How to make non-drinking guests feel welcome

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We are nearing the end of the month, which means we’re about to see several posts about how good that first drink was after a dry January. Several people observe this practice after a holiday season filled with countless cocktail parties and unlimited wine while entertaining at home. It’s a fabulous way to reset the body in the New Year. But there are many who observe this year-round.

There are endless jokes in planning gay weddings about the open bar, and I love personalizing a wedding through specialty cocktails and favorite wine varietals. However, it is important to also consider your guests who don’t drink the hard stuff. Some people are simply incredibly disciplined in their health and wellness, while others fought very hard to overcome their own demons. The last thing you want to do as a host is trigger painful memories or make sober people feel unwelcome. Here are some tips for your dry friends, and they’re also handy for your guests who are on the sauce.

Consider self-service water stations for your guests.

Self-Service Water Stations
When you’re trying to avoid alcohol, waiting in line to hydrate can feel burdensome. Set up chic beverage dispensers that guests can access without having to wait for the bartender. Simply infusing water with fruits such as strawberries or lemons add color and makes H20 feel much more special. As for something a bit more effervescent, having multiple flavors of LaCroix available is refreshing and incredibly trendy at the moment.

Be sure to create an exciting option without the booze.

Specialty Mocktails
Are you serving a his-and-his favorite drink? I encourage that you do, but also be sure to create an exciting option without the booze. Guests still want to hold the cut crystal glass with the perfectly arranged garnish even if it’s sans alcohol.

Having an option for your sober guests shows them you care about them and their choices.

Virgin Substitutes
If you are having a champagne toast, be sure to have some sparkling cider for those who don’t drink. Those moments are about unifying your guests to raise a glass to the two of you, so you want it to be inclusive for all. Having an option for your sober guests shows them you care about them and their choices. Additionally, be sure the bar is stocked with some non-alcoholic beer.

Jason Mitchell Kahn is TheGLife’s Grooms Go-To Guy! He is the author of “Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms.” Visit his site at jasonmitchellkahn.com.

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