Now I like a good party as much as the next guy, actually I enjoy it more than the next guy, but you need to know when to say when and how much you can take. I have seen countless grooms and guests get right hammered not only at the wedding but at events leading up to the wedding. Some have been funny, but some were just uncalled for and way over the top. You need to know when you can hit the bar and when you need to hang back and just maintain the buzz. From my years of experience of attending and partaking, I humbly offer you the following advice.
Wedding drinking: yay or nay?
The Bachelor Party
Since the beginning of time, the bachelor party has been a rite of passage for the groom and a good old fashioned booze up! But beware, it’s also the time your friends will try to get you back for all the crap you have piled on them in the years past. I had a groom head off for a stag only to get waaaay too drunk and his friends thought it would be a good idea to draw all over him, and I do mean ALL over him with permanent sharpie marker. Funny at the time, not so funny when you wake up and have to go to work on Monday. Everyone has heard the urban legend of waking up in Mexico or the middle of the Vegas desert, while these stories may not be entirely true, I do caution you, as a groom to watch your intake at your stag. Make it fun but don’t make an ass of yourself. For a cautionary Bachelor Party tale go rent “Very Bad Things” on DVD.
The Rehearsal Dinner
This event usually takes place the night before your wedding. So it should be a no-brainer not to tie one on. The last thing you want to do is stand across from your bride as you sweat out last night’s tequila. Or even worse, puke during the ceremony. It’s one thing to be sitting in a pew all hung over but it’s an entirely different thing to be up in front of all your friends and family swaying back and forth. This will go for your groomsmen as well. You and your groomsmen are the hosts, or you should be. It’s your jobs to make sure everyone gets to know each other at the rehearsal, there will be plenty of time for a drink, feel free to ride the buzz at the dinner, but don’t go overboard. People will wanting to talk to you and take your picture so you want the conversations to be remembered and the photos to look good, no wonky drunk eyes for you my friend.
Most officiants I deal with will call off the wedding and refuse to marry you if they smell the sweet, sweet nectar on your breath. Plus it’s illegal to sign a binding contract if you’re pissed (not sure if this counts in the record industry though) I can’t say it more plainly…don’t get hammered before the ceremony. On my wedding day we decided it was ok to drink champagne and red bull while we got ready. When the photographer came in and asked me if I was nervous, I said “No, why?” Well I was shaking so damn much from that red bull, the stuff tasted great but man it did a number on you. We stopped and out came the water. I also had a best man who drank so much before the ceremony I got to see him puke, right before I stuffed him into a walk in freezer for 45 minutes to slow down his blood flow. He made it through the (thankfully) short ceremony and passed out 10 minutes into the photo session. I don’t think he’s still friends with the groom.
Well, you made it through the day, time to get your drink on right!?!?!? This is tricky because people will be getting you drinks, shots and all those toasts. Keep in mind your food intake for the day, you may not have eaten much. As we all know, this will impact your tolerance. Drinking in the heat, also does a number on you. I tell my guys to go easy during the cocktail hour, eat as many hors d’oeuvres as you can and I usually recommend 1 – 2 glasses of champagne (‘cause it’s classy) Try not to really hit the sauce until after you give your speech. You may not be as funny as you think after a few drinks so beware, your entire family is listening to you. Again, this goes for your groomsmen as well. And on a parting note, booze can ruin a good night in the sack, so keep in mind it’s your WEDDING NIGHT you fool, this is one night you really want to give that Oscar winning performance.
Simon’s Gutsy Groom Advice
So in closing, drink is good, too much drink is bad. Too much drink and all your boys around can be even worse. I attended a wedding rehearsal and the groom had a few drinks and horsing around in the parking lot, well he tripped on one of those parking spot markers, the big concrete things and fell face first (from a run) into the parking lot. He was OK, but he had more makeup on than his bride at the ceremony the next day.
You may be the guests of honor, but it’s also your job to make sure everyone else is having a good time. You need to be on the ball enough to be able to get up and dance with Grandma, hold a decent conversation with Uncle Charlie and take your new wife to bed at the end of the night, so watch your consumption pal, you’ll be having a great time and it WILL sneak up on you.
One last event I neglected to mention is the brunch the next day. If you’re having one, all your guests will be there, there will be food and you will have to talk to people. Getting up in the morning, being nice and being able to eat can be tough if you got rip roaring drunk the night before. But you have to be “on” ‘cause it’s your event dude.
If you drink a full pint of water for every drink at the reception I find that works pretty well, and of course a few pints of water before you head to bed. You’ll need the energy!!!
Guys, please don’t drink and drive and don’t let your guests do it either, apart from spilling your drink if you crash it’s a total dumb ass thing to do.
Simon Daykin is an award winning event designer, planner and groom stylist with Fire Fly Occasions. Simon strives to get grooms involved in the wedding planning process and have their opinions heard. He understands that grooms can get left out or pushed out of the planning process so he’s here to help. You can connect with him further on Google+.