Non-Alcoholic Reception a Faux Pas?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: What do you think of having a non-alcoholic wedding?
    Non-alcoholic wedding okay! : (50 votes)
    49 %
    Alcohol is a must! : (52 votes)
    51 %
  • Post # 3
    5460 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @MissBirdWatcher:  I absolutely believe in hosting the wedding you can afford, so if that’s a dry wedding, then that’s a dry wedding.  I don’t think people will stick around quite as long, and there certainly won’t be any mind-blowing dance moves by any tipsy bridesmaids…

    That said, I think your compromise of a mimosa bar is PERFECT!  Champagne isn’t terribly expensive, it’s classy, and it won’t get people trashed (unless they drink A LOT of mimosas).  And yes, you can get some really nice plastic cups that look classy.

    Post # 4
    1002 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I love the mimosa bar idea, I love mimosas.  Would you be having a brunch reception?  If not a mimosa bar might be strange at 7 at night.  But you could always do a couple of bottles of wine for each table for dinner or maybe even doing something like sangria?

    Post # 5
    2851 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    If you can afford alcohol then it should be provided… Unless you are a recovering alcoholic or something.

    I feel like some alcohol can liven up and get a party started.

    Post # 6
    575 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    You aren’t obligated to serve your guests a full open bar.  I could technically afford to serve my guests fillet mignon and champagne when they come for dinner, but I’m not obligated to do so.  I’m obligated to feed them good food, to make them comfortable, and to do all I can to make the experience enjoyable.  You aren’t required to serve alcohol.  In some places, it’s really normative, but there is no guest bill of rights that includes the right to alcohol.

    I think your mimosa idea sounds nice.  There are a lot of champagne cocktails/punches out there that would work for you if you’re worried the mimosa is too brunch-y.  Bellinis, which are the same concept but with peach nectar, are really delicious.  And there are lots of champagne punches that are meant for just this sort of occasion, they’re easier on the budget, and they’re meant to be served in cups, not in flutes.  I’d think about those, too.

    Post # 7
    2114 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @MissBirdWatcher:  No Alcohol is OK in my books. I would **prefer** a mimosa bar, but I would not have a bad time or leave early because of it.

    That being said, Mimosas are fine to serve any time of the day, especially in a garden setting. How about the plastic champagne flutes? I have seen them at the dollar store with 5 in a pack around New Years. I am sure you can find something comparable online.

    Post # 8
    7997 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2013

    I say go for it. I’m not a big drinker either, but I think you came up with a nice compromise. As a fairly shy person, it’s nice to have like one drink to loosen up a bit when I’m stuck at a wedding needing to make small-talk. Absolutely stay in budget!

    Post # 9
    22124 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I can certainly have fun as a guest at a wedding without alcohol. I think the mimosa bar is a great idea, though! 🙂

    Post # 10
    4163 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    I love the idea of a mimosa bar, and I think hard plastic is fine (I prefer them over a flute, anyway). If you want to give your guests some options, one beer (local craft beers generally go over well) and a signature drink are fun options. Sangria could also be good.

    Post # 12
    10219 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Hi @MissBirdWatcher:  I see this is your DEBUT Post on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

    I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob here… lol, on WBee, in so much as I am an oldtimer, and know most of the Rules for BOTH Traditional & Modern Etiquette

    (What each person chooses to do with this knowledge shared… is up to them.  Always advise Bees to weigh the Risks & Consequences, as only they truly know their Guests)

    Your Question:

    Non-Alcoholic Reception a Faux Pas ?

    The Answer is NO

    There is nothing wrong with not serving Alcohol… it is a personal choice.  One that people can make for a variety of reasons… alcohol issues in the family – religious beliefs – or even cost.  There is no right or wrong here… so don’t make anyone make you feel guilty on this front.

    It is true tho, that if it is an Afternoon or Evening Reception, and Alcohol isn’t available, that Guests tend to say their farewells earlier… and some do say the party just doesn’t have the same “spark”

    Stuff to consider

    When it comes to possible choices…

    Bubbly is ALWAYS appropriate for a Wedding, no matter the time of day / night.

    Wine is also a good choice, as is Sparkling Grape Juice if you are going to go with a Non-Alcohol alternative

    It is true that Mimosas are normally seen as a Morning Beverage… but they also are very much a summertime drink.

    Personally, if you had Bubbly on hand, I’d recommend that you have options for your Guests…

    Straight up – with fruit dropped into the Glass – Mimosas (with OJ) – or a wonderful Afternoon or Evening Cockatail… a Kir Royale is a nice alternative (the addition of Cassis or other fruity liqueur)

    Kir =


    Post # 15
    10219 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012


    Glassware should fit the feel of the event in regards to formality.  If your Wedding is in a Park and casual then the plastic glasses should be fine.

    You’ll want to match it tho to the rest of the items…

    So if you are going with Glass / China elsewhere, then you don’t want plastic for Cocktails.


    Post # 16
    10748 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    Well I think your mom is right. Alcohol makes special events like weddings more fun. It is the liquid courage that people need to strike up conversations with strangers, dance, whatever. People will be a lot more reserved without it generally. So that might make them feel bored and want to leave earlier. It’s not rude, it’s just kind of a fact. 

    So a mimosa bar sounds good! 

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