Preparing for the drunk guest
Weddings are a time of celebration. Spirits are high as guests are eager to enjoy the occasion and share in the festivities. However, this enthusiasm, combined with champagne toasts and an open bar may lead to one or two of the guests drinking more that they expected. Because the planning of the wedding and the day itself are stressful to the bride, groom and their immediate families, it is best to delegate the responsibility of caring for drunk or tipsy guests to someone else. The bridal couple should elect a non-drinker, or somebody that they trust to maintain composure regardless of pressure from their own group of friends. The best man may not be the best person as he is usually close to the groom and wants to relax and share this experience with him. The bar staff should also be briefed before the day and requested to watch that guests do not get carried away. If they do feel that one or two of the guests are getting to the stage where they have had too much, they should know who to tell. They should also try to recommend a non-alcoholic drink to the guest. If he refuses, they could dilute his drink, refuse to serve him altogether, or close the bar temporarily, if the situation becomes that serious.
Once the designated person becomes aware of a guest that is having too much to drink, he should approach the guest and suggest he or she takes it easy on the alcohol, perhaps offering them a Cola or glass of iced water. They should also encourage the person to eat something. This should all be done in a discreet and respectful way. If the guest is reacting in a sensitive way, it is important to be subtle in your suggestions, rather than getting them even more excited.
From the time of the ceremony, it is essential to ensure that non-alcoholic drinks are available. Not everyone is used to alcoholic beverages, but they may partake out of thirst. In a similar vein, teenagers may decide to drink of the freely available alcohol if sodas or juice are not available.
If you are able to decide what gets sold at the bar, it is a good idea to limit it to beer and wine. These do not taste like cold drinks, and are likely to be enjoyed at a more reasonable pace.
There are many driving services that escort guests from an event to their homes in their own car. It is not an option to allow an inebriated guest to drive home, no matter what objections he raises in this regard. If he becomes confrontational, do not back down. Take his keys by force, if necessary. The DJ should announce the driving service to the guests several times over the course of the evening. This will put them at ease and reinforce to them that they are not being singled out if you do suggest they take advantage of this facility.
Unfortunately, it is usually with the best intentions that people have too much to drink at a wedding. They want to relax, and enjoy the dancing and general aura of festivity. The bride and groom can not let this interfere with their own enjoyment of their day. With preparation and specific instructions to those in charge, this can be handled discreetly, efficiently and in a dignified manner.
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