How to host an event without alcohol

There’s a significant milestone ahead and you’re in charge of the party planning.  

You’ve organised the venue, sorted the guest list, booked the entertainment and now you are turning your attention to catering. 

The tricky topic of alcohol raises its head, perhaps complex now as you ‘ve embraced an alcohol-free lifestyle. 

Organising an event doesn’t mean you have to submit to social norms and serve drinks on tap. This is an opportunity for you to host others without the booze and show them they have nothing to lose either. 

Besides supporting your own sobriety journey, there are several benefits of running alcohol free events for other as well:

  • Alcohol free events are easier to manage and control – with less chance of things going wrong  
  • It reduces the risks that your guests may have with accidents on the way home or levels of aggression at the event  
  • You won’t feel conflicted by working out who is over 18 and ca be legally given alcohol  
  • You’ve created an event where the buzz is all natural 
  • Everyone can focus on the event, not dodging drunks or how much alcohol they can consume 
  • You remove or minimise the pressure for those who also don’t want to drink  

 The national event management and ticketing website Eventbrite recognises it is a conundrum for event hosts too. They shared some unique approaches to running events without alcohol, or how to best cater for non-drinkers 

Hello Sunday Morning sought advice from several event organisers for hosting events without a focus on alcohol. Here’s a quick summary or their creative ideas that are sure to inspires:


  • Make your message clear that it’s an alcohol-free event  

Most people are supportive about this decision and willing to give it a go. Clear communication is a good policy to keep, so make sure your guests are aware what to expect.


  • Dress your venue and create a striking sense of arrival 

You don’t need alcohol to impress guests, with a great vibe and décor you can create an event to remember. Create an ambience with thematic lightings (glow sticks, fairy lights, candles, LED or outdoor bonfire – see more ideas here), great tunes and sensational DIY party decorations.


  • Impressive Alcohol-free drinks and spectacular food 

Pile on great food and fun non-alcoholic mocktails or alcohol-free beverages. Fancy cups and fun mocktail garnishes can make a stark difference in presentations. Try some of our alcohol-free drinks ideas:

AF (Alcohol Free) drink recipes from our followers,

Four AF drinks for you to try this Christmas 


  • Plan for an epic event with entertainment and activities 

It can be confronting for people to socialise without alcohol, especially if they are not used to a dry event. When you remove alcohol from what was known as the ‘norm’ for parties, you may need to think of a way to replace this. People often find having a wine glass in hand will help them to feel less awkward while mingling. So, getting their hands busy and less fidgety will help them distract from the anxiety on social situations. Try setting up a DIY section such as making your own party hat or wreath, Lei (Hawaiian flower garland), something to can be worn straight away and used as an icebreaker. Or create a pampering corner – hire a manicure/pedicure, massage therapist or air-brush tattoo artist.


  • Strategically create a great dynamic from your guest list 

It can be stressful to host a party and worrying about your party dynamics. View your guest-list and strategically create a way for like-minded people to get to know each other.


  • Have your reality radar on 

Some people may ask where the alcohol is – be prepared to explain your rationale to reaffirm your expectations. 


  • Laughter is a good medicine 

Keep it light-hearted and cheerful. You don’t need alcohol to have a good laugh. Have fun games ready to break the ice and to create bonding.  


  • Finally, have fun!  

Your event does not have to be big. Keep it low key and intimate. It’s easy to get caught up with preparation – so, be sure you are having a great time too! 

It doesn’t matter where you live – in the city, suburbs or the bush – there’s always great ideas to adapt and host alcohol free events.   

Sober socialising in the country

We checked in with the National Centre for Farmer Health, who focus on making a difference to farmer’s lives. 

 They take key observation and learnings from rural communities and share them with others for community engagement in areas where farming population are high.  

Their recent alcohol-free events blog features top ideas and insights for how to have fun without alcohol in rural areas  

Finding your people and places they hang

And, that’s not all that caught our eye. The SBS broadcast service shared terrific examples of social ideas for those in the Australian LGBTIQ+ community. 

Admittedly these aren’t all hosted events and parties, but they are terrific summaries of how to socialise without alcohol, bringing other’s along with you too. 

When alcohol is removed from our life, suddenly there are new venues to discover where we can easily suggest meeting up or to visit together.  

Check out these alternatives venues and non-alcohol events serving super alternatives

Or how about this for an event with a twist? 

Mix things up and host your own event where you’re serving up memories, instead of the next round of drinks. 

Check this Eventbrite’s suggestions.  

If you are looking to complement your alcohol-free event with alternative beverages, read on.  

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve hosted a special event without alcohol. Your story to inspire others. Get in touch today!

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  • I hosted a Galentine’s spa night at my house a few months ago, and it was a lot of fun! (I’m in the US – it’s like a Valentine’s party with female friends.) I made tasty mocktails in copper Moscow mule mugs, made dinner for my guests, and then we did DIY face masks and manicures/pedicures, then sat in the hot tub! One friend told me she had much more fun than she expected she would without alcohol. That was nice to hear.

    I think if you are relaxed about the fact there is no alcohol and are excited to serve up some fun mocktails and tasty food instead, others will follow your lead (especially if you’re hosting at home). Having an entertaining board or card game on hand to get people laughing is another idea.


    By Taylor
    May 28, 2022
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