Creating a welcoming space for your alcohol-free guests is easy, and goes a long way in making sure everyone has a blast on your big day.
As the sober-curious movement gains momentum, more and more people are deciding to cut back or cut out booze. As a result, weddings can be an isolating or triggering experience. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost, low-key ways to make all your guests feel comfortable and ready to party.
Like everyone else, sober partiers want to celebrate you and keep the attention where it belongs without having to explain, yet again, that they aren’t pregnant, or preemptively concoct lies about antibiotics. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Awkward questions, well-meaning jokes, and even sometimes ridicule, can ruin the experience. Remember, some non-drinkers may not be comfortable disclosing why they aren’t drinking, some may be nervous about probing questions, and some simply would rather talk about what a great wedding it is!
They key to making your guests at ease is to find low-profile options designed to help your non-drinking friends feel included, not as if a spotlight is shining down on them.
Please, no kiddie glasses.
So much of the experience surrounding a great cocktail is the presentation, so direct your bartenders or catering managers that adults ordering drinks, no matter the type, should be in adult glasses. A soda and cranberry can be served in a rocks glass, just the same as a vodka cranberry. Toss on a lime for garnish and people will stop asking what they’re drinking. If someone orders a ginger ale, it’s nice to put it in a champagne glass. No one should feel clunky or out of place when everyone’s asked to raise a glass.
Easy options within reach.
Having simple options matter to guests who might feel awkward making special requests. If you’re placing a bottle of wine on each table, also have a bottle of something alcohol-free that feels special. A growing market of AF wine and bubbly makes this experience all the more fun. Gruvi makes some really fun drinks especially their zero proof Dry Secco. Fever Tree ginger beer comes in a beautiful bottle and is easy to find at your local grocery store. Behind the bar consider stocking some AF beer. All of the major companies have alcohol-free options, even Guinness, and the craft beer community has been creating some amazing drafts as well. Athletic Brewing is particularly good, but check out any local brewery.
So many couples have fun creating a signature drink for the wedding. Why not have two—one with booze, and one without. No need to ask people to request a “virgin,” or stick to grenadine-laden Shirley Temples, or spend the entire evening downing Diet Coke. The internet is full of amazing mocktail recipes, and any bartender worth their salt-rim can help you develop custom recipes. Seasonal simple syrup gives any drink a glow up, you could even give away small bottles of them as a favor!
As a lover of all things wedding and a fierce cheerleader for marriage equality, I decided to marry my two passions and create a resource where all couples—gay, straight and lesbian—can be equally represented. Armed with seven years in both print and online lifestyle journalism, I dove headfirst into this passion project in 2013 and Love Inc. was born.
I’m inspired every day by the couples that grace our pages, from the can’t-live-without-you grasps to the gentle sweeping away of a happy tear, the love that they so clearly have for each other is intoxicating, and drives me to create the best product possible … while enjoying every second of it.