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Wedding guests often look forward to the reception, where they can enjoy cocktails and good wines as part of the party. even reported that their study found 53% of wedding guests preferred having booze at weddings over a dry wedding. Still, many couples don’t want to serve alcohol at their wedding, citing reasons pertaining to religion, expenses and addiction. If you’re planning your reception and think your guests may balk if you have a dry wedding, here are some ways to navigate the evening.

Why Not Have a Cash Bar?

If your reasons for not serving alcohol are the costs, then why not just have a cash bar? The key reason is that when you are hosting a party, it’s considered bad form to ask your guests to pay for their drinks. Some wedding coordinators may suggest that you offer guests the first one or two drinks on the house, then make them pay for their own drinks. It’s one workaround, but if you do not want to serve alcohol at all, you don’t want a cash bar.

Let Guests Know or Don’t

No, you don’t have to make the big announcement on your wedding invitations, but you should add a line on your wedding website. You don’t need to go into any detail, either. No one needs to know that you can’t afford it or that you don’t want one of your relatives tempted by the alcohol. You could include that you’ll have a full refreshment bar of juices, mocktails and refreshing infused water. Of course, if you don’t want to deal with pushback before the wedding, don’t say anything at all.

What About Champagne?

If you want a dry wedding, but still want a festive drink during toasts, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options, from sparkling water to sparkling juices. Many companies are creating alcohol-free sparkling wines that have creative flavors and come in beautiful bottles. Your guests may not even notice the difference if you don’t say anything.

Provide Alternative Refreshments

Your guests are going to get thirsty. One big wedding trend is to offer a signature cocktail when guests arrive at the reception. You don’t have to make your signature cocktail with alcohol. Offer a special drink. Just don’t call attention to the fact it isn’t made with alcohol. A Shirley Temple, Hot Apple Cider or Arnold Palmer are all excellent drinks made without spirits.

Create a “bar” where guests can make their own specialty drinks, a root beer float or orange sherbet freeze with club soda. Italian sodas with sparkling water and flavored syrups could be a lot of fun. If the night is a bit chilly, offer hot drinks with a variety of toppings and add-ins. Coffee and hot chocolate can be spruced up with whipped cream, syrups and fruits. You could even try an old-fashioned lemonade stand with add-ons like fresh berries or mint. Exotic juices are another option for a fun drink stand.

Guests may not miss alcoholic drinks when you serve non-alcoholic drinks in pretty glasses with fancy straws or swizzle sticks. If you have “bartenders,” make sure to have enough to keep the drinks flowing, whether you have alcohol or not. Create enough drink stations so that no one has to wait a long time to get liquid refreshments. Work with your caterers to have pitchers of water on the tables so guests won’t have to look for something to drink.

Pull Off a Great Party

Your wedding reception doesn’t have to revolve around alcohol. You can still have a great party by serving excellent non-alcoholic drinks. Have a variety of drinks that give your guests some new treats, and enjoy your reception without sloppy drunk guests.

Category: Wedding Planning

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