We all have friends who aren’t their best selves on booze, whether it’s your uncle who gets feisty after knocking a few back or a life-of-the-party college roommate who tends to go a little overboard with the shots. Big events are supposed to be fun. However, too much alcohol can negatively impact your luxury wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, or birthday party, which is the last thing you want for a special occasion.

To avoid the dance floor resembling a college frat party and to keep all your guests’ dignity intact, we have some tips for keeping alcohol consumption under control. It’s all fun and games until somebody passes out and falls on the wedding cake.

1. Serve Savory Goodness Throughout the Night

A great way to ensure guests are not getting stinky drunk on an empty stomach is to serve food throughout the night to help line their stomachs. You don’t have to only have a three-course dinner; you could also have appetizers and carb-heavy, late-night snacks. You might decide to have hors d’oeuvres available at all times or have a fancy snack bar. Alcohol on an empty stomach is never good news, so consider serving food all night as an option.

2. Serve Magnificent Mocktails

Some people may not even consider a mocktail…unless it looks fancier than the cocktails. Offer drool-worthy non-alcoholic options that look too good to pass up. Think Turkish delight, berry blast, chocolate peanut butter, and strawberry daiquiri mocktails with whipped cream and a gorgeous garnish. If guests choose to drink a mocktail or two, they’ll naturally drink less of the cocktails. It’s all in the presentation. If the mocktails are beautiful, people will gravitate to them.

3. Cap the Service

It’s your event, and you make the rules. Don’t feel obligated to have an open bar all night or to have servers serving cocktails for the duration of your event. You can stop the drink service halfway through if you have a long reception. This may upset your booze-loving uncle and college best friend, but tough. It’s for the best. You don’t even have to serve alcohol at your event at all if you don’t want to. Many couples opt for a dry wedding, and their guests still have a blast and make great memories.

4. Consider not Having an Open Bar

Not all events, even weddings, have to have an open bar. If you’re worried about your guests taking too much advantage of an open bar, you can choose which alcoholic beverages to serve, such as champagne, wine, and beer. Perhaps you don’t want people taking shots at your wedding at all. You may want to keep it classy and strictly serve champagne; it is your call! Perhaps the only alcohol you want is the one you toast with. You can decide how much alcohol you want at your event. Don’t let your friends convince you to pay for an open bar if you don’t want to.

5. Hire a Watchdog

If your budget allows, you can hire a professional to quietly handle any drunken situations that may arise. Let the pro quietly deal with them before they take any attention away from your special event. You could even designate this role to a maid-of-honor or best man you know will be great at handling these situations. You shouldn’t have to worry about these details on your special day if you’re the guest of honor, so leave the responsibility to someone else.

6. Don’t Serve Extra Drinks During Mealtime

Consider closing the bar during meals and placing just one bottle of champagne on the tables. This will encourage guests to stay at their table to converse with each other and enjoy their delicious meal instead of darting off to the open bar and not enjoying their dinner to the full extent. Your guests will have plenty of time to get drinks, but mealtimes are for sitting and enjoying each other.

7. Be Sneaky with the Glasses

Hear us out: tall glasses with less volume instead of tall, wide glasses. Guests typically order the same amount of drinks but consume less if the glass holds less. Sneaky sneaky. This is a great, subtle way to control alcohol consumption and keep the glasses classy. Nobody will suspect a thing, and your guests won’t drink as much.

There’s nothing wrong with having a good time with some alcohol. However, there should be a limit to how much guests consume at a nice event, and it’s OK to have some control over how much your guests drink. Uncle Fred will forgive you. Remember: the event is about the guests of honor and what they want.

As a black-owned event planning company, we offer event planning services in Los Angeles, Dallas, and DC. Contact us if you want an experienced team of planners to guide you through your next event or if you need more ideas on encouraging responsible drinking at your event.


How to Ensure Your Guests Handle Their Booze Responsibility at Your Event