When you celebrate your big day, does it have to include alcohol?
Not at all!
Many couples throw a dry wedding reception that still lets them raise a glass to their newly wedded bliss. Throwing a fun, sober wedding is all about positioning the event away from alcohol and then steering people towards more enjoyable ways to let loose.
Whether you don’t want alcohol at your event to save money, to honor a sober partner, or out of respect for someone at the event, we’ve got a few ways to ensure your guests have a fabulous time — sans booze.
- Set expectations
There’s nothing wrong with being upfront about having a sober wedding. You don’t have to give an explanation of why you’re going alcohol-free, but if you want to do so you are fully within your right to do so.
If someone does not want to attend because of the lack of alcoholic drinks, it is their loss. Above all, you may not want to bring it up over and over during the day; once you let guests know there’s no alcohol, there’s no need to keep focusing on it — instead, focus on celebrating your union.
- Think when and where
Couples can look at venues that prohibit alcohol, such as parks and other public properties. You may also opt for a morning or lunchtime affair, which is a time of day when people may be less inclined to want to drink. Days of the week may also affect guests’ desire for booze (who wants to party on a Sunday night and head to work Monday morning?)
- Bring in other drinks
Not serving alcohol doesn’t mean you only have to offer water and cola. An afternoon wedding may benefit from a tea bar, or you could liven up dessert time with ice cream shakes or floats. Smoothies are another fun (and healthy!) option. Think about offering numerous beverages or grouping them at different times during the event to go along with the theme.
- Make it a kid-friendly affair
Another way to dissuade people from wanting to drink is to invite children to the reception. People may be less likely to complain about not having drinks if they can spend time with the kiddos.
- Serve mocktails
Just because you want to take away alcohol doesn’t mean that guests can’t enjoy delicious drinks. Serve up some drinks that are named after the couple and their interests.
- Keep the toasts
Still want to raise a class and allow others to make a toast? You don’t need champagne for that. Consider alternatives such as ginger ale, apple cider or sparkling water in place of champagne.
- Skip hard alcohol
Couples that want to save cash and avoid rowdy crowds can still opt to serve wine and beer at the reception. You can cut down further on drinking by only making a few types of wine or beer available. Encourage people to drink water by offering water bottles at their seats.
- Add activities
Instead of having to down a shot to break the ice with tablemates, why not offer some sort of icebreaker at the table? This is a good way to encourage more fellowship at the reception between people who may not know others there.
Most importantly, get on the same page with your fiancé about why you want a dry wedding and how you’ll implement it. The day is about the two of you, and the best weddings are memorable because they celebrate a new couple — not because of what is being served at the bar.