It’s almost human nature, certainly Australian nature, to celebrate with a drink. Nothing says wetting the baby’s head like a beer or champers and nothing says ‘cheers’ like bubbly.
But what if have you decided that you don’t want to have alcohol at your event? There are plenty of ways you can celebrate and have fun without having booze being a priority.
The place to start is to think about what it is that makes grog put a zing in your fling – what is it we love about alcohol at parties?
Three of the challenges that you’re going to have to overcome are the social aspect of drinking, the taste of your beverages, and convincing people it’s actually all going to be okay.
Getting people to be sociable
A drink or two often helps people loosen up, lose their inhibitions, and it makes people a little bit silly – it also makes people a little bit more inclined towards conversation, and a chatty event makes it all the more interesting.
A great way to get people out of their no-alcohol discomfort zone and into party mode is by having a theme. Choose something silly so everyone feels like they are in the same boat – or on an even playing field. For instance, a toga party, or come dressed as your favourite soft toy, or an indoors extravagant sunglasses party will throw people off centre and make them all feel a bit silly.
Make the theme very non-competitive. Choosing a theme like a bathing suit party, a little black dress event or a nude soiree probably will make people feel MORE like drinking rather than less.
If you’re looking for ways to loosen people up, nothing says ‘I’m relaxed and having fun’ like a good laugh, so maybe spending your alcohol budget on a comedian is a way around getting people out of their old party habits and into your party zone.
You can get a really good comedic show for around $500-$600 (the cost of a couple of kegs) and someone really funny will certainly loosen people up and get conversations started.
If they have an interactive component to their show, all the better – make everyone feel silly together to break the ice.
People who laugh together feel bonded.
It’s all about the heat
Another thing we like about alcohol is the temperature in our tummy. Heat is another loosener and we are conditioned to enjoy an inner warmth that comes with a buzz in our drinks while we are celebrating.
The internet is full of mocktail recipes – things that are sweet and bubbly and make you feel warm all over.
Dry ginger ale, or any chilli or ginger drink is going to give you an inner glow, and as long as there are bubbles, people will love it (we all have an inner child who loves lemonade).
Ask your caterer – they might have a bar person who can whip up some magic mojitos, sans grog. Drinks that look spectacular, and taste spectacular (in theory).
Will people turn up to a dry do?
The biggest hurdle might be people’s disbelief – personally, I wouldn’t tell them, otherwise you risk the possibility that folk will ‘pre-load’ and that’s just not healthy, or worse still, guests might not turn up and that’s not fun!
Just put on the invite: ‘refreshments provided’.
Maybe the best way to announce it is get the comedian to do it: ‘The reason I have gathered you here today is to let you know it’s a dry event – the joke’s on you!’. Hmm, maybe not…
We know sometimes alcohol helps ‘oil’ the machine, but people can get a little bit too oiled and things can get out of hand. You know your guests better than anybody else, and maybe it’s better off to keep things sober for the occasion.
So, swap a couple of kegs for a comedian, get fancy dressed and get fancy with the fruit and dry ginger. And mum’s the word to enjoy your booze-free day.