Recently I went to a cousin's wedding. She used to party but has recently stopped drinking, and her wedding was dry — punch and water were the only beverages served. I respect her decision to throw the reception she wanted, however, my brother and I wanted to drink something with a little burn. Is it terrible to leave a wedding in a park, go to the liquor store nearby, and sneak back in with our well-hidden brown bag? Nobody noticed we were drinking anything other than the Sunday school punch they were serving. Was that tacky and disrespectful for my brother and I to do?
The short answer is yes, it is disrespectful to sneak alcohol into dry wedding. The longer answer is still yes — but maybe not for the reasons you think.
It's up to you to decide whether you want to respect the wishes of the host of an event you're attending, even if you don't agree with them and could get away with breaking the rules.
Of course you can sneak booze into a dry wedding. Personally, I think most events are better with a flask. As long as you're discreet and don't get obviously inebriated, of course you can get away with it. As long as no one knows, no one's really hurt by your actions.
… But does it feel good?
To me, this question is bigger than alcohol. (Which is a pretty big issue, when you toss in religion and addiction.) Let's say we're talking about a vegan wedding… are you going to sneak some cold-cuts in your purse? Assuming no one smells you, you could probably get away with it (but ew?). Let's say I'm planning an unplugged wedding, and you take a picture with your cell phone without me knowing… that doesn't hurt me. I don't know, I don't care, and meh, whatever!
But do you feel right with yourself for having done that? Ultimately it doesn't matter what the couple or even the internet thinks… how do you feel about YOURSELF?
Based on the fact that you're writing to a wedding blog asking for absolution, my guess is you don't feel great about the decision. While of course it's nice to respect other people's wishes because it's, well, respectful… you're the one who gets to sit with the feelings afterward.
Did it hurt the bride that you brought booze? If you were discreet, probably not. Does it matter if the internet thinks you're “tacky?” Meh, probably not.
… But does it feel good TO YOU to wonder if you were disrespectful? Nope, that feeling sucks. Doubt and regret will follow you around like a farting dog, nipping at your heels and making embarrassing noises and smelling like cold-cuts in your purse at a vegan wedding.
Living your life with integrity is something you do not because it's “tacky” not to or because you might get caught. (I'm here to tell you that the internet thinks everything is tacky.) Living your life with integrity is something you do because you're the one who has to live with the feels when you don't.
I don't know about you, but feeling disappointed in myself is way worse than spending a wedding sober.
Then again, I'm the one who traveled across the country cohosting alternative wedding expos with a flask in hand at all times, so I'm clearly pro-flask. I'm just even more for feeling good about your decisions.