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6 tips for planning sober-friendly wedding celebrations

Weddings (and all the engagement celebrations in between) are typically booze-drenched events that don't often cater to individuals who choose to remain sober. So how do you make your loved ones feel comfortable? After all, everyone deserves to be able to drink their drink, their way, while still being able to join in on the merriments. In most cases, you don't need to host an entirely alcohol-free wedding to help your sober loved ones feel cared for; a few simple actions can ensure your wedding celebrations are enjoyed by everyone, including your sober guests.

Offer non-alcoholic wedding drinks

Providing an ample supply of non-alcoholic wedding drink options is essential when planning a sober wedding. Creating a wedding mocktail menu is an excellent way of offering booze-free beverages that often look and taste just like the original but are much more inclusive for all guests. Make sure to also stock up on the usual bar staples (like coke and soda water) for guests that would rather steer clear from imitations. Ready to get your menu started? Check out our top 10 non-alcoholic drinks for celebrating, or try these recipes below:

Lyre's G&T

There's nothing quite like warm weddings surrounded by loved ones with a classic G&T in hand. We're not referring to an issue of Giggle & Toff - the magazine for trust fund babies - either (although it is a frightfully super read)!

You'll need:

  • 45mL Lyre's London Dry Spirit
  • 120mL of premium bottled tonic water
  • 1 pink grapefruit slice
  • A sprig of rosemary (garnish)

Method:

  • Add ingredients into your favourite highball glass
  • Stir and fill with ice
  • Garnish with a sprig of rosemary

Lyre's Mojito Pitcher

Add a pitcher of Mojitos to each table for all guests to enjoy! Enjoy Lyre’s White Cane Spirit, muddled mint and hints of sugar cane for a non-alcoholic wedding drink as refreshing and loveable as the newlyweds.

You'll need:

  • 180mL Lyre's White Cane Spirit
  • 60mL lime juice
  • 45mL white sugar syrup (1:1)
  • 2 large handfuls of mint leaves
  • 4 lime wheels
  • Premium bottled soda water

Method:

  • Add ingredients into a 1-litre carafe
  • Fill with ice and stir
  • Garnish with 2 plump mint sprigs

Don't offer wine poured at the table

It might be considered a little fancier to have wine poured into guests' glasses as they dine at the table, but continuously declining alcohol can be exhausting for guests who prefer not to drink alcohol. Instead, have a bar that provides both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alternatives, so your guests can choose to go to the booze rather than having the booze go to them. You could also offer non-alcoholic wedding drink options (like wedding mocktails or non-alcoholic sparkling) at each table and leave the bar to serve alcohol. This may help guests who are recently sober or in recovery. Our guide to non-alcoholic cocktails to order at a bar is a great place to start when compiling a list of exquisite non-alcoholic alternatives to serve at your wedding venue.

Include an activity during cocktail hour so not drinking isn't as awkward

Cocktail hour can feel awkward and somewhat lonely for sober guests - particularly those who used to drink but now don't. Including a casual activity to enjoy during cocktail hour is often appreciated. Popular activities include events like lawn games, musical entertainment, or trivia games based on the newlyweds. Activities like these give guests something to do with their hands and mind while helping people connect without the pressure to drink.

Toast with non-alcoholic sparkling

For the toast, sparkling wine can add a festive glimmer to wedding celebrations; but it doesn't make it any less festive to take out the booze and replace it with sober-friendly, inclusive alternatives. When planning a sober wedding, include non-alcoholic sparkling wine so guests can join in without feeling pressured to make an exception for the wedding toast. Lyre’s award-winning Classico Grande has been impossibly crafted to stand out as a premium non-alcoholic celebration in a bottle. With an alluring, lifted lime bouquet and notes of fresh peach and granny smith apple, the Classico Grande is the perfect accompaniment to any sober-friendly wedding toast.

Don't make a fuss if they want to leave early

For sober guests - particularly those in recovery - being around many people drinking late into the night may be challenging, so if they choose to leave early, avoid making a fuss. Generally, guests (whether sober or not) want to join in on your wedding to celebrate you and your love, but some guests - for various reasons - won't want to stay all night. If you know some guests will want an early night, make sure to let them know it's okay and be kind about it when they call it a day.

Ask your sober friend or relative what would make them comfortable

If you know certain guests are going booze-free, simply asking them what you can do to make them comfortable is a good way to start an honest and open conversation. Of course, most guests will likely tell you there's no need to worry about them, but letting them know you care about their needs and requirements shows your support of their choice to be sober.

Simply showing your support can help your guest feel comfortable enjoying non-alcoholic wedding drink alternatives on the big day. And really, that's what truly makes a wedding sober-friendly.

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