How To Deal With An Overserved Wedding Guest


Dear Alimay,
My fiancé and I are having a full open bar at our reception. That said, we have a few notorious partiers on the invite list. How do we deal with an overserved wedding guest without causing a scene?

—Breathalizing Bride

Dear Breathalizing Bride,
We wish could tell you to breathe easy and that it will all work itself out, but we wouldn't want to mislead you. The emotional excitement of a wedding combined with an open bar can result in total mayhem if you aren’t careful. He who starts off as an enthusiastic breakdancer can quickly become a scene-causing problem. Do not— we repeat, DO NOT — let this guest anywhere near a microphone. Nothing good will come of it. Your college friends should feel just as comfortable on the dance floor as your 78-year-old great aunt does, and no one wants to deal with the too drunk guy or gal — least of all the bride or groom. The most important thing you can do as the event's host is nip it in the bud and direct someone to take action before a line is crossed.

Addressing a drunk wedding guest doesn’t have to be a total disaster if you take the proper steps in handling it. With all eyes on you, confronting a wedding guest will bring you attention you don't want, so turn to your day-of coordinator/wedding planner/trusted bridesmaid. Make this someone else's responsibility.
As for the helpful friend who gets put in charge of dealing with this guest, we recommend taking the following steps:
First, make sure the intoxicated partygoer is responsive.
If you've got a responsive partygoer on your hands, take him or her to the bar for a glass of water. This is the time to (subtly, if possible) point out the guest to the bartenders and let them know that he or she is cut off. No beer. No wine. No exceptions.
After providing the guest with water, kindly ask if he or she could step off the dance floor for a bit and take a seat.
Quickly find a coherent friend or date affiliated with this guest, call a cab (slip the driver a fat tip), and be on your way.
As we like to say, if it doesn’t make the photo album, it never happened.
We’d love to hear your questions. Drop us a line at

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