With another wedding season in the books (besides those penny-pinchers having fall and winter weddings to save on venues), I think we can all agree on one thing – despite the fact that open bars are officially out of our lives until we overpay for a New Year’s Eve bar tab, we’re all a little glad the marathon drinking is over. Okay, well, maybe it’s just in the form of tailgating but bear with me.
If I had to power rank the best part of weddings behind well, you know, seeing your loved ones get married, it would go as follows: dance floor, dance floor, dance floor, and open bar. It’s not rocket science.
So, for Yahoo to insinuate that you need to keep your wedding guests sober isn’t just wrong, it’s downright offensive. Let’s run through their tips one-by-one and really get in the nitty gritty here.
1. Limit the bar options
The main thing you have control over from the start is what you offer and when. “The best way to avoid having people get too drunk is to not have a full bar,” Nannette Taft, co-owner of Drink Slingers bartending service in Austin, tells Yahoo Style.
This Nannette character also went on to say that you should do a “beer and wine only” bar, and ensure not to serve martinis (*gasp*) before anyone eats given that they’re pure alcohol. Furthermore, she recommended to stray from serving shots as well. (Pro Tip: Just order tequila on the rocks and shoot it back when they tell you no.)
If you’re the bride and groom, the fastest way to have your friends talk trash about you is by doing a “beer and wine only” event. Girls don’t like beer and a lot of guys don’t drink wine. Is it a crime to have mixed drinks or are some people just not responsible enough to handle the hard stuff? No, seriously, I’m asking because I don’t think I’m responsible enough to handle the hard stuff.
2. Size matters
At a fully catered event, it’s up to your vendor to choose glass size, but this is something to keep in mind at a DIY affair. “When I order glassware for weddings, I try to go with single rocks glasses, single high balls, and miniature coupe glasses for cocktails, instead of those giant double martini glasses,” Braddock tells us. “If you’re getting a Manhattan in a double rocks glass, that can be a big issue.”
At the last wedding I went to, one of the bartenders (weirdly, albeit) served me champagne in a pint glass. Now, was I going to stop him? No, because the dance floor was blowing up and I didn’t want to make multiple trips. Was it an irresponsible move pouring almost an entire bottle of Moet into a pint glass that I drank in less than 30 minutes? Yes, and I regretted it in the morning. But now I can look back and say, “Man, that wedding was fun.”
So, yeah, size does matter. Go big or get an Uber home.
3. Timing matters, too
“Even though they call it ‘cocktail hour’ right after the ceremony, sometimes it’s better to have just beer and wine at that time,” Taft says. Save the full bar or special cocktail offerings for after people have had a chance to eat something.
Hate to break it to you, lady, but depending on the time of the wedding, people are going to be in the bag way before cocktail hour even occurs. Hell, the bride and groom will probably be ripped at that point. Besides, if you’re one of the out-of-town guests spending a cool stack on flights and hotel, you should be able to drink a cocktail whenever you please. Tell me differently. You won’t.
4. Water, water everywhere… and also soda
“We have water dispensers at every bar and are constantly pouring water at the tables,” Braddock says. She’s also seen bartenders offer up water, to persuade a tipsy guest into slowing down without being too confrontational. “They’ll say, ‘Here’s a pint of water. If you can chug this, have another drink.’”
Everyone knows that the reason you order vodka-water-limes is so you can stay hydrated and still get drunk. If a bartender told me to chug a water before he gave me a drink, I’d ask for the $20 back that I gave him at the beginning of the night. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
5. Let bartenders use their discretion
Overconsumption is certainly something the pros know how to handle.
“Most of our bar staff is incredibly gifted at cutting people off in ways that they’re not offended or even know that they’re being cut off,” Braddock notes. If you know in advance that one of your guests can get out of hand, you can tell your caterer in advance, and they can determine a discreet way of weakening those pours.
There are a few places you can drink as much as humanly possible with no repercussions: Kentucky Derbies, regatta parties, whenever you’re inside a cabin, and at weddings. I get it, if you’re a bartender in a public place where there are other patrons around, you can cut someone off. But if you’re paid to be there by the bride and groom, just let everyone spread their wings and fly. Cutting off a dude in a tuxedo is just begging for confrontation. .