Going to a wedding sober

The prospect of going sober to a wedding is daunting. Weddings and booze go hand in hand so often that they should be the ones walking down the aisle.  

Despite this (or, more likely, because of this) the achievement is not only possible, but can be life-changing. Data from our app suggests that attending a wedding sober is the single most powerful way to change your relationship with alcohol in the long term.

Going sober to a wedding is no small feat, so here we have considered the burning questions you’re probably asking in anticipation of the big day.

How to go to a wedding sober

What will people say?  

Words of encouragement were as rare as a good wedding DJ
… rare as a good wedding DJ

One of the most difficult challenges when going sober to a social event is dealing with other people. Weddings are among the trickiest – you may only know a handful of people, and chances are they themselves will be imbibing. When people ask why you are not drinking, remember that it typically comes from someone who themselves associates alcohol with having fun. Most likely they’re just concerned that you’re not enjoying yourself. Plus, you’re actually in a great place to meet new people; just like Lionel Richie’s hit from the 80s, it all starts with hello.

So let your hair down, make a new friend and keep that sense of humour.

What should I drink?

This my dear friends, is a coco twist mocktail
This is an opportunity to get creative with your drinks.

Something we hear a lot from Hello Sunday Morning members is a fear of being caught without a glass in hand during these occasions. The age old question ‘What am I supposed to hold in my hands?’ arises. The answer can be as complicated as a glass of barrel aged cherry soda. Or as simple as soda water, maybe in a wine glass if you’re feeling ritzy. There are even people trying to replicate the taste of alcohol in non-alcoholic beverages – the options these days are endless. So get creative! And remember that at the end of the day you are the only person who cares about what is in your glass.

What if I slip up?

It was time for my big day
Planning for your big day is vital.

The most important thing to do is plan. By reading this post you’re already well on your way.

What will the day look like for you? What about the day after the wedding? If you’re at one of those ever-popular weekend weddings, take the chance to explore your surroundings. Close to home? Volunteer for breakfast duty. Either way, think up something fun to do the next morning. You might also want to nominate yourself as designated driver, giving you another reason to say no to a brew. There is power in planning.

But, hey, if you do decide to have a drink, try setting a speed limit of one drink an hour and see how you feel.

Weddings are fun!

First wedding worm without a bloody nose!
Dance up a storm!

Most important of all, you are at a celebration! Without alcohol, weddings are still enjoyable places to be. You are surrounded by amazing food, wonderful people and have free rein to dance up a storm.

So shine your shoes, grab some confetti and get ready to take on this challenge!


4 thoughts on “Going to a wedding sober

  1. I don’t go to weddings… It’s really hard no to drink when there is drink and it’s still super hard for me to see why people don’t serve alcohol when they can. I just don’t go – make excuses, etc. We all do what we need to do. We have to acknowledge our weaknesses – uber celebration if often one of those – anything associate with multiple toast and getting plowed. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.

  2. Six months after quitting alcohol my youngest daughter got married. We live in the UK bit she was marrying a South African so we had the ceremony at a wine farm near Cape Town. Despite the wedding starting with a wine tasting, it being a fantastic venue, me giving the bride away and making the father of the bride speech, I stayed sober throughout and had a fantastic day. I really and truly never missed the drink at all and in fact it was better because I remembered everything, saw everything as opposed to being drunk somewhere and my wife and I went for a wonderful evening drive afterwards along the coast. There is a full story on this for anyone interested in my book ‘I Don’t Drink’. http://www.idontdrink.net

  3. We recently went to a wedding and decided not to drink as we had to drive. We watched everyone get progressively drunk and we’re pleased we were not drinking. We found it helpful to drink non alcoholic drinks out of wine glasses and no one questioned why we were not drinking.

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