How to Stay Sober at a Wedding

Keep your alcohol intake -- and your behavior -- appropriate for a wedding

By Jennifer Vance

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The obvious way to stay sober at a wedding would be to simply not drink. However, given that weddings are a celebration, people often see them as an opportunity to party and get drunk. If you employ a few strategic tactics, though, you can keep yourself sober while still taking in a few celebratory swigs.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Keep a watch on hand to time the distance between your drinks.
  • Limit the amount of cash you bring, so you'll have less money for drinks (if it's a cash bar) or tips (if it's a hosted bar).
  • Set an exact time of when you plan to leave, and if you are drinking, stop drinking at least an hour (preferably two) before then.

Step 1:

Sleep at least seven to eight hours the night before the wedding.

Step 2:

Leave your cash and credit cards at home, except for money to cover tips for parking valets. If there is a cash bar, you won't be able to buy any drinks, and if there is an open bar, you won't have money for tips and so will be less likely to order (from the bar, at least).

Step 3:

Eat before and during the wedding, particularly carbohydrates. Drinking on an empty stomach is a surefire way to get drunk quickly.

Step 4:

Drink slowly and avoid sweet drinks (mai tais), straight alcohol drinks (shots, martinis) and carbonated alcohols (champagne, beer), as well as mixer beverages such as soda or tonic. Like alcohol, carbonation dehydrates, getting you drunk faster.

Step 5:

Get on the dance floor. If you don't like dancing, socialize. The more time you spend dancing, talking, and focusing on something else, the less you spend drinking.

Step 6:

Enlist friends. Ask your date or a friend to keep an eye on you to make sure you don't drink.

Step 7:

Leave at the time you pre-set before the wedding. Don't stick around to get a few last drinks in, and decline an invitation to keep the party going at the hotel bar.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • If you are uncomfortable making toasts, do not offer to deliver one, as it will only further stress you out, potentially prompting you to drink.
  • Drink one glass of water for every beer or cocktail you order.
  • Ask your server to refill your glass only when you specifically ask him.
  • Do not combine alcohol with any other drugs, including ibuprofen or other headache medicines.

About the Author

Jennifer Vance is a freelance writer and has worked in the wedding/event planning and photography fields.

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