This blog post is for couples who drink alcohol, who have friends who drink alcohol, or who have family members who drink alcohol. Does that describe you? Good, then please keep reading.
For many years, events have been celebrated by drinking alcohol. That’s not about to change any time soon. So, this post isn’t about telling you to have a dry wedding or to not drink any alcohol the whole wedding weekend. I don’t expect you or your guests to be teetotalers. However, I do have some insight into how to best to approach your use of alcohol during your wedding weekend. I’m going to share with you the best ways to imbibe during you wedding weekend.
Question: Do you want to remember your wedding?
Answer: “Yes, of course I do!”
Good, then what you don’t want to do is be drunk the entire weekend. If you’re careful about how and when you drink, you will have a lovely celebratory time and remember all the things.
Follow These Tips So You Remember Your Wedding
No drinking at the rehearsal
Although rehearsals are meant to be fun and are usually the first formal festivity of the weekend, they’re also a time to get some work done. It’s a time for us to start building our little wedding community, to learn our cues, and to get comfortable with all the logistics of how the ceremony will unfold. They only last an hour. You can definitely go an hour without drinking. If you’re all sober at the rehearsal, it’s going to go much smoother. Your professional officiant and wedding planner will be able to do their job and you’ll all be ready for wedding day. The alternative is a messy, loud, distracted rehearsal and no one feels prepared for wedding day. This has actually happened to me and I had people asking me what they were supposed to do just before the wedding started because they weren’t paying attention at the rehearsal. It made them nervous and somewhat frantic, which is the opposite of what we want them to be on wedding day.
Drink lightly at the rehearsal dinner
Since you didn’t drink during the rehearsal, you’re probably ready to have a glass of champagne at the rehearsal dinner. This is a great time to have a drink or two and welcome your family and friends! After two drinks you’ll want to switch over to sparkling water. There is absolutely nothing worse than a hangover on wedding day. You may be tempted to go all out at the rehearsal dinner, but I promise you, a mellow evening followed by a good night’s sleep is the best thing you could possibly do. This will give you the energy and strength you’ll need to get through an entire day of celebrating.
Do not drink the morning of the wedding
Ok, I’m going to modify that a little bit: it’s okay to have one mimosa or one bloody mary or one glass of whiskey but under no circumstances should you start celebrating with booze at 10 or 11 a.m. Wedding days are long and glorious and filled with schmoozing and dancing. They take a special kind of stamina. You’ll need to be well hydrated with a full belly in order to enjoy the whole day.
Please trust me on this. I’ve seen grooms who started drinking with their buddies the morning of the wedding and were already hung over when it was time for photos after the ceremony. I’ve literally seen groomsmen swaying drunkenly during pictures. It’s not a good look. While you can’t control what anyone else does, your level of drinking will be matched by your crew. If you’re guzzling, so will they. If you’re abstaining from drinking heavily before the ceremony, they’ll likely follow suit.
Do not drink before the ceremony
You know what’s not a good look? Drunk brides or grooms. The best way to stay present and be in the moment on wedding day is to do it sober. If didn’t take my advice and abstain from drinking in the morning, please, do yourself a favor, and stop drinking at least an hour before the ceremony. Drink lots of water and eat a little something. Take long, deep breathes and allow yourself to become present. You’re about to make a lifelong commitment to the person you love most in all the world. Be respectful of this precious moment by experiencing all of it with a clear head.
Have one cocktail during photos
My photographer friends might disagree with me on this one, because it’s a total pain in the butt to have to keep putting your drink down and picking it back up, but…I think it’s nice when the catering staff has a tray of champagne flutes for each member of the wedding party right after the ceremony. Photos can last a while and it’s nice to have a little drink while you’re waiting. This is especially true for your wedding party, who are often waiting for photos and can’t join the guests at the cocktail hour.
Now you can drink
Finally, the ceremony and formal photos are done. It’s now time to enter your reception and celebrate with a few drinks!
Drink water all weekend
No matter what you or how much you drink you should be consuming a lot of water on wedding weekend. Excitement is dehydrating to the body. If you’re having a summer or fall wedding here in Maine, the days can be very hot and humid. You’ll be sweating a lot. So, make sure you’re drinking lots of water to replenish your body.
Prepare your wedding party
So, you’re probably saying, “I can totally manage this, no problem. Thanks, Maria!” But, now I want you to think about how you’re going to communicate this to your wedding party and family. You’ll reap the rewards of taking the time to be explicit about your expectations of their drinking on your wedding weekend. Be clear, firm, and kind. Let them know you want them to be there to celebrate with you but to be mindful about how much and when they drink.
I promise, if you follow these tips you’ll enjoy your wedding weekend so much more than if you’re buzzed or drunk the whole time. This special occasion deserves your full attention. Do it with a clear head and you’ll remember your wedding for years to come!