Alcohol not to be included at shower.

Hello! I am hosting my sister-in-law’s bridal shower luncheon at a restaurant. I have chosen a set menu for the guests, but it’s a bit out of my budget to cover alcohol. Initially I thought it might be nice to do a mimosa or glass of champagne for a toast, but the restaurant is already on the pricy side, and I just can’t afford it. Can I tell guests (save for the Bride) that the meal is covered but if they want alcohol, they’re on their own? Is that tacky? How should I state this at the restaurant without coming off as cheap? (Also, we’re taking the Bride out for the Bachelorette Party that night, so I figure there will be enough alcohol consumption then anyway.) Please advise!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

As host, only offer what you can afford to pay for. There does not have to be any alcohol involved. But, if you want to serve drinks, then maybe consider hosting the event in your home or another venue that could be less costly.

However, family (unless you’re a member of the bridal party) really should not be hosting a shower. These are optional pre-wedding parties which are typically given by the bridal party or friends.


Yes, I’m the Matron of Honor. Since all of us are out of town guests, there isn’t a home available (other than the MOB which is inappropriate, I know) to host a shower. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t rude to say, “Your meal is covered, but alcohol is not.” Since the MOB and MOG along with various grandmothers and aunts will be there, I figure it won’t be much of a drinking crowd anyway. Thank you for the input.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

Trust your instincts. If it sounds like someone may be offended, you’re probably right.

I usually tell people to put themselves in the guests’ shoes and decide if you’d like to hear that sort of invitation. You seem like a caring person, so I would guess not.

Have you considered hosting a breakfast/brunch? Maybe less optimal time for a drinking crowd. There may not be anyone on duty at the bar (if there is one) at that time, making it less of an issue.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I agree completely. Great advice. If you do have alcohol available, you would be responsible for the cost. So, scheduling this earlier would be best. There is the option of a tea as well. These are usually quite nice and no alcohol is involved.


I, of course, wasn’t going to put “get hammered on your own dime” on the invitation. 🙂 I just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be impolite to not have alcohol be included on the menu, and if anyone asks just say, “If you would like, you are more than welcome to purchase your own drink.” One of the other bridesmaids thought it was a good idea too, as there will be several underage cousins there too. Thank you ladies for the helpful advice.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites