Weddings with no alcohol served are known as “dry weddings” and yes in New Zealand these do happen! Perhaps you don’t drink, or the wedding venue doesn’t have a liquor license. A close family member could be a recovering alcoholic. You might have a tight budget and have had a tough decision to make… Depending on the circles you move in, you might be quite surprised to hear that weddings without alcohol do happen. If you’re planning on a dry wedding, do you need to forewarn your guests?
You don’t have to inform guests you’re having a dry wedding…
For the dry weddings that I have designed wedding invitations for, no mention that they are alcohol-free has been made on the invite. In theory, a dry wedding doesn’t come out of the blue – if you’re not drinkers then your guests shouldn’t be surprised.
If it’s a while to your wedding day and you’re pondering a dry wedding reception, consider having a morning ceremony and early afternoon wedding reception. People are less likely to expect a full bar service, so you can feel a little better about not serving drinks. Alcohol-free wedding receptions do not last as long as ones with a full bar service, so you may save on venue hire and staffing costs too.
If you are worried it might come as a shock to some of your guests, I recommend you rely on word of mouth to spread the word amongst your more… ah… festive guests, to “soften the blow”! You may have rude or ignorant guests ask.
…but depending on your guests, it might be nice to warn them
If you decide to avoid mentioning it, to avoid a backlash when the invites go out – I’d be careful. Instead of finding out pre-wedding, guests will find out at the wedding, and just because it’s your big day may not stop someone’s disappointment slipping out.
Look at it this way – if you do mention “no alcohol” on the wedding invitation, that gives the invitees a chance to decline to attend. If they’ll decline to attend your wedding, just because they won’t be able to drink – do you really want them there at all?
Have you been to a dry wedding – and were you warned in advance?
Have you ever been to a wedding that didn’t serve alcohol. Did you know before attending that there was no bar service, or was it a surprise?