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Bride doesn't warn guests wedding will be dry, friends get annoyed when they find out.

Bride doesn't warn guests wedding will be dry, friends get annoyed when they find out.


When a lot of people think of weddings, they imagine a gaudy ceremony, and then a reception full of food, drinks, and dancing.

There's that drunk uncle who gets way too into what the DJ is playing, the flirty bridesmaids and groomsman who eventually pair off, and of course, the one cousin who overshares all the gossip after their fourth drink, finally clearing the air of all your family questions.

Because of these assumptions, a lot of people don't react well when they find out a wedding is dry. And even when they're chill about it, they often want to know why it's dry.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not warning guests that her wedding is dry.

She wrote:

AITA for not allowing alcohol at my wedding and not telling people why?

I (28f) am marrying my fiance James (25m) in September. We sent the invites out in January and made no mention of the fact we won't be serving alcohol at the wedding, but we won't. We will only be serving non-alcoholic options and there won't be any available for people to people to buy at the 'bar'.

I'm a recovering alcoholic (sober 4 years 7 months) but if I'm out socially and a discussion about having alcohol comes up, I always lie and tell people I'm seriously intolerant to alcohol and it makes me very sick. I just don't want people to know about my sobriety, it's none of their business. Only my best friends and immediate family know (and my fiance obviously).

James' birthday was in early April and we rented the room above a pub (yep, big fun for the recovering alcoholic as you can imagine..!) to celebrate. Convos about our wedding came up and I don't remember exactly how but I ended up talking to a group of not-so-close friends (more James' friends and my acquaintances) about the wedding.

I said it was going to be an alcohol-free wedding and they were pretty incredulous. Especially as James' birthday was not alcohol-free. They asked why and I said I wasn't giving a reason, there's just no alcohol. They asked if I was pregnant, I said no. I just don't want alcohol at my wedding.

I was called a buzzkill and told that people go to weddings to drink, that it's polite to put money behind the bar for your guests particularly if they are evening guests. It ended up in this big debate about drinking at weddings. One of our much closer friends joined the convo and asked why I didn't just tell them all why I don't drink.

I said it was none of their business, pretty rudely to be honest but I was getting pissed off at this point. One of James' friends said being honest about it was the least I could do and it was wrong of me not to at least explain myself. One of them also made a fairly unpleasant joke at my expense basically suggesting I'm the 'ball and chain' now for James.

I took myself out of the conversation because I was upset but I still don't think I owe anyone an explanation despite what they say. AITA?

Edit: a few people have brought this up so I thought I'd address it. We didn't put it on the invites because BYOB isn't really a thing here with these kinds of venues, so we figured people won't (if they do I can't stop them drinking it but I'd rather they didn't) however if we put that it's a dry wedding more people will try and bring their own.

And because we've told the venue there's no alcohol, we have to pay a very steep corkage fee if people bring it and the venue staff notice. So we'd have to pay a considerable amount if someone was really obvious about it, and we all know drunk people aren't great at secrecy!

Edit: all of my comments are being downvoted (so I guess I know how this judgement will go!) so I'm not sure if people will see my comment below on this, but I think I'm just going to mass email our guests telling the truth.

It makes me feel awful to tell people I'm an alcoholic, but then I can say that it's a dry wedding and ask them not to bring alcohol, then the bandage is off and if they judge me they judge me. That's probably better than lying any more seeing as the lie never made much sense anyway.

People had a lot of different takes on the situation.

Wild_Ad_2495 wrote:

Title is would in fact NOT be the a**hole for not giving reasons as to why you won't be serving alcohol but you are TA for not informing your guests that there will be no alcohol. If you live in a country where weddings and people usually drink then people can reasonably expect there to be alcohol and should be informed otherwise.

Additional_Day949 wrote:

YTA: Honestly you might have an actual riot on your hands if people show up to a wedding and there is no alcohol if you don’t warn people beforehand. People get pissy when they are surprised by something negative. Every culture is different, but I go to a wedding to drink. I wouldn’t travel and spend hundred of dollars to go to a wedding that was dry.

You aren’t the AH for not providing booze, but you are for not warning people. I think you know this and keeping it secretive because you know you’ll get a lot of no RSVPs. People will leave early to go to bars together FYI.

Cannabis-aficionado wrote:

YTA, and I'm sober, too. At least make it known it's a dry wedding to the guests so they can decide if they want to attend. I feel you're keeping this a secret because it might impact attendance as well as wedding gifts.

hibernativenaptosis wrote:

I don't think you're an AH but this does seem like a pretty awful plan, like you're on the path to create a lot of headaches and resentment in order to keep this secret about your sobriety. Better to just own it, IMO.

Slight_Necessary8246 wrote:

NTA - you are not obligated to have alcohol or to explain. You are the a**hole for not putting it on the invites. Weddings aren't fun for a lot of people, and they need the social lubrication to get through. This isn't because they are alcoholics, just some people aren't comfortable in large social gatherings and, realistically, they are celebrating you, but they don't get to socialize with you much at a wedding.

Completely your choice to explain why, but I think you'd find a lot more support if you did give the reason. Right now, without explaining, you run the risk of people bringing their own alcohol.

Plonted wrote:

Why didn't you simply state in your invite that it will be a dry wedding and that there will be no exceptions and it will be strictly enforced? Seems simple enough. People expect to drink at weddings. It's a cultural norm. It's totally up to you to have a dry wedding but you need to make that clear up front when you invite people.

YTA. You are under no obligation to serve alcohol at your wedding or to explain why your wedding is dry, but definitely YTA for not telling people up front.

Clearly, this is a hot button issue that people have all different manner of opinion on.

Sources: Reddit
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