Weddings are a wonderful opportunity to make lasting memories with friends and family that you can remember fondly for your entire marriage. However, in the revelry that often follows, there is an unfortunate possibility that one of your guests overdoes it and drinks too much. It’s a time for celebration, and while some couples are happy with a dry reception, others feel that a little alcohol is traditional and necessary for their guests to have a good time. But, no one wants the fond memories of their wedding marked by a tragic accident if a guest chooses to drink and drive.
If you take the proper precautions you, the couple/hosts, cannot be held responsible should a guest harm themselves or others while leaving your wedding intoxicated. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Hupy and Abraham is all too familiar with the results of drinking and driving, and would like to offer a few tips and suggestions of what you can do to minimize the possibility of guests getting behind the wheel intoxicated after your reception.
- Arrange options for guests who choose to drink. Reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel or the one where your reception is being held. Make phone numbers readily available for limos, taxis or shuttle services to take guests home. Otherwise, simply ask your guests to responsibly designate drivers and then serve them accordingly -- no alcohol whatsoever.
- Provide lots of food and nonalcoholic drink options. Provide plenty of water, tea or nonalcoholic punch to keep guests hydrated, as well as high-protein food and snacks that can help slow the absorption of alcohol into the body, and keep people from going overboard. Some couples choose to provide only wine and beer with one signature cocktail to limit the amount of hard liquor available.
- Limit bar hours. Most guests will perceive an open bar as generous and likely won’t think twice if the bar is only open at specific times. Consider having the bar open for a brief period at the start of the reception, close it during dinner, then reopen it briefly after dinner is complete. Or, have an open bar for the first two to four hours of the reception, and close the bar well before the reception is over. Ask a DJ or member of the wedding party to announce when the bar is closing so that guests have time to sober up.
- Consider appointing a “watcher.” When deciding what role your friends and family will play in the wedding, consider appointing a designated "watcher." This person, most often a groomsman, can keep an eye out for any guests who are getting overly intoxicated throughout the event and find them a safe way home. As well, the venue or your selected bartender should be certified and instructed on when to cut off guests who have had too much.
Remember, these people are adults, and while their judgment may be impaired, you cannot control their actions. As long as you've made a concerted effort to prevent a drunken guest from driving, then you will have done everything expected of you as a host.
But in the event that you, the couple and hosts, or a wedding guest, are injured in a car accident due to the irresponsible actions of a drunk driver, contact the experienced car accident attorneys of Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.