I’m having trouble writing my reception cards (No alcohol)?

by DIY wedding planner on September 24, 2012

Hello I am getting married in October of this year and everything is pretty much DIY (do-it-yourself). I have designed the invitations and response cards but I am having a little trouble with the reception cards. The reception is going to be small and mainly consist of hors d’oeuvres, fruit, finger foods and stuff like that. The most important detail of the reception is the fact that NO alcohol will be served. I want to make sure guests know that before they arrive. Unfortunately I am the first person in my group of friends to get married so my friends (as well as my fiance’s friends) have this idea that my wedding will be the party of the year. I do not want that at all and I do not want them thinking that it is going to be as such. What I really need is for someone to suggest how to word the reception card so it includes that it is either a “dry wedding” or that “No alcohol will be served”. Thanks in advance, any suggestions will be appreciated.

*P.S. Please don’t suggest to have a champagne toast, the reception hall has a no alcohol policy which is the main reason why I chose it

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul September 24, 2012 at 5:38 am

no alcohol…. what a crappy wedding

glad i’m not invited.

you know it will be crap that’s why you’re aprehensive


M September 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

“Light refreshments will be served”


You don’t really have to tell them there will be no alcohol. They’ll find that out when they get there. If they know ahead of time, some people may bring it. I would worry more about letting them know there will be no big meal so that they don’t skip lunch/dinner or something expecting to be fed at the wedding.


melouofs September 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

In all honesty, I would just spread that by word of mouth to my friends.

If you really want to add something you could say : Please join us for soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres immediately following…etc please join us for punch and appetizers…

I know you aren’t doing alcohol, but I still think it would be nice to offer a signature drink based on your wedding. Like for October, maybe you could offer a “romantic sunset” which is club soda plus some pineapple and cranberry juice…it seems more special than just coffee and soda. Of course it doesn’t have to be the drink I just made up, but I think you get mt meaning. It’s a special day-the food and drinks should be a bit special, too. Also, there’s always the option of sparkling cider for a toast.


dubbs September 24, 2012 at 7:08 am

Don’t you love how people waste your time on these answers? LIke you care what Paul thinks about your wedding? I thought these were supposed to be helpful..

anyway- why do you feel compelled to tell people on your reception cards? This day is about you and what you guys want. if you feel like telling your friends and family- mention something to them verbally, you don’t need to parade it if you don’t think it’s necessary.


Macy the Wedding Planner September 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

This is not information that you need to include on your reception card at all. Just spread the word through your friends that you can’t have alchohol at the reception due to the reception hall rules. Once at the wedding, there is no bar and no waiters will be taking orders for drinks, so that’s all there is to that. If you think some of the men may bring alchohol, tell your fiance to tell them not to due to the rules of the reception hall – I’m sure the manager of the reception hall would also be assertive in telling them not to have alchohol on the premises – in fact there may even be signs to that effect.

Where I live, lots of brides are from Baptist churches or other fundamentalist Christian churches and they NEVER have alchohol at their wedding receptions. For those weddings I often serve sparkling grape juice which looks like champagne and comes in a bottle similar to champagne for toasts! There’s nothing wrong with not having alchohol at your reception. BTW, if you don’t want a wild party, may I suggest an early afternoon wedding with a tea-style reception? It’s much less expensive, would only last until about 5pm.


Blackberries September 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

I agree with everyone else. Don’t mention it on the cards. In fact, there isn’t any need at all to “warn” people ahead of time that there isn’t alcohol. You can mention it, but don’t feel like you have to send out a memo.


Luv2Answer September 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

The reception card should say, “Light refreshments to follow.” That way people know it’s not a full meal and there will be no alcohol.


bostonGKR September 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

You do not need to write about the bar (or lack thereof) on the wedding invitation.

If you want people to know that it’ll be a dry wedding, you can use word of mouth, which is MUCH more appropriate than writing it on the invite … but be careful that people don’t bring flasks or bottles if they know ahead of time that it’s a dry reception. It might be better to just not say anything if the topic doesn’t directly come up amongst your friends. If it DOES come up, a simple, “The church does not allow alcohol so we’re not having it” is fine. You don’t owe people alcohol or an explanation as to why you’re not serving it. If you think your guests’ attendance will be dependent on whether there is alcohol served, screw them … if they leave in a huff once they find out that there’s no bar, then you will know who your real friends are.

You DO, however, need to inform guests via the invitations that there will not be a meal served. It’s fine to have light food at your reception, but guests need to know ahead of time so they can make arrangements to eat something beforehand or afterward.

Your reception cards can say something like,

“Immediately following the ceremony, please join us for light refreshments in the church basement”
“Hors d’oeuvres and punch to follow – Madonna Hall, Saint Catherine’s Church”
“Hors d’oeuvres, cake and coffee will be served immediately following the ceremony”

If you truly want to write something on the invites implying that there will not be alcohol, then I would try to work “punch” or “coffee” somewhere into the wording. That should give most people the idea that only soft drinks will be provided.

But, really, don’t write, “Alcohol will not be served” or “Dry wedding” anywhere on the invitations, and don’t go out of your way to inform people that there won’t be alcohol. Not only is it unnecessary, but it’s tacky. It’s not at all tacky to have a dry wedding, but it IS tacky to call attention to the things that you are not providing your guests.


Jenny Lynne September 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

i agree, just put light refreshments and do not mention the alcohol. They may not come or may bring their own.

I agree that you need some special signature drinks to mark the special occasion. I am including two of my favorite fall punch recipies. Make a test batch and see what you think.

Autumn Lemonade
3 quarts water
2 and1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (use dark if you prefer taste better)
2 cups lemon juice
12-15 cloves
1 sliced lemon (additonal slices for garnish if desired)
cinnamon sticks for garnish
Combine all ingredients in crock pot and let simmer on low for two hours.
Remove cloves before serving.
This can be served from crock pot or use large coffee urns. Run thru lemon or vinegar water to cut the taste of the cofee and then plain water. Taste water to be sure urn still doesn’t smell like coffee.
Have cups pre-ready with lemon garnish if you wish.

Haymaker’s Ginger Switchel
This ginger punch is flavored with lemon juice and sweetened with honey and molasses for a refreshing drink that quenches ever the fiercest thirst.
9 cups water, divided
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup honey, or pure maple syrup–Iprefer honey
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
fresh berries, mint sprigs or lemon slices for garnish.

Combine 3 cups water with ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for 15 minutes.

Strain the ginger-infused water into a pitcher, pressing on the ginger solids to extract all the liquid. Add honey or maple syrup and molasses; stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice, vinergar and the remaining 6 cups water. Chill until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight. This recipe makes 8 servings. Leave the lemon slices and fresh berries in the container. This is good in a gallon glass jar, depending on how fancy your wedding is.

Mock Champagne Punch
Equal parts chilled apple juice and white grape juice. Add one can 64 oz., well shaken pineapple juice. Chill.

This may not help, but maybe, never know.


kill_yr_television September 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

Ditch the response cards and do your RSVPs the old fashioned (1900′s) way — by telephone. No, the bride doesn’t take and make all those calls herself. Attendants, family, and friends did this back in the old days before The Wedding Industry decreed that the chief duty of bridesmaids is to buy goods and services from Wedding Industry Vendors. But enough griping, back to the point. During the phone conversations, your helpers fill in all the messy little details that don’t belong in your crisp elegant invitations, details like how dressed up to get, what kind of food and drink to expect, whether the invitation includes the extended family and neighbors, and details like answering the questions “What sort of gift might the couple appreciate?”

In the lower right of the invitation, beneath the letters RSVP (or rsvp), put a phone number.


AnnaBelle September 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

Wait why dont’ you want alcohol? The best damn part of weddings is getting drunk. no one would wanna go to ur boring wedding. snoooze


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: