Surprise! You’re at a Dry Wedding! What’s Your Reaction?

Young hispanic couple together over pink background in shock face, looking skeptical and sarcastic, surprised with open mouth
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Imagine attending your friend’s wedding to celebrate her and her new husband’s love while dancing the night away. But when you walk through the reception hall doors, you see the empty bar and discover a disappointing surprise. Unfortunately, it seems, there is no alcohol on the reception menu.

Dry Wedding Shocker

Young surprised shocked fun couple two friends family man woman in casual clothes looking camera together isolated on pastel plain light blue color background studio portrait People lifestyle concept

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Have you ever attended a dry wedding? What about one you didn’t realize was going to be alcohol-free? How would you react if you showed up to a reception ready to party, only to find out the bar was completely closed?

A Little Backstory

Woman thinking

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

That’s what one woman, who we’ll call Shelby, hopes to prevent with her sister’s upcoming wedding. She contacted a popular online wedding forum to ask others for their opinions on surprise dry weddings and if guests will be angry about the lack of alcohol.

The Dilemma

Couples in dilemma

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Shelby’s problem started when her sister, who we’ll call Kathy, planned her wedding reception without alcohol. Kathy and her fiancĂ© are sober, and the wedding expenses are piling up by the minute.

The Couple Wanted to Cut Costs

Young pretty woman sad and disappointed, holding a piglet bank, no money left, trying to get something out, face of anger and anguish, concept of poverty

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Kathy told Shelby she and her fiancĂ© decided not to serve alcohol at their wedding because they didn’t want to pay for their guests’ drinks when they are sober and wanted to save as much money as possible.

Is The Bride Obligated to Give Guests a Heads Up?

Young woman over yellow wall having doubts

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

But Shelby is concerned that guests will be angry when they show up to find they can’t have a drink. She even fears guests will leave early and won’t dance because they won’t have any liquid courage. So should Shelby keep encouraging her sister to include alcohol at her wedding or let her sister decide by herself? Here is how the forum responded.

Let it Go

Woman shrugging

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Most commenters on the forum agree that Shelby needs to let it go. The decision to include alcohol at the wedding is Kathy and her fiancĂ©’s decision and no one else’s. Shelby warned the couple that guests might be upset, but that’s all she can do.

She Will Regret Keeping It A Secret

Woman regretting

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many other respondents are worried that Kathy will regret keeping the sober aspect of the wedding a secret. “I can guarantee that folks will be rolling out during the event to hit the liquor store,” one user shares.

People Will Still Find a Way to Drink

People drinking

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If a liquor store is near the venue, guests will surely leave the wedding to buy booze to sneak into the reception or down in the parking lot before hitting the dance floor. People say the intent of the sober wedding won’t even work.

Guests Have a Right to Know Beforehand

Woman on call

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some individuals acknowledge that the guests could save money and time on transportation to the wedding if they know they won’t be served any alcohol.

Many wedding guests plan to hire a taxi to travel to the event or even book a nearby hotel room so they know they will get home safely after a night of drinking. Guests may get angry when they show up after all this planning to no bar.

It’s Not Shelby’s Choice

Two women not talking

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

No matter whether or not Shelby is technically in the right, many commenters believe she should butt out of the issue because it’s not her wedding. “If Kathy wants a dry wedding, that’s up to her and her fiancĂ©,” says one user.

Alcohol is Expensive

Man saying no to alcohol

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

People on the thread point out that one of the reasons Kathy doesn’t want alcohol at her wedding is the cost. The two are already over budget, so why would they pay for drinks for all of their guests when they don’t drink in the first place? One recent mother of the groom shares that she paid for the alcohol, and “just beer and wine cost us over $1000.”

Kathy’s Secrecy is the Problem

Man shrugging what

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The dry wedding isn’t the problem here, but Kathy’s refusal to tell her guests about the lack of alcohol at the party. “People don’t get upset there isn’t alcohol. They get upset when they’ve expected something that isn’t there,” states one respondent.

Weddings Aren’t About Booze. They’re About Love

Woman saying no

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“What is it with alcohol and weddings? Why can’t grown adults survive a party without having it?” Asserts one commenter. And they have a point. The purpose of a wedding isn’t to down as much free liquor as possible but to celebrate the love of a happy couple.

Can’t People Go One Night Without Drinking?

Man shrug

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many agree that while some guests might be upset, they have no right to be. They’re simply invited to a ceremony and a reception to celebrate the union of their loved ones. “If they can’t go without alcohol for one night… They have bigger problems,” says one astute individual.

Would you be angry if you showed up at a wedding to find that no one would serve you any alcohol?

This story was inspired by Reddit and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Budget Savvy Bride.

10 Wedding Options That Seem Cheap but Are Actually Deceptively Expensive

10 Wedding Options That Seem Cheap but Are Actually Deceptively Expensive

Image credit: ruangrit19 via Adobe Stock.

Planning a wedding can quickly become expensive – but some of the most seemingly affordable options could be even more costly than you think.

How to Plan a Wedding for Less Than $5,000

How to Plan a Wedding for Less Than $5,000

Image Credit: Allistair F via Adobe Stock.

Working with an extra tight budget? You can still have a beautiful wedding, no matter the size of your bank account. Don’t miss these tips for planning a wedding for less than $5,000!

Savvy Wedding Hack: Buy a Used Wedding Dress!

Savvy Wedding Hack: Buy a Used Wedding Dress!

Image credit: olegparylyak on Adobe Stock.

These are the best places to buy or sell a used wedding dress online in 2022. Score a deal or recoup some of your costs after the big day!

Curious What Other Couples Spent on Their Wedding? See Real Budget Breakdowns!

Saving Money on a Wedding

Image credit: JDB on Adobe Stock.

Browse real weddings from savvy couples like you to see how far your budget can go! Use the filters below to browse by color, state, budget, or season.

The Best Way to Save on Wedding Flowers

The Best Way to Save on Wedding Flowers

Image credit: Africa Studio on Adobe Stock.

Thinking about DIYing your wedding flowers? Check out these recommended resources to buy bulk flowers online for your wedding!