open bar, have a champagne toast but don’t serve alcohol at all. But some of my more blue-collar friends told me they’ve never been to a wedding with an open bar.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a wedding without alcohol, if that’s what you want and that’s what you can afford. But a cash bar just reeks of charging people to come to your party and have a plastic solo cup (nb at my college this was REALLY looked-down-on and would get you accused of having no class – which is another reason I think the idea is class-based). I also think Ashley’s idea is not a bad one, although only if you’re interested in controlling costs – ’cause otherwise you know the people who only want a glass of wine will end up giving their tickets away, and the people who want to get sauced will.

      But I do agree that there should be a certain amount of trust in your guests involved.

    • sara

      “And If you have the kind of friends who would get so drunk that they’ll pass out at your wedding reception, maybe you should rethink your friendships instead of the bar policy?”

      But you shouldn’t rethink a friendship if your friends would not attend your wedding over lack of alcohol?

      Neither my husband or I drink (former alcoholics) and if we’d had a full-blown wedding (opted for private ceremony), we would absolutely not have paid for anyone’s alcohol. I would really hope that if we had done that, our friends and family would have been supportive. I do think that the people I choose to surround myself with are more interesting than that and have more going on in their lives than drinking.

      Its quite sad that you feel no one in your life would attend your major life event without you essentially paying them too. That’s a pretty clear cut line in seeing how shallow those relationships are. You didn’t write about wanting to treat your family and friends—you wrote that you owe it to people.

      • Lindsay

        You are NOT paying them to attend by providing alcohol. These people are being invited by you to celebrate your day with you. They are bringing you gifts and often traveling and using vacation time to attend. This is on top of the money spent on showers, bachelorettes, stag and does, etc. It is kind of you to appreciate your friends and what they enjoy as well at your wedding.

      • sara

        I would never make my friends pay for any of that stuff. I think I just don’t understand this ingrained tradition of having all these parties that then results in you owing people.

    • Teeny

      I have found with a lot of the weddings I have been to around Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri is to have wine and beer provided, and then cash bar for other drinks. With my wedding this October we are planning on doing this, in addition having a cocktail hour before dinner where kir royals are also provided. Most weddings I attend, I don’t except full open bar, but most weddings do seem to provide some sort of beverages. I have only been to one truly dry wedding, no cash bar no nothing, and it really was not the funnest wedding.

    • Jaclyn

      Thanks for writing this!

      “Food and Drink.” “Drink” is the other part of the Conviviality Duo of Power. Would you consider not serving food at your schwanky event? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

      Anyway, let’s say you pride yourself on your others-policing, ivory-tower-approved morality which flies in the face of milennia of human party culture: you still NEV-ER charge people for hospitality. This means that you either have a dry wedding, announce BYO (preferable, and which it will be anyway when everyone’s going out to their car trunks to swig out of bottles of Jaeger. True story…), or an open bar. Those are your only non-gauche options, unless the party is being held in a place where a cash bar just happens to be operational all the time (like a restaurant open to the public).

      • Eileen

        Drink=/=alcohol.

      • EKS

        This has nothing to do with the ivory tower, and ivory tower morality has nothing to do with drinking.

      • Jaclyn

        Ok cool so just others-policing and flying in the face of milennia of human party culture. It’s still a ridiculous argument that if the alcohol does not cost each guest money, there will be puke and violence

    • jaclyn

      Open bar is a must. I guess being from Kentucky and living in Chicago and now New York, it’s just how it goes.

      No drinks = very boring time for your guests. Something to think about. Maybe cut the guest list and serve wine/ beer?

      • Eileen

        Or don’t invite guests who need alcohol to be entertained.

      • Helena

        Like open bars =/= need alcohol to be entertained.

    • Kirsten

      In Britain it’s more common for the bride and groom to pay for wine with the meal and champagne for the toasts, but otherwise guests pay for their own drinks at the reception. Paying for drinks could easily add several thousand pounds to the cost of a wedding, and most guests are quite willing to pay for their own.

    • Katie

      I work as a waitress in the UK, and all the weddings I’ve ever worked at have been cash bar. The bride and groom have always put a bottle of red and/or white on the table and champagne for the toast, but otherwise have paid. Some pace themselves more than others! Some couples will also put say £2000 behind the bar, and after that people pay for their own.
      I have had some americans at weddings before, where they haven’t minded paying at all. Most couples also have welcome drinks (normally Pimms), but I’ve never really known what to answer when I’m asked what a Pimms is….

    • Cale

      As an Irish person, I remember hearing about the concept of an open bar at 17 and being gobsmacked by the idea of FREE alcohol. That does not happen here, ever.

    • Maria

      I’ve only been to one wedding where there was a cash bar, which was fine EXCEPT, they didn’t warn anyone first and it wasn’t in a location where an ATM was easily accessible.
      I feel open bar is preferable (particularly if you are in a country/area where this is the norm), however there of course are reasons why people might not do that (financial, religious, recovering alcoholics, etc). So if one is to have a cash bar, it would be courteous to indicate it on the invitation so guests are prepared. After all, people don’t tend to carry much cash in our age of credit and debit cards.

    • Lisa

      The idea that not serving alcohol at your wedding is a way “to cull your friends” is pretty reprehensible to me. A good friend of mine is currently planning her wedding, and while she and her boy both drink, she is planning on not serving alcohol there. There’s a couple of reasons for this: her parents are both hard-core Baptists, so the fact that there’s going to be dancing at this is mind-blowing for them, and his family has a lot of recovering alcoholics.

      Other weddings I’ve been to had an open bar for beer and wine, and everything else had to be paid for. And that was fine. As far as I could tell, nobody had any issues with it.

      And while weddings should be fun for everybody (and I will admit to having been bored at some of them, at least in the beginning), isn’t the point to go celebrate the fact that people got married? Regardless of the alcohol status, I would hope people would come to my wedding (if I ever get married) simply because they care about me.

      • Jaclyn

        I just don’t understand the need to PREVENT guests from drinking at the wedding. Most restaurants that serve dinner are BYO if they don’t have a liquor license–it’s just par for the social course. Why would you even try to control what your guests imbibe? That’s what the law is for. While we’re at it, why don’t we start fretting that somebody will choke on the chateu briand or go into a diabetic coma from the cake?

    • DC

      My cousin had a dry wedding like 10 years ago, and my family still talks about it with derision. Then again, we’re Irish Americans from New York, so open bar is more than expected, its required, if you don’t want people to talk smack about how cheap you are for the rest of your life.

    • Lindsey

      I think of weddings rather like inviting someone over to your house. I wouldn’t dream of asking my friends or family to pay for the glass of wine I hand them in my livingroom, nor did I do so at my wedding.

      Your guest shouldn’t have to pay for a thing at your wedding, they’ve already likely given you several gifts (if you consider showers and stag and does and the like) and shared the day with you. Not being able to offer them refreshment, alcohol or not is, frankly, being a bad host, and tacky.

    • exosus

      tee-totalling. Not tea. It’s a reduplication of “total” not a reference to the brewed drink :)

    • Gabrielle

      I’m from the South, and I have to say? Cash bars are the norm. I think most of my friends don’t have the money to shell out for everyone to get wasted & embarrass themselves. I’ve been to a few totally dry weddings (Southern Baptists) and those kind of suck. I’m a proponent of providing beer & wine & making the guests pay for liquor if that’s what they choose to do.

    • Dee

      My wedding next year will be a dry one. My fiance and I don’t drink, and people on my side of the family have this inability to control their drinking, and their tempers while drinking (hence why I don’t care for alcohol; not to mention, half of my family is at odds with someone or another.. Alcohol is a recipe for a disaster). Instead, we will have sparking ciders and different non-alcoholic beverages available.

      The way I see it, if you cannot go one day without having an alcoholic beverage, or at least wait until afterward to go out and do your thing, then you don’t need to come to my wedding. Sorry, but this is supposed to by the happiest day of my and my fiance’s life. Respect our wishes or don’t show up.

      • Dee

        Side note: My fiance and I are paying for everything, right down to the aisle runner and the catering, so no guest at our wedding has any right to bitch.

      • Dove

        You’re supposed to pay for the wedding, people can bitch if they want. They are spending tons of money traveling and buying you a gift, they aren’t worthless freeloaders.

        We paid for everything and had an open bar, and paid for most of our friends rooms, and were happy to do it.

    • Hanna

      I think it’s normal to provide wine with the food and something to toast with but I also think that if guests really want to go for the hard liquor, they should cough up the bucks for that themselves.

      Sidenote: Why do people always refer to a wedding as the happiest day of their lives? Shouldn’t a wedding be a starting point to happiness? It really sounds like it all goes downhill after the poofy white dress is off… Depressing.

      • Dee

        Nobody implied that life goes downhill after the wedding. And people refer to their weddings as “the happiest day of their lives” because they are marrying the one person they want to spend the rest of their life with, and more often than not, girls dream about that from the time they’re old enough to play dress up.

        What’s depressing, Hanna, is your shitty attitude, your sick twist on a comment, and the amount of people on here that can’t seem to have a good time without alcohol being present.

      • Kass

        Wow Dee that was an incredibly bitchy reply to Hanna. Sorry you have a chip on your shoulder about alcoholo, but the other side of this coin is that most of the rest of us are “depressed” by the amount of people commenting who seem to be hell-bent on *refusing* to even *allow* their guests anything but soft drinks at a wedding. A wedding is not a child’s first birthday, rather, it’s usually the fanciest event a given individual throws in their life. If fancy restaurants didn’t serve wine it or at least allow it to be brought in, they wouldn’t be in business, and it’s not because people are incapable of eating without being drunk. The whole argument strikes me as a copout for people trying to cheap out of what’s considered normal hospitality

      • Kass

        …or, in your case, not cheap out, because a BYO situation would require you not having to shell out a thin dime for the devil’s liquid, but some deep need to make a morality lesson out of the “happiest day of your life” by insisting on it being dry at all costs. Are you going to go around checking socks for flasks?

      • Hanna

        Shitty attitude? I like weddings. I organized my brother’s wedding and he was very grateful. It was small, tasteful, nice and above all as stressfree as possible. Possibly because there was enough wine for everyone? Get off your high horse already and loosen up a bit, it’s fun!

    • Jen Dziura

      Dry wedding? First of all, nice meals come with wine. It doesn’t matter how good the food is if there’s … no …. wine. What? Also, a lot of people have weddings in the middle of nowhere. After driving two hours from the airport to some wedding chateau on the beach or something, dear god, your guests need a drink.

      Also, keep in mind that many of your friends have come to support you, and are merely putting up with your family, and many of your family members have come to support you, and are merely putting up with your friends. Alcohol allows people to support you without being too annoyed by your grandfather’s Glenn Beck rhetoric, etc., etc. (And if there are alcoholics, don’t they just leave earlier, much the way older people often bow out, leaving the younger people to close down the dance floor?)

      Maybe if you had a morning wedding or something — if we’re out by 3pm, then a dry wedding would make sense. But if people are trapped all night at a sober party with sober dancing in the middle of nowhere….

    • matt

      Begs the question, why have a wedding? What’s the point, really? It’s like an adult version of a birthday party. All your friends gathered to validate that your relationship is more important than it used to be.Dry weddings are the worst, obviously.

    • Claire

      I’m getting married in December and this whole alcohol issue is giving me migraines. My side of the family (although not me) is devoutly Mormon, thinks drinking any alcohol at all is morally wrong, and at least some of them would be uncomfortable even being around people who are drinking, not to mention if anyone got drunk. (Seriously, 10 aunts & uncles, 8 married cousins, not a single drop of alcohol at any of their weddings.) Also, my parents would like to help pay for the wedding a bit, but they are not at all comfortable with the idea that their money might be used to buy alcohol, or even that their money would be used for other wedding stuff, freeing up some of my fiance’s and my money for alcohol.

      My fiance’s family loves to drink, has alcohol at every family function, wouldn’t consider having a wedding without alcohol, and would be offended if we didn’t provide it.

      I feel like no matter what we do we are going to horribly offend half of our guests and only half are going to have a good time. I just want ALL of our guests to know how much we love and appreciate them and to have a lovely evening.

      HELP!!

      • Penelope

        I’m sorry the alcohol thing has become such a stressor for you. If it helps, I’m a devout Mormon who married a non-Mormon, in his home town, and we put money behind the bar and served wine to our drinking guests with the dinner. We also had sparkling cider for my family (the only non-drinking guests). After the bar money ran out, people had to pay for their drinks. It was the best compromise we could come up with.
        My philosophy was, I don’t drink, but I don’t care that others do, and I felt that banning all alcohol from my wedding was going to give people a negative impression of my beliefs, which I didn’t want. Maybe you & your fiance come up with a compromise and present that to your family? I think the idea that they were being bad Mormons might trump the uneasiness of paying for alcohol. (A mean thought, but it might work!)

      • AmyB

        Could you have an afternoon cake-and-punch or lunch reception with your Mormon family, then an “after party” event with those who would be ok with drinks? Or even have a small dry wedding, then a larger party with drinks when you come back from your honeymoon? It sounds like the only way to satisfy both sides is to have 2 events – a wet and a dry. Or like another poster suggested, put a bottle of wine, champagne or sparkling cider on each table as appropriate – no one would have enough to get smashed, just enough to have a glass or two.

    • Jenni

      Really? I guess this is just regional differences. I live in Oklahoma, and I’ve been to weddings in California, Kansas, Texas and here in OK. The only true ‘open bar’ wedding that I’ve been to was out in California, and was easily 100K. Here in the midwest, we know how to have a good time without needing to get sloshed. Most of the weddings I’ve been to have been cash bar. And the comparison of ‘you wouldn’t make a guest at your house pay for their drinks’ isn’t correct; my husband and I have had parties at our house that are BYOB, and we have gone to many parties that are BYOB. That way everybody has a drink that they like, and people can try new drinks.

      My wedding was in a church, so obviously no alcohol. We had everybody that we invited show up. No one complained about having no alcohol. One of my bridesmaids, who had gotten married a year before me and also had a dry wedding, had this to say about the issue: “If someone wouldn’t come to our wedding because it was dry, I don’t need them in my life. My wedding day isn’t about them partying and getting drunk. It is about me joining together with the man I chose to be my husband.”

      A way that my husband and I solved the alcohol issue was that we went out to a bar after the wedding. We were able to hang out with all our friends for a longer and more personal amount of time, and they could buy whatever they wanted at the bar. We had even more friends show up to the bar than what we had invited to the actual wedding.

      Maybe northerners don’t know how to have a good time without alcohol. Maybe we are more laid back down here, and understand that not everybody can pay to let people drink. (I think it is also the fact that we have lots of Baptists) All I know is that our wedding was a blast, and we have friends and family telling us how lovely it is. So, while alcohol seems like a big deal before the wedding, after the wedding it is a moot point.

      • Dee

        You’ve just restored my faith in humanity. :)

      • Susan

        A) Oklahoma is not in the midwest
        B) Some churches allow alcohol, just not Baptist ones in Oklahoma
        C) Point proven by your post that Oklahoma is both not fun and weddings without alcohol are definitely not fun

        Best time I’ve had recently, Unitarian wedding. They had jello shots. Unitarians rock.

    • Rose D.

      Open bar is a must. My sister is planning her wedding now, and even though money is tight, she is having an open bar. Do our families need alcohol to have a good time? No. But when people travel to join in your celebration, it is the right thing to do. Hell, cut back on the food if you need to! My wedding was open bar, and no one got sloshed, but everyone had a great time. A cash bar is tacky. If you don’t want an open bar, how about just beer/wine? It cuts costs, and alcohol consumption.

      Long live the open bar!!

    • Amanda Ernst

      You know what’s even better than an open bar? When the bride and groom put a little sign out that says “Please don’t tip the bartender — we’ve got it covered!” I always feel bad not tipping at an open bar, but typically tips for the waitstaff/bartenders get added in at the end of the night for whoever is paying for the party — so those guys get double. I know those tips are well earned, but who wants to carry cash around with them at a wedding? (That goes back to the initial open bar argument)

    • Rachel

      It’s true – Irish weddings almost never have open bars, because an open bar is a recipe for drunken disaster. As a rule, we are completely unable to pace ourselves. As in Britain as well, it’s customary to provide wine with dinner and bubbles for the toasts, and sometimes a welcome drink, but spirits are usually available only at a cash bar.

      I think open bars have become increasingly common, though, at least in Britain (where I live now). It’s also becoming fairly standard to put some money behind the bar, and let people drink for free until that set amount is spent (after which they buy their own drink). I’m actually having an open bar at my wedding later this year, in Britain, but I may well live to regret this once my Irish friends down a bottle of vodka each.

      • Rachel

        I just realised how snarky the above comment sounded – to clarify, I am Irish, completely unable to pace myself with alcohol, and entirely supportive of the fact that my friends will invariably drink me out of house and home!

    • Venus in Furs

      I’ve been to many wedding receptions, and I’ve experienced all of the different alcohol conditions therein (open bar, open bar followed by cash bar, strictly cash bar, and the dreaded dry wedding).

      I will never attend another dry wedding, and here’s why: Dry weddings* are a sham, and they suck. The absence of alcohol at a wedding reception is a farcical attempt to make guests (mostly the older generation) believe that the bride & bridegroom are good little non-drinkers.

      [Pause for smug laughter.]

      The people I know who had dry weddings weren’t non-drinkers, not by a long shot. But since they each hailed from conservative, fundamentalist Christian families for whom alcohol is The Devil, they had to play at being good little fundamentalists themselves.

      To which I say this: Jesus, without whom there would be no Christianity**, made wine for his buddies who got married up in Cana. It was his first miracle, for Christ’s sake! It is a sign that wine is an essential wedding component.

      * A dry wedding is also a solid indicator that the preachy-ness of the day won’t stop at the church doors. At the reception, plan to be subjected to lengthy testimonies, random prayers, call & response sermonizing, and maybe (if you’re hanging with the Pentecostals) even some speaking in tongues. Trust me, readers, I’ve attended more than one dry wedding. Never again!

      ** I am not a Christian, but I like to use Christian texts to point out modern-day religious hypocrisies. Hate all you want; it helps prove my point.

      • Hanna

        I think I am in love with you. You just made my day.

    • Lindsey

      Jenni – regarding the comparison about not making guests at your house pay for their drinks not being correct is actually not the point…BYOB at a house party is a far different thing than a dry wedding or a cash bar. Are you suggesting that wedding guests should have a 24 in the trunk of their car when they attend a dry wedding or one with a cash bar?

      Further to that, it’s a style of hosting, to say it’s not correct is passing a judgement that perhaps you are not qualified to make.

      I wouldn’t dare invite someone to a party at my house with a BYOB stipulation on the invitation, that to me, is rude and inconsiderate hosting, that’s my style of hosting. But if you were to invite me to your house with that stipulation, I would would arrive, gracious and smiling, bottle in hand, and I wouldn’t go around telling people that you “we’re doing it wrong” because that is also rude.

    • Hanna

      I would go to a dry wedding. And probably smuggle in some vodka in my purse for emergencies…

      • sara

        this i can get behind!!

    • Meaghan

      What is society coming to if alcohol is such a big deal that you can’t go show your support for someone who values you and your friendship enough to invite you to their wedding unless you get free booze?

      I’m a non-drinker because I’ve tried alcohol in the past and didn’t like the taste or get much out of the experience. I live in a community that is alcohol-obsessed, so I tolerate the drinking of others and understand that not everyone lives or wants to live the same way I do. But if I chose to have a ‘dry’ wedding, I would hope my friends and family would love and support me enough to accept and appreciate me not wanting to spend part of my wedding budget on something I don’t agree with in theory when I would rather direct the wedding funds elsewhere.

      Clearly this is an issue of accommodation: some commenters don’t seem to believer there are ‘genuine’ non-drinkers and so think that not being provided with alcohol is a “sham”. Some people getting married clearly don’t want pathetic drunken bullshit ruining their happy day, so they try to minimize or rule out the interference of alcohol on their day. I think that if it is important to you to be “a good host” and give people what they apparently can’t do without even if you don’t drink, you’d have an open bar. But if you don’t agree with drinking, aren’t comfortable with how your guests get when they drink or you’d rather spend the money elsewhere, you’d have a cash bar or dry wedding.

    • Kier

      Simply fascinating concepts bandied about here…
      I’m from South-western Ontario, Canada, and all weddings I’ve attended were cash bar. The only two exceptions were at my (second and current) wedding and a good friends; recovering alcoholics in the wedding party. I see no reason to put that type of stress on anybody, and while I enjoy a pint or two or three, I don’t need it to enjoy myself. Lord knows I drank enough while I was in the service a decade ago. :)
      To each their own, I think.

    • Maggie

      I think the open bar thing is just crazy. Obviously everyone LOVES to go to a wedding w/an open bar, but it really is not fair to expect everyone to be able to pay for them. When I go to a wedding, I never assume that there will be open bar. In Massachusetts, that’s pretty much the norm. An open bar is a happy surprise. Also, rather than saying what’s up with the bride and groom being so cheap, I think what’s up with the couple’s friends being so cheap?! I am more than happy to shell out $50 or so dollars on drinks to celebrate my friends’ marriage. It’s still cheaper than what you’d pay for on a regular night out in Boston or New York.

    • Arnie

      Huh. America never fails to baffle me.

      I worked at a wedding venue for the first half of this year, and have seen the whole lot of variations, and the bills at the end. Some people spent over $12,000 on booze alone for 100 guests. I don’t even plan to spend that much on my entire wedding! (If I ever decide to get married, which is a whole different ballpark)

      I think the best way I’ve seen it done is having the drinks subsidised, so that the guests pay a dollar or two per drink. Not much, but enough to have the bar tab go a little further, and make everyone a bit more aware of how much they’re drinking, so they’re less likely to power through the drinks and get completely trolleyed.

    • gonzoo

      I am not a drinker, but a wedding without alcohol?

      These religious freaks are the worst people in the world. Forcing their bizarre and anti-social beliefs on people, without any respect for the rest of the world, then thinking that they are better than everyone else because thet go to church and reeat crap like mindless robots.

      Sorry, didn’t mean to rant…, but I have yet to meet one religious person with either a shred of repect for others, a a shred of decency that isn’t tempered with unbearable smugness nad meaness of spirit.

      Jesus taking wine to a wedding…a bit of the bible these people might want to read before getting on their frankly un-educated high horse.