8 Ways to Host a Non-Alcoholic Wedding

A table at a wedding reception set with water goblets and lights strung above.

While many couples opt to serve alcohol at their wedding reception, whether it be just beer and wine or also hard liquor, many couples opt not to. If you’re thinking of planning a non-alcoholic wedding, you may be fearing that your event will be dull or boring. However, that certainly doesn’t need to be the case. There are an abundance of ways to host a lively, fun, and memorable sober wedding.

1. Choose a Unique Venue

Choosing the right setting for your wedding reception will aid in making your non-alcoholic wedding one to remember. For instance, opt to have your event in a venue like a museum, aquarium, or library. Many of these locations don’t even allow alcohol to be served at receptions, so it won’t be anything out of the norm for the venue or for guests who have been to weddings at venues like these before. The great thing about such venues is that there’s so much to see and do that no one will even miss having a cocktail!

2. Get the Timing Right

Plan your sober wedding at a time of day where people are less inclined to drink. For instance, host a brunch wedding! While this may seem a bit strange, it’s the perfect way to celebrate your milestone without a cocktail—and it will even be cheaper to host your wedding at this time of day compared to the evening. This will also allow you to get creative with food, which will be a welcome change from regular wedding food for guests.

3. Serve Mocktails

Glass drink dispensers at a wedding reception with infused water.

Just because you’re not serving alcohol at your wedding doesn’t mean you can’t serve fun drinks! Offer guests festive mocktails that go along with your wedding theme. Also display glass drink dispensers with “spa water.” Fill these dispensers with ice and different fruit or herbs to infuse the water. Not only is it delicious, but guests will enjoy picking their flavor and serving themselves.

4. Plan Activities

One good reason to have an uptick of planned activities at a sober wedding is because alcohol typically helps get people moving and grooving on the dance floor. To keep the fun rolling at your wedding, plan activities that your guests will enjoy. This could be anything from trivia to a photo booth filled with props to giant lawn games. You should also hire a DJ or band who is aware that you’re having a dry wedding and ensure that they are able to keep the crowd engaged and that they make your event an interactive one.

5. Plan a Reception Theme

One way to make your wedding even more fun and to make the absence of alcohol go unnoticed is to plan a theme for your reception, such as a vintage 1950’s diner party complete with old fashioned milkshakes and diner food. Other unique themes to consider are Harry Potter, a fairy tale, superheroes, sports, or a carnival. This one all depends on your tastes and your interests as a couple, of course!

6. Have Interactive Food Stations

A platter of small tacos at a wedding reception.

Instead of serving a plated dinner like at any other wedding reception, instead opt for interactive food stations. This will keep guests up and mingling about the space and will make dinner pass more quickly than a three-course meal that’s served to them. Food stations also allow you to serve a more unique range of food options.

7. Keep Conversations Flowing

It can be a bit awkward for wedding guests if they’re seated with people they don’t know well at your wedding—and this can be especially true without a drink to help lower inhibitions. In order to keep the conversation going, have some icebreakers prepared at each table to help your guests get to know each other. Add printed sheets with conversation starting questions at each table so that guests have a fun way to interact with each other.

8. Hire Unique Entertainment

Enlist in the help of some unique entertainers at your reception to keep guests busy and they’ll hardly notice that they can’t throw one back at your event! Hire jugglers, an a capella group, or a stand-up comedian to make an appearance at your event. Guests will be absolutely wowed by this addition and they’ll certainly not forget the unique experience.

If you’re planning a sober wedding, be sure to notify your guests of this detail ahead of time. Consider putting a blurb about it on your invitation or wedding website so that everyone knows what to expect going into your event. And remember that even without alcohol, you can make your event one to remember by following these planning and hosting tips.

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