Alcohol is not appropriate for every occasion. When kids are around, when someone is trying to stay sober, when driving, when mental exercise is necessary, when it is against someone’s religious or personal beliefs… the list goes on an on.
Weddings are no different. They are celebratory affairs and many people correlate alcohol with celebrations, but there is no obligation to serve such beverages on your big day.
While many couples stray from open bars, completely dry weddings are controversial waters to tread on. But the bride and groom should have complete freedom to make that choice. And making that choice does not have to be a wedding death sentence! The amount of fun that can be had at a wedding is not dictated by the amount of alcohol served. Look below for tips that will help you to host a crazy fun wedding, without the help of alcohol!
1. Stick to your decision
Alcohol is a fairly traditional beverage to serve at weddings — traditional in the sense that it is normally served and guests will often assume it will be served. Your wedding guests may make comments or ask questions about the alcohol they assume to be served at your wedding before you announce that you are keeping it sober. Avoid that awkwardness!
After making the decision to have a dry wedding, be straightforward with your guests from the very beginning. You may feel as though you have to repeat yourself a great deal at the beginning, but eventually word will spread. You can also give your guests a heads up by writing “alcohol-free” somewhere on the invitations so that they will not be shocked when your big day rolls around. Don’t allow complaints to weaken your resolve. Whatever your reason for eliminating alcohol from your big day, you have the freedom to do and serve whatever you want, and your guests will survive one event without alcohol! It might even be good for them! If your guests cannot enjoy your wedding without alcohol, maybe they shouldn’t come to your wedding at all.
2. Choose an alternative reception style
Scheduling the events of your wedding day in an overly traditional style will only make the lack of alcohol more obvious. Before the ceremony, guests may expect some light wines. Between the ceremony and reception, guests will be ready for cocktails with their hors d’oeuvres. During toasts at the reception, guests will be reaching for champagne. While eating a hearty dinner, they will be in the mood for beers and wines. And when the dancing begins, they will look for any form of alcohol to make them braver than they really feel.
The reception, in particular, is the point in the wedding when alcohol is a big seller. If you serve a traditional meat-and-potatoes dinner, your guests will become painfully aware of the lack of alcohol. But opting for an ethnic, breakfast, dessert, themed, or other alternative food options will make guests blind to the sober nature of the affair.
3. Book a talented DJ and caterer
Many people have been mislead to believe that alcohol is necessary for a good time to be had. That is simply not true. But for those wedding guests that need a little extra convincing, make it your mission to prove them wrong! With the money you saved not buying alcohol, hire a talented DJ. A professional behind the disks will know just how the get the party started, going, and continuing all night long. The right song selections and transitions will have even the most timidly sober guests killing it on the dance floor.
Also, spend some extra time and money to find and book a quality caterer. Get your guests ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the culinary delights. Making the meal unforgettable will make the lack of alcohol forgettable.
4. Serve unique drinks
Sometimes having something to sip on is all people need to feel comfortable. Trick your guests into getting their groove on while sober by serving unique drinks as substitutes for their favorite alcoholic beverages. Virgin versions of popular alcoholic drinks are easy alternatives. A mixologist can make exotic combinations of juices, mixes and garnishes that looks even cooler than the real deal. To give your guests a boost of energy, opt for espresso, coffee, or tea. Get creative, blow your guests minds, and they won’t be capable of thinking about anything else.
5. Play games
Alcohol is said to make for a great party, helping people to loosen up and do and say things they normally wouldn’t. But this substance really just gives adults an excuse to be kids again. Give your guests opportunities to get silly while sober by preparing several games. Set up popular drinking games like beer pong, flip the cup, and others with non-alcoholic beverages. Place disposable cameras around the room and have each one serve as a different station requiring a different pose, such as the kissing station, dance move station, funny face station, etc. Maybe you can even recycle some ideas from our articles 10 Easy Ways to Entertain Even Your Youngest Guests and Don’t Forget These Lawn Games for Your Immaculate Outdoor Wedding!
If you are considering abstaining from alcohol at your wedding, be encouraged! You and your guests will not only survive without alcohol, but may even have a better time than if you were intoxicated. Weddings are beautiful events that should be remembered for a lifetime. And without alcohol to cloud your memory, your dry wedding will truly be unforgettable!