Post # 1
First let me start off by saying that two separate events (involving the same groomsman) have led up to FI and I considering asking our wedding party to stay completely sober until at least the beginning of our reception, but we don’t want to be those awful control-everything-about-our-friends-lives kind of people just because it’s our wedding. So here’s what leads up to the question:
Event 1: Another friend’s wedding – One of our groomsmen was also in this wedding. The guys in the party started drinking early in the morning and were literally drunk during the 2:00 ceremony. Obviously the groom was okay with it because he was drunk, too, but as a guest at the wedding we were a bit surprised to smell alcohol on everyone during the receiving line. They continued drinking leading up to the reception and one of the party actually got sick outside before dinner. We didn’t think too much about it; not our wedding, not our problem, but then…
Event 2: the same groomsman at his own bachelor party got drunk, started a barfight, got kicked out of the bar and was nearly arrested for drunkenly screaming racial slurs in downtown St. Louis where crowds of people were gathered to protest the whole Fergusson, MO shooting incident. Not only was it ignorant, it was ignorant and dangerous.
So this leads to our dilemma…we’re concerned that this groomsman will see our wedding as another chance to spend the whole day drinking and make a fool of himself. We don’t care if he wants to get drunk AT the reception, we just would prefer he not show up to the reception or the actual WEDDING already smashed. The wedding is early afternoon and there will be a 3-hour gap before the reception starts. [I don’t know if it makes a difference, but we’re not doing a full open bar (FI and I aren’t big drinkers and open bar isn’t in our limited budget), so we’re providing plenty of wine plus soda, coffee, tea, etc. and will have a cash bar available for those guests who want beer & liquor. ] So my question is…what would you do in this situation? Ban alcohol prior to the wedding or no?
Post # 2
amanda.417: I feel for you. The only thing I would say is that I don’t think you can single this one guy out without creating bad feeling and tension. Whatever rule you make (if any) I think it has to be for everyone
Post # 3
amanda.417: I definitely understand your concern. I think the best approach here would be a nice conversation between your fiance and the guy. As far as banning… you can certainly do this, but if he really wants to drink and get wasted, he will unfortunately find a way. I mean, are you going to frisk him to make sure he hasn’t got a flask of whiskey in his pocket?
Also, I hate to say it, but if I were attending a wedding and I had 3 hours to kill between events, the bride and groom “banning” alcohol wouldn’t really stop me from hitting a nearby bar to grab a couple of glasses of wine.
Post # 4
It’s actually illegal to get married while you are drunk, and while I know you are talking about the bridal party and not the bride and groom, you do not need a drunk bridesmaid or groomsman making your officiant suspect that you are also drunk, and refusing to marry you.
So tell everyone that they do not drink at all until after the ceremony, and tell the one groomsman that if he acts like an idiot, you’re going to put him in a taxi and send him home. Forcibly. And either accept that they are going to drink during that ungodly 3-hour gap, or find something for them to do (at your expense). Send them all to a movie or for a massage or something.
Post # 5
amanda.417: My husband and I agreed that we and our wedding parties would be allowed one drink before the ceremony, and that anyone giving speeches should remain on the sober side until the speeches were done.
We clearly communicated it, and the guys shared a whiskey a few hours before the ceremony and my ladies and I toasted with champagne.
Everyone was A-Okay.
Post # 6
nightborn: Horseradish: Yeah, the gap is pretty awful, but there’s really no way around it. It’s really common in Catholic weddings because the Church has a Saturday evening mass, so our only options as far as ceremony times were 1:00 or 7:30 at night. We’re both from Catholic families, so most of our guests are used to it.
That said, we’re going to try and plan activities for our guests to fill the gap. We’ve got nothing officially planned yet, but we’re going to make sure everyone who attends the wedding has somewhere to go whether it is back to our place, my parent’s house, or to some tourist-type location since most of our guests are flying in from other states. Obviously, it isn’t ideal, but we’re going to do everything we can to make sure our guests don’t end up sitting around in hotel rooms watching cable.
Post # 7
amanda.417: So while all of our groomsmen were responsible drinkers- my husband didn’t allow it to get the point where anyone might be “drunk” or unruly. It was easy for us though- no alcohol could be brought into our venue….so WE supplied the alcohol (from our venue) to the bridal parties before the wedding….so everyone got to drink, but it was within reason.
My husband knew I’d be upset if they had decided to go to lunch before and get drunk- and he wouldn’t allow it on our wedding day.
Is there anyway your husband can kindly share his wishes with his wedding party, and let them know he wants them to have fun, but prefers they stay within reason- at least before the reception? I really don’t think that’s too much for a groom to ask his buddies….
Post # 8
amanda.417: I would tell the bridal party that your priest is very strict and said he won’t perform the wedding if he smells alcohol on anyone’s breath so please refrain from drinking beforehand.
Are you doing pictures during the gap? I would just not bring along any alcohol, and they will be occupied during bridal party pictures. From then on, if they want to start drinking…fine.
Post # 9
nadnuk: That’s almost exactly what we did and it worked out great!
I had a mimosa with my girls getting ready, the boys had a beer while they got ready (more like pretended to get ready for photos lol) and then those giving speeches went right after we were introduced at the reception to lessen the likelihood of them maybe indulging too much beforehand due to nerves.
Great minds think alike! 🙂
Post # 10
amanda.417: For me, I am not a ‘fan’ of banning people from drinking, as I assume, those around you are all adults, and can make their own decisions (whether they be responsible ones or not!!). If you are concerned, then you can absolutely NOT provide alcohol to your wedding party beforehand, or in between, or at the times you do not want them drinking, but that also may not stop them from figuring out a way to ‘hide it’ from you, or to get their hands on it…
With that said, we (my hubby and I) provided alcohol to all of our bridal party beforehand, and during the prolonged gap. Some of our bridal party do NOT incredibly smart choices while boozing either, but we also knew that WE wanted to enjoy every moment, and ‘party’ from sun up to sun down. We went thru a LOT of booze with our bridal party, and no one was inappropriate, at all. No one was falling down drunk. They fed off our energy, which was happy, calm, cool, collected and buzzed (never crazily drunk), and enjoyed the day with us entirely. We also provided food, gum, water – essentials to get thru it all!!
I type all of this knowing and agreeing that you do not need booze to have fun, however 🙂
Post # 11
Can’t you just express your concerns with him without “banning” him from drinking?
Post # 12
I think you’re kind of stuck. They are adults, its a celebratory day. I think the best you can do is not encourage it. Don’t have your fiance providing a bottle of liquor. He’s going to have to take some control over his groomsmen and ask them not to get drunk.
Post # 13
Honestly I do not think you need to say anything. Just do not provide alcohol where they are getting ready and you will be doing so many pictures after that there will not be a place to get drinks or time to have them. If you see him drinking out of a flask your FI will just have to go up to him and say that this isnt the time or place for that right now.
weatherbug: +1 to this response as well.
It sounds like the other wedding you went to the groom created and allowed this situation to happen. Also, guys at a bach party do stupid things. Obvi not ok and no excuse for that since tensions are high however luckily YOU are not marrying him!
He will be plenty busy and since alcohol will not be readily available I don’t believe you need to make a hard and fast rule. Congrats!
Post # 14
amanda.417: I’ve heard more than once of Catholic priests who have said if they can smell alcohol on ANYONE in the bridal party, they won’t go through with the wedding. To be fair I’ve also never heard of them actually not going through, but I would just tell everyone to keep the drinking to an absolute minimum (if at all) so that you can actually get married as planned!
Post # 15
You can’t ban alcohol. He’s an adult and will drink if he wants to. Your fiancé can talk to him and ask that he not get out of hand but that’s about all that you can do if alcohol is allowed in the facility that you’re getting ready in.
You said that you’re having a church wedding. Are the guys getting ready at the church or is there a room available for wedding preparations? Alcohol typically isn’t allowed in churches so you could stick them there to help curb the booze. Of course he could still drink if he absolutely wanted to but having it not allowed in the facility would certainly be a deterrent.