Drinkers invited…ideas on how to ensure no one drives home drunk

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
8387 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@flowermower:  We had an open bar and we knew people were going to get drunk, so we had the hotel, ceremony and reception all at the same place.  That way, no one had to drive anywhere.

Post # 4
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

To be honest you arent liable if they are adults.  Let them be adults and figure out when they should stop drinking and you enjoy your night.

But if I had to choose I would say the 2 drink tickets.  People can take advantage of just beer and wine and still get super drunk.

Post # 5
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We rented a big yellow school bus to pick people up and bring to the hotel that we had arranged.  We did this two different times throughout the night.

Post # 6
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC

@flowermower:  I saw something on Pinterest recently (I know…Pinterest runs the world) of a sign next to the bar with numbers of various taxi services in the area. Similarly, you could put out some business cards for a taxi company on the bar. I think the beer and wine idea is a great money saver, but people can still easily get drunk if they drink enough. And, personally, I’m not a fan of a cash bar/drink tickets either. A dry wedding would probably be the only way to be positive that no one drives drunk, but I’m not really a fan of those either. You run the risk of people having less “fun” or leaving way early.

Post # 7
3237 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I had this fear when we got married and talked to my husband about it. His friends are pretty heavy drinkers and I was afraid that someone would drive home drunk and they all lived about 45 minutes from our reception venue. Honestly, people are going to drive drunk any way. Most people aren’t going to want to pay for a cab or hotel room if they don’t have to, especially if they would usually just drive home drunk. Doesn’t make it okay but it’s true.

Post # 8
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Just have a hotel block nearby.  Many people that want to drink will get a room.  Otherwise I would post numbers for cabs and make sure anyone that’s had too much calls a cab (maybe the bartender or someone can do this for you).

Many people who drink or get drunk will have a designated driver as well.  I like to drink and can sometimes drink a decent amount at weddings.  But I don’t drive home, FI drives Smile

People who want to get drunk will get drunk.  No matter what.  They’re adults.  If it’s dry, they’ll bring in flasks.  Or they’re go out to their car and drink.  People who want to drink will do it.  I think having a dry wedding or only “allowing” people 2 drinks because you’re concerned about drunk people is a little rude to the majority of guests who can drink and get home responsibly IMO.  I can handle more than 2 glasses of wine over a 4-6 hour reception thank you.

I’m fine with the only beer and wine option FWIW because I drink only wine for the most part.

Post # 9
1080 posts
Bumble bee

Do you want them to not get drunk? Or not drink and drive? If you really think they’ll drive home and you want to be responsible, maybe hire a bus to take them all home? Or at least have cab numbers all over the place (toilets etc) so they can book one.

Drink driving always confuses me. Why the fuck would anyone even think about doing that.

Post # 10
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Do you have a bartender yet?  If not, look for bartenders who have insurance policies – this will protect you and them in the event someone drinks and drives.  

Post # 11
640 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@flowermower:  I would try to set something up with a cab company. Our town has a couple independant  companies that drive people home, while someone else drives their car. Go ahead and give them heads up to be in the area just in case. Identify the ‘problem’ people and make sure another friend or family member doesn’t leave without them. I mean, you can’t stop adults from doing what they’re going to do, but you can try to take keys if you have to. That’s what we always did with friends in college, so it’s not overbearing.

Technically, 2 drinks is enough for someone to get a DUI, it really just depends on how lucky people get when they drive home. I knew someone that drank one beer, left the bar, and got a DUI b/c it was so close to when he drank it.

I understand not wanting a dry wedding, but if you’re THAT worried, then you need to take precautions. We are having beer and wine…and will offer cab numbers and try to make sure that people bring DDs, but ultimatlely, I can’t be policing everyone as they leave.

Post # 12
11593 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We left it up to our guests to be responsible, and after having a full open bar for the night, we had zero issues with drunk driving.

Make sure your bartenders are willing to cut people off when they can see they’ve had too much (they will with or without your permission, but would rather hear that you’re cool with it).  Have the numbers of area cabs available so people can call one if they need one, or, better yet, have some cabs available towards the end of the night. 

Post # 13
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Give options in advance of where they can stay, in differnet price ranges.  My family is heavy drinkers and they all wanted to know about all the possible locations to stay.  A list of taxie drivers, or better yet, talk to a taxie service man and see if he will run your reception himself for a discounted price, since you will be guaranteeing him funds for the night.  Let your guest know about the cheaper price if they need to use a taxie service.  Put the # real big by the bar, or invite the taxie service man to your reception, like having another vender there.  He may enjoy himself, and that way he is not just waiting around, waiting to hear from someone from your reception.  Don’t even know if any taxie drivers in your area would do this.  I can think of a few in mine that would for say $200. 

Post # 14
907 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It’s not your problem if your guests are stupid enough to drink and drive. Don’t stress about this—it’s not the bride’s responsibility to make sure guests don’t break the law and put their own and other people’s lives in danger. 

Post # 15
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

We hired shuttles to take people from the hotel to the reception and back to the hotel after the reception.

Post # 16
4576 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I drink more like twice a *week*, so I feel equipped to address these points:

“Dry wedding”

If this wedding is in the evening, drinkers will simply pre-game or bring a flask. I do this regularly.

“Giving everyone 2 drink tickets”

See answer #1. If my consumption at an evening reception was limited to 2 drinks, without the option to purchase more, I’m not above running to the liquor and coming back with enough to share.

“Just having beer and wine”

I know many a female who cannot handle more than a couple of glasses of wine, and turn into crying, sloppy fools if that’s all that’s available. As far as beer: many, many men are only beer drinkers, and are perfectly content to get a buzz off of that.

Bottom line: there really is no way you can prevent adults from drinking on a weekend night that want to. They’ll always find a way. As far as drunk driving, the only way you can really prevent them is to pay a driver and force them into the car at the end of the night.

Try not to worry about this. A lot of “professional drinkers” are smart enough to have their date act as a designated driver.


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