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If the hosts don't drink, what is acceptable they provide?

(51 Posts)
MrsVidic Thu 02-Jun-11 08:24:18

hi, I posted here as I want to get a wide audience. Dp and I stopped drinking last year (me due to the fact I can't hack a hang over and get one every time, even 1 glass and him as he is an arse when he drinks)
We both made this decision independently.

Most of our couple friends drink regularly (wine a few nghts a week) and when we go to theirs for a meal we take them a bottle of their tipple.

My question is what should we put on at a dinner here? And also what about a wedding (ours in a year) ? What should we put on? Also what is the deal when you eat out? I'm not trying to be difficult or stingy but alcohol especially on meals out is the main part of the bill?

breathing Thu 02-Jun-11 08:26:25

If i had people tp dinner, Id always provide wine whether I drank or not.

eekamouse2 Thu 02-Jun-11 08:27:45

Put wine on the table as normal, and when they arrive offer something like gin & tonic, prosecco, beer etc.

I think your guests will expect what they'd offer a non'teetotal guest at their house.

Scheherezadea Thu 02-Jun-11 08:28:25

My DP doesn't drink (at all, ever) and now I'm pg I'm obviously not touching anything. Unfortunately people still expect you to split the bill equally, even if they've had 3 bottles of wine, plus spirits and you've just opted for a lemonade! All I can think of it so say you will pay for your part, rounded up to include tip.

When people come round they either bring their own drink, or we usually have fresh orange, lots of different types of tea, or vimto!

eekamouse2 Thu 02-Jun-11 08:28:42

And in restaurants, I'd be inclined to split the bill evenly. A bottle of wine may be £25 or whatever between two people, but equally soft drinks are often £3.50 a throw so not significantly cheaper.

Katisha Thu 02-Jun-11 08:29:10

You should provide wine at dinner I think. IT's about hospitality.
And especially at the wedding!
If you eat out I think ideally you still split the bill as doing all the "well you had a pudding and I didn't and you had two glasses of wine etc" is awful, unless you are incredibly good friends and you know the other people won't think you're being stingy.

iskra Thu 02-Jun-11 08:29:48

If I had people to dinner & for a wedding, I'd provide alcohol, although I can understand that it rankles.

If you are going for a meal out with a group & not drinking, point out that the alcohol needs to be split between those that drank it, which doesn't include you & DP. Paying "my share" of everyone's boozing really winds me up when pregnant.

justpaddling Thu 02-Jun-11 08:30:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BluddyMoFo Thu 02-Jun-11 08:30:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigTillyMint Thu 02-Jun-11 08:30:19

Offer the same alcohol as you did before or warn them it's BYO if they want to drink?

As for your wedding, copious amounts of alcohol will be needed so provide at least some + paying bar if you don't want to finance it all?

lubberlich Thu 02-Jun-11 08:31:59

I gave up booze a couple of years ago because of health problems.

I don't even consider my lack of booze consumption - I take bottles of wine to dinner parties as gifts, buy in beer for when friends come round etc. Just because I am teetotal now I don't want my mates feeling uncomfortable about it. I still go to pubs - only problem is I am now always the designated driver.
For a wedding I'd just lay on the normal wedding booze for others with plenty of non-alcoholic options too. Although I must say that I hate all the non-alcoholic wines etc out there and prefer more creative options. Large jugs of elderflower cordial on ice are very good and some virgin cocktails. Even drinkers don't want to drink alcohol all the time.
When we go out for meals with friends they will often say that I didn't have the wine and make allowances on the bill without me saying it - but otherwise just suck it up and pay the full share (but make sure you have a huge starter and pudding!).

Jas Thu 02-Jun-11 08:32:04

I don't expect my non drinking friends to provide alcohol for me if they are hosting a meal. I'm happy to bring my own and they open and serve though.

At a wedding I would probably provide drinks for the toasts and a bar, to give the option.

Eating out with my friends we all pay our own way unless specifically invited for a celebration and clearly going to be paid for by the host.

BelfastBloke Thu 02-Jun-11 08:32:18

When our friends (married couple) stopped drinking, the other couples wondered what the policy would be. We assumed we couldn't drink in their house, but turned out they were fine with it.

So we just bring what we wish to drink, when we visit their house. Sometimes we phone up the other couples, to co-ordinate what we'll take, and we take it away with us at the end of the night.

iskra Thu 02-Jun-11 08:32:20

I'm surprised that people think non drinkers should pick up the booze tab. When we go out for meals with friends paying "our share" of the booze doubles our bill. I guess that's okay for some people but it makes it far too expensive for us to socialise.

PicaK Thu 02-Jun-11 08:33:57

I'd err on the side of being generous and thoughtful.

So wine at dinner and the wedding. It's not like you have an ethical objection to it.
And split the bill - I expect your mates will go no, no, no anyway

FoofffyShmoofffer Thu 02-Jun-11 08:35:14

We don't drink, haven't for some time. I think the way I would do it is

Their home - Bring a bottle of whatever they drink.
Your home - Have in a bottle of what they drink
Your wedding - make sure alcohol is provided for all who drink.
Restaurant - This is the only time I would say no. If you didn't drink it you don't pay for it. If your friends are reasonable people they will understand this.

Katisha Thu 02-Jun-11 08:36:03

To clarify - if I was eating out with non-drinkers, I hope I would have the grace to say "oh you didn't drink so lets adjust the bill accordingly" - however I think it's awkward when people get the bill and then start adding up everyone's individual consumption. Does it carry on into puddings and starters?
As someone said earlier, soft drinks are pretty pricey too - this is where restaurants make a lot of their profit.

InTheNightKitchen Thu 02-Jun-11 08:37:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

camdancer Thu 02-Jun-11 08:42:39

DH and I rarely drink, so just don't have much alcohol in the house. I find it is hardest when people turn up unexpectedly, or come for dinner with little warning. Lots of people expect you to have beers in the house or wine. We do - just don't ask us when we bought it!

I've not found eating out a huge problem. Most people seem to notice that I'm not drinking and so suggest that I put in a bit less to the pot and they'll put in a bit more. But tbh, as long as people aren't spending £££ then I don't mind splitting the cost. It's the night out and company I'm paying for, not just the food IYSWIM.

You do have to provide some alcohol at your wedding. I think we did one bottle of red and one of white per table and something nice and sparkling for the toasts. Ok, it might not be as much as some people want, but there was a paying bar so people could get top-ups if they wanted. I'd rather spend the money on nicer food.

WholeLottaRosie Thu 02-Jun-11 08:44:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

tyler80 Thu 02-Jun-11 08:46:12

As above, people coming round I'd have beer and wine. Wouldn't provide spirits.

The weddings I've been to have been pimms/bucks fizz on arrival at reception and wine on the table during the meal.

babybythesea Thu 02-Jun-11 08:48:15

I don't drink either, and never have done. My husband does though, although he doesn't drink wine, only lager.

When we got married, we took advice on what wine to provide with dinner because as neither of us drink it, it would have been pointless trying to choose a nice one - we both think they're all foul! (And I made a big effort to ensure a nice range of soft drinks was provided - all this fuss for drinkers to have something nice, and as a non-drinker you are so often stuck with coke or orange or similar - again. Bleugh. I like drinking nice things too, so for our wedding I bought elderflower cordial, and a couple of varieties of sparkling grape juices and the like.)

When we go out, I tend to pay for drinks separately. I know people say that soft drinks are almost as expensive, it's true, they are. But, I also know that when most people go out for a nice meal they drink more in terms of quantity than I do - I have a glass of orange or coke to quench thirst, whereas in my experience most people going out for a meal drink more than they normally would because it is part of the social experience for them. So I do object to subsidising a £25 bottle of wine, when I've had an orange at £2.00. But it's never caused a problem - I've never been in a situation where people get that worked up about it. If I've drunk more than that, or they've drunk less, or I've had a pudding and they've not, then we might split evenly. I really don't have a set-in-stone rule for these occasions! (I talk to my friends and we make a decision when it's time to pay the bill!).

In terms of people coming to our house, we don't buy wine. Again, we'd have no idea what to buy, and I don't really want to offer up vingegar. My DH will get some beer, and I buy in some really nice soft drinks. But most people who know us know this and bring wine if they want to drink it. Again, it just doesn't seem to be an issue. But then my group of friends are an informal lot and this sort of thing has never been a big deal. Same as, if I go to someone's house, I buy myself a really nice soft drink to take, because most people have coke or squash or water, and to go with a nice meal, those are not appealing options.

None of my mates seem to hold any of this against me - we've been friends for a decade or two - so clearly the wit, companiability and geniality of the dinners we have outweigh the lack of wine!!! grin

Fernie3 Thu 02-Jun-11 08:51:11

We don't drink if people come around we provide some wine etc depending on occassion but probably not as much as other people seem to get in. If we are out I would be put out to pay an equal share of a bill that contained too much alcohol, a drink or two yes but not a few bottles of wine as some people have expected in the past,

Firawla Thu 02-Jun-11 08:58:37

we don't drink but for religious reasons so i wouldn't let anyone bring it in our house either, so if people come round they have to have non alcoholic alternatives, there are loads of nice drinks available so i don't think its such a big deal for people to do without alcohol just for one time. we also didn't have any at our wedding and wasn't an issue at all but i think everyone would have been aware that we don't drink so not expected to have alcohol available, whereas for you if you just stopped a couple of yrs back people may not be expecting it so much?

lesley33 Thu 02-Jun-11 09:06:13

I think you need to provide some alcohol at your wedding. But provide nice non alcohol drinks as well - tbh if they are nice it helps to prevent people getting drunk.

If I was visiting friends I always take what I want to drink. But as a host I would also have a bottle of wine for guests.

In terms of meals, it depends really. If you are all well off, people may expect to split the bill. We do this with some friends. But we have a wide variety of friends some better off some much worse off - so people tend to pay for their own as some people need to budget.

You could suggest to friends you split the food part and then pay for your drinks only on top of this - that would be fair unless you always pick the most expensive things on the menu.

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