Wedding Reception Q&As

Answers to your questions about toasting, timing, and traditional reception rites and rituals.

Q: My fiancé and I do not want to have any hard liquor at our wedding. We will provide beer and soda but there is a bar in the reception hall and I am concerned some guests will drink anyway. Can I put "alcohol-free" on our invitation or tell people that hard alcohol is not permitted? My mother says no one will come if I do this.

A: First of all, you are not obligated to provide hard liquor at a wedding — only cake and champagne are expected. But many of your guests have probably attended receptions where alcohol flowed freely and may expect the same at yours. Keep in mind that even if you do spread the word requesting no hard liquor at your wedding, some guests will honor your wishes while others may order drinks at the bar regardless. You really have no control over their actions. Also, it is not necessary to put "alcohol-free" or "beer and soda only" on your invitation. Your family and friends are being invited to a wedding and should want to share in your happiness with or without alcohol provided. I seriously doubt that those who care about you and your fiancé would refuse to come to the reception if they could not order a V&T or a Jack Daniels! So don't worry — I'm sure you'll have a full house and enjoy a terrific time.

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