Weddings are joyous and special occasions that bring together family and friends to celebrate the union of two people in love. However, they can also pose challenges, especially when it comes to handling intoxicated guests. Whether it’s a super drunk wedding guest causing a scene or simply a few guests who have had too much to drink, managing these situations with grace and tact is essential. This guide will explore effective strategies for dealing with drunk wedding guests, ensuring that your special day remains memorable for all the right reasons.

Understanding the Dynamics of Alcohol Consumption at Weddings

Alcohol often plays a significant role in wedding receptions, with many couples opting to serve alcohol to enhance the celebratory atmosphere. From open bars to cocktail hours, guests are invited and typically offered a variety of alcoholic beverages. However, this can sometimes lead to excessive alcohol consumption, resulting in problematic behavior from a few guests.

The Role of the Wedding Planner

A professional wedding planner can be invaluable in managing intoxicated guests. Experienced planners are adept at anticipating potential issues and implementing measures to prevent guests from becoming overly intoxicated. They work closely with hotel bar staff to monitor alcohol intake and ensure that everyone enjoys the event responsibly.

Strategies for Preventing Over-Intoxication

Preventing guests from becoming excessively drunk is the first step in handling intoxicated guests at weddings. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Limit Free Drinks: Consider having a cash bar instead of an open bar. When guests have to pay for their drinks, they tend to drink more responsibly. Alternatively, offer a limited number of free drinks and then switch to a cash bar.
  2. Offer Non-Alcoholic Options: Providing a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, such as mocktails, soft drinks, and water, can help guests pace their alcohol consumption. Encourage guests to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  3. Serve Food: Serving substantial meals and snacks throughout the wedding reception can slow down alcohol absorption. Ensure that there are plenty of food options available, especially during cocktail hour and later in the evening.
  4. Hire Security: For larger weddings, hiring security personnel can be a wise investment. They can discreetly handle any problem guests and ensure that everyone remains safe.

Recognizing the Signs of Intoxication

It’s important to recognize the signs of intoxication in drunk guests so you can address potential issues before they escalate. Common indicators of a drunk guest include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Unsteady walking or difficulty standing
  • Loud or aggressive behavior
  • Inappropriate comments or actions
  • Falling asleep in inappropriate places

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can intervene early and prevent situations from getting out of hand.

Dealing with Intoxicated Guests

Despite your best efforts, there may still be instances where a guest becomes overly intoxicated. Here are some strategies for handling these situations:

  1. Stay Calm and Discreet: The most important thing is to stay calm and handle the situation discreetly. Drawing attention to the issue can embarrass the guest and create unnecessary drama.
  2. Enlist Help: If a family member or friend of the drunk guest is available, ask them to assist. They can often persuade the guest to take a break or leave the reception more easily than venue staff or bar staff.
  3. Offer Alternatives: Suggest that the guest have a non-alcoholic drink or some food to help sober up. If necessary, guide them to a quiet area where they can rest and recover.
  4. Remove Problem Guests: In extreme cases, it may be necessary to remove the intoxicated guest from the event. This should be done as discreetly and respectfully as possible, ideally by a security professional or trusted friend.

Addressing Specific Scenarios with Drunk Wedding Guests

Despite your best efforts to prevent over-intoxication, you may still encounter a variety of scenarios involving drunk wedding guests. Here’s how to handle some common wedding party situations:

Scenario 1: The Loud and Boisterous Guest

A guest who becomes excessively loud can disrupt the reception and make other guests uncomfortable. Here’s how to handle it:

  1. Approach Calmly: Have a trusted friend, family member, or wedding planner calmly approach the guest. It’s important to avoid confrontation.
  2. Offer a Distraction: Suggest that the guest takes a break from drinking and offers them a non-alcoholic beverage or food. Guiding them to a quieter area can also help them calm down.
  3. Involve a Friend: If the guest has a close friend or family member present, enlist their help to manage the situation discreetly.

Scenario 2: The Guest Who Won’t Leave the Bar Area

Some guests may congregate around the bar, consuming more drinks than they should. Here’s how to cut people manage this:

  1. Limit Service: Instruct the bartenders to limit the number of drinks served to individuals who appear intoxicated. Bartenders should be trained to recognize signs of intoxication.
  2. Encourage Movement: Encourage guests to participate in other activities, such as dancing or enjoying the photo booth. This can divert their attention from the bar.
  3. Provide Water Stations: Set up water stations around the venue to encourage guests to hydrate and reduce their alcohol intake.

Scenario 3: The Drunk Wedding Guest on the Dance Floor

A drunk guest who becomes overly enthusiastic on the dance floor can pose a risk to themselves and others. Here’s how to handle people drink this:

  1. Monitor the Situation: Keep an eye on the guest to ensure they are not becoming a danger to themselves or others.
  2. Encourage a Break: Suggest that they take a break and have some water or food. A calm conversation can often help in persuading them.
  3. Use Gentle Guidance: If necessary, gently guide the guest off the dance floor to prevent any accidents.

Scenario 4: The Argumentative Guest

Alcohol can sometimes lead to heightened emotions and arguments between family members. Here’s how to handle an argumentative guest:

  1. Stay Neutral: Approach the situation neutrally and calmly. Avoid taking sides or escalating the argument.
  2. Separate Parties: If the argument involves more than one person, calmly separate the individuals and suggest they take a break from the reception.
  3. Involve Security: For more serious disputes, involve security personnel to handle the situation professionally and discreetly.

Tips for a Smooth Wedding Reception

To ensure that your wedding day runs smoothly, consider the following additional tips:

Communication with Venue Staff

  • Brief the Bar Staff: Ensure that the bartenders are aware of the plan for handling intoxicated guests. They should know when to cut off service and how to do so politely.
  • Coordinate with Security: If you have hired security, make sure they are briefed on your expectations and are prepared to handle any situations that arise.

Set Clear Expectations

  • Communicate with Guests: In your wedding invitations or on your wedding website, set clear expectations about alcohol consumption. Encourage guests to drink responsibly and offer alternatives for those who prefer non-alcoholic options.

Plan Activities

  • Engage Guests: Plan activities that keep guests engaged and entertained throughout the evening. This can include games, photo booths, and scheduled dance breaks.

Stay Positive

  • Focus on the Joy: Remember that the most important thing is celebrating your special day with loved ones. Stay positive and don’t let minor disruptions overshadow the joy of the occasion.


Handling intoxicated guests at weddings requires a proactive approach, careful planning, and the ability to manage situations calmly and discreetly. By employing these strategies, you can ensure that your wedding reception remains a joyous and memorable event for your bride and all your guests. Remember, the key is to balance the celebration with the well-being of everyone involved, ensuring that your special day is filled with happiness and good behavior.