A young woman recently turned to Reddit about her confrontation with a friend over his potential “alcohol problem” — and the debate became heated.
A 25-year-old Reddit user posted on the subreddit “Am I the A*****e” on October 14, 2022, that she and her 26-year-old fiancé had decided on a “dry” wedding, “since we do not drink and see no point in spending money for alcohol,” she wrote.
Reddit user Mammoth-middle2910 continued in her post, “We were debating about getting a cash bar but then decided no alcohol at all. (There will be a wide range of other drinks, not just juice and soda, provided).”
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Saying that the couple “informed our guests via invitations” about the dry wedding “with a message along the lines of, ‘You don’t have to be worried about choosing a driver or paying a taxi, since everybody will be able to drive,’” the poster said she soon heard back from an incredulous and annoyed friend.
“So a friend (26-year-old male) called me and asked if I was joking about the dry wedding,” Mammoth-Middle2910 wrote further in her AITA post.
“I denied it. He asked two times more and I still denied joking.”
The friend then asked her “what was wrong” with her, she continued — and asked her “how is [he] supposed to have fun without alcohol” and “how should he function that night.”
The Reddit poster also said her friend told her that it was “not all right” to opt for a dry wedding.
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She then said that she might “have been the a*****e” when she told her upset friend that they — meaning the couple about to be married — were “not obligated” to provide alcohol “just because he is not able to have fun without it.”
She explained that she also told her friend that “if he needs alcohol so badly and cannot function without it for even one night with people he knew, that he might be having an alcohol problem and should consider a therapy to treat it.”
As a couple, they are known to host “dry” events, including parties and dinners — they never provide alcohol.
Her friend subsequently “flipped out” on her, she wrote — so she took back his wedding invitation “until he apologize[d] because he used many slurs on me.”
Mammoth-Middle 2910 also shared in follow-up edits to her original Reddit post that she and her fiancé debated providing a cash bar at the wedding, but they didn’t want to pay the fee that would be due for offering alcohol.
She also said that they as a couple are known to host “dry” events, including parties and dinners, and that they never provide alcohol.
“Our friends are divided about me being the a*****e,” she said in another edit to her original post.
“Some say I was right, others say I was not right,” she also wrote.
‘Feeling scared every night’
So what is the best way to talk to friends or loved ones about their drinking?
While therapies and ideas for addressing it vary, alcohol abuse is serious.
The friend then asked her “what was wrong” with her, she said, and asked her “how is [he] supposed to have fun without alcohol.”
“Drinking too much can harm your health,” according to the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on its website.
“Excessive alcohol use led to more than 140,000 deaths and 3.6 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2015-2019, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 26 years,” the agency also said.
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When talking with a loved one or friend about alcohol abuse, “focus on your emotions and not their feelings or behaviors,” psychologist David Helfand of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, told Fox News Digital.
“For example, if you say, ‘Your drinking stresses me out,’ [the person is] likely to get very defensive and either fight back or walk away,'” he continued.
“Instead, say something like, ‘I have been feeling scared every night when you leave to go drinking, because I worry about your safety.’”
Focusing on your own emotions “makes it more likely that they can hear what you’re saying and engage in the conversation,” he added.
“It’s important to give guests a heads-up beforehand if the couple plans to have a dry wedding.”
It is also important to “have the conversation in a private place,” said Helfand.
“Bringing up a sensitive topic in a group will most likely make the person feel attacked, which means they’re likely to retaliate, or leave.”
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As for the alcohol protocol at weddings, the choice is up to the couple who is marrying, according to experts.
One etiquette expert said that dry weddings are fine. Just be sure to let guests know beforehand, out of courtesy to them.
Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert based in Florida, told Fox News Digital, “It is not mandatory to serve alcohol at a wedding reception. The couple may choose a ‘dry wedding’ for various reasons, from religious to financial. It is not necessary to offer any explanations to your guests.”
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If the couple isn’t serving alcohol, they “might want to consider offering something fun like a themed, non-alcoholic cocktail. A mocktail drink bar or a milkshake bar are other good ideas,” added Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.
“If the relative is not happy with the bride’s decision, then he/she can decline the invitation.”
Also, she said, “The bride needs to have a private, candid conversation with the friend who prefers to have alcohol at the wedding. If the relative is not happy with the bride’s decision, then he/she can decline the invitation.”
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Whitmore added, “It’s important to give guests a heads-up beforehand if the couple plans to have a dry wedding. The bride might consider inserting a statement on the reception card stating, ‘No alcoholic beverages will be served. Thank you for your understanding.'”
“This way,” she said, “the guests are not surprised when they arrive at the reception.”
One wedding planner said that offering alcohol at a wedding reception is entirely up to the couple.
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“Regardless of the reason, the couple is not required to provide their guests with alcohol,” Kelly Boyle, owner of Leslie James Events in Boston, told Fox News Digital by email.
“And one would hope that their loved ones support that decision,” she added.
Fox News Digital’s Maureen Mackey contributed to this article.