How to Host an Alcohol-Free, Dry Wedding

February 12, 2024 | kailey

Image by Emma Wilder.

Your wedding is a celebration with or without alcohol, we promise. For those who might doubt it, we’re here to change your mind. Above all, your love is the primary reason everyone gathers on your wedding day. And when we say it’s your day, we mean every aspect of it—from the attire and venue to the drink options. Every choice is yours to make.

Hosting a dry wedding can be just as enjoyable as one with alcohol, and there are numerous ways to make it memorable. So, if you’ve opted for a dry wedding but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve got your back. From communicating your decision to finding alternative beverage options, these tips will help you feel confident about your choice to have a zero-proof celebration. 

What is a Dry Wedding? 

A dry wedding is simply a sober event without alcohol. There are several reasons why a couple may choose to have a dry wedding. It could be due to venue restrictions, which is why it’s important to check your venue’s alcohol policy when touring wedding spaces. But it could also be just a couple’s personal or religious-backed preference. Either way, this option comes with a major financial benefit. Saving on a hefty bar tab gives you extra funds to redirect towards other wedding details like florals or entertainment

How to Announce a Dry Wedding 

You’ve decided on a dry wedding, but now it’s time to inform your guests. Remember, this is your big day. The opinions of others shouldn’t influence any detail during your wedding planning journey. It’s also important to note that there isn’t a required formal ‘dry wedding’ announcement that needs to be made prior to your big day. This is a personal choice. You can add it to the invitations, your website, or rely on word of mouth. 

That said, if you decide to add this information to your invitations, here’s how. After including the event details like your date, time, and location, you can add a sentence that states, ‘This will be an alcohol-free event, and we can’t wait to celebrate this special day with you.’

Image by Ash Gabes Photo.

Beverage Alternatives 

Just because you’re hosting a dry wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with drinks. Offer a variety of options to give guests the element of choice, like kombucha, fresh juices, lemonades, sparkling waters, etc. In need of more fun beverage options for your big day? Here are a few alternatives to alcohol. 

Sparkling Apple Cider for Toasts

If you’re choosing a dry wedding, consider swapping the traditional champagne flute for a glass of sparkling apple cider. This alternative is perfect for toasting the happy couple during the reception. 

Signature Mocktails 

Hosting a dry wedding doesn’t mean you have to skip on a reception bar or bartender. These pros can craft drink menus packed with alcohol-free versions of those classic cocktails you love so much. They can also help you create signature mocktails that beautifully represent your love story. 

Virgin Mimosa Bar 

Mimosa bars offer an interactive and fun drink experience for guests. And the good news is, you don’t need alcohol to make it work. For those hosting a dry wedding, swap out the champagne for sparkling water or ginger ale, add fresh fruits, and have an alcohol-free mimosa bar. This is especially perfect for couples planning a brunch-themed wedding.

Coffee Cart 

For all the caffeine lovers out there, picture enhancing your wedding reception with espresso beverages from a mobile coffee cart. This has become an increasingly popular choice for wedding beverages. Not only is it a cute decor addition, but it’s also delicious and will give your guests the extra caffeine boost needed to hit the dance floor.

Image by Sunny Golden.

Tips for Hosting a Dry Wedding

From how to announce to alternative drink options, we’ve given you just about all the information you need to pull off the dry wedding of your dreams. But here are some important tips you should keep in mind or consider when planning your alcohol-free wedding. 

1. Choose Your Venue Wisely 

When hunting down your dream venue space, consider choosing a spot with alcohol restrictions. Selecting a space that aligns with your wedding wishes will make the announcement and planning that much easier. 

2. Rethink Your Wedding Timeline 

Really think about your wedding timeline before settling on a date or event time. Scheduling your celebration at a time when people are least inclined to drink could be the way to go. We’re talking early brunch weddings or weekday weddings. 

3. Prioritize Good Food 

With no alcohol, make sure you’re prioritizing good food at your wedding. And we don’t just mean you have to have a fancy, sit-down meal. ‘Good food’ comes in a variety of different forms. Get creative by bringing in food trucks, catering from your favorite local restaurants, or even DIY buffet stations.  

4. Go All Out With Music and Entertainment 

Guests come to weddings expecting to let loose and have some fun. So, make sure you go all out with music and entertainment. Have live music or work with a top-notch DJ to create playlists you and your guests will love. 

Having games and activities prepared in advance is a great option to keep guests entertained. Hosting an outdoor celebration? Consider lawn games. You could also have a photo booth, caricature artist, or hire casino games—the options are endless. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all wedding, and in 2024, we’re waving goodbye to those cookie-cutter celebrations. Our goal is to empower you to step outside the box and plan a wedding that’s 100% yours. But your food and beverage options are just one way to make your big day uniquely yours. Here are some more truly unique wedding ideas that you probably haven’t considered yet.

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One Comment

  1. Highly agree that you should notify people in advance. Be prepared for some people to bring their own alcohol if that’s their choice. If you have a problem with that, then you might want to state why it’s against your wishes. If you don’t notify people, the late realization of that is going to make this the MAIN topic of conversation among guests, regardless of how dysfunctional that is. Doesn’t matter how in love y’all are, or if you have good reasons, if you’re giving them even better food. It’s a societal expectation where I’m from, deviations from that will have consequences… Again not saying that’s right, but it’s going to happen.

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