Wedding Crisis Control

Heavy downpour? Partying out of bounds? No power? No problem! Just follow our plan-ahead guide to an angst-free celebration.

Photo Credit: Leigh Skaggs

Control the Crowd

We’ve all been to a wedding where someone over-imbibes and starts acting out—at full volume. Don’t want this to happen at your bash? Make a plan that reduces the likelihood of guests drinking too much alcohol—or doing it too quickly.

  •  Keep in mind that having a ceremony midmorning followed by an evening reception invites guests to spend their downtime drinking. “Instead, schedule the ceremony and reception as close together as possible,” says Blum. “Five hours total for a wedding ceremony and reception is appropriate. More time than that, or time in between the ceremony and reception will result in guests over-indulging.” Don’t linger over drinks, adds Nichols. “Keep your cocktail hour to exactly that, an hour! Seventy-five minutes max.” No matter the time span, be sure to include plenty of hors d’oeuvres to keep people from drinking on an empty stomach.

  • There are other tricks that can prevent guests from being over-served, too. “Guests should never be allowed to serve themselves alcohol at a wedding,” says Nichols. “You also should never just put bottles of wine on a table. Instead, have wait staff or bartenders pour drinks for them, and tell them to stop serving anyone who seems inebriated.”

  • When it comes to the wedding toasts, lay down some ground rules for your speakers. “Put a time limit on the speeches, so your friends get the nice stuff out and end there!” says Blum. Nichols recommends being direct. “Tell people that your family and your fiancé’s family don’t need to know about your crazy college days."

  • When it comes to toasts, make sure only specific people can take the floor, so there's no 'passing the mike around.'


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