Fact Three: Weddings Aren’t All About Alcohol

I’ve been waiting a while to blog about this. I actually had a post ready before our wedding and almost shared then, but decided to wait. I’m so glad that I did, because I have a lot more insight on the subject now.

The subject is dry weddings ’cause…uhh…we had one!

Myth: People go to weddings for the alcohol.

Fact: People go to weddings for you!

I was freaking out about the fact that we weren’t going to have alcohol at our wedding for the longest time. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford alcohol (even though we really didn’t have the budget for it), and it isn’t that we have anything against alcohol being at weddings. In fact, the Brooches used to be big drinkers. Back in college, we spent many a nights going out with our friends and drinking fancy cocktails. But then something changed, and Mr. Brooch decided he wasn’t going to drink anymore. At all. It was a bit of an adjustment for us, but I have to be honest: I love the man Mr. Brooch has become (sober for 3 years now) and I knew our wedding needed to be about “us,” and not what we thought others expected of us. Nevertheless, I worried. We all worry about the way our weddings will be perceived (even those of us who do serve alcohol), and I thought for sure 1) people will leave right after the ceremony or dinner 2) people won’t dance and 3) people will talk behind our backs about how much our wedding sucked because of the lack of alcohol.

Well, I’m here to tell you these were the biggest myths ever! At least for us, nobody missed it! Maybe we just invited the right guests and had a very easy-to-please crowd, but not a single person complained about us not having alcohol. I don’t even think anyone asked for it when they realized it wasn’t being served. If they did, we were unaware. Not a single person bolted after the ceremony and I was shocked to see ALL OF THEM gather in the foyer for our speeches and cake cutting, and then pile into the main room to see our first dance. It was really quite amazing.

I will say that I think the alcohol wasn’t missed in large part because our wedding was on a Sunday. We had to be out of the venue by 7 pm so that it could be cleaned by 8 pm, and that made a big difference. A lot of guests drove from the Richmond/Williamsburg area, too and I doubt any of them would have drank anyway.

It was really important for me to blog about this, though because I know there’s a lot of discussion on the boards about this type of thing. I know a lot of people have really strong opinions, ranging from “dry weddings suck,” to the murmur from folks on the opposite end of the spectrum who say, “I’ve never been to a wedding that wasn’t dry!” Those debates only fueled my insecurities and well, I can’t help but think there are other brides out there nervous about their dry weddings…I just want you all to know: it’s going to be OK. People are going to still enjoy themselves, I promise! Do what works for you and your FI, as this celebration is really about the two of you anyway, and forget what the masses say because sometimes, well, they’re wrong.

Did you have alcohol at your wedding?

If not, were you nervous about how your guests would react?

Miss something? Check out other myth vs. fact posts here and here!


Mrs. Brooch

Arlington, VA
Wedding Date:
April 2011
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  1. Member
    Crown 578 posts, Busy bee @ 2:56 pm

    Thank you for this post, Broochy. Mr. Crown and I don’t drink alcohol at all either, and have been going back and forth whether to serve it, and if we do, what to serve. Anywho…I will show him this so we can discuss it further. You’re so right…one’s wedding day is about the couple and what is right for THEM.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 3:03 pm

    I’m so glad this worked out for you! I attended a cousin’s wedding last fall and it was dry, so many of my cousins in their 20s brought flasks and tailgated in the parking lot! It was an afternoon wedding on a college campus! Granted, the groom’s (my) side of the family tends to be “heavy” drinkers while the bride’s family doesn’t drink. I was still shocked at how rude my cousins acted!

  3. Member
    futuremrsloveday 518 posts, Busy bee @ 3:15 pm

    Thanks for posting this! We’re also having a dry wedding. Neither of us drink and most of our family/friends don’t either, so it just makes sense.

  4. Member
    spaniel 6778 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 3:45 pm

    The best wedding I ever went to was a dry wedding. Then again, I also like to drink. I don’t judge either way, and I’m glad your choice worked out for you. :)

  5. Member
    Miss Tattoo 7521 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 4:23 pm

    Glad it worked out for you!

  6. Member
    cardigan 8645 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 4:40 pm

    I love this post and I agree 100%!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Ember, Guest @ 4:57 pm

    Thank you!!!! We don’t drink as much as we did in college, either, and although I’m hoping our budget allows for champagne toasts, we really can’t afford any other alcohol. I won’t miss it, and I think we invited people carefully enough and if they were only there for the part, we cut them. Ours is in a church that would allow us to serve alcohol, but I personally wouldn’t want people hammered in my parish hall anyway. I want everyone happy, but I also want them to be able to be happy for us without having to drink. Having a 2:00 wedding should make this more palatable, and the fact that we will only have finger foods should make it clear enough that an open bar wasn’t an option. Our church is also in a great location, walking distance from the hotel and the most popular restaurant and bar district, so if anyone celebrates afterward, they’ll be able to avoid drunk driving. Thanks again for affirming my hopes! :)

  8. Member
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:29 pm

    We didnt have alcohol at our wedding either- no one missed it at all! It helped that our reception was held a bit earlier in the day as well (we had to be out of the venue by 10pm)

  9. Member
    Lo 538 posts, Busy bee @ 5:44 pm

    I think the time of day effects people’s perceptions. A morning or early afternoon reception would lead to a different set of expectations than a later reception. For me at least, I would expect drinking to be involved in the latter but that could be because I have never attended a dry wedding. Personally, FI and I are drinkers but because of our venue and budget aren’t serving hard liquor just local brews, wine and some fruity sangria.

  10. Member
    miss.qwerty 206 posts, Helper bee @ 12:41 am

    I’m glad that it worked out so well for you! That’s awesome that Mr. Brooch made a lifestyle choice that both of you are so happy with, and that you had a reception that jived with your lives and values. Good points about some of the ways that having an early-ish wedding on a Sunday fit in with that choice, too.

  11. Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:48 am

    Awesome post! My friends and I like to drink so this wouldn’t have really worked for us, but I’m sure it’ll inspire those that are thinking about it.

  12. Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:57 pm

    it’s so awesome to see/hear/prove that dry weddings are just as amazingly fun as weddings with alcohol. the love in the air alone is such a high!
    as for the ostrich duo, like @SerenaSF, our wedding was definitely a celebration of love..but also our favorite foods and cocktails. we each picked a favorite drink to serve our guests during the cocktail hour, poured our favorite wines during dinner and topped it off with some bubbly for our toasts.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    beautifulkastrofie, Guest @ 7:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. My wedding is on Friday & because ours is a morning wedding and neither of us drink, we are having a dry wedding as well. I’m worried about it because both our families like to drink. Hearing about how well your wedding went without alcohol is comforting.

  14. Member
    ginnyc 556 posts, Busy bee @ 5:57 pm

    I’m a recovering alcoholic so it’s refreshing to read about someone else who has to plan a wedding with these issues. We ended up having a limited bar at our wedding. However, thanks to the cunning of the active alcoholics in our family, there were a few people absolutely smashed. Fortunately we ended the reception around ten so I didn’t have to deal with them for too long, but i really wish I could have had a wedding day where I didn’t have to deal with the heavy drinkers in my family being drunk and obnoxious. On the other hand, I know that the normal drinkers really appreciated having a glass of wine or beer with their meal. It’s a tough call! Ideally, we would have had it early in the day so it wouldn’t have had to deal with that, but that didn’t work either.

  15. Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:00 am

    I’m glad everything worked out, Brooch! This is a great post to put a dry wedding out there as an option that perhaps couples haven’t considered.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    almostmrs.v, Guest @ 12:04 pm

    Great post! This is one thing that makes me a little nervous about our wedding. Neither he or I drink alcohol- we’re having a rustic outdoor themed wedding/reception and there will be a keg of birch beer (our favorite), lemonade, and water to choose from. Hopefully our fun guest book/photobooth and games of horse shoes will be enough to distract my extended family (aunts and uncles) from being bothered by the lack of alcohol. We don’t need alcohol to have a fun time and celebrate!! (There will also be Welch’s sparkling cider for the toast)

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