Wedding woe: 'My family aren't drunkards'

Here's today's wedding woe!

Hi Greer, 

I have been reading your blog for quite some time and I was wondering if you could help with a worry I've been having recently. 

We have decided to have beer and wine provided at our wedding free of charge to the guests invited.

However... my partner's side of the family are all Christian and though a few of them do drink, they do not allow themselves to become intoxicated.

Though I am fine with this and I respect their decisions it's MY side of the family I'm concerned about.

Now, my family aren't drunkards or anything of the like, and don't get me wrong I love them to pieces!

But, there are specifically certain people in my family that will take advantage of the free drinks and are guaranteed to  get inebriated. I'm  a bit worried that during the reception these people will cause a scene (as they normally do at family functions like Xmas!) and ruin the speeches and the experience for everybody.

Is this a petty worry or should I say something to them? (And if so what?!)

Thanks! D


Hey D,

Well I definitely don't think you are alone in this anxiety! 

Drinking capacity and those with a reputation to take it a step too far after often an area of concern for many who are planning their nuptials.

Because it is your side of the family that you are concerned with, I think there are a few things you could do. This includes:

Hitting up repeat offenders

If there's someone in your life known to turn a social situation like this into a drunken drama, pull him or her aside well before the event to have a wee chat.

I think it's important to be clever about this discussion; you don't want to go about it the wrong way and cause a rift.

Remember to use 'I' statements (rather than 'you'), such as "I am worried about your drinking and the effect it is having on our family etc. At Christmas, I felt really sad that we all had a big fight because many of us had too much to drink... etc etc"

Prepare for the worst - you may strike a sore point with them so it might turn out that great. But you never know, it might just be the wake up call they need.

Head in the sand

Shove your fingers in your ears and yell "A-la-la-la-la-la" as much as you can.

Sometimes this theory works as often a lot of our anxiety about these types of situations never actually come to fruition.

This was honestly true for me. People I picked would be the ones who would over-step the mark were actually some of the better behaved guests. So you really never know.

Take away their keys!

Whatever you do, make sure someone is watching any guest who was known to have driven to the venue - and make sure their keys are put somewhere safe away from them. Common sense, really.

Nominating 'minders'

I think what you'll find is when the day rolls around, everyone is SO conscious at making sure you have the most amazing day, those who over-indulge or risk ruining things are often taken care of by other guests to avoid you finding out. 

I had quiet words to certain people to keep an eye out on some guests that I was worried about, and when the day rolled around, I had my head so far in the clouds, I don't think I would have really noticed if someone had played up (and I'm sure some people did!).

This is also a key task that any bridal party member takes on as part of their role -  they should make watching out for potential 'hot spot' issues their priority. 

The main thing you have to realise is a lot of the day you just have to let go; you can't control every single little aspect.

You can plan for the worst and hope for the best, but that's about it.

Don't stress too much about this - as I said, people will look after themselves and if they don't, other more responsible people will look after the troublemakers for you.

Turn your attention to things you can control instead!

What advice do you have for D? Had any out of control guests you've had to deal with?

You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions.