Non Alcoholic Drinks for wedding reception

To be honest going a wedding when you are alcohol free is tough and catering for people who drink is very often an afterthought.

Sorry if that is you but it is! And I don’t blame you either.

Isn’t wedding planning hard enough as it is.

Someone brought up the subject of a non alcoholic drink options for wedding receptions as in “what the heck do you do”!

It is a valid question.

And to be fair do people that say more thought should be given over to people who don’t drink alcohol at a wedding?

Not generally.

Well it very often the caterers or the venue who don’t offer the option in the first place. I know from my own consumption it ain’t easy!

From restaurant to bars great alcohol free options are hardly jumping out at us are they? When did you last see an alcohol free drink menu?

So from the moment when you walk into the reception, to the disco in the evening what choices are out there for alcohol free drinks at a wedding?

More importantly if you drink alcohol and don’t know what you should do then hopefully I can help!

Here are some helpful suggestions to get you thinking.

Plus leave your thoughts and comment and this will be useful to others and hopefully some caterers reading this as well.

The Reception

This sets the tone of your welcome if you don’t drink.

What will you offer as people arrive at the venue no matter how big or small?

Now before you jump to that vision there will be all sorts of things to bear in mind.

Wedding Reception Alcohol Free Drinks

It’s not just people who have a problem with alcohol who will be looking. It will also people who can’t drink alcohol, women who are pregnant, drivers and even some people who may choose not to drink.

It’s for that reason that you will need to think about labeling and how that is going to be explained to people.

The best way is to offer alcohol free drinks that are labeled 0.0% and no more than 0.5% abv.

ABV stands for alcohol by volume and tells us how much alcohol is in a drink.

In the UK anything at 0.5 and below is classed as alcohol free.

Then you have to decide which way you are going for your alcohol free welcome drink.

After all it sets the tone for the day ahead.

The 3 options below are probably the easiest to do and this will tie into what you are serving other guests as well as you also don’t want to make a bigger issue of it than is needed :

  • A mocktail so an alcohol free cocktails of some kind
  • An Alcohol free Gin and Tonic
  • Sparkling Wine

To keep it simple I would recommend some Belle and Co Rose Fizz. Yes there will be toasting later but a glass of fizz is always a nice touch especially if you don’t drink alcohol.

It’s the last thing you will expect to get on your arrival and it’s also dry with plenty of color.

Of course have a separate waiter dish it out so it does not get confused with the alcohol fizz at the same time as that could really upset the apple cart.

Price wise it’s reasonable and it is one of my favorites. Its also totally alcohol free!

You can read my review of it here.

One tip: You are likely to underestimate how many people want the alcohol free version.

Bizarrely because of drivers and people who want a clear head the next morning.

Most establishments are shocked by the take up!

I have made alcohol free recommendations to bars only for them to find it was their best-seller.

The Main Event

“Red or white sir/ madam” and your face falls and you go back to your diet cola, presse or sparkling water.

Actually presse is an option for you with the meal however its often the lazy option in my view even though I quite like it.

My sister often says to me “ it must be awful having to drink presse all the time with you being alcohol free and all that”.

Again it’s just part of the everyday prejudice you get for not drinking bizarrely.

Your either drunk on a park bench or living a life of misery according to some people.

The reality is alcohol free drinks are increasing all the time which is why having an alcohol free option for the wine is a great idea.

If you could stretch to red, white and rose brilliantly but most alcohol free drinkers would be grateful for any options to be honest.

Alcohol Free Wines for Weddings

Fortunately wine in alcohol free-form has moved on and I would really recommend the great tasting wine from the Torres family.

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They are consistently ahead of the game in terms of taste and wine that actually tastes like wine but without the alcohol.

They certainly have the fermentation process spot on where the alcohol is removed down to a fine art and you can read my review if you would like.

Read my reviews of Torres Alcohol Free Wines here

Even if you serve a Torres Red or White with the meal you will be ahead of the game with your alcohol free audience. They also do a nice Rose!

The Toast

Now there is nothing worse when you are left out of the toast to the happy couple when you are alcohol free.

First everyone stares at your orange juice which probably has more alcohol in it than an alcohol free fizz anyway so what have you got to lose?

You can read how much alcohol in orange juice here

Now a bit of alcohol fizz goes a long way and actually many of the brands are ahead of wine when it comes to taste.

Can I suggest you go dry with sparkling white wine!

Alcohol Free Sparkling Wine

Noughty alcohol-free chardonnay is a great sparkling option from Thomson & Scott and it’s up there with the best alcohol free fizz in my view.

You can read my review here.

Once it’s poured it has some great sparkles that cut through and with its pale color and apple aroma dry but subtle sweetness it’s guaranteed to be a winner.

What you get with this option is that it’s dealcoholised by what they call “vacuum distillation” which means you still get to keep the flavors and aromas.

The Evening Do

Now evening weddings can be a very different affair and I have seen this done both ways.

  • Free Bar
  • No free Bar
  • A mix

It is of course up to you but the thing is to make sure that you are thinking of some options for guests that are alcohol free then you really will be very much appreciated.

I would love you for it.

Think of a beer alcohol free bucket on the table with some Free Star Beer to make it a bit different.

Or if its a summer wedding and an outside event San Miguel Zero is a great option.

A tub of beers on the table or in a wine bucket is always a good hit with people.

Or course if its a purchase bar and I would not blame you for that make sure you have some great alcohol free gin available and some excellent tonic to go with it.

Alcohol Free Gin and Tonic


My recommendation in Seedlip with its range of great tastes and botanicals.

Plus if people are watching their weight a Fever Tree Tonic Light is an excellent choice with ice and a slice.

You can read my review of Seedlip here.

There are other alcohol free gins around but Seedlip has the best flavor in my view. Just make sure people don’t pour it like a soft drink.

It’s not a cheap option but really worth it. I often find bars don’t know what to do with it.

I once had to pour it myself and they filled the whole glass up with it and charged accordingly!

Which I declined to pay!

You can find out about your weekly alcohol limit via the drink aware website here.

What will you do?

I can tell you this for nothing.

Whatever you decide, getting some alcohol free options at your wedding will not only please the alcohol free drinkers it will tempt the alcohol drinkers as well.

I have seen this happen so many times!

Hopefully that has not just given you some suggestions but also an insight to what it’s like for a non-drinker to go to a wedding.

The good news is that from a cheeky mocktail to a bit of fizz in the toast people who don’t drink can have some options.

Firstly it takes the pressure off and if you add some alcohol free beer bins you might even find some of the alcohol drinkers diving in.

After all, you can only drink so much alcohol at a wedding! Or so I am told.

Drunks at wedding

Maybe it’s just the weddings I have been to!

And please do not accept “we can’t do that” from a caterer or venue.

They can often be dismissive about alcohol free alternatives but actually once they realize that others may drink the options it could be an opportunity to grow their business long term.

Alcohol free is a growing niche and its increasing my 23 per cent every year so if you need to make a case for them this would be it!

And you are the customer as well of course!

Have you ever been offered alcohol free options at a wedding and if so what are they? Was there a cheeky mocktail you like?

Did you give suggestions to the venue and the caterer. How open were they?

I would love to get your thoughts on non alcoholic drinks for wedding reception especially if you have some ideas yourself and leave a message below. I always respond.



2 thoughts on “Non Alcoholic Drinks for Wedding Reception”

  1. I think that this is a very important point for anyone arranging a wedding to take on board.

    I think that it would be terribly disappointing for the bride and groom if they found out later that they hadn’t provided a non alcoholic alternative and realized that guests were looking for it.  Especially if the guests were left with just the water on the table.

    Hopefully they will get to read your article and save any embarrassment.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Geoff, thanks for commenting on non alcohol drinks for wedding reception. I really appreciate you stopping by. 

      It is often overlooked for all the right reasons. 

      However for guests that wish to have an alternative option it can make a massive difference. Hopefully venues will be more open to this in the future.

      It would be a lovely experience! All the best, Phil


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