Photo: What2Cook – click for the recipe for this yumminess
For a couple of reasons, not just because of the money, we’re not serving alcohol at our wedding. A lot of people think it’s weird, and I’m worried that they’re not going to have a good time on our day. I’ve been trying to think of games or something to keep them entertained, or some way to make up for it, like a lemonade or soda bar? Do you have any other ideas I could do?
Determined to Dry
Before you do any of that, I have to tell you one thing — if you don’t serve alcohol, a lot of guests are going to leave your wedding early. It’s not an admonition, it’s a warning. I like all of your ideas — they can’t have lemon schnapps, so give them lemonade — but the first thing you need to do is figure out how to structure the day.
1. If you want to try to keep as many people in the room for as long as possible, keep the surprises coming. Don’t pull out everything all at once. So, sodas (old-fashioned bottles of Coke? Mexican sodas with pure sugar? Your favorite soda and his favorite soda — your “signature” sodas?) and/or an ice cream/Popsicle bar during the social hour, and then the lemonade bar during the first half of the reception. Serve everyone another drink for the toasts. I kind of like the bottles of coke for toasts, actually, they make a satisfying and celebratory clink. Open up a candy buffet right after the toasts. 30 minutes after that, some sort of group thing on the dance floor. Couples dance? Hula hoop contest? Big group picture? Followed by another dessert or game? You can even print up a timeline with all the various events on them — can’t leave before 8pm, because you’re going to miss the S’mores bar! And, finally, interact with your guests as often and as much as possible, but spread it out over the night. Pictures with each table are a must, and they will take up time. Make it fun.
2. Think Compact. You have your ceremony and reception site for a certain amount of time, and you can do whatever you want with that time, like, not use all of it. If you have five hours for your reception, wrap it up in four or even three hours. Don’t linger between events — Social hour to dinner, toss the toasts into the middle of the entrees, parents dances, cut the cake, dance to a couple of your favorite songs, visit each guest table, toss the bouquet and book out. Less money spent on the DJ, no clean-up late at night after a long, long day. You can hang with your honey for the rest of the night, or invite people back to the hotel for tea and coffee. Or, hey, after-party at Starbucks? I would LOVE to see pictures of that!
3. Realize that it’s going to happen, don’t worry about it, and just deal. It’s not a reflection on you, you’re doing what’s right for you. If people start to leave, enjoy the rest of the night with the rest of your guests. It’s going to be a wonderful night.
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See you at the end of the aisle,
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