Sunday, June 25, 2006

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

I received a serious but important question in response to these alcohol issues, which I thought would be a fitting way to end this series.

"Ideas for making sure you don't create any drunk drivers? My wedding is pretty big and I know not everyone is staying over at the hotel. How can I make sure everyone stays safe? I'm planning on having quite a bit myself! :) I DESERVE IT - planning this wedding has been such a big deal."

It's a good idea to remember not only what you're serving, but the effects thereof. My suggestion? Try to limit as many drivers as possible by giving your guests OPTIONS.

Unfortunately, there will be about 1,001 things you'll be dealing with at your actual wedding (i.e. the photographer, the caterer, making sure the flowers are where you want them, meeting and greeting guests at the reception tables, figuring out how to use the ladies' room in your dress), that you really won't have time on the special day to think much about the effects of alcohol.

Some of the pre-planning (with regard to alcohol at your wedding and the effects thereof) really depends on circumstance, and what type of transportation is available in your town/city. If you live in a big city, it's definitely a possibility for guests to hail a cab. However, a good alternative is to hire a car service company to be available (in advance), and have guests call the service at the end of the evening--so an individual car will pick them up when they are ready to leave (much like ordering a car in advance for an airport pick up or drop off). That's what TallGuy and I did at a wedding reception in Brooklyn, and it was very convenient--we were grateful that our hosts provided that service for us. While it may seem like an expensive option, you can still have your guests pay for the actual service--however, there most likely will be a fee for your to reserve the service for the evening....

Whether you live in a big city or small town, these car services should be readily available - a little planning goes a long way.

Other than that, you, do, to some extent, have to depend on your guests to be responsible and to know when to say when. If you think many people will be driving to the reception, and you can pass the word, talk up having designated drivers. At least in my experience, no one really wants to end up having to drive to a wedding reception anyway--and when that happens, people SHOULD be responsible.

Think about your environs, where you live, and what types of transportation are available. Planning in advance will help avoid any issues the day before and particularly the "big day" -- and these are things to think about--in addition to what type of alcohol you are going to serve!

Stay tuned!

4 comments:

Megan said...

We hired a van for the entire day- to take people to and from the ceremony, then to and from the reception. It worked fairly well but was a lot of money.
As for getting drunk at your own wedding, I don't think it is a good idea. There are still a lot of things that it is good to have a semi-clear head for- dancing with other guests, saying goodbye at the end of the night, cleaning up a little. Plus, who wants to wake up the first day of being married, after all of the stress and emotion of getting married, with a huge hangover and then have to go to a brunch thrown in your honor? Not a good idea in my opinion. Get drunk the night after if you want, after all the guests have gone home and there is nothing left to worry about.

Anonymous said...

When I had my first meeting with a prospective caterer, he told me that he had, in the past, had to hold a bride's hair while she threw up from drinking too much. In fact, he said this had happened several times. Not the way I want to spend my special day.

Dataceptionist said...

I have planned not to drink really, not in fear of being hungover (which I think can be a very real prospect) but more because I have a tendancy to get very sleepy!! And how's that for your wedding night?

Twistie said...

If your wedding isn't very large and your social group doesn't have a whole lot of heavy drinkers, you might ask one or two responsible friends to keep an eye out for folks who seem to be getting beyond their limits and wrestle their keys away.

My friend on drunk driver duty ended up not being needed, but just knowing he was paying a little attention to the one or two potential problem drinkers went a long way to keeping me relaxed and happy at my wedding!