Try These Great Alternatives – An Alcohol Free Reception

Many couples are opting for an alcohol free reception, some to save money; others just do not want the headache of liability. And yes, you are responsible for the actions of your guests. That means if you serve any type of alcohol and one of your guests is stopped for driving under the influence or heaven forbid, they are in an accident you can be sued. It is called third party liability and that is why liability insurance is required by most facilities.

Unfortunately, many people invited to a wedding are under the impression that they are entitled to food, drink and entertainment and overlook the fact that they are there at the bride and groom’s pleasure. Wedding guests are entitled to zip. How much or how little is provided is entirely up to the bride and groom. Shame on the guest who has the nerve to complain they got chicken instead of prime rib and punch instead of merlot. With all this in mind, here are a couple great alternatives to serving alcohol.

Coffee & chai, now before you go rolling your eyes and give that “oh crap,” sigh, read on. I am not talking about stately cups of coffee and tea served in little china cups with cake and biscuits. I am talking about a bar stocked with a variety of flavored syrups, coffees and teas. Serve iced, whipped, or frapped in Grande’ wine glasses; rimmed with sugar; garnished with an assortment of chocolates and spices and a served with candy coated spoons.   Believe me, this is not only an elegant look, it is deliciously refreshing. A perfectly wonderful choice if you are having an afternoon reception of light hors d’oeuvres or desserts. As always, it is in the presentation. From Irish Cream to Banana Fanna there is such an enormous selection of syrups available your coffee drinks will make Starbucks jealous.   Flavored syrups are not just for coffee and tea however, these same syrups are also used to make Italian Ice. For a formal look serve your ice in martini glasses and garnish with fresh fruit or crystallized edible flowers and a spoon.  Trust me; there is nothing attractive about slurping up a melting drink not to mention the embarrassment of colored ice on your face or clothing.

Frozen Punch this is an old standby that can use a little tweaking. You have heard of the virgin (alcohol free) daiquiri, margarita and such. Well, here is your chance to shine, don’t tell a soul you are not serving alcohol. Make up two punch bowls and label one for the kids the other something like Brad and April’s Wedding Daiquiris and I swear you’ll have people telling you how much they like the punch but they’re feeling a little tipsy. Again, it is all in the presentation.   What ever you decide to do, remember this is your day, your party and you can do what you want. So fasten your seat belt Emily Post we’re in the 21st century and we’re not looking back!  

BOLA TANGKAS