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BYOB wedding reception??

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I've read plenty of debate about whether or not to have a cash bar for one's wedding reception, but I wonder what people think about a BYOB wedding reception.

Noooo, not considering it for myself, but was invited to one. The wedding ceremony is in the late morning, followed with lunch (no mention of alcohol). And then several hours later in the evening there is a "party" for which guests are being asked to BYOB.

Calling your reception a "lunch" plus a "party" later on and then asking your guests to bring their own alcohol just seems absurd. I personally find the idea ridiculous, but maybe I'm overreacting.

  1. I'd prefer this option to attending a "dry" wedding reception. Not something I would do(we had an open bar), but better than just soda, coffee, and tea being offered as refreshment.

    1. I think they are hosting the wedding they can afford, and then having an after-party because they want to spend more time with their friends and guests, who may have travelled a long way and be looking for something to do with the group anyway. Perhaps you should RSVP to the wedding only and decline the party if you are not interested.

      4 Replies
      1. re: julesrules

        I absolutely agee.

        Okitt, you are both over-reacting and being inaccurate with your definitions.

        The luncheon IS the reception. The after-party is just friends hanging out. Perfectly fine and great! No need to change a thing. I've actually seen an after-party thrown rather often. The couple changes into their casual clothes, and the closest friends gather together and continue the celebration.

        Besides, you don't know if alcohol will be served or not. I don't believe alcohol should ever be mentioned in an invitation for lunch. If alcohol is not served -- and there is no rule that says alcohol must be served at a lunch or wedding reception -- I'm betting there is an extremely good reason it is not, and I would also bet that it is not about the expense.

        1. re: justalittlemoreplease

          Maybe after parties are a common occurrence for weddings these days, but I'm completely unfamiliar with the concept. I've been attending my peers' weddings for the last 10 years and have never been invited to such a thing, so pardon my ignorance. Also, my confusion about the after party is that it occurs about 7 hours after the luncheon. Many of those invited live within a 3-hour driving distance. I don't understand what guests who drive from out of town to the wedding ceremony that morning are expected to do during that long break of time, but that's a different issue...

          Also, I wasn't suggesting that alcohol should or shouldn't be served at a lunch. I was simply noting that guests were told to BYOB for the party, and that there was no mention of BYOB for the lunch. In fact, as I have posted previously in this thread, I have no problem with a couple choosing to have zero alcohol at their wedding or reception or luncheon or after party or whatever. I do have a problem with guests being asked to provide any food or drink for an event. That is the host's job.

          Yes, people have afternoon pot luck parties where everyone brings food. Yes, people have Friday night beer parties where everyone brings their own alcohol. But this after party specifically celebrates THEIR WEDDING. They are the hosts, so they should provide for their guests. Guests should not have to provide for themselves.

          1. re: okitt

            Then don't go to the party okitt.

            1. re: okitt

              Okitt, are you feeling OK about this wedding in general?

              You seem thrown that this wedding doesn't fall neatly into familar, pre-determined categories for you. This wedding just has a slightly different shape. You haven't seen it before, but I have, even among the most elegant of couples.

              You seem confused that the luncheon invitation doesn't say BYOB (because it isn't) and the after-party that begins 5 hours after the luncheon does. One's a reception -- a luncheon party, and the other is just a party that happens to be on the same day of the wedding. That's pretty easy.

              I think there's a way for you to reframe this. Be happy for the couple. Also be happy that you are SO SPECIAL to the couple that you are being invited to the after-party. Usually only the closest friends are.

              In between the luncheon and after-party, get together with some of the other people from out of town. Take a nap and a shower and change into your casual party clothes. Bring a bottle of something that you enjoy drinking.

              Might be a good idea to check in with the happy people who thought so much of you that they invited you to their wedding. Ask them, hey, what's going on the interim between....? Is so-and-so coming because she's fun to talk to? Is there a way I can help? And congratulations, I'm so happy you two found each other, and all that. Lighten up. Enjoy yourself. Wear a great outfit, and shoes you can dance in.

        2. I have no problem with it. It seems like the wedding/lunch are the "official" events. It's not uncommon for couples to have families who don't drink and friends who do, so this may be some sort of compromise to satisfy both the family and the friends. What I find absurd are people who take out gigantic loans to cover the wedding reception and half that cost ends up being the cost of an open bar. For the guest, I think BYOB is a better alternative than a cash bar because it's less expensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: queencru

            Good point, one side of the family may come from a religion where weddings are dry. I also have a friend who planned her entire lunchtime, dry event around not wanting her alcoholic mother to get drunk at her wedding.

            1. re: queencru

              I was thinking quite a bit about your second point before I read your post. Would all your guests have twice as meaningful an experience if they were provided with cheap alcohol rather than bringing their own better stuff?

              I must admit that it made me pause, but knowing nothing about the couple, maybe they'd rather have a down payment on a house than a very lavish wedding.

            2. Never heard of such a thing but have been to a few weddings where doing BYOB would certainly have improved things greatly.

              1. i'd agree with the others here.

                there could be several reasons why they've chosen to have a "dry" event but looking at how they've set-up the day, they are just trying to celebrate within their means mostly. if they lavished upon themselves an obscenely priced cake/dress/reception and then asked for byob... well then i'd be bothered. i'm now curious if there's a gift registry and what their expectations there are.