Sunday, June 11, 2006

99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL: ALCOHOL AT YOUR WEDDING (PART I)

 "Forget the café lattés, screw the raspberry iced tea/
A Malibu and Coke for you, a G & T for me...."

I don't know about you guys, but I happen to love this
Barenaked Ladies song... since I've already dated myself in my profile,
I'll simply say that this ditty (titled "Alcohol" - shocker there, no?)
makes me look back fondly on my college days (not JUST because I liked to
mix Malibus and Cokes during pre-parties). The song happened to be tres
popular during my sophomore year, thus the subject of my fond recollection....

Anyway, enough reminiscing. I thought that bringing up the subject of
ALCOHOL would bring forth a diverse set of quandries/issues/dilemmas....
Unlike a college preparty (or at least those that I went to!), weddings are
most oftentimes viewed as elegant affairs (or at least that's the
goal).

Interestingly enough, alcohol seems to be the consistent factor that
pops up in a myriad of scenarios, threatening to challenge that
sense of elegance.

Bottom line: There are a number of ways the subject of alcohol comes into
play-- and its treatment not only affects you, but how your guests view
the event to which they've been invited. Beyond the dramatic, there are
certain points about what to serve-- and when to serve it--that are details
worth noting (which I will do in a later post for this series).

To get the ball rolling, I'd like to tell you the story of the time I went
to my friend's wedding--and her new-husband practically french-kissed me
on the forehead
--in front of TallGuy.

Say what?

Yes. I repeat: My friend's husband nearly "french kissed" me on the
forehead at his wedding.

TallGuy and I were enjoying a very lovely wedding, and the husband (who
I'll call NotTongueTiedTed--Ted for short) and my friend, Cheri, were making
the rounds and heading over to each table to say hello to all the guests--
thanking them for being there on their special day and making sure we
were all having a good time.

As Ted and Cheri made it to our table, TallGuy and I were still seated, and
turned (half standing) to say hello to them. It was evident that Ted had
a few drinks that evening (you could smell it on his breath)-- and why
shouldn't he have? Nothing wrong with drinking at your wedding (the moral
of this story is below, so read on)!

Cheri leaned over to thank me, kissing me on the cheek, and
Ted loudly said goodbye and thank you -- giving me a sloppy-ish kiss
(yes there was some wetness involved) ON MY FOREHEAD.

You know what? It wasn't even offensive--it was just plain FUNNY.
Obviously, Ted wasn't trying to pull anything -- it was just a kiss on the
cheek gone awry--very awry. TallGuy and I snickered about it on the way
out, and we still do to this day. When I asked TallGuy recently whether or
not he were offended by it -- he just responded:
"I thought it was funny that you had his saliva
all over your forehead."

There's really no specific lesson to be learned from this post, and I acknowledge
that. Clearly, no bride-to-be can prepare herself for this kind of situation (who
would think that their new husband would give a sloppy kiss on someone's forehead?)

However, this story does underscore the larger importance of maintaining
one's alcohol
intake.

I've talked about this before when it comes to drunken wedding speeches, and
I'll point this out here, too: You should be held to the same standards--
if not higher--as your guests. Just remember that you and your fiance/husband
probably haven't eaten much due to stress (or trying to fit into your dress), and
you're running around greeting people all evening (and may not even have time
to eat the beautiful catered spread that you paid for!) -- therefore, keep in mind
what you are drinking and when you drink it.

I am SURE that Ted wasn't making an ass out of himself all evening -- as the
Wedding Fairy was on active duty that night, she didn't see anything else shady.
However, I am also SURE that the sloppy-forehead kiss definitely had
something to
do with his drinking a lot that night.

So, moral of the story, be aware of what you and your husband are drinking --
while mishaps like this may seem part and parcel of having a little too much to
drink, they're still funny enough that I like to share them with you guys -- and
believe me, if this happened to me and TallGuy at our wedding (whenever that
is), I'd kick his ass. :)

This series will discuss, as I mentioned other aspects of alcohol intake -- and
more neutrally, what to serve, and when to serve it.

Stay tuned!

4 comments:

Dataceptionist said...

Hi wedding fairy, on the topic of Alcohol, I just wanted to toss into the ring this story-
My brother got married earlier this year and he and his wife decided not to have alcohol at all at their wedding. I have read on US bridal websites that some religions find alcohol evil or somesuch and that it is understandable to their guests. However in Oz this is not so commonplace and our family was quite uncomfortable at the reception as a result (among other factors).
It isn't that we're massive alcoholics or anything, my parents said they would pay for the alcohol, so it wasn't a money thing either, they simply refused to have any alcohol available, not even a bar where guests could purchase their own, which would have been quite acceptable.
My parents were really offended as it made them, as the groom's parents who traditionally supply the alcohol, seem really stingy and like they wouldn't pay for it. They even toasted with fake champagne, which tasted disgusting. They should have let us just toast with our coke/juice etc. I don't mind if people don't want to drink at their wedding, but you should at least provide the option for others to enjoy themselves.
They had alcohol at their engagement party and it wasn't as if people were vomiting everywhere through excess. A bit of respect for individual behaviour I thought.

Kate said...

It's also respectful to be grateful for what your host offers you, and not criticise because it isn't what you would have chosen to serve.

Weddings shouldn't be all about the alcohol, but it seems to me they end up being so. It saddens me that people have to justify alcohol decisions like no others.

If you want to drink, stay home or go to a bar. If you want to attend a party hosted by someone who may have their own reasons for not providing alcohol, don't slam them later on in a public arena for what you consider to be inadequate hospitality.

Dataceptionist said...

I didn't make my point very clear earlier, my point was more that it made our entire family uncomfortable throught their vehemence on the issue, and as the Groom's immediate family, I would have thought he would have made more effort to be inclusive of us. While everyone agrees that weddings are for the couple marrying, the families are important also. As a bride to be, at least that's how I'm treating our families.

Twistie said...

I don't drink. At all. Nope, not even a little sip of wine now and then.

OTOH, most of my friends and family do drink a little on social occasions. It would never have occured to me not to have wine and beer available to them at my wedding. After all, my decision not to drink is purely a matter of taste and personal preference.

If the bride and/or groom has strong religious objections to alcohol or if the couple's social circle is prone to embarrass themselves if allowed near a bottle, then I can see not serving alcohol at one's wedding reception. But if liquor was fine at the engagement party and funds weren't an issue, I can't imagine why the reception would be so very dry.

And count me as a voice against cash bars at weddings. I'd be ashamed to make guests pay for their own liquor at a party I'm throwing for them.