Our alcohol-free wedding and how it came to be

Robert and Lisa are an awesome couple who have been vlogging about their wedding planning process. This particular vlog addressed a very divisive wedding topic — the dry wedding. Dun dun DUN! Here's how one couple handled their decision to have a dry wedding when one partner is not into alcohol, one partner doesn't mind it, and one family DEMANDS it.

Oh, and whilst discussing this issue they also get into the much-loved subject of co-planning the wedding (grooms plan too!), and they also created the dry wedding drinking game…

  1. What a cool couple, and good for them for coming to this decision together in the way that they did. I hope their dry wedding is totally awesome. 😉

    6 agree
  2. I think Robert put it into perspective for me when he made the comment about not expecting people to NOT have alcohol since he doesn't drink and will be a guest at a party, why should they HAVE alcohol because people who do drink will be in attendance. Well played, Robert. Well played. 😉

    34 agree
    • When I heard that I through my fist in the air and yelled 'Hell yeah!'. I have an unbelievable low tolerance for alcohol that I can't drink, and I prefer to not be around it. So, for our wedding, I found a park, that's beautiful, and cheap, and alcohol isn't allowed and my fiance is completely on board.

      1 agrees
    We're having a dry wedding too!!!! We don't like to overindulge very often, especially in the morning (also having a morning wedding). People just don't seem to get it. We aren't telling our guests, because someone will smuggle in a flask and then we get evicted.
    Dry weddings are so much cheaper, and it will still be amazing!!!
    <3 this couple!!!!

    11 agree
  4. This hits very close to home with me. We have also elected to have a dry wedding, and have been making strides to have enough entertainment that people won't miss it. I figure if people don't come because there's no alcohol, they weren't coming for the right reasons, anyway.

    26 agree
  5. Neither my husband or I are drinkers, in that neither of us will go out of our way to obtain alcohol, mostly 'cause we don't like how it tastes. We had champagne for toasting (because it was included), but other than that, we had a dry wedding. We opted for lemonade and iced tea, because those are things we both like, and our families like, and it was affordable.

    Not having alcohol wasn't an issue, 'cause we just didn't tell anyone ahead of time! >;D And no one seemed to mind and no one got drunk, so it was all good.

    7 agree
  6. My husband is hardcore straight edge. So our wedding was dry. We had tea, punch and Diet Dr. Pepper. It was an early afternoon tapas reception, so I don't think people really missed having booze.

    5 agree
  7. Thank you all for your comments — they've really made my day and solidified the strength of our decision in light of some flak we've been getting. We (Raubert) love Offbeat Bride and supporters of this wonderful site! 4 more days until Super Happy Funtime Robotland (formerly known as "the wedding').

    16 agree
  8. I'm straightedge, my fiancee drinks in small amounts, but risks 1 drink reacting like 3 drinks with her medication. We're having drink coupons for 1 drink per of age guest, and if you need more than 1 drink, go empty your wallet. We're not fueling our relatives alcoholisms. Oh to be french-scotish-native.

    3 agree
  9. More power to them for having an alcohol-free reception!! I love that the groom is in the thick of it with his beautiful bride! Just as it should be! It's *their* day!

    Though the fiance and I do like a tipple now and then, we refuse to pay for other people's drinking habits, and those habits will *not* be encouraged at our wedding! We'll have enough tea, coffee, fruit juice and soft drinks to sink the Titanic, but if someone wants to write themselves off with booze, they can do it on their own coin, not ours! Harsh of me, I know, but I have lines that won't be crossed, now or ever, and that's one of them.

    5 agree
  10. I've never had a drop of alcohol in my life (excluding NyQuil) and my husband hadn't had a drink in a few years. We were having an 11:30am wedding followed by a potluck lunch. We had a dry wedding, though we OKed a few people that wanted to BYOB (not sure if they ended up bringing anything or not. Didn't notice). No one seemed to mind, perhaps because it was so early in the day. My thought was just…I never drink, so why would I buy a bunch of booze to serve my guests? If I can have fun on my wedding day without alcohol, they should be able to manage. We bought mini bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, root bear, Sprite, SunKist, bottled water, and juice boxes. We also had three big jugs with lemonade, iced tea, and punch.

    8 agree
  11. We are making strides to have lots of things to do, so nobody misses alcohol. We are lucky enough to have a venue that is huge, so we are setting up the Wii with RockBand and Dr. Mario, and the Kinect with Just Dance. We are also still having a great band, and have designated an area for board games, too. We are building our own photo booth, and are setting up the bar to serve italian sodas. Our venue does have a public bar (separate), where guests can drink at their own expense, but the venue rep said that they are happy to enforce the no alcohol policy if anyone tries to re-enter with a drink.

    1 agrees
  12. We have a weird thing going on where neither of us drink much, but I am pretty fond of wine. My groomboy hardly ever drinks though and has never been drunk. However he has family who really are into drinking (I was at a family wedding for his side last weekend and his uncles were wasted). Yet, it is him (the non-drinker) who thinks we should have alcohol to stop his family being disappointed. I wouldn't really care either way -we are having milkshakes after all and I know what I'll be having! But I think he feels the pressure and doesn't want to be a disappointment fun-wise for his family. (Similarly he is taking my name which he wants to but thinks his family will feel he is 'letting them down' so we havent told them yet.)

    2 agree
    • I completely understand how he is feeling! I do not drink and I really don't want alcohol at the reception. I know how some of my boyfriend's relatives act with just a little bit of booze in their system (loud, obnoxious, rude, you name it) and I don't find that appealing. However, my family is a very large southern family and they expect alcohol to be there. So I am kind of forced to supply alcohol, otherwise I'd have no one at my reception and I would continue to be the black sheep of the family. It's a very difficult decision.

      2 agree
  13. This couple is adorable, first off. I hope they have a lovely wedding. I can't believe that whether the bride and groom choose to offer alcohol or not at a wedding is something that people could get offended over. I mean, damn, you're already getting free cake and possibly a free meal, good grief. If you can't get together with people you love and celebrate a happy occasion without a drink, that might be a personal problem.

    It says something about the couple that they have talked it out together and are united in their conviction, though. My cousin was about to be married, had spent a year planning and many many dollars. Her folks were footing the bill for the reception, a typical country club setting with of course a cash bar. Turns out the groom's mother was a staunch Baptist who had a meltdown about alcohol at the reception, and the groom ended up calling off the whole thing four days before the wedding over it. If the two of them had been as open in communicating and as united as this couple, things would have turned out much differently.

    3 agree
  14. In the UK a cash bar is the norm, I cannot fathom putting a huge amount of money behind a bar so that people won't remember the celebration! And I would say that the UK Has a much larger drinking culture than the US (just a personal reflection), so you would expect free bars to be more of a UK thing. Or maybe us Brits are just stingy! Lol!

    6 agree
  15. I've never been to a dry wedding, but really, it's just alcohol. The world will not end just because a wedding has no booze. There will still be fun had!

    It's interesting how drink at weddings is split very culturally too, either regionally or due to lifestyle. It's fascinating!

    4 agree
  16. This is so encouraging! We're also having a dry wedding— for a variety of reasons. One fam demands it, the other can't be near it. Sometimes it feels like we're offending a lot of people by not having alcohol, and then I stop and think: what is this day about? And the money we saved went to the FOOD! Cheese and chocolate, baby.

    7 agree
  17. I've been agonising over this. I would prefer a dry wedding but my in-laws-to-be showed clear disgust at a dry wedding they were invited to in the past and even my teetotal mum is saying that I absolutely must have alcohol. I don't see why I should have to pay for other people to get their drink on.

    2 agree
  18. I'm so glad you two did a vlog about this! It definitely settles my mind about having a dry wedding. My fiance doesn't drink, and I'm not much of a drinker either. We also have friends and family who can't be around alcohol for various reasons. Our reception is in the early afternoon, so we're going to do some nice autumn drinks like warm cider, good coffee, and a variety of sodas.

    3 agree
  19. I absolutely loved this vlog, my fiance & I are also doing a dry wedding but one thing I am concerned about is the toast. Can you do a toast without alcohol? & what would you use instead? Any advice?

    1 agrees
  20. They are hilarious. Good for them. We both had family members we knew would be beyond smashed within the 1st hour of the reception. Police have been unexpected guests at family weddings in the past and I absolutely did not want that to happen. We ended up deciding to put two bottles of wine on each table for the toast and dinner and had a cash bar open for the rest of the night. No one complained (at least to me). My relatives even offered to buy us drinks to celebrate throughout the night. I didn't end up taking them up on it, but it was thoughtful!

    I think what I loved about it, and about what they said in the vlog about their decision, was that it reflected us. We'll have a glass of wine at dinner, but we aren't big drinkers. That's what we did and we were really happy about it.

    Congrats to them!

  21. How does everyone feel about a half bar? Beer and wine is free, mixed drinks are not. I am in a quandry. I like to drink every once and a while, as does my man. My family doesn't really drink, but his REALLY does. I could pay for an open bar, but I just don't see why. So I can pay for someone to get loud, belligerent, and possibly puke on the floor? I feel like no matter what I do, people are going to be pissed. If I have no alcohol, it's "no fun." If I only offer beer and wine and make people pay to get stupid drunk, suddenly I'm cheap, tacky, and rude. If I only offer beer and wine with no actual booze, people still aren't happy. If I have a full bar, I have some weird relative who has drowned himself in tequila shots making a pass at a bridesmaid or getting in a fight about politics. I feel like I can't win for losing.

    If I had a reason to forgo the alcohol altogether I might. (But we really like beer…) I figure, you're being fed tasty appetizers, a great dinner, cupcakes, and free beer and wine. Why bitch about not being able to down as much whiskey as humanely possible on my dime? Am I crazy? Is it really tacky and rude? Or is it tackier to get a free night of food, craft beer and wine, and still be unsatisfied? Thoughts?

    1 agrees
  22. Half bar sounds totally reasonable! Very common here in the UK (and very common also to only offer free booze during the reception – afterwards everything is cash bar, even beer and wine). We're not having a dry wedding, but we are going to have a vegetarian one. I'm totally veggie, partner is mostly, and we don't see why we should include meat on the menu if neither of us want it. We're going to make sure the food is awesome, so no one should feel like they're missing anything. It's a very similar situation.

  23. When I got married 25 yrs ago, it was a dry wedding but nothing was said because we were both under the legal age and our venue wouldn't let us have it. Didn't bother us one bit. Our oldest son got married 1 year ago. Since we paid for the wedding, we decided that we were not paying for alcohol. Our youngest son is getting married this June, the venue offers alcohol but it will not be served, as we are once again paying for the wedding. Big blow up from the bride's family, but, hey, you want it you can pay for it. I'd rather offer an experience that people can remember.

  24. Absolutely love your video.. So great! I also loved reading everyone's comments! I am having a dry wedding and this is perfect. If only everyone that is coming to my wedding would listen to you 😉

    1 agrees
  25. The booze on the day is one of the most important things for us. We are having cocktails on the beach, craft beer, fizz, wine, a gin bar and a whisky bar. We're also asking guests to BYOB for the evening, for when the rest of it is gone. We have lots of things planned to stop people from drinking heavily for 12 hours straight, but we're expecting our families and friends to be able to handle themselves. We think it's going to be good fun to have Pimm's and quidditch, whisky tastings and being able to introduce our friends to the beauty of local craft brews.

    I do think, though, that you lot have the offbeat thing down: do what you want! Do what makes you happy! If you don't like alcohol, for whatever reason, you shouldn't feel like you have to have it at your wedding. You do you.

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