7 Tips For Keeping Your Guests Appropriately Drunk at Your Wedding Reception

Your big day is finally here! You’ve planned, practiced, and pranced down the aisle. Now you’re ready to PARTY.

Everyone loves a good wedding reception, but for the hosts, reception planning poses some of the most stressful parts of the planning process, mainly because of the booze. We all want our guests to have a great time, but without the sloppy over-drinking. So how do you ensure that your guests don’t feel under-watered while also making sure that the party doesn’t get out of hand? Check out these seven tips for keeping your guests appropriately drunk throughout your wedding reception. You’ll thank us later.

Have a Signature Cocktail During Cocktail Hour

By offering up a ton of options right from the start, people tend to drink faster in order to sample more. Limiting the options to one reduces the chance of people drink-pounding at the beginning of your celebration. Bonus tip: Choose a signature cocktail with only one or two alcoholic components, maximizing space for mixers and juices in the concoction.

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Have Substantial Appetizers During Cocktail Hour

Offering up calorically dense, heavier appetizers during cocktail hour ensures that your guests have something in their stomachs to counteract all the booze they’ll be drinking throughout the evening. Even better, opt for appetizer stations over passed hors d’oeuvres; people generally tend to eat more in a serve themselves-style scenario.

Beer & Wine, They’ll Be Fine

Many people avoid hard alcohol altogether and stick with the basics — beer and wine — for their receptions. While your drunk aunt might be perturbed that she can’t glug her nightly Cosmo, most people are generally O.K. with having only beer and wine, as long as the selection is decent.

Low-Alcohol Options

Whether you opt for serving only beer and wine or decide to keep the entire bar open, opt for lower-alcohol beer and wine choices. Look for (generally) low-alcohol wines, such as Vinho Verdes or Beaujolais. The percentage difference may seem almost insignificant, but you’d be surprised at the difference it actually makes.

Make Each Seat a Hydration Station

Rather than having pitchers of water on every table, place a large bottle of water at each person’s place setting. People are more likely to drink bottled water over tap water in their glasses. Bonus points if you turn the bottles into something festive, like decorating them to match the theme of your wedding.

Salty Snacks

Not sure how to decorate your reception tables? Dressing your tables up with some snacks is a start. By keeping salty snacks like peanuts, Chex mix, and pretzels on the table, your guests will mindlessly snack between meals, ensuring their alcohol consumption is being balanced by food. Who doesn’t love salty Chex mix after a few drinks?

Shots, Shots, Shots

We get it: People love doing shots at weddings, us included. But hold the shots until after dinner. Doing so ensures that your guests have enough food in their stomachs to handle the heavy liquor. Save the sloppiness for the after-party, right?