6/28

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Alcohol. A permanent wedding accessory?

Dear Liz,

Our current plan is for my fiance and me to have a local celebration party with friends and my family, and a destination wedding with his much larger family.
The hitch with the local celebration is that he and his friends are Muslim. My fiance is also a nurse and so he absolutely has no time or patience for drunken antics. My friends and family, on the other hand, are largely not of the faith, some of them are raucous Uni students, and they expect to be drinking.
I know that having a bar that runs dry is a definite no-no, but I was wondering what the etiquette is for an alcohol-free event, if such a thing is possible? The last time such a prospect was raised it was met with derisive laughter.

Signed,

Where’s the Party?

Dear Party,

I’ve never coordinated a wedding where alcohol wasn’t served at all, but I can certainly think of a few examples where that would happen: Couple isn’t old enough to drink; an alcoholic getting married; the wedding of a  close family member of an alcoholic; and, of course, if there are religious restrictions. But it sounds like you’re going to get more flack than it’s worth, if there’s nuthin’ to drink. So, why don’t we talk about limiting the bar as opposed to nixing it. What about any of these or a doing a combo of:

  • Sticking to just beer and wine, no hard alcohol. Two choices, both of which take a while to get lit off of. Even better if you can decide how many glasses or bottles get served.
  • Forgoing a 5-6 hour party. Do a long dinner instead … 2-3 hours? Three to four? Less time for drinking, and to get out of control drunk.
  •  Keeping the bar open for a shorter period of time. Three hours as opposed to four? Two hours as opposed to three? Figure out how long you want your party to be, and make the “last call” for the bar a couple of hours before that. Sodas, water and coffee are the only drinks available once alcohol service is over.
  •  Having a Cash bar. I don’t really like this one, because it doesn’t go over very well, and it’s not particularly hospitable. That’s my personal opinion, but still. You could convert the bar into a cash bar after last call for the hosted bar, but be prepared for grumbling. It is what it is.

The other thing to remember is that your fiance is aware of how your friends and family are,  how they behave, and what they will expect. It’s one night, you’re hosting a party. He and his friends don’t have to drink if they don’t want to. You should definitely discuss the options with him, though, and see which ones he’s the most comfortable with. Go with those.

Anyone else out there with the same issues? Or are you not serving alcohol at your wedding? Tell me below! And, if  you want to find out a little more about me and my part of wedding world, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

 

Liz

Liz
Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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