25 percent of wedding guests opt for alcohol-free drinks, study finds

Posted: 27 September 2023 | | No comments yet

According to a study, 24 percent of adults weddings guests opt for alcohol-free drinks when celebrating with their loved ones.


With many brands now turning their hand to creating low/no alcohol beverages, a recent study has found that 24 percent of adult weddings guests in the UK choose to celebrate with alcohol-free drinks.

The study, carried out by The Gilchrist Collection, the UK’s largest wedding venue, analysed survey responses from 2,000 UK adults to find out their drinking habits at weddings.

The survey revealed that 47 percent of those who had attended a wedding in the last five years didn’t drink alcohol during at least one of the events they had been to.

However, the survey found that a quarter of respondents had consumed alcohol at a wedding “just to avoid awkward questions or having to share personal or medical information”.

In fact results found that 35 percent of guests felt ‘uncomfortable’ when questioned about not drinking, with 52 percent of sober guests claiming they were only offered water at weddings when not drinking alcohol.

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Hoping to change this, CEO of The Gilchrist Collection, Samantha Gilchrist has recently been working with television series First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths to create a “wedding worthy” alcohol free menu.

“As a non-drinker myself I’ve often been at a wedding or event with limited or even no drink options other than water or a soft drink, which is no fun! Worse still, these drinks are often presented in a boring tumbler that highlights the fact I’m not drinking,” said Gilchrist.

“I really wanted to put something together for my venues that caters for non-drinking guests and those who like a drink but would also enjoy an alcohol-free alternative, that allows them to still drink something special and not be penalised for their choice, whatever their reasons might be.”

“We’re seeing plenty of couples across our 12 venues both here and in the States requesting more sophisticated no and low drinks for their big day. Young people in particular are choosing not to drink for all sorts of reasons, which is why we wanted to team up with the incredibly talented Merlin to enhance our alcohol-free drinks offering for our couples and their guests,” continued Gilchrist.

In addition, the survey found that, of those that did not drink alcohol at weddings, 18-34 year olds were most likely to stay sober at the events they attended, with 28 percent of this age group agreeing.

However, in spite of consumers opting out of alcoholic beverages when celebrating their loved ones wedding, The Gilchrist Collection found that venues were still “[coming] up short with their alcohol-free offerings”, with 81 percent of those surveyed saying they believe wedding organisers should offer more options to cater to guests who aren’t drinking.

As the demand for low/no alcohol options continues to rise, even more wedding venues and organisers may start to shake things up when it comes to their drinks menus, and start providing diverse yet appealing alcohol-free choices to accommodate the preferences of their guests.

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