The last thing you want to hear before you head down the aisle to get married is that someone is drunk. But whether it’s a hair-of-the-dog cure taken a little too far, extra morning-of mimosa or one-too-many celebratory swigs from the best man’s flask, it can happen. So while you should hope for the best (or ask everyone to keep drinking to a minimum before the ceremony begins), what can you do if someone is more than a little tipsy? Our experts have some advice for handling this potentially messy situation as neatly as possible.
Whether it’s a bridesmaid, your just-back-from-college brother, the best man, or the groom himself, the best way to handle someone who’s had too much to drink is to have a close friend talk to them and smooth things over. Says Alicia Falango, wedding planner and founder of Alicia K. Designs, “I once noticed a groom that was well on his way to being a bit more than ‘happy’ before the ceremony, so I grabbed the best man and told him flat out, ‘Don’t let your boy be that guy. Support him in cleaning it up until after cocktail hour.'” Thankfully, the groomsman’s pep talk worked (along with a delivery of coffee, a cold washcloth, and some breath mints). “As soon as he realized what was going on and popped an aspirin and vitamin C to make sure he wouldn’t get a headache, he was in good shape.”
If you’ve got someone in particular that you’re nervous about, enlist your planner or a member of the wedding party to keep an eye on them until show time — planners will be happy to help keep things under control, and can pass this information to the servers and bartenders at the reception if you’d like.
“Bottom line: the best way to make things happen in a tough situation is to make sure you have a good team on your side!” says Falango.