How to navigate pushback when planning a sober wedding

How to navigate pushback when planning a sober wedding

A sober or dry wedding means hosting an event without alcohol, which may pose challenges due to social expectations. However, on your big day, it's crucial to prioritise your sober lifestyle, turning the wedding into a celebration of love and unity while staying true to your values.

Communicating Your Decision

In 2023, almost 4% of couples anticipated having a wedding without alcohol. Since this number is relatively low, most wedding guests will likely expect alcohol to be served. When sharing your choice, be straightforward with your partner, close family, and friends. Let them know that the celebration will be alcohol-free from the start.

Share the reasons behind your decision. Whether prioritising personal health, creating a safe and inclusive environment, or aligning with your values, explaining the "why" helps others understand its significance.

You don't have to share anything you're not comfortable with. Consider including on your wedding website something like, "Our reception will be alcohol-free to ensure the health and wellbeing of ourselves, our friends, and our family. Thank you for understanding."

Building a Supportive Guest List

Building a guest list full of supportive individuals is crucial. Here's a closer look:

Prioritise supportive individuals: Invite those who respect and support your sober lifestyle. Surrounding yourself with individuals who understand the importance of this choice creates a positive and encouraging environment.

Offer alternatives: Recognize that some guests may find the idea of a dry wedding challenging. To accommodate varying preferences, suggest they celebrate with a drink before or after the event.

Creating an Engaging Experience

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol isn't necessary for a fun wedding. Here are some ideas: 

Budget Redirection: Cutting alcohol expenses from your budget leaves room for other fun ideas. Consider unique wedding favours, breathtaking floral arrangements, or thematic decorations that narrate your love story.

Culinary Delights: Splurge on exquisite food that will be more worthwhile than alcohol. From artisanal cheeses to decadent desserts, make each course a culinary treat for your guests. Lobsters are known for lasting love, echoed in the memorable “you’re my lobster” quote from “Friends.”

Interactive Entertainment: Incorporate photo booths, lawn games, scavenger hunts, or professional dance instruction to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.

Offering Non-Alcoholic Beverages Alternatives

When offering non-alcoholic alternatives at your alcohol-free wedding, make it memorable by:

Diverse Selection: Include a variety of refreshing fruit-based concoctions and non-alcoholic versions of classic mocktails.

Professional Touch: Collaborate with a professional bartender or mixologist to design signature mocktails exclusive to your wedding.

Variety of Options: Set up stations with flavoured sparkling water, artisanal sodas, herbal teas, and specialty coffees to cater to diverse tastes.

Seeking Professional Support

Consider hiring a sober wedding planner or consultant with expertise in organizing alcohol-free events to ensure a smooth, enjoyable celebration for all guests.

Sober Wedding Planning Tips

Daytime Celebration: Consider a morning or afternoon wedding with a brunch reception to set a laid-back tone.

Don't Apologise: Your wedding day is about you and your partner. There's no need to apologise for your sober choices. 

Make New Traditions: Create new traditions like signature mocktails or unique toasts to personalise your wedding experience.

Your Big Day

Handling pushback for your sober wedding involves talking openly and sticking to your decisions. Your big day should be filled with love, authenticity, and celebration, regardless of the presence of alcohol. Cheers to love and authenticity on your special day!

Written by Cora Gold

Cora is a wellness writer and editor of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. Along with tips for health and happiness, Cora loves writing about party planning. Follow Cora on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.