The bar is usually the most popular spot at any wedding reception – or at least it was, before social distancing! Even now, as wedding drinks shift away from bartenders towards pre-prepared glasses, guests are still offered signature cocktails and tasty seasonal beverages. But for those who don’t drink alcohol, it can be a bit of a downer to be stuck with sodas and water. As a teetotaller, I’m usually one of those guests myself. I always appreciate being able to opt for a fun mocktail or other booze-free refreshment at a party instead.
Maybe you’re planning on a dry reception or just want to cater to loved ones who don’t drink, including children. Either way, it’s easy to elevate these drinks with a bit of creativity, flair, and pretty glassware. In fact, with the right presentation, you may find your dry bar service is the hit of the night! Here are some delicious non-alcoholic wedding bar ideas to inspire you.
Italian soda bar. Italian sodas are a classic sweet drink made from soda water mixed with flavored syrup and cream (optional). They make a fun and colorful addition to your wedding reception. And they’ll be a hit with kids and adults alike! Be sure to have a number of flavors available, so guests can order customized drinks.
Old-fashioned lemonade stand. It’s hard to go wrong with lemonade for a summer wedding! For a vintage touch, build a lemonade stand from upcycled shipping pallets or set up your bar atop a wooden table. (Don’t forget a basket of fresh lemons to finish off the look!) Have bar staff pre-pour a variety of different lemonades such as raspberry or mint, as well as fruity water infusions, and serve on trays.
Signature mocktails. Your signature drinks don’t have to be alcoholic! For example, there are plenty of virgin favorites like piña coladas and daiquiris to work with, or ask your mixologist to get creative. There are also lots of non-alcoholic botanical spirits on the market now, making it easier than ever to serve delicious mocktails customized to suit your tastes and personalities.
Kombucha bar. Kombucha is the current “it” drink and it works just as well mixed into cocktails or as a non-alcoholic beverage. Serve it in bottles or hire a kombucha mixologist to come along and work their magic to order. Your guests will love it!
Coconut water stand. If you’re planning a beach or tropical destination wedding, you don’t have to serve boozy drinks at cocktail hour. Instead, opt for cooling coconut water served from freshly shucked coconuts. You can also add little tags and have them double as an alternative to escort cards.
Sparkling cider. Having a cider bar will add a festival vibe to your reception, even if it’s non-alcoholic. To avoid self-service, provide bottles on ice or pre-poured mugs or wine glasses. Make it more interesting by adding juices like blackberry or cranberry and a selection of garnishes.
I can’t wait to see some of these non-alcoholic wedding bar ideas in action! Sip sip hooray!
Images: John and Joseph Photography Inc.