It’s no secret that there are a lot of steps that go into wedding planning, and weddings tend to be incredibly expensive events, especially when the new couple is paying for it themselves.
But there are places where corners can be cut to save money, and places where they simply should not, shouted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
To save money, Redditor Odd_Conversation5087 was planning to offer a variety of foods, but only water to drink throughout the entire event.
When she received pushback from her friends and family, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to not offer soda or other drinks at her reception.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for having a dry wedding and serving only water for drinks?”
The OP and her future husband were paying for their upcoming wedding.
“My husband and I are getting married later this year.”
“Each of our families is fairly big. It will be around 100 to 150 people in total.”
“My husband and I are paying for this all ourselves, as well as my grandma, who said she doesn’t care one way or the other on this issue. She just loves weddings.”
The happy couple made a somewhat controversial decision amidst the wedding planning.
“We have a lot of kids in our family, so we decided against making it child-free.”
“…But we did decide to make it dry. So there will be no alcohol of any kind at our wedding.”
“Honestly, this doesn’t have anything to do with there being kids there but due to the fact that my fiancé and I don’t drink. Nothing against people who do, it’s just not for us and we don’t want to.”
“On top of that, we only really drink water. We rarely, if ever, drink soda, so most of the time it’s only water with the occasional juice and milk. We don’t even drink coffee.”
“So obviously, the food (which is one of the parts my grandma is not paying for) is going to be expensive for that many people. We are having our wedding catered, so everyone will have a good choice of food to choose from.”
“But to drink, only water will be provided. We don’t want to have to pay for alcohol or soda, it is just a large added expense when we can just do filtered water for a MUCH cheaper cost.”
The family did not agree with the couple’s plan.
“Well, when our family and friends found out, they got angry.”
“Some didn’t really care but some are really upset about it, saying that I can just have an open bar so I don’t have to pay for drinks (we could, but still have to pay for the bartender, and we just really don’t want to bother with having alcohol there).”
“Or we should at least have soda because how can we expect everyone to drink ONLY water? The kids will be upset. The wedding will be boring. This is not how weddings work, etc.”
“So AITA? I didn’t think this would be a problem! It’s only water. I mean, don’t most people drink water every day anyway? Should we pay extra to have soda to make the family happy?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found the couple to be incredibly selfish for hosting with only water.
“You don’t have to serve alcohol, but as a host, you should try to make your guests happy (within reason). You should try to have something on offer that they’ll like and is a tiny bit festive. My family also drinks only water and we have no soda or such in the house. But we buy it for events.”
“Serving only water at a wedding sounds extremely cheap. I wouldn’t even dare do that for my preschooler’s birthday party.” – Ok-Jellyfish9225
“We’ll see OP again: ‘AITA for being upset that guests smuggled in drinks to my dry wedding?'”
“If you are still wondering OP, yes YTA. A dry wedding is one thing, but no juice or soda will make a lasting impression on people, and not the good kind.”
“Also, no coffee? I sure hope nobody is gonna be driving late at night…” – MeiSeusse
“As someone who only drinks water and the occasional tea, YTA. Not about making the wedding dry. That’s perfectly fine. But d**n, give people some options to drink. Some carbonated water if anything.” – Independent-Cat6915
“YTA, but not due to the no alcohol rule. I like drinking, but I can very much have a nice evening without it and whoever doesn’t, should check if they have an alcohol problem.”
“I think YTA because only water, no Soda, no juice, no coffee is totally bland and boring.”
“Why do you even invite people? Why marry with (so many) guests at all? Just let it be the two of you and drink your boring water (and yes, I think of myself as a hydro-homie, but also as someone who loves having guests and spoiling them).” – Kagura0609
“YTA. This is so bad it’s funny. If you’re not having alcohol, offer a variety of nice beverages to choose from… soft drinks, iced tea, a signature virgin cocktail, and coffee and tea with dessert.”
“If you cannot afford to properly host your guests, then you may in fact have too many guests. Or you need to cut costs in other ways. But treat your guests as though you actually want them to be there.” – Walesgurl
Others said the OP was technically NTA, but with multiple addendums.
“Your wedding, your choice. And that is the only reason NTA.”
“But are you freaking kidding? ‘Come celebrate my wedding. We’ll all raise a glass of (checks notes) TAP WATER together!'”
“So tacky.” – Beck2010
“NTA. Your wedding, your choice. I went to a dry wedding… I left early with friends and relatives because it was kind of dry; I can likewise choose to bail early or not attend.”
“YWBTA (Yould Would Be the A**hole) if you post afterward complaining about people leaving early.”
“I’d likely send you a card and skip going. You probably don’t want me there anyhow, it’ll save on meal costs.” – Grand-Corner1030
“Man… NTA for no alcohol, but probably offer your guests one other option than water. It’s your wedding, but you should give your guests more than one option. Just like you’re doing with food. This is just a strange hill to die on and definitely will be a buzzkill for the wedding.” – losalbion
“I think there are two parts here. Part 1: NTA about the wedding being a dry one.”
“Part 2: YTA about only serving water. I do get that most people drink water every day (I am one of those) but at a wedding just having water seems a bit boring to me. Make it some fruity mocktails or add soda to your drink options. When you spend a lot on food I think you should opt for just water as a drink.” – Fun_Onion5582
“A dry wedding is totally fine and normal, but ONLY water? Not even some lemonade or apple cider? Sweet tea? I guess that’s your call but its pretty lame. NAH, don’t be surprised if people leave early or bring their own drinks.” – semicrookedwings
Some Redditors came forward with alternative solutions.
“YTA. It isn’t that expensive to get some sort of punch bowl or soda fountain going. Or a coffee-and-tea bar with some flavored syrups and a couple of cream options.”
“I think just having pitchers of tap water and nothing else is going to look like you forgot to do something for beverages. Or people are going to start nitpicking looking for other places they think you cut corners on the budget. Weddings are supposed to be celebrations, and this just doesn’t seem very festive.” – chaenorrhinum
“YTA. Geezum Crow. If you can’t afford a bartender to serve even non-alcoholic drinks, cut the guest list, bartenders aren’t usually that expensive.”
“However, why do I have the feeling this isn’t the only place you’re cutting corners on your hosting duties? You need to think about your guests. You’re hosting a PARTY.”
“Don’t want alcohol, fine, I totally get it but, not having anything but water is just cheap and weird. If I got there and saw that, I’d drop off my gift and leave.” – bookworm1421
“Punch, tea, Kool-Aid, lemonade, coffee, cider, juice, anything.”
“Bags of tea are cheap, and canisters of powdered drink mix are even cheaper per volume.”
“H**l, I don’t know a single church, rec center, or VA that doesn’t have one of those giant orange cooler spigot things that we used to use on cookouts and public dinners. Fill it with water, add some ice, and dump in one of those Country Time powdered drinks mixes in the plastic tubs. It’s like little league or Cub Scouts all over again.”
“If cash is that strapped, seriously, you can go to the dollar store and get drink mix. Not providing stuff like you mentioned or I listed is just cheap.” – Kiyohara
“I know that technically you could be in the right, but here’s the thing about weddings, the marriage ceremony is for you and your fiancé. The wedding is for everyone you’ve invited, it’s an event you’re hosting, and not providing any drinks other than water makes you a bad host/hostess.”
“I’ve been to dry weddings. There was a couple that 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 in place of champagne and everyone cheered with cider in flutes.”
“When you’re hosting an event, your job as 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 nonalcoholic. Especially to an event your guests are incurring expenses to attend and bring gifts to.”
“YTA honestly. I fully support a dry wedding but only water as a beverage is being a cheap host.” – Sea_Rise_1907
“The bride’s answer to this dilemma is Costco or Sam’s Club (and she can borrow someone’s membership if she doesn’t have one).”
“Load up with iced tea, soda, lemonade, a big cooler with ice (they sell ice there too), and cups. If you’re feeling really luxe, borrow someone’s Keurig and get a pack of K cups and a few containers of milk and cream. This is a $75 problem.”
“If you don’t have an extra $75, see if someone would be willing to arrange for sodas and tea as their wedding present to you.” – Theodwyn610
While the subReddit could sympathize with the couple’s need to save money on the wedding they were paying for mostly out of their own pocket, they did not agree with where the couple was trying to cut corners.
Going more simply with the decorations or location, or even trimming down the guest list, would be better than likely sending a large number of their guests away when they discovered they would only have flat water to drink throughout the entire evening.