Sneaking in a flask at a wedding?

I read an advice columnist today who published a letter about a disagreement between a couple about to be married. The letter writer related wanting to have their wedding alcohol-free, but the intended’s family wanted to have a open bar, so much so they were offering to pay for half of it. Yadda yadda yadaa, sparks fly, much wailing ensues.

Here’s my question: in her response, the columnist said something like, “If you have an alcohol-free event, people will just sneak in a flask and drink anyway.”

And I thought, “Huh?”

Is this high-school? In the fifties?

I enjoy a drink at an event as much as the next guy, but if I were invited to a wedding and found it to be alcohol-free on arrival, I’d drink punch and be fine. If I knew a week ahead of time it was going to be alcohol-free, I’d … go, drink punch, and be fine. I can’t imagine the mindset, for adults, that ends up with the decision to bring a flask into a wedding party so you can drink booze.

Am I off-base here?

No, just out of touch with the huge number of in-denial alcoholics there are in the world.

I would have no moral or ethical problem with someone who decided to bring a flask of booze. If they want to drink, and are willing to carry the flask around, it’s no big deal.

But, like you, i really can’t understand the mindset of someone who would do that. I have nothing against drinking, and if there’s wine or liquor available at a wedding then i’ll usually have a glass with dinner, and maybe more. But alcohol has never been so important to me that i would bother sneaking in my own flask.

Some people can’t seem to handle the idea of attending any sort of social function without drinking alcohol, and it’s something i just don’t understand.

I realize that one can be an alcoholic without demonstrating the stereotypical falling-down-and-slurring-your-words behavior we see on TV, but i’ve known people who don’t drink very much at all, and yet who get almost apoplectic at the idea that they can’t have a drink at a wedding or some other social event. There seems to be something about the event itself that encourages certain ideas about drinking.

Of course, some of these people are also just cheapskates. If the wedding has an open bar, they will drink themselves into oblivion, but if they have to pay for their own alcohol, they’ll probably stick to a couple of drinks.


But I come from a blue collar drinking tradition (of the Aussie/Brit/Irish type). It’s not even remotely an issue that I could survive the time a wedding takes without booze. Shit, I work two jobs, and am busy enough that I can go for days, weeks, (months?) without a drop - without even thinking of it, in fact.


I’ve never been to a dry wedding, and unless they were Muslims or such, I’d find it a bit of a killjoy event, and would be tempted to bring in some smuggled supplies just because. I can’t imagine it’d be a fun night, especially given that the couple was in disagreement about it (and therefore, it’s a bigger issue than just the booze - and I’d not be betting money on it being a great marriage). I’d certainly take a schoolboyish smoking-cigarettes-behind-the-bicycle-shed glee in having a quiet snort of whisky between boring speeches - and probably with a couple of other likeminded guys.

On the other hand, I could go to a wedding with copious amounts of top shelf booze and I might decide to sit on Coke or OJ all night, because I’m not in the mood.

No. I’ve been to my share of dry Southern Baptist weddings. It’s not what I’d choose for my wedding, but then it’s not *my *wedding. Sneaking in a flask seems incredibly trashy. If the couple has made a decision that, for whatever reason, they don’t want alcohol at their wedding, I’m going to respect that. Drink the punch, kiss the bride, make nice with the relatives and hit the bar on the way home.

Reading your post makes me almost feel guilty for posting what I did, as I can see your point. I do think, though, it is a cultural thing: in the Commonwealth countries, the issue would likely not even come up.

While I agree with the OP in general, I do think there are cases where it would be OK. It all depends on the couple and the circumstances. Our wedding venue only allowed beer and wine, so I gave all my groomsmen flasks as groomsmen gifts. They could have just as easily only consumed beer and wine, but the flasks added an extra element of fun. No one got plastered, and a good time was had by all.

But that was a smallish wedding (roughly 100 people) hosted by us, not our families, and we are generally pretty informal people. I’ve been to weddings that were clearly more rigid family affairs, and there I think it would be pretty tacky to subvert the guidelines of the event.

So, doing some blow in the bathroom off my hooker date’s ass is out of the question? Need answer quick, by the way.

No. Another vote for tacky and classless.

I suppose there are always exceptions to the rule, though.

As long as you don’t bring a flask, you’re fine.

Sneaking in a flask seems more than a little immature, like something the wannabe rebels who smoke in the boy’s room would do. Not adult at all.



I don’t drink alcohol. But I don’t really care whether others do. If I were getting married, I’d have no objection to alcohol at the event, but I wouldn’t partake of it myself. I really don’t understand the mindset that TheLoadedDog describes above.

For the most part, sneaking in a flask does smack of being a little immature. That said, my cousin’s getting married later this month, and knowing that side of my family, if I were attending you’d damn well better believe I’d have a flask or two.

When my daughter got married, it was a dry wedding, except for some sparkling wine for the toasts. The reasons were afternoon reception and tight budget. They had originally said they’d do a cash bar, and I let them know how inappropriate that would be.

Regardless, it was a very nice party, everyone seemed to have a good time, and we didn’t have to worry about anyone driving home. There was an afterparty hosted by the groom’s parents where the booze flowed, because they were aghast at a dry reception! If that’s what they considered a fun time, so be it.

I GAVE flasks to my groomsmen as their gifts. Each one was also filled with their personal choice in poison. However, we also had wine & beer at the reception, plus a bottle of whiskey that was being passed around as the afternoon went on.

I recently attended a dry wedding (fundy Christian). The MOB took a bunch of us to the bar next door for a round a couple of times - and she does NOT drink. We did not bring any into the reception, we just stepped out a couple of times for a drink together.

I agree it’s tacky … but. Certain events just demand a drink or two. I’ve been to a gazillon weddings, mostly Catholic, and the libations flowed freely. Heck, they flow freely at church potlucks and picnics, which never ceases to scandalize my Protestant husband. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve lived with an alcoholic, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think alcohol in excess is a good thing at all but …

God, the Baptist weddings I’ve been to. They have been dry, stiff affairs where everyone goes through these motions of What You’re Supposed to Do When You Get Married. Toast (with cider). Take off garter (embarrassing). Toss flowers. Toss rice. Wave bye-bye. Etc., etc. It’s all so stilted!

On the other hand, when everyone’s got a few drinks in 'em, it’s FUN! It’s a party, everyone wishes the new couple well, old-marrieds decide to toss back and few then get it on later, remembering what it’s like to be a horny newlywed.

I don’t mean to sound like you can’t have fun without alcohol. You can, of course! It’s just that, like the Loaded Dog above, it seems boring, fakey and wrong not to have a few drinks at a wedding. I guess it’s all how you were raised.

I went to my very first dry wedding last weekend. There was a lot of buzz beforehand about what it will be like, where we’d stop to drink before the reception and where we’d go afterwards to “really party.”

The group I was seated with - the groom’s hometown friends who didn’t all quite know eachother (I was there as a guest of one of said friends) ended up not drinking and we had a lovely time. No one even noticed there was no alcohol.

The group at the next table - the groom’s friends from work - reportedly stopped at a bar before the reception and were a little bit drunk. They did not appear to be having any more fun than us. They just sat at their table and talked amongst themselves.

There wasn’t much dancing but the couple did not really want to play dance music anyway. Some of the guys from my table danced, straight up sober.

So, that’s my experience with a dry wedding. It was none different than any “wet” wedding I’ve been to except it was cheaper for the couple and it was nice to not have to drag my drunk father home.

Everyone knows you don’t sneak a flask in. You tape IV bags filled with bourbon to your stomach and run the line up your dress to sip on occasionally.
If you are found out you scream about the color of the urine in your catheter bag (and hope no one that works in the medical field is around to bust on you about it) and demand to be taken to a hospital immediately. Hospital is obviously code for bar, here.

I’ve been to a ton of dry weddings and never once did I hear anyone complain that it wasn’t fun. I will never understand the equation of alcohol = fun. From what I’ve seen, alcohol = drunken idiots, fights, vomiting, unwanted passes from “glowing” drunks, embarrassing behavior, etc. I despise alcohol and any attempt to justify it because somehow this magic potion that turns people into ass-hats is “fun”.

I think it’s juvenile for someone to sneak in a flask. Is it going to kill you to go without for an evening? Grow up.

Dry weddings aren’t uncommon in my neck of the woods, mostly for religious reasons. I can see how if you were used to every wedding involving booze, the idea of a dry wedding would be pretty shocking. Don’t get me wrong–the beer and wine flowed freely at my own wedding. But having grown up in a culture where there are a lot of non-drinkers, it’s easier for me to wrap my head around.


How is a cash bar inappropriate? If the couple don’t have the cash to spend on an open bar, and the guests are getting a meal, etc. for free, why not provide the option for those who “need” a drink?

I think it depends. Generally, being discreet and having a skinful probably isn’t a big deal. But if the couple don’t want alcohol at the wedding, you’re sort of going against their wishes, and it’s their day. It does reek of high school rebellion, though. I think I’d tough it out and just not drink, so as not to look like a douchebag.