Making a dry wedding fun

posted 2 months ago in Reception
Post # 16
9544 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I’d do a brunch wedding. Brunch is the best and people won’t be expecting/miss alcohol at a day time wedding. 

Mocktails are also a fun option.

Make sure the food is awesome.

Post # 17
4759 posts
Honey bee

Lets see some ideas:


Dessert bar

Some games like cornhole not sure what other games drawing a blank right now. 


Lounge area with coffee bar or tea bar. I’m partial to coffee 

Photo booth 

Post # 18
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location


Post # 19
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

As someone who doesn’t drink and is having a dry reception (and has received lots of hate on it here on weddingbee) I say do what it is that YOU want. Know you’re crowd and know what they would enjoy. I think having a good DJ, lots of food, and playing with the lighting could help create a cool atmosphere. (For example, maybe use string lights in a seating area and dim the dance floor so people feel more comfortable dancing.) If you don’t drink and your friends/family know that then they won’t be expecting alcohol anyways so it won’t matter what time of the day you host your wedding. I would SO much rather go to an evening wedding than a morning one. If they can’t survive a few hours without alcohol then that’s their problem and not yours. You could also put a few games out for people. I love the idea of some nostalgic table-games. That may be nice to keep people entertained who won’t be out on the dance floor. Congratulations! 

Post # 20
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

Check out the ideas on Offbeat Bride! Even if you don’t consider yourself “offbeat” there are a lot of great real wedding examples and I think there’s a dry wedding tag. 

A few other ideas… a really fun local band over a DJ could be an option. If your friends are creative/musical, having them perform. Lawn games – cornhole, horse shoes, oversized Jenga or chess, etc.  A girl I know had a swing dance lesson at her wedding followed by an hour of swing music to practice. There’s tons of ideas out there!

I disagree that it has to be in the afternoon btw, plenty of people do things other than drink at night. 

Post # 21
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I really, really hate structured games at dry weddings, and things like magicians are even worse. Just because I’m drinking pepsi or juice doesn’t make me 8; I don’t want to be entertained like a child. 

If there are games, I’d say make them very voluntary. Things that people can pick up or put down at will like lawn or card games, not Mafia or anything that locks people in to long-term game play. I think a shorter brunch event with music is great for a dry wedding – people eat, socialize, dance if the mood takes them there and then are sober enough for the rest of their day.

Post # 22
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Most of the weddings I have been to have been dry. Not sure on the insistence on this board that no fun can be had without alcohol. Do people really need that crutch in order to have a good time? Not where I live & not with my friends and family. Most (99%) of my family gatherings are dry. Dinners with friends are mostly dry. Even “date night” with my spouse doesn’t always include alcohol. I often have a single drink at night with dinner at home, so its not that I don’t drink; but I do not need to drink to have fun. Maybe it’s because I am older & a professional, but alcohol just isn’t a huge part of my life. 

Great food. Ample dessert. Music. These help to make a great party 

Post # 23
1245 posts
Bumble bee

I’d say there is no reason to do things differently. Good music will go a long way. I’m happy to dance sober. Great mocktails and I’m good. Even in weddings with alcohol people tend to go “fix the car” so basically someone has a booth with alcohol that people visit so I would prepare for that.

Post # 24
6 posts
  • Wedding: Kleinburg, Ontario

mrswaynnneee :  Oh, okay I see. In your case a brunch reception would be a great option! Lots of fun food stations would be a nice addition (maybe a donut station, chicken & waffles, etc.). Good luck! smile

Post # 25
479 posts
Helper bee

I would just say, plan it like normal, just expect it to “wind down” a little earlier in the night than a wedding with a bar. People like won’t stay until midnight if they aren’t drinking, which is fine. 
I would have some games out on tables that you think your crowd might like (cards etc) so the optino is there if people want to play it. 
Otherwise, don’t worry. People are far to obsessed with alcohol. If you don’t want any at your wedding, don’t have it!

Post # 26
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: City, State

A fried of mine had a brunch wedding that was dry and it was seriously one of the best weddings I’ve ever attended.  She had an open area for dancing and did all of the old – what i would have before this wedding called tacky – group dances and we had a blast!   She got out on the floor in her wedding dress and cowboy boots, as did new hubby, and everyone else just followed along.  They were laughing and so joyous that you could help but have fun with them. 🙂 Those videos still pop up around social media and I can’t help but smile.  


Said that to say, I think it is totally doable.  Do you.  celebrate and have fun with it!

Post # 27
3530 posts
Sugar bee

mrswaynnneee :  I would do fun foods and mocktails. You could rent a slurpee machine, cotton candy maker, etc. so there are still lots of fun munchies and drinks to enjoy. Makes it a bit festive too. If the wedding is outdoors, lawn games are always great too. Have music going in the background too. Alcohol is basically liquid courage in social events, so if you think of things to busy people’s minds and mouths, it shouldn’t matter that there is no alcohol. 

Post # 28
2062 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“Not sure on the insistence on this board that no fun can be had without alcohol.”

I agree, but there is an equal insistence that those who enjoy cocktails and expect them at a major social event somehow “NEED alcohol to have fun,” or are alcoholics. It would be pretty unheard of in my circle to have a dry anything and so a dry wedding would certainly be an anamoly. Howeve, if this is more common in the OP’s circle, then I would just have a regular wedidng, sans alcohol. I agree that an earlier-in-the-day wedding might be more apropriate. I would find games excruciating. Why can’t people sociaize and dance as usual?

Post # 30
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

I think great music will really make it feel like a fun party!

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