Keep it dry
The best day of your life doesn’t need to involve alcohol. While it may feel like you’re going against the grain not serving booze at your wedding, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Here’s how to plan a wedding that’s dry (as in, fingers crossed, no rain and no alcohol), but not dry in fun.
1. Plan your wedding for a traditionally dry time of day.
While many guests might associate nighttime, weekend weddings with partying into the wee hours of the evening with celebratory wedding cocktails, they probably won’t associate alcohol as much with a daytime affair. Boozy brunches are, of course, popular in many circles, but in terms of planning a dry wedding, opting for a brunch (or straight breakfast or lunch) might help suggest to your guests that your big day may not be an alcoholic affair. According to “The Everything Weddings on a Budget Book,” time of day plays a big part in determining your best options when it comes to alcohol. Consider a morning reception for a dry wedding since bottles of champagne or other alcoholic beverages “aren’t freely passed around” during such morning affairs.
2. Go beyond water, coffee and tea with mocktails.
Looking to cut your budget on alcohol but not the fun and experience of ordering hand-crafted drinks? Amp up your non-alcoholic offerings and go beyond coffee, tea, and soda by offering mocktails. Check with your venue on showcasing simple mocktails like Shirley Temples or look into caterers that specialize in mocktails. Provo, Utah-based Zero Proof Mocktails does just that with bartenders whose non-alcoholic shots and mocktails will “keep the night’s conversation spoken, not slurred.”
3. If it’s a matter of budget and not beliefs, offer
guests the option of alcohol or no alcohol.
Sarah Murphy, owner and mixologist at Nashville’s Bar Magnolia, says the idea of dry weddings, especially in the South, are relatively popular. The number one reason her clients give for hosting a dry wedding is due to religion. What’s new, Murphy says, is that couples hosting dry affairs have more recently not been settling for standard water and coffee service. For Bar Magnolia, it’s about bringing that full “bar” experience to anyone and everyone, which is why the company offers a composed mocktail with every package that includes a cocktail.
“We want everyone at an event to be able to enjoy the bar experience, which includes people who don't drink, people who can't drink, and people who think they maybe have already drunk too much,” Murphy says.
So if having alcohol at your wedding is OK, (but just not the bill that comes with it), consider having the best of both worlds, either with a cash bar available to those who want to imbibe, or by offering, for example, one or two signature cocktails (or just beer and wine) alongside mocktails.
4. Pump up the fun with activities.
Have friends and family that might need a little distraction to take away the fact there’s no alcohol? Keep guests busy with fun games or set up entertainment where drinks don’t need to be involved. Who needs a drink in their hand for a photo booth?