Lets talk about weddings….

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

19 Comments
  1. Shelley 3 years ago

    I recently got married after being sober for 4 years. My SIL got so drunk she made a totally embarrassing (for her) speech, forced me to slow dance with her, pulled out the top of my dress to check my boobs (?!), continuously tried to convince me to drink, revoltingly tongue-kissed my ear when saying goodbye, & stole a bottle of wine & a (hire) glass on the way out. She made her husband take her to a nightclub to dance, fell flat on her face & ended up really bruised.

    I’ve since mentioned how drunk she was (she is meant to be taking tablets to stop her drinking & is an alcoholic). She got angry & told me I was making it all up (especially the ear tongue-kissing).

    My dads girlfriend got so drunk she fell on her ass & went to bed early, mortified.

    I tried not to let it spoil my night but it did put a weird overtone on it…

  2. a77734 3 years ago

    Excellent. I love the part about focusing on the key players rather than looking at your own enjoyment. I need to learn that skill.

  3. JM 3 years ago

    Thank-you Mrs. D for this post – perfect timing! I have a wedding on Saturday, my first sober wedding. And really I mean first, I think I sneaked a drink or two when I was 12 at a cousin’s weddings. Yikes. I love that I know I’m not going to make a spectacle of myself or have deep regrets, and to repeat what you said, because it’s true and perfect, I will honour their love by focusing on them and their immediate family, and not cause pain to them or myself by swallowing a whole bunch of poison. Thanks again, xx

  4. Sammie 3 years ago

    I got married Sober, i had given up the booze two months before on my 28th birthday, but my husband and all my friends still drink and I think we had catered 33 standard drinks per person (my husbands family is Irish and there was huge anxieties of running out of booze at the house – which was in the middle of nowhere).
    Everyone was really supportive of me not drinking apart from a moment of peer pressure from my BFF who came over from Canada. I was truthful about
    why I didn’t want to drink anymore and she supported me whole heartedly – thank goodness, I was really scared for a second I was going to loose her as a friend. My headspace and the respect I have for myself comes way before boozing.

    A woman who had looked after me from a young age was at my wedding and she had arrived to the ceremony a bit boozy, and continued to drink and not eat even though there was mountains of food. During our speeches I thanked her and her family, although she wasn’t there to hear the speech because she was so drunk she left to go cry behind some bushes (found this out the next day, my sister had told me she was in the crowd of the 30 guests we had when I asked after her during my speech). Upon her return she said she was upset because I’d forgotten about her.

    I felt really sad for her. We hugged, and she cried, and I told her my speech again, and she said thank you. It would have been nice to have had a really good chat, to find out what was really bothering her, but the booze warps your world so much!

    I remember telling my mum the next day I had had the best wedding apart from this woman behaviour, I remember thinking she had ‘stained’ my wedding. She didn’t contact me after the wedding and I haven’t heard from her since.
    All of my memories from my wedding were happy apart from trying to console the drunk, crying woman who drunk the champagne. At least she has good taste, and I hope she’s in a better space right now.

  5. Belle 3 years ago

    i don’t have any one in my real life who knows what i’m doing either (except my husband). so i can totally relate to having someone who gets it. it’s such a relief to be able to talk our shit and have someone understand us …

  6. morgan 4 years ago

    I missed this one 🙁 Was too ate for all my angsting & worrying. Really good, great resource

  7. lifewithoutvodkarocks 4 years ago

    I totally agree, gabbygir14l! Doing Belle’s 365 day challenge now and having a sober pen pal helps so much! There is not one person in my real life who is doing what I’ve done – having people ‘out there’ who get it makes every day that much easier.

    Thank God for Belle and Mrs. D (I highly recommend her book, too!)…. We’ll never know how many lives they’ve saved!

    Hugs!
    Mary

  8. Gilbert 4 years ago

    Great timing as I have had two this month and another in March.Focus outwards sounds a good plan.Hard sometimes if you don’t know the people well.My next one is a good friend and diving buddy of my OH.I barely know him and have never met his partner.I won’t know anyone else at the wedding and it’s on an island.I’m still in two minds to go.Scared of missing out too haha.

  9. Seizetheday 4 years ago

    Thanks for that Lotta. I’m going to focus on the bride and groom and the ones I love so much. Isnt it great to have sober eyes to see thru.
    Thank u so so much you xo

  10. Momentsofgrace 4 years ago

    I also find it hard to talk about my wedding because of regrets I have @MrsD

    Great post – and relevant to lots of other social events too. xxx

    • Lily 4 years ago

      The last wedding I went to I got totally plastered and regret it so much that I wish I could have a replay of that day and remain sober!!! Everything was going beautifully until, for me, I picked up that first glass of champagne. The rest of the day was a blur for me and the evening I spent on the dance floor, but I don’t remember going back to the hotel room; I felt so hungover I couldn’t go down to breakfast, and felt ill all day long. Hubby was cross with me, again, bla bla bla. All the following events I remained sober. One was great & I danced my socks off all night. The part I like best though is going to bed sober and waking up feeling great. Oh, and looking at all those poor hungover souls over breakfast!!!! Ha ha ha x

  11. Kaye 4 years ago

    Thank you for the suggestions ! Started yesterday. Hugs

  12. freebreezi 4 years ago

    Good post.
    I have always believed (even when I was drinking) that a responsible host ensures there is always food available especially if they are service get drinks early.
    I do find that events where the wine is free and freely available gives me a moment of panic flutter but I’ve made through each one successfully. Got a few biggies coming up this year which I recognize as being a potential challenge.

  13. Hart 4 years ago

    Brillant post Mrs D & perfect timing for me after just lapsing at a friggin wedding , I look forward to the day when I can feel like you about these occasions & I know I will get there…. I love when you say you “focus outwards rather than inwards” & ”properly honoured other peoples love”. Wonderful stuff thanksXo

    • gabbygirl14 4 years ago

      @Hart have you tried the 100 Sober Day Challenge with Belle? Her blog is “Tired of Thinking About Drinking.” I would highly recommend her Challenge. I made the 100 days and and now am doing the 180 Sober Day Challenge. I did not think I would ever be able to say sober and here I am at Sober Day 122. I have Mrs. D and Belle to thank!!!!!!!!! If I can do this you can too!!!!!

  14. Rosieoutlook 4 years ago

    I love that! ‘Look outwards instead of inwards’. xx

  15. Kaye 4 years ago

    Oh Mrs D, it’s so tough, I’m struggling with that. I got sober for over 3 months, then an “event” threw me overboard and now I’m everyday again. I ‘ve bought your book and resolved to read blogs everyday and stop this nonsense once and for all. Thank you for the encouragement

    • gabbygirl14 4 years ago

      @Kaye I just told @Hart about the 100 Sober Day Challenge. I would HIGHLY recommend it. Belle runs the Challenge and her blog is “Tired of Thinking About Drinking.” I have been struggling for a long time. I am now 122 days sober and I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!!! Being sober is hard (and there are days that SUCK) but having the right support in place really, really, really helps. Mrs. D and Belle saved my life!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hart 4 years ago

      Hi Kaye, great that you posted, yeah I just relapsed at a function, & yeah it is so tough, but im back here now reading every day so you should too, we can all help eachother, big hugXo

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