Written by Katie Byrne, published 20th oct 2017
Whilst weddings are, traditionally-speaking, notoriously boozy affairs, there's been a recent rise in the number of 'dry' nuptials being held.
Whether it's for health reasons, religious beliefs or a simple desire to keep your wedding day a strictly sober affair, there are various reasons why couples might opt for an alcohol-free wedding ceremony. Because not everyone wants to start married life with a hangover, ya know?
#1 Check you and your partner are both on the same page
Make sure you both approve of the no-alcohol policy. Whatever your reason for wanting to ban it from your wedding, they need to agree to it - after all, it’s their wedding day too!
#2 Be timing aware
As much as you might want your wedding day to never end, dragging out your reception (and the dance floor action) until the small hours might be a little tricky without some, er, liquid courage for guests. Instead, consider starting your celebration earlier, so it can still be prolonged but with a more feasible finish times.
#3 Let your guests know there’ll no booze
To avoid any ‘but I only came for the free bar!’ (shut up, cousin Steve), make it clear to your guests that there’ll be a strictly soft-drinks-only policy in place. For guests who really want to #party, you could consider providing a list of nearby venues that will still be open once your reception has ended.
#4 Trade the cocktails for mocktails
Serve up signature Mr and Mrs mocktails for your guests to enjoy after the ceremony and provide similar concoctions for during the speeches, too.
Just because there’s no hangover involved, doesn’t mean your mocktails can’t be just as spectacular as the standard 2-for-a-tenner cocktails your guests might be expecting: use fresh fruit, decorative umbrellas and cute stirrers to add extra interest to glasses. Make sure there’s lots of water available, too.
#5 You can still do the fun stuff!
That vodka luge? Swap it for a soft drink equivalent! Instead of a pyramid of champagne glasses, do the same with fruit juice or your favourite mocktail concoction. Also, don’t overlook DIY bars, too: serve up stations where guests can mix their own drinks and help themselves to marshmallow-topped cups of hot chocolate.
#6 Bump up the entertainment
Having a room-full of sober guests means the entertainment you pick needs to be tip-top. From table games to break the ice through to the DJ, everything you book will need to be truly fantastic.
Mix it up, if you can, by enlisting the services of a few different types of entertainment; for example, a caricaturist and a band, or a magician and a solo singer. Also, provide game areas for the reception, too; guests who aren’t in the mood for dominating the dancefloor might prefer to dominate the Monopoly board instead.
#7 Don’t sweat the small stuff
Fact: you can’t please everyone. Worrying about people’s reactions to you - gasp - not serving alcohol at your wedding is not conducive to enjoying one of the most exciting days of your life. Cheers!