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Dealing with Drunk Wedding Guests

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Everybody loves a great wedding, but no one loves drunk wedding guests. Yet many brides and grooms feel uncomfortable asking guests who have consumed too much to leave.

Chances are you will have a bar or a supply of alcohol at your wedding. Alcohol is used to help people celebrate special occasions and a wedding is one of those.

However, when people drink too much, they lose their personal inhibitions and their behavior is no longer acceptable. This is especially unwelcome on your wedding day, but many newlyweds are at a loss as what to do about it.

Here we go over options on how to handle drunk wedding guests on the big day.

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Drunk wedding guest at a wedding open bar with empty glasses.

Mitigation options

The first consideration for reducing the chance of drunk wedding guests is ways to limit the supply of alcohol on the big day. Here are a few drunk wedding guest mitigation options to consider.

Dry Wedding

A dry wedding is one in which the bride and groom have decided not to serve alcohol. This not only is the most extreme option if just trying to avoid drunk wedding guests, but is usually considered when trying to save money on the wedding budget.

Having plenty of non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails can be nice, but if just trying to avoid drunk guests, again this is probably a bit overkill.

Cash bar

If you want to both reduce your wedding budget on alcohol and avoid drunk guests then having a cash bar is definitely a savvy mitigation strategy.

A cash bar means that guests will only get as drunk as their wallets allow them too and while this doesn’t stop them from choosing to spend to get drunk, it is definitely a deterrent to it.

Closed bar during dinner

Having a bar available for the entirety of the wedding receptions means that people will likely be drinking throughout. You can choose however to have the venue bar staff to close the bar during dinner or the reception speeches.

This is a great tactic as during this time people will be eating and drinking water at the table which can give many a chance to avoid getting too drunk on the day of the wedding.

No hard liquors

Serving no hard liquor at the wedding reception is a very useful way to avoid intoxicated guests. It almost goes without saying that the chances of drunk guests drastically reduces without hard liquor at the venue.

Hard liquor is more expensive than beer and wine so having an open bar without it significantly reduces your alcohol costs and will also help your wedding budget.

Water and food

Having water and glasses by the bar and other areas of the reception venue can help people stay hydrated during the reception. While wedding caterers can also help before dinner by serving canapés or providing grazing tables.

Keeping people well fed and hydrated throughout the wedding reception will defiantly help reduce the chances that the guests will get drunk on the special day.

Signature drinks for wedding with mint and raspberries on a table outside.

Planned reactive options

While mitigating the chance of drunk wedding guests is a great first step, you will still need a plan to deal with those guests that do get too drunk.

Here are a few planned strategies you can have in place ahead of the wedding day.

Delegate

The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is have any stress and have to deal with drunk guests and their behavior.

Having a wedding planner or day-of wedding coordinator to take over the responsibility of dealing with drunk guests at the wedding reception is highly recommended. They can be the ones who organize bar staff to cut people off, organize early transportation for them or for them to find someone to be responsible for the drunk guest.

Another option that maybe available is the wider wedding reception team. The bar staff, venue duty manger and possibly any venue security could already have processes in place for dealing with drunk guests. So it is worthwhile asking them what tactics they have in place for dealing with drunk guests.

Transportation plans

In rare occasions where a drunk guests behaviour becomes unruley and starts to impact the special day, then having transportation plans in place can be a good idea.

Making sure your wedding reception team of vendors has a plan in place for coordinating with transport providers such as uber or taxi services is helpful.

Getting a drunk wedding guest home safely while also not negativly impacting the wedding day is the last line of defence when dealing with drunk wedding guests. It is not ideal to be put in that situation, but hopefully it is the vendor team and not the bride or groom that has to deal with this.

Wedding Bride cheers with guests.

Final thoughts

One of the last things you want your wedding remembered for is the drunk guests. You also don’t want to be personally dealing with them on the wedding either. That’s where having a plan in place to prevent and manage drunk guests comes in handy.

Using these strategies to mitigate the chance of drunk guests at a wedding and also having plans in place to deal with them on the day, should ensure a perfect wedding day. Some of these strategies may also serve the added benefit of saving you money on your wedding budget.

So enjoy the wedding day knowing that you have plans in place for dealing with drunk guests if it occurs.