Who says you have to have booze to have a good time? More and more couples are opting for alcohol-free receptions for a variety of reasons. Among them is religion, health concerns and cost effectiveness. "Even in New Orleans, a town that loves a cocktail, we've seen a number of dry weddings," says Sarah Hall, president of Joel Catering & Il Mercato.
If this is you, then here's your guide to pulling the beer, spirits and wine from your menu.
Choose a less traditional time to exchange your vows
Not every wedding ceremony and reception needs to happen on Friday or Saturday. Consider a Sunday brunch, a sunrise ceremony or a weeknight party, where guests naturally tend to avoid alcohol due to work week commitments says Renée Strauss, founder and CEO of Wedaways. Choosing a non-traditional day of the week and time to get married and celebrate is a seamless way to steer your guests away from alcohol. The added benefit is you get to provide your guests with a different take on the wedding reception, one that perhaps reflects the couple's personality.
Make the announcement
There are many reasons why a couple might choose to skip the hooch and the best way to let your guests know is by word of mouth. Put a family, friends or a wedding planner in charge of spreading the news after the wedding ceremony. If you'd like to let your guests know in advance, Sarah suggests adding a note about it on your wedding website, but it's not necessary to add it to the actual invite.
Dress up your drinks
Skipping the alcohol creates a fun opportunity to serve booze-free drinks. Sarah recommends speaking to your caterer or beverage director to create a few options. She suggests items like a sparkling lavender lemonade, watermelon agua fresca or a grapefruit spritzer (fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, club soda and a lime wedge garnish) for summer nuptials. For the cold months, keep guests warm with a hot chocolate, warm apple cider or latte/cappuccino bar where guests can customize their own drinks.
Wedding planner Sabrina Zeile suggests a smoothie bar. Which is what one couple did when they decided to go sans spirits. "The couple announced it in advance to guests," says Sabrina. "No one was shocked when they arrived and it led to a beautiful, intimate dinner party experience."
A dry wedding is a personal choice for the couple. If you get invited to one, keep in mind the couple is asking you to celebrate their union in their way - not asking you to give up alcohol forever! Enjoy and have fun!
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist. She lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. For more info: ximenabeltran.com