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Couple having alcohol-free wedding spark debate about social drinking vs. alcoholism.

Couple having alcohol-free wedding spark debate about social drinking vs. alcoholism.


I (25F) am getting married. My fiancé (25 M) and I decided on a dry wedding since we do not drink and see no point in spending money for alcohol. We were debating about getting a cash bar but then decided to no alcohol at all. (There will be a wide range of other drinks, not just juice and soda, provided).

We informed our guests via invitations with something along the lines of “You don’t have to be worried about choosing a driver or paying a taxi, since everybody will be able to drive”

So a friend (26M) called me and asked if I was joking about the dry wedding. I denied it. He asked two times more and I still denied joking. Then he asked what was wrong with me and how is supposed to have fun without alcohol and how he should function that night. And that it was not alright to chose a dry wedding.

This is where I might have been the AH:

I told him that I was not obligated to provide alcohol to him just because he is not able to have fun without it. And that, if he needs alcohol so badly and cannot function without it for even one night with people he knew, that he might be having an alcohol problem and should consider a therapy to treat it.

He flipped out on me and I took his invitation back until he apologises because he used many slurs on me.

Our friends are divided about me being the asshole. Some say I was right, other says I was not right.


More from OP after reading comments:

Cash bar - we debated about but decided against it, since we would have to pay a fee for them to open a cash bar and we don’t want to pay for alcohol.

Events other then the wedding: we host dinners/party’s/events regularly for our friends and never provided alcohol. So to all people that know us, it is known that we were never ones to provide alcohol.

The ones who wanted would bring a beer or two for themselves to a garden party but most of them just drank what we had available.

I am seriously shocked about the, 'I hate weddings so I drink at them“ comments. If you despise weddings why come to hammer yourself instead of staying away? No one forced you to come If you hate weddings so much.

I am also amazed how many people need alcohol for social gatherings and say “they need it to function and have fun because it’s boring without” - I still firmly believe that this is not healthy.

Thank you for the info that less people will come to the wedding, but don’t be afraid: 71 of 75 people are coming. A couple declined because their grandma has her 100 birthday that day. (Happy birthday in advance)

Some top comments:

AraedTheSecond says:

OP's buddy might be struggling with social anxiety (or various other mental health issues) and use alcohol as a coping strategy.

Mammoth-Middle2910 OP responded:

Also that would not be healthy and need professional helping.

radioactivesubspace said:

YTA. People drink. Get over yourself. You are not better than someone that drinks.

Mammoth-Middle2910 OP responded:

No one denied that people drink. People also take drugs. Still I won’t provide heroin or weed at my wedding.

unmotivatedmage says:

Eh I mean I have socially anxiety and my medication only gets me to work/the grocery store. That’s why my comment asked if they’d be offended if he didn’t attend. For me, I’ve never been to a wedding.

I have been to funerals/wakes/memorials, and at the events themselves I truly wanted to crawl into the coffin and die myself because I cannot talk to people I don’t know in a non work environment.

Afterwards, at the family parties, after a beer or glass of wine I could let go of some of my anxieties, it’s obviously not the best solution, but I would also choose to not go to these events if they were not close friends/family and I felt an obligation

Mammoth-Middle2910 OP responded:

If you would be uncomfortable because of anxiety I would totally understand if you decline an invitation to any social gathering.

Own-Year1678 says:

Typically if you are hosting then you host…. This means you provide the option of alcohol for your guests who do like to drink. You don’t need to drink and could have had a small selection (wine).

Mammoth-Middle2910 OP responded:

I don’t see we’re alcohol is included in hosting (as I hosted before without alcohol) but alright. And no offense but needing liquid courage is a sign of an alcohol dependency. Not a high one but it is a sign.

reve_de_moi says:

I drink maybe 6 times a year and its only a couple drinks at most. All in high social situations, such as weddings, because it gives me the 'courage' to be in the situation. Guess I'm an alcoholic and have alcohol dependency by your logic huh?

Mammoth-Middle2910 OP responded:

You solve some of your problems with alcohol. And this is what falls under “alcohol problem”. Alcohol problem doesn’t always mean you live wasted under a bridge and being an hard alcoholic.

dcm510 says:

ESH. Alcohol is typically expected at a wedding and unless you’re crazy religious, people are going to be surprised to hear you’re having a dry wedding. Suggesting he’s an alcoholic who needs therapy was going too far.

His reaction and calling you slurs was also going too far.

Ok-Athlete-7232 says:

NTA. I think it’s really weird that so many people seem to think you’re in the wrong here. Alcohol culture is so dangerous and so normalized. It’s your wedding, your money, so it’s your call anyway.

Infamous-Magician180 says:

I don’t understand the number of people who can’t fathom a wedding without alcohol.

Needmoresnakes says:

Emphatic NTA. I'm saying this as someone who would consider skipping a dry wedding depending on who was getting married.

He has every right to think it's boring. He has every right to not attend. He has zero right to demand answers to 'how am I supposed to have fun' as if you're planning his birthday party. He has zero right to ask 'what's wrong with you' for throwing a wedding based on what you want.

It's no different to destination weddings, potluck weddings, vegetarian weddings, child-free weddings, etc. Some people will think 'oh f*ck that' and that's fine, they just don't get to make demands of the couple getting married.

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