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Do You Have to Tell Your Guests You're Having a Dry Wedding? Plus, the Best Ways to Communicate This Information

We asked the experts to weigh in.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Fondly Forever Photography

Unlike a wedding with a cash bar, a dry wedding is one where no alcohol is served during the cocktail hour or reception. While are many reasons to host a dry wedding (they can be considerably more budget friendly), they are not standard, which means you may find yourself with some questions on how to proceed. We talked to two wedding planners about whether or not you need to tell your guests that there will be no alcohol at the wedding, plus your options for spreading the word. 

 

Related: Tips for Hosting a Dry Wedding

 

Let guests know that there won't be alcohol.

While there's nothing wrong with hosting a dry wedding should that feel right to you, it's important to let your guests know so that their expectations are managed. Janessa While, founder of Simply Eloped, believes that expectation management is one of the most important parts of producing a great wedding. "With that in mind, I definitely recommend letting guests know if what they should expect is something that's a little more uncommon, like not serving alcohol," she adds. 

 

Spread the word the right way.

There's a right way (and a wrong way!) to let guests know that there won't be bubbly or booze at your wedding. The wrong way? Writing it on your invitations. There's no reason to detail the alcohol selection in this format as it should have no impact on whether or not guests attend your big day. But since you'll still want to get the word out, While suggests asking your bridal party and families to share this detail with guests they know. Word of mouth is typically the most tactful way to let guests know there won't be alcohol at the wedding, especially if you want guests to know the choice is a religious or personal one.

 

If you feel strongly about getting this information in writing where all guests can see it, Hovik Harutyunyan, wedding planner at Harutyunyan Events, says that another appropriate way to share the news is on your wedding website. While you can certainly explain why you're hosting a dry wedding here, Harutyunyan says that you absolutely don't have to give an explanation if you don't want to. "A simple 'We will be hosting a dry wedding experience for our guests,' on the website is sufficient," Harutyunyan adds. 

 

Remember that your guests will have just as much fun.

If you are worried about how your guests will react once they find out the news, Harutyunyan says not to be. Your family and friends will appreciate being invited to your big day event regardless of what you are (or are not) serving. "Most weddings that are dry are for religious or personal reasons, so it's very likely that guests would not be surprised the wedding is dry for that particular couple," Harutyunyan explains. And just because you're not offering alcohol doesn't mean you can't have fun creating signature mocktails, infused iced tea and lemonade, and other refreshing non-alcoholic drink options.