I was just chatting with a girlfriend about a wedding she’d been to on the weekend. It had been a bit of a shocker in her mind – a classic case of bad planning with the booze and food that lead to some outrageously crazy behavior.
Spirits were offered to guests as they arrived (before the ceremony) and champagne and huge containers of boozy punch was available at the start of the reception – and no food. Dinner didn’t arrive until after all of the speeches and guess what….?! By the time food was offered half the guests were too hammered to eat! Apparently many people were totally pissed and struggling to control themselves. Drinks were being spilled, words were being slurred. I’m sure it was still a lovely event for the bride and groom, and my girlfriend did have a nice (and very moderate!) time, but she really noticed how many people were very obviously drunk. Some younger women at her table were making complete fools of themselves.
I’ve been to a wedding like that.. when I was still boozing…. and yes I got really drunk and I remember clearly by the time the food came out I just wasn’t interested in eating it. Honestly.. all you need to do is get the food out early before people get too pissed. And maybe don’t start with the booze until after the ceremony.
Hard to get it right though, isn’t it.
I’ve been wasted at so many weddings, and I have many bad wedding memories. I always saw a wedding as a brilliant opportunity to have a big binge – with lots of other people who are binging as well! Woo Hoo!! It was always about the party and the booze for me, not so much as it was about celebrating a couple’s public declaration of love.
My own wedding was an all-nighter (literally – we caught a taxi home from the venue as the sun was coming up).. but I regret that now and don’t like talking about it much.
Suffice to say weddings were a big deal for me after I got sober. They terrified me! What the fuck was I going to do for 7+ hours if I couldn’t drink along with anyone else?
As it turned out I had a crash course in sober weddings, I had six to go to in the first two years of being booze-free. The first one was ok although I felt really strange in my own skin. But I survived it. The next one was ok, I survived that one too. And so was the next, and the next, and the next. Some of them were bloody brilliant! Some were just so-so. But slowly I learned (as is the truth with all sober social events) that they’re hit and miss depending on a whole bunch of factors that have nothing to do with what’s in my glass. My enjoyment would come down more to the atmosphere – is it a lovely space to be in and is the weather being kind?, the crowd – do I have friends and family there who I know well and can easily have fun with?, my general mood – am I in a good space leading up to the event?, my outfit – am I happy in my frock and are my shoes comfortable?, etc etc…
And the longer I was sober, and the more weddings I went to, and the more I realised there were different reasons that would impact my enjoyment… the more I also realised that actually, my enjoyment of the day wasn’t the most important thing. I slowly shifted my focus away from myself and onto the bride and groom and all of their immediate family. I would literally look and focus more on all the key players. And once I started doing that – focussing outwards rather than inwards – that added a whole new layer of happy on to me…! It was another bonus factor that helped me to enjoy the event!
It was almost a relief to realise that going to a wedding and not begin overly concerned with my own enjoyment, was itself rather relaxing and made the whole event more manageable. I can still make mistakes with outfits, wear shoes that hurt, have to wait ages for food, or get bored or annoyed by other guests, but I can also have a lovely chatty time, eat delicious food and dance the night away to cheesy music! And either way, I always feel good that I have properly honored other people’s love… and that I will end the night driving myself home, climbing into bed and sleeping a blissful sober sleep.
And that shit never gets old.
Love, Mrs D xxx