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Alcohol Free Weddings


According to a new study byThe Gilchrist Collectiona quarter of guests (24%) don’t drink alcohol at weddings. More than a third (35%) of guests feel ‘uncomfortable’ when questioned about not drinking, with 52% of sober guests only offered water at weddings.

In response, the largest collection of wedding venues in the UK has partnered with star barman, the lovely Merlin Griffiths (CH4’s First Dates), to create a new wedding-worthy alcohol-free drink menu.

Samantha Gilchrist, CEO of The Gilchrist Collection commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK adults to find out their wedding drinking habits and discovered that almost half (47%) 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 attended. She explains: “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. 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.”

Sober guests said they were often left feeling uncomfortable at weddings sipping an un-festive soft drink, as 35% of respondents said they are questioned on why they aren’t having alcohol. A quarter admitted to drinking alcohol just to avoid awkward questions or having to share personal information.

Enter ‘mixologist magician’ Merlin, who adds: “Non-alcoholic drinks stand on their own and are created with the same care and detail of cocktails, which is why we’ve very deliberately avoided calling them mocktails – there’s absolutely nothing “mock” about these drinks. Rather than mimic existing cocktails or simply mix together some fruit juices, each of these drinks has been designed to give the happy couple and their guests the chance to experience all the wonderful flavours a cocktail has, just without the alcohol content.”

His three recipes are each perfectly suited for different key moments during the celebrations including: 

  • Sun & Moon – featuring sage and pineapple flavours with a hint of lemon – a fantastic start to the big day as it invokes feelings of calmness and tranquillity. Image: Merlin Griffiths putting the finishing touches to Sun and Moon for Gilchrist Collection's new alcohol-free menu-2
  • Halo Effect – a refreshing glass featuring notes of pink grapefruit, vanilla and rose, topped with Sea Change’s 0% prosecco, perfect for toasts. Image: Halo Effect-2
  • Dancefloor Driver – a Tommy’s style margarita featuring both smoky and sweet notes with a Tajin spiced salt rim. Ideal for encouraging a night of dancing and celebration. Image: Dancefloor Driver-2

For more information on The Gilchrist Collection and their venues in England, Wales and the USA, visit


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