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“Am I A Jerk For Having A Dry Wedding And Serving Only Water For Drinks?”: The Internet Gives This Engaged Woman A Reality Check
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“Am I A Jerk For Having A Dry Wedding And Serving Only Water For Drinks?”: The Internet Gives This Engaged Woman A Reality Check

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Weddings can be incredibly expensive, so it’s understandable that we can’t all shell out thousands of dollars for gourmet food and an open bar. But after one woman proposed the idea of serving water as the sole beverage option at her wedding, her friends, family and the internet had plenty to say. Below, you’ll find the bride’s reasoning for wanting to host a water-only celebration, as well as an interview with international wedding planner Valentina Ring.

When a bride and groom decide to have a dry wedding, they usually only opt out of serving alcohol

Image credits: Jeremy Wong (not the actual photo)

So after this bride-to-be shared her plans to serve water as the only drink option, her friends and family members were shocked

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Image credits: Pixabay (not the actual photo)

Image credits: u/Odd_Conversation5087

While most weddings today do serve alcohol, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to keep the celebration dry

While most people think weddings and alcohol go together like gin and tonic, it is not unheard of to have a dry wedding. In fact, according to The Knot, about 8% of couples who got hitched in 2022 refrained from serving adult beverages at their weddings. This is often done for cultural or religious reasons, but it may also be simply a tactic to cut costs. Brides and grooms who have over 100 guests attending their big day tend to spend $3,100 on alcohol alone, so deciding to have a dry wedding can make a huge impact on a couple’s budget. Plus, a dry wedding can be just as much fun as a wedding with alcohol, if done right.

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To gain more insight on this topic, we reached out to international wedding planner and the woman behind The Stars Inside, Valentina Ring. Valentina was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda about how common it is becoming to have a dry wedding. “This year has been the first year for me in which some of my couples have chosen to have completely alcohol-free celebrations, and I’m definitely noticing an increasing trend for it in the wedding industry as a whole!” she shared. “I see it as similar to couples choosing to have a fully vegan wedding, or an eco-friendly one for example; more and more clients are wanting their values, cultures, and lifestyles reflected in their wedding, and personally, I think that’s really positive attitude.”

Valentina also explained some of the popular alcohol-free options brides and grooms opt for. “Temperance bars, as they’re becoming known, serve exciting and creative non-alcoholic options, and they can be a really unique and fun experience for guests,” she told Bored Panda. “Whether or not there is alcohol served, having non-alcoholic beverage options is essential for any wedding, and this typically includes mocktails with delicious fruity cordials, a selection of soft drinks, or cocktails based on herbal tinctures and mixtures to give guests that bit of a buzz. There are always a handful of friends or family members in every guest list who prefer not to drink, whether for personal, medical, religious, or practical reasons, so having alternatives for them to choose from is really important – and considerate too.”

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Image credits:kofookoo.de (not the actual photo)

“Wedding day drinks are one of those fundamental, integral parts of the day which are easy to do well”

Valentina went on to note that she has never personally encountered a couple who decided to serve only water at their wedding, but that every couple is free to make the best choice for themselves. “Having said that, as a wedding planner, my personal suggestion would have been to review the budget and see if there are any areas where we can create some more balance in order to be able to bring in some cost-effective pre-packaged non-alcoholic drinks, or even just cover the cost of a mobile cash bar where guests pay for their own drinks,” Valentina added.

“It feels like potentially the size of the guest list, the food costs, or the other wedding costs could be reviewed in order to be able to give the drinks side a little bit more TLC, as I do think that telling guests that only water is being served would be remembered for the wrong reasons,” she continued. “Wedding day drinks are one of those fundamental, integral parts of the day which are easy to do well – and that will very much stand out if not! Dry weddings are becoming increasingly popular, as are dry dinners and social gatherings, and so guests’ expectations of being hosted at a celebration like this would definitely include having a choice of a few non-alcoholic drinks – even if that might be just simple, basic ones.”

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Valentina also provided some tips on how to serve great drinks without breaking the bank. “When it comes to non-alcoholic options, it’s possible to go very bespoke – like having signature mocktails based around delicious seasonal ingredients, themed around the couple’s story and favourite flavours – but it’s also possible to keep things simple,” she shared. “Bulk orders of basic soft drinks can be very cost-effective, and you can significantly elevate something like a lemonade by adding a little bit of a botanical or fruity cordial or syrup, and a floral garnish, for example. There are also options like flavoured water, with some lovely cucumber or fresh strawberries on a warm Summer’s day, root beer and non-alcoholic ciders, or tonic waters. Lots of companies around the world are creating delicious vegan and non-alcoholic wines and champagnes, so it’s definitely worth exploring any local options that might exist in your area too.”

Image credits: Andrii Olishevskyi (not the actual photo)

The bride and groom are hosts after all, and their guests expect to be taken care of

And when it comes to whether or not hosts should cater to their guests or if the bride and groom should be calling all of the shots for their own wedding, Valentina says, “The sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle – so that the couple’s values and priorities are being honored, but guests’ needs are also considered. Hosting a wedding is a joy, but also a responsibility – and part of that is taking the time to curate how each loved one’s experience will feel.”

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“Being informed (ahead of time, if possible) that the wedding will be dry/alcohol-free is not something any guest would begrudge the couple – but being told that the only drink on site is water is very likely to not sit well,” the expert added. “Whether it’s for financial, personal, or practical reasons – your choice of having a sober wedding is totally valid. There is no right or wrong reason to have a dry wedding, it just needs to be the right choice for you as a couple. While staying true to that, if you are able to provide some thoughtful and exciting alcohol-free drinks – and think about infusing even more meaning and personality into the food, entertainment, and decor – then I can guarantee that your guests’ memories will be filled with nothing but the good stuff.”

We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Would you be upset if you attended a wedding where only water was served? Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring a bride who found herself under fire for her demands, look no further than right here. And if you’d like to learn more wedding planning tips from Valentina or reach out to her about planning your own international wedding, be sure to visit her website The Stars Inside right here.  

Readers were quick to inform the bride that her plans go beyond simply having a dry wedding, noting that her guests deserve better

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Ilona Baliūnaitė

Ilona Baliūnaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

I'm a Visual Editor at Bored Panda since 2017. I've searched through a multitude of images to create over 2000 diverse posts on a wide range of topics. I love memes, funny, and cute stuff, but I'm also into social issues topics. Despite my background in communication, my heart belongs to visual media, especially photography. When I'm not at my desk, you're likely to find me in the streets with my camera, checking out cool exhibitions, watching a movie at the cinema or just chilling with a coffee in a cozy place

Read less »

Ilona Baliūnaitė

Ilona Baliūnaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm a Visual Editor at Bored Panda since 2017. I've searched through a multitude of images to create over 2000 diverse posts on a wide range of topics. I love memes, funny, and cute stuff, but I'm also into social issues topics. Despite my background in communication, my heart belongs to visual media, especially photography. When I'm not at my desk, you're likely to find me in the streets with my camera, checking out cool exhibitions, watching a movie at the cinema or just chilling with a coffee in a cozy place

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monimm18 avatar
Moni MM
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why have a wedding party if you don't really care about the guests having a good time, or if you cannot afford it? Do you really not see how petty and cheap it makes you and the whole event look? All you managed to do is turn the celebration of your wedding into something people will laugh about for years, instead of remembering it fondly. You know, sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should. I say YTA.

pebs_1 avatar
pebs
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If I were forced to participate in this wedding I would bring the wine for me.

Load More Replies...
violetdoe avatar
elena nightingale
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i'm muslim so in our weddings we never have alcohol, but not having fizzy drinks, tea, coffee or juice at a wedding is literally a crime

ngregory avatar
N Miller
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dry weddings are a thing and that's fine. Just water though? Doesn't sound like a celebration. Tea is refreshing and has a nice taste for after the meal (you can get fruit based ones if you don't want caffeine). It's their wedding and their choice, but they don't get too complain if people buy their own fruit based drinks, or choose not to attend. Because that's their guests choice too.

Load More Comments
monimm18 avatar
Moni MM
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why have a wedding party if you don't really care about the guests having a good time, or if you cannot afford it? Do you really not see how petty and cheap it makes you and the whole event look? All you managed to do is turn the celebration of your wedding into something people will laugh about for years, instead of remembering it fondly. You know, sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should. I say YTA.

pebs_1 avatar
pebs
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If I were forced to participate in this wedding I would bring the wine for me.

Load More Replies...
violetdoe avatar
elena nightingale
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i'm muslim so in our weddings we never have alcohol, but not having fizzy drinks, tea, coffee or juice at a wedding is literally a crime

ngregory avatar
N Miller
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dry weddings are a thing and that's fine. Just water though? Doesn't sound like a celebration. Tea is refreshing and has a nice taste for after the meal (you can get fruit based ones if you don't want caffeine). It's their wedding and their choice, but they don't get too complain if people buy their own fruit based drinks, or choose not to attend. Because that's their guests choice too.

Load More Comments
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