How to Avoid Serving Alcohol at a Wedding

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Avoid Serving Alcohol at a Wedding. So you're planning your upcoming wedding reception and have decided against serving alcohol. If word has gotten out, you've probably already gotten some questions or maybe even rude comments about the wedding not being fun without alcohol. Whatever your reasons may be, it's your choice to keep the celebration sober. Follow these steps to throw a dry wedding reception with anything-but-dry fun.

Accept that people are going to vocalize their opinions, good or bad. People don't always realize that you may have a reason, such as a father or aunt who is a recovering alcoholic, who you don't want to put into a difficult situation. You want to protect their privacy, but a general comment about the situation, without naming names stops these commentators in their tracks. It's hard to argue with someone who simply wants to support their loved one.

Turn what some will see as bad into good. Instead of sending guests home with miniature picture frames of you and your new spouse or a tulle bag filled with candy, make a donation to a substance abuse or alcohol education organization, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). These organizations can sometimes give you small cards that inform the wedding guests that a donation has been made in their name. Place the cards at each table setting.

Throw a day-time reception. People usually don't drink as much during the late morning and afternoon as they would at an evening reception anyway.

Reserve a small amount of alcohol for the toast. Serve champagne to guests or just the wedding party for the toast. You could also serve a champagne punch in champagne glasses. These options keep your alcohol bill down, but follow the tradition of a champagne toast.

Substitute champagne with sparkling grape juice. No, it's not the same, but the idea is the same.

Serve an array of non-alcoholic beverages. If you forego alcohol, and then provide only water and iced tea, guests may not feel appreciated. Some of them are going to travel from far away and want to feel special and appreciated for attending. Offer soft drinks, coffee and punch in addition to the customary water and iced tea.

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