Thursday, October 7, 2010

Alcohol & Weddings: How Much Is Too Much?

We’ve all seen it happen at least once or twice. A bride or groom who’s had a little (or a lot) too much manages to act like a complete fool at the wedding. Or, just as bad, he or she spends the entire reception sick in the bathroom.

Going into our day, I in no way wanted to be remembered as “that” bride by our families and friends. Making a fool of myself in front of my new in-laws and relatives would have been entirely mortifying, not to mention very out of character. Plus, after pouring so much time and money into the wedding, I planned to be as “in the moment” as possible, clearly remembering and taking in everything that was going on without feeling dazed or tired.

In other words, there was no way I was going to let alcohol spoil my good time or anyone else’s. And so, there was no champagne flowing during the “getting ready” phase of our day, and I’d also been very careful to limit myself during the rehearsal dinner the night before. During the reception, I enjoyed a few sips each of wine, sangria and champagne, mostly because my stomach just wasn’t in the mood, but also because I had already decided I’d keep it to no more than two glasses total, which is a comfortable limit for me.

Looking back, our wedding was the most fun and memorable day of my life, and I’m so glad I didn’t ruin it by getting carried away. Drunkenness, by me or anyone else, had no place at our celebration.

LESSON LEARNED: If there’s ever a time to know and respect your limits, it’s during your wedding. Yes, you’re not driving, and yes, you’re having the time of your life. But do you really want the big story everyone most remembers from the day to be that of the inebriated bride? Do you really want your new relatives' earliest memories of you to involve drunkenness? Don’t embarrass yourself, your husband, your parents and grandparents, or anyone else. Enjoy one or two drinks, or however many you know you can easily handle, and then save the rest for the honeymoon. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

What are your thoughts about drinking at a wedding? Do you plan to limit how much you have?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library & Alex Neumann Photography)


  1. "Know your limits" - the most important part of this post!

    Where I was extremely cautious with alcohol in the days leading up to the wedding, I was more than prepared to celebrate our getting ready with mimosas. Switching between water, gatorade and mimosas I was able to stay hydrated, stay safe and yet have a great time giggling with the girls.

    As I am very used to tailgating (you will have to join us some day!) with mimosas and yet standing in 100 degree heat for a 3+ hour game - I knew my limits and was able to have a wonderful time.

    So great!

  2. I've never seen an inebriated bride in real life, but I did see one on Bridezillas and it was truly awful. I think two drinks at the rehearsal dinner/reception is a good limit, but we'll probably also get ready with champagne and mimosas. I think the key is to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you take so that you stay hydrated.

  3. Neither Kristian nor I got drunk at the wedding. I barely drank at all b/c I was too busy dancing, talking and running around the reception. I'm glad though because otherwise the whole night would have been even more of a blur than it already is.

    My one friend got drunk at her wedding and was literally rolling around on the dance floor in her dress. Classy.

  4. This was not actually a problem for me anyway because my husband and I both got married at eighteen.... so we couldn't drink (our reception was at a police sponsored hall).

    We did have wine and beer for our guests but it all went very smoothly

  5. I'm limiting myself to 3 drinks. I can totally handle myself on 3 drinks and still manage to have a great time. I totally agree, a drunken bride (or anyone else at a wedding) is no fun at all! lol

  6. That's so true. You should be able to clearly remember your wedding, and lucky for me, I do not drink at all, neither does my groom-to-be, so our wedding is completely alcohol-free. I recently watched a real wedding where alcohol turned the bride into a bridezilla. It was horrible. I felt sorry for all the people around her.

  7. One of my bridesmaids could have used this pep talk. She missed the entire dinner because she was sick in the bathroom. Classy.

    We don't talk anymore. :) (Not because of that, but just because it became too typical behavior for her.)

  8. I don't plan to drink much at our wedding. Especially because I'm not even sure how much I'll actually get to eat that day! I agree--there will be plenty of time to celebrate with alcohol during the honeymoon :)

  9. Yep, we totally planned on limiting our drinking during our wedding, for the same exact reasons. Although it didn't even end up being an issue, I was pulled in so many different directions all night I don't think I finished a single drink! I ended up taking a sip and then having to set it down and go somewhere.

    Plus, that's what the after party was for! :)

  10. Agree wholeheartedly - drink AFTER the wedding, on the honeymoon - staying clear headed so you can take it all in is the best advice!

  11. I barely had time to eat or drink anything at our reception!