8 Tips for Throwing a Sober Wedding


Sober Recovery Expert Author

So you’re getting married – congratulations! A commitment to love and partnership is certainly something worth celebrating. If you’re planning a wedding and you and/or your partner is sober, you might be overwhelmed by all the extra details that seem to go along with it. But rest assured, you’re not the first person to throw a sober wedding. Here are 8 tips to help you embark on your wedding planning journey.

1. Dry weddings are more common than you think.

People opt out of alcohol in weddings for religious reasons, issues with alcohol among the bride, groom or loved ones, or even as a way to keep out-of-control partying reeled in. Although alcohol at weddings is commonplace and even expected by some, you’re not doing something groundbreaking by having a sober wedding.

As you plan your big day, keeping these tips in mind will help you focus on the bigger picture.

2. You don’t have to explain yourself.

If your reasons for wanting a dry wedding are personal and you would prefer not to share them with your guests, you don’t have to. You shouldn’t have to explain your reasoning on your Big Day. If they really want to, people can easily get alcohol at the hotel bar or another location after the wedding.

3. Your guests should be there for you, not the booze.

While it’s true that many people who attend weddings expect there to be booze, having a dry wedding shouldn’t be a deterrent for your loved ones. They should want to be there to support you whether alcohol is served or not.

4. Consider the timing of your wedding.

People are generally more likely to want to drink at night, so if you want to have a dry wedding, consider having it in the daytime. Perhaps a brunch theme could work?

5. Make up for the booze in fancy mocktails.

Maybe it’s a cultural compulsion but people like to have something to drink. Put your guests at ease with some fancy non-alcoholic cocktails if you’re having a dry wedding and they’ll feel less awkward.

6. Have realistic expectations for your wedding events.

Many weddings conclude with everyone dancing and being silly but alcohol is often part of the picture. This isn’t to say that people won’t dance or have demonstrable fun without alcohol, but make sure that your expectations for how your wedding events unfold isn’t based on what you see at alcohol-fueled weddings but rather at dry weddings.

7. Be nonjudgmental and kind to your drinking friends.

It’s OK that they like to drink. It’s important to remember that there are plenty of responsible drinkers out there. If they’re traveling from out of town to your wedding, consider preparing a list of recommended bars and lounges in the wedding vicinity that they might enjoy during their stay or even directly after your wedding.

8. Be graceful, not defensive.

Many people are going to likely be surprised when they find out that you’re having a dry wedding. Some people, as well-meaning as they may be, might even sound a bit incredulous. But you don’t have to be defensive. Instead, respond to your guests with grace and calmly and coolly guide the conversation toward what you are looking forward to about your wedding.

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