Dancing at a dry wedding

By on Apr. 7th


I'm going to marry a wonderful man who is a recovering addict and has been clean for over 8 years. Many of the guests are friends of his who are also in recovery, so alcohol at the wedding will be a HUGE no-no.

I know many guests who will be disappointed at the lack of alcohol (let me be honest – I'll be a tad disappointed, too). What can I do to get people on the dance floor and to have fun without the aid of beer? I've been to weddings before that didn't have alcohol and it seemed like people just bailed as soon as they were done eating.

First off, congratulations to your partner for his eight years of sobriety.

Now, in terms of your dry wedding: you're right. Getting people to dance sober can be more of a challenge. Are you attached to dancing at your wedding? Do you want to take on the challenge of encouraging people to do something they may not naturally be inclined to do?

"No" is a perfectly acceptable answer here: There are lots of people who have wonderful, fun receptions without any dancing at all — so if you're only concerned about dancing because you feel like you're required to have it, I would encourage you to explore the option of skipping the dance floor.

The easiest way to do this to restructure the wedding so that it feels perfectly natural to be dry: a brunch wedding or lunch reception, for instance. People will come with less expectations about the format, and less assumptions that they're going to totter away wasted at 2pm.

If you've already got plans for an evening wedding or just reeeeally want a dance floor, I'd say get your guests jacked on caffeine. Could you have a caterer or a friend act as a barrista, serving guests fancy hyper-caffeinated drinks to get them amped and ready to rock?

CRW_0124_JFRAlternately, you could give the dance floor a little structure. No dancing = nothing a hula hoop wouldn't fix? Dance Dance Revolution? Dance floor scavenger hunt?

Most importantly, I'd suggest talking to your fiance about this and tapping into his network of friends who are in recovery. This is a whole community of experts who likely know more than you or I could ever dream about have a blast without alcohol — they may have lots of suggestions for how to get non-drinkers dancing.

Most of all, make sure you're having a great time at your wedding. Your energy will be infectious, and if you're giddy and spinning with joy, your guests will be more likely to follow your lead, sober or not.