They are Having a Dry Wedding and Only Serving Water. Will They Look Cheap or Should They Pay Extra for Soda?

A couple is planning their wedding for later this year. They come from large families, so the guests will be between 100 and 150. The bride is reaching out to the online community with a dilemma she and her husband-to-be are having. The couple is mostly paying for the wedding themselves, with a contribution from her grandmother. But her grandmother isn’t helping pay for the food. 

Both the bride and groom’s sides of the family have many children, so they decided against making the event child-free. To compensate, they decided to make it a dry wedding, so there won’t be any alcohol served. Since the bride and groom don’t drink, it was a simple decision for them. They also rarely drink soda, occasionally drink juice or milk, and don’t drink coffee. 

The bride feels they are splurging on the food. She says it will be expensive for that number of guests, and the caterer will provide a variety of items for everyone to choose from. But they will only have a choice of filtered water to drink. Adding other drinks to the menu, even just soda creates a more considerable expense for the couple to manage. 

The problem is that some family and friends became angry when they learned it would be a dry wedding. Some suggested they have an open bar where guests can pay for their own drinks. However, the bride and groom would have to pay for the bartender. Others said they should at least have soda available, especially for the kids. They said without additional drinks, the event would be boring. 

The bride is surprised that serving only water created such an issue. She is asking the online community if they should just pay extra for soda to make the family happy. 

A reader provided a response that received thousands of approvals from other readers with an explanation as to why the couple needs to provide more for their guests. 

“I’ve been to dry weddings. A couple put real thought and effort into designing mocktails themed around their relationship. It was delightful, and everyone connected to the couple through it. Another couple had a sparkling cider tower instead of champagne, and everyone cheered with cider in flutes. When you’re hosting an event, your job as a hostess is to take care of your guests. Just because it follows a marriage ceremony doesn’t make you any less the host of an event. And that means providing more than one drink option, especially non-alcoholic. Especially to an event your guests are incurring expenses to attend and bringing gifts to.”

Several readers mentioned that it’s rare to eat cake without having coffee or tea on the side. 

“That’s the part that gets me about this. No tea or coffee. Gotta give wedding guests SOME caffeine.”

“If no one offered tea and coffee with the cake, I’d be like “what kind of cheap place did I just walk into?” Also, when it’s late, and you have to drive home, coffee or tea is appreciated.”

Several readers feel the bride and groom will look cheap for only serving water.

“I fully support a dry wedding, but only water as a beverage is being a cheap host.”

“You said it well. Most people don’t care whether or not it’s a dry wedding. However, only serving water is tacky and cheap. People are making an effort, bringing gifts, it’s a CELEBRATION. There is nothing fun about water.”

One reader calculated the cost of 2L soda bottles and felt it should be manageable for the couple’s budget.

“If a 2-liter bottle serves 3, we’re talking 50 bottles. A $4 per, that’s what, $200? Would that break the bank? I suspect the bride’s bouquet costs more.”

“OP is going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding, and all anyone will remember is that they were a total cheapskate who made everyone drink tap water as even coffee or tea was considered too luxurious an expense.”

What do you think? Would you enjoy the dry wedding that only served water? Are the bride and groom being selfish just because they only drink water themselves? Will they look cheap if they only serve water?

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