The Guide to a Dry Wedding

Dry Wedding

Photo Credit: Elliot Brown

Sometimes couples choose to host a dry wedding, omitting all alcohol from their reception. While each couple has their own reason as to why they chose to have a “dry” wedding, here is a guide to help you decide if a dry wedding is for you and ideas on how to move forward when planning:

Why Choose Dry?
There are many reasons that someone would choose to have a dry wedding. Some choose to skip the alcohol due to religious reasons, reasons surrounding recovering alcoholics, to avoid potentially disastrous situations, or even to save money.

How Do I Announce that We’re Having a Dry Wedding?
When throwing a dry wedding, it is important to set expectations for your guests as early as possible. The best way to do this is to include it on the invitations that you send out. Making a note that the reception will be “alcohol-free” or “light refreshments to be served/available” will avoid any unhappy guests. Should your guests want to have a celebration with alcohol, they can plan to visit a nearby bar, club, or restaurant for drinks after the reception.

Do You Have Any Suggestions to “Make Up” for the Lack of Alcohol?
There are two ways that we think would be great to “make up” for the absence of alcohol for your guests. The first is to have a fun and interesting menu for them to choose from. This is a great option because, while it will cost more than the traditional meal selection, the money you save from having an open bar can go toward this expense.

Treats like a modern tapas style selection is great. Interesting foods such as mini burgers, mini French fries, Rosemary chicken on skewers, or fun savory tapas is a great way to divert their attention from the missing liquor.

To poke a little fun at the lack of alcohol, some brides have been known to have a candy bar (bar full of candy for guests to mix and match to create their own sweet treat).

mocktails for wedding

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Another suggestion is to serve “mocktails”. Mocktails are non-alcoholic versions of cocktails, hence the “mock”. There are so many to choose from, from those that are bubbly, to those that are fruity, there is one to suit all of your guests’ taste buds. has a wonderful list of mocktails (along with their recipes!) for you to browse.

For the champagne toast, you can forego the champagne and substitute it for a sparkling cider like Martinelli’s sparkling cider. Martinelli’s sparkling apple-cranberry juice makes a great substitute from wine as well.

Lastly, hiring great entertainment will get your guests’ minds off of the “dry” part of your wedding and focused on the talent on the stage. Choosing to have a great band or DJ to play at your wedding will get everyone on the dance floor, leaving their discontent (if they have any at all after those mocktails!) at their table.

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