Should You Notify Guests That You Won’t Serve Alcohol?

|, Invitations, Reception, Your Guests|Should You Notify Guests That You Won’t Serve Alcohol?

No alcohol vow renewal - lemonade bar

Q. We’re planning a vow renewal celebration for the whole family and plan not to serve alcohol since there will be children present. Should we notify guests that you won’t serve alcohol?

A. You don’t have to notify your guests that you won’t be serving alcohol at your vow renewal. Invitees are attending the event to celebrate your the marriage and/or anniversary, not to enjoy access to alcohol. A few drink options are more than enough, so serve your guests what you’re comfortable with. If you want a non-alcoholic affair, try serving something a little out of the norm, such as a lemonade or hot chocolate bar to keep your refreshments memorable.


  1. Liz July 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    My husband and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary with a vow renewal. We want to keep it small. The smallest we can make it is 13 friends between us. These are the friends who have supported us through thick and thin. Is there a way to invite our friends on the invitation without inviting the spouses we are not close to and not inviting any of their children?…or at least not inviting their children in the name of a small gathering?

    • Karie July 6, 2016 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Keeping a celebration small is a wonderful way to enjoy an intimate vow renewal. Chances are, your friends would be offended if you excluded their spouses to such a couple-focused event. You could try to do this by only addressing the invitation to the individual friend, but that still leaves you open for some misunderstanding from those not closely familiar with invitation etiquette. Now, not inviting children tends to be a little easier and we’ve covered this question on not inviting children before in our Ask Karie section and provided some examples of how it can be handled.

      If you’re still ending up with a guest list that is too big for your budget, consider a celebration for just the two of you. We have some great intimate vow renewal ideas.

      If you’re still struggling for the perfect solution after checking out the links, please join in the conversation on our Facebook page at or contact us directly for more personalized ideas.

      Congratulations on reaching this wonderful milestone in your marriage!
      Founder and Editor

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