Every bride and groom want their wedding reception to be a party to be remembered as a super high energy party not a drunk fest. Guests getting overly intoxicated can really damper your celebration. Here are 8 tips to reduce the risk of having a ruined wedding reception.
My newly wed wife and I were coming back to our wedding reception from “getting changed”. That’s what everybody did back in the 80’s – got changed out of our wedding attire into going away attire. When we returned to the reception, we encountered an ambulance with all its lights on. It seems one of our guests had over indulged in alcohol and it did not mix with her diabetes. As a result she was in shock. We were very concerned and immediately did anything we could to assist but it definitely put a damper on our party.
Our story is not unique. I’ve seen and heard many similar stories. Guest overindulge and become a problem including falling over, vomiting or creating a fight. Whatever the end result, it is never nice.
As the bride and groom, you are the hosts of your party and with that responsibility comes the obligation to keep your guests safe and to keep the party under control. I’ve found that it is often the amount of alcohol that people consume that changes the mood of the party. There are ways to avoid over consumption, nicely. You can delicately limit the number of drinks people can have or the type of drinks the bar offers. Here are 8 tips to keeping the party going:
Close the open bar early: For some people an open bar is important. You can avoid over indulgence by limiting the open bar to a certain amount of hours. An open bar during cocktails won’t get your guests as drunk as an open bar after dinner when people have had cocktails and wine with dinner.
Limit the drinks available: Another way to avoid over consumption is to not offer shooters or distilled spirits in your open bar. Shots put a lot of alcohol into a person in a short period of time. You can limit your open bar to wine and beer. A cash bar for distilled spirits will decrease the shots and save you money.
Hire security: For very large weddings, hiring security might be needed. It can be as easy as asking the venue to look after security and adding it to your invoice. Their presence is a deterrent.
Finish your reception early: It is becoming more common to finish the wedding reception at midnight. If people want to still party on – they can organize an after-party celebration and that will result in fewer people and less responsibility on your part.
Keep the speeches short and get dancing: The more your guests are sitting at the dinner table listening to speeches the more they drink. Cut the speeches short and get an awesome DJ to get them dancing to work off that alcohol.
Feed them: A full tummy is difficult to fill with alcohol. It also helps to slow the absorption. So it is a good idea to have snacks readily available. Many brides and grooms offer a late night snack with coffee and tea to give guests the time to sober up.
Use professionals: One way to keep your guests safe, especially at a DIY wedding, is to use professional companies that have insurance. If anything were to happen to one of your guests from a candle falling over, a glass breaking on the dance floor, a DJ’s speaker falling on to a guest, you want to make sure the guest doesn’t come after you for money due to the injury. A professional server cutting off a guest because they have drunk too much is easier to take than if a family member is handling the bar. Remember, in a DIY wedding, you are responsible for the state of sobriety of your guests leaving the reception.
Finally, Keep you guests safe: You can keep your guests safe by encouraging people staying at a nearby hotel, taking a taxi, or using Responsible Choice which is a service where two people show up to the wedding to take the driver and the car home safely. Post phone numbers for the hotels, taxis and Responsible Choice at your wedding by the door or send out an email with the information in advance to your guests.