A survey by Nielsen in 2019 found that 66% of millennials are keen to reduce their overall alcohol intake. At the same time, some are doing it as a take on “sober curiosity” others choose dry weddings to save some money. The average cost of a wedding reception bar was over $2,300. Whether you’re in early recovery or want to keep your big day safe to everyone invited, these sober wedding ideas can have all the charm and tradition you’d expect from a wedding day.
1. Have a Mocktail Menu
Just because you want to have a sober wedding doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun drinks. Mocktail menus offer many booze-free beverages that taste just the same (if not better) than the real deal. A mocktail menu is great because it can entertain guests of all ages. Trust us; most people will think they’re drinking alcoholic cocktails.
2. Try a Kombucha Open Bar
A new trend is to swap the alcohol bar for a kombucha bar. These drinks come in plenty of flavors and styles, you can mix and match them, and they taste delicious. You can serve these in bottles or even hire a kombucha mixologist to create made-to-order drinks your guests will love.
3. Lemonade Stand for Daytime Weddings
If you’re having a daytime wedding, break the heat with a lemonade stand. They’re perfect for a summer wedding, adding a cute vintage touch using wooden tables and baskets of fresh lemons. You can also have different flavors and colors by mixing raspberry, mint, or blueberries into your lemonade.
4. Sparkling Cider for Sober Weddings
For the toast, sparkling cider can add that festive feeling to your wedding reception. You can provide bottles on ice, wine glasses, or pre-poured mugs that can be lined up in a cute bar-like setting.
5. Coconut Water Stand for a Tropical Soiree
If you’re planning a tropical wedding or a beachside wedding, having a coconut water bar can help keep guests hydrated and cool. Use shucked coconuts to make it even more festive and fun for everyone. You’ll all feel like you’re on vacation.
6. Milkshake Bar
Consider planning a themed wedding. Like the 1950s or 1960s themed wedding, turning your reception into a fun milkshake bar. Try a bar set up to let your guest choose from different flavors and toppings. Not only is it an excellent choice for a sober wedding, but imagine the backdrop this setup will give you for photos.
7. Make It an Activity Wedding
Weddings don’t have to follow a specific theme or style. Consider breaking up with traditional weddings and plan an adventure or activity sober wedding instead. Make your reception a dancing class, or plan a treasure hunt for your guests, go on a bit of expedition in a park or by the beach. These weddings are fun for all ages and will take everyone’s mind off having a drink.
8. Tea Party for Cocktail Hour
Another great sober wedding theme is to host a tea party. By planning an afternoon tea party, your guest won’t expect any alcohol servings. Instead, you’ll have an array of different teas, toppings, and options to choose from, alongside delicious baked goods and food.
9. Italian Soda Bars
Italian sodas are delicious sweet drinks using soda water and flavored syrups. They make a colorful addition to any wedding reception, and they’re alcohol-free. You can have different flavors available so guests can choose their custom drinks.
10. Make Your Own Beverage Station
Let your guests choose their drinks with a make-your-own drink station. Include water, sodas, kombuchas, and teas for them to choose from. Add some toppings, flavors, syrups, and fresh fruits so everyone can enjoy and have a bit of fun while choosing their drinks for the day.
11. Consider a BYO Wedding
Consider a bring-your-own style wedding if you don’t want to have a sober wedding for everyone involved. In this case, you’ll let your guests know about your intentions of having a sober wedding party. However, they can bring their alcoholic drinks and keep those by their table if desired. This way, you won’t see temptation all over, avoid the triggers, but your guests can still enjoy their preferred choice of drink.
12. Have a Kid-Friendly Wedding
A kid-friendly wedding is usually alcohol-free. When you plan these weddings, instead of serving alcoholic beverages, you opt for an array of different alcohol-free drinks like lemonade, sodas, flavored waters, kombucha, and teas.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sober Weddings
Whether you’re recovering from substance abuse or want to protect someone who is, there are no reasons why you can’t have a special day with a sober wedding. Nowadays, many wedding venues offer sober packages for couples, particularly those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. How do you throw a sober wedding? To create a sober wedding, you need to make sure you plan on:
- Having a fun non-alcoholic menu
- Planning the reception in the morning
- Plan events throughout the reception to keep guests entertained
- Ensure everyone knows that you’re having a sober wedding
- Splurge on the food offerings and treats
Can you have an alcohol-free wedding reception? Absolutely. You can still have a fun wedding reception using signature mocktails instead of alcoholic beverages. Having a dry wedding can still be fun and exciting. How do you say no alcohol at a wedding? Word of mouth is usually the easiest way to let guests know there won’t be alcohol at the wedding. However, you can also let everyone know by adding a note to your invitations. Is it OK to have a dry wedding nowadays? Yes. A dry wedding is just a wedding without alcohol. However, you still want to include a soft drink bar to keep guests hydrated. Choose from some of the options we shared above.