What’s almost as big as your Big Day? The night before, of course! It’s not the easiest day to get through, what with the anticipation, the preparation, the nerves, and, of course, the rehearsal dinner. In our opinion, the rehearsal dinner is where the wedding festivities officially commence; family’s gathered around the table, the bridal party is ready to go, and the happy couple is brimming with anticipation. However, we all know what pre-party excitement and the start of festivities can mean — excessively eating, drinking, and being merry just a bit too early on. Of course, we want our guests to have a good time at the dinner, but weddings are a marathon, not a sprint. How can we avoid those nasty hangovers on the big day?
Here are seven tips to follow for a perfectly executed, hangover-free rehearsal dinner.
Serve Low-Alcohol Wine and Beer
It’s the first and most obvious solution of all. Don’t want guests to get too drunk? Then don’t give them the opportunity! Lower-alcohol wines like Vinho Verdes, Muscadets, and Gamay-based reds are delicious, food-friendly choices that generally keep the ABV below 12.5 percent.
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
Eliminate Hard Liquor Altogether
This is a rehearsal dinner, not a happy hour. Wine and beer pair better with food than basic well drinks anyway, so save the hard stuff (especially shots!) for the big day tomorrow.
Serve Substantial Food
Make sure that your guests are filling up on carb- and fat-heavy dishes, such as pastas and various meat dishes, to soak up any alcohol that is being consumed. Think about how runners eat big bowls of pasta before a huge marathon day; the same mentality applies here. Staying well-hydrated is key as well! Make sure waitstaff knows to keep full water pitchers on tables at all times.
Serve Moscato and German Rieslings With Dessert
Dessert wines can actually have a higher ABV than regular wine, due to the fortification process they undergo. Avoid fortified wines, such as ports and VDNs, and stick to lower-alcohol dessert wines, such as late-harvest German Rieslings or frothy Moscato, equally delicious and with significantly lower ABV!
10 PM is Key
End your dinner at a time that is late enough so people won’t feel the need to go out and go to a bar after, yet early enough so your guests will still get a full night’s sleep. We find that 10 p.m. is golden.
Who doesn’t love a goodie bag? Leave little decorated pouches of vitamins B and C and Alka Seltzer at each seat for a perfect hangover-combat cocktail. Little bottles of water decorated to the theme of the wedding also add a nice touch.
Host a Hearty Breakfast
You know all those things you love to eat the day after a big drinking night? Yep, we’re talking bananas, kombucha drinks, bagels, and all things carby. Make sure your guests eat a hearty breakfast, not only to sop up leftover booze, but also to keep them energized throughout the long morning. You have a big day ahead of you!