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How to Host a Successful Dry Wedding

It's not to everyone's taste, but there's a way to make it worse.

How to Host a Successful Dry Wedding

tips-for-an-alcohol-free-wedding-successful-dry-wedding-tips
Photo: Ryan Ray Photography

how to have a successful dry wedding, how to have an alcohol-free wedding
Photo by Ryan Ray Photography; Planning & Design by EverAfter Events

Though wedding receptions can be celebrated in many different ways, the typical view of the event conjures up images of open bars and lots of dancing. However, that doesn’t work for everybody. When budget prevents an open bar, supplying a certain amount of beer and wine is usually a good solution to properly host guests while still respecting your spending limit. Money isn’t the only reason to not want to include alcohol in your big day. Whether due to religious beliefs, recovery from alcoholism, or moral opposition, there are several valid reasons to prefer a dry wedding. 

If you choose to forgo alcohol on the big day, it’s important to manage expectations. A classic reception where people dance for hours is unlikely to occur. While some people need no motivation to tear up the dance floor, others need some liquid courage to shed the inhibitions that might otherwise prevent them from getting their groove on. Once you let go of that vision of your wedding, it will be easier to shift gears and still host a fun, memorable event. 

One of the easiest ways to navigate this issue is to have your vow exchange during the day – even the morning! Sure, mimosas are a staple at brunch, but people are likely to be more accepting of the fact that there’s no alcohol if the wedding is during daylight hours. A shorter reception – such as a cake and punch reception – may be necessary, although that does have the added benefit of saving money, allowing you to splurge in other areas such as the venue or food. It’s also a nice gesture to supply fun and unique soft drinks or mocktails, instead of ordinary sodas.

Without dancing as the focus, if you want guests to stick around longer, it’s best to offer some activities. Lawn games are usually a hit, and would fit well in the recommended daytime setting. Performers, such as acrobats or dancers, are also a great way to make sure your big day is one to remember. 

Find out what moments make guests cry and whether you should have personal or traditional vows