Alcohol-free weddings are trending in Florida. As more couples opt for dry wedding celebrations, our catering experts share seven wedding planning tips for hosting an unforgettable, mocktail event!
Planning a wedding is a whirlwind of excitement. From finding the perfect venue, to selecting entertainment, hiring a photographer, and choosing an amazing caterer, a lot goes into planning your special day. And, if you and your partner are leaving alcohol off the guest list, you may be worried about how to host an amazing wedding reception that is both free of alcohol and full of fun.
Hosting an alcohol-free wedding opens up a world of creative possibilities to make your celebration memorable for everyone. So, put on your dancing shoes, raise a sparkling cider, and let’s dive into some tips for hosting the ultimate alcohol-free wedding reception!
7 tips to elevate your alcohol-free wedding reception
1. Consider a unique venue that doesn’t allow alcohol
One of the biggest concerns for couples planning a dry wedding is the reaction from their guests. In a study by Hitch, 23 percent of couples wanting an alcohol-free wedding choose not to because they don’t want to upset their guests. If you echo this same sentiment, a great way to avoid guest reaction is to select a venue that doesn’t allow alcohol.
In fact, some of the most beautiful and scenically unique venues prohibit alcohol. For example, most national parks, nature preserves, recreational parks, and beaches in Florida ban alcohol. You can find a stunning, one-of-a-kind setting for your reception that removes the temptation of serving alcohol.
2. Create a signature mocktail
Elevate your dry wedding celebration by creating a signature mocktail with your caterers. Servers can pass the drink around when it’s time for toasts, and a fun garnish or pretty glass will make it feel more festive. Raising the bar on creative presentation is key. Make your signature mocktail a delicious “wow” factor. Here are a few tips from our caterers:
- Complement the setting and season
If you’re throwing a garden soiree in the summer, consider a light and refreshing option infused with seasonal produce, like a basil blackberry spritz. For a fall fête, opt for a spiced apple cider. Planning a beachside banquet? Serve a tropical punch with edible fruit garnishes. Selecting mocktails with seasonal ingredients will create a more flavorful drink, and the result will be a sip that better matches the vibe of your wedding as a whole.
- Match your personality
It’s your special day, so you’ll obviously want to serve a mocktail that is unique to you and your partner. For example, if you and your partner love to travel, create a mocktail inspired by your favorite destination.
- Provide options for everyone
In addition to having a signature mocktail for your wedding, it’s also a good idea to provide other mocktail options for your guests. Working with your caterer, you can curate a mocktail menu with drinks to suit multiple palettes. Our caterers recommend providing three spirit-free options, each with different flavor profiles. In addition, elevate your bar by creating a beautiful display of the non-alcoholic options.
3. Curate a deliciously unforgettable menu
If you decide to skip the traditional inclusion of alcohol, go all out with the food! The food at your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the whole event. Work with your caterer to create a customized menu that is elevated, elegant, and a reflection of you. At Puff n’ Stuff, our catering team loves to work with couples to create culinary experiences that represent your love story.
For example, if one of your favorite trips was to New Orleans and you made amazing memories there, we can create a Cajun and southern-inspired menu. If you and your partner are foodies, we can create a bespoke and gourmet menu that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Bottom line, an unforgettable and unique menu is the cornerstone of an amazing alcohol-free reception.
4. Hire a good MC, DJ or live band to keep the energy and engagement up
Don’t underestimate the importance of good entertainment. The right person should be able to engage guests with humor, move the festivities along smoothly, and choose familiar hits that your guests will enjoy. After all, a lively atmosphere doesn’t depend on alcohol, but on the shared joy of the celebration.
5. Entertain your guests with interactive games and activities
This tip may sound cheeky, but incorporating interactive games and activities into your wedding reception will help keep guests entertained. For example, if you are planning an outdoor wedding, consider setting up cornhole or bocce ball on the lawn. If your reception is more intimate, why not play trivia with all questions centered around your love story? Themed photo booths are also a great way to engage your guests and create lasting memories.
6. Set up a cigar bar
If you’re opting for a dry wedding, consider setting up a cigar bar. First and foremost, check with your venue about having a designated cigar section. If it’s permissible, focus on creating an elegant experience. Set-up comfortable lounge chairs, accented with mood lighting and candles. Have a professional on-site offering cigar rolling. Or, create a DIY cigar bar with custom match boxes, fun ashtrays, and take-home cigar cutters.
7. Surprise your guests with a late-night coffee and snack station
After dancing the night away, your guests will love having “after hours” snacks and coffee. From mini sliders and tacos, to gourmet popcorn and flatbreads, a late-night snack station will be the perfect ending to an amazing night. You can also serve a “night cap” with an artisanal coffee bar. Work with your caterer to curate “café” options.
Your once-in-a-lifetime day deserves a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, including non-alcoholic options that create their own buzz
Hosting an alcohol-free wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing the celebration; it’s an opportunity to get creative and make your special day even more unique. At Puff n’ Stuff, we are a Florida full-service wedding catering company dedicated to crafting unforgettable culinary experiences tailored to your unique vision, which includes providing a collection of creative mocktails and other memorable non-alcoholic options.
For over 40 years, we have provided the highest level of culinary excellence, precision, and peace-of-mind for Florida’s most renowned weddings and events. If you’ve ever been to — or heard about – an extraordinary wedding celebration in Florida that sticks out in your mind above all the rest, the chances are great that Puff `n Stuff was the catering partner that helped make that wedding truly magical. Whether you’re planning an intimate reception or an over-the-top celebration, we will transform your dream day into delicious perfection.
Learn more about Puff n’ Stuff’s wedding catering services, including our service for alcohol-free weddings.