Weddings & Booze – Observations through a sober lens

I wanted to write a post about weddings and booze because, after years of party girl behaviour, I’ve just celebrated six months sober. Go me!

It was my 40th at the end of 2019 and I decided I wanted to attempt a year (2020) off booze (little did I know what was around the corner!)

I just never had an off switch. I could never moderate and after one or two drinks I wanted more more MORE. Hangovers were getting harder and the constant boozing wasn’t helping my anxiety (I used to call it hanxiety). I just couldn’t shake the feeling I was willingly disabling myself. Spending my hard earned money on a substance that was making my life worse.


None of my friends could understand how I was coping with the first lockdown without booze. Honestly, I shudder at the thought of how life would have been if I was drinking at that point! To cut a long story short I didn’t manage a sober 2020. I failed. I was dating a guy who was a terrible influence and I fell off the wagon on 1st August. From August-December I swang wildly between thinking I’d cracked moderation, and boozing to the point of embarrassing myself. Come Christmas I was so SO ready to pack it all in again.

I’ve been on a bit of a personal development journey for years and I guess I was #sobercurious for a long time.

This year has felt very different. I’m in a different place physically (I moved house in November to a very happy home) and mentally. Last year I felt I was gritting my teeth for a timeframe, this year I know I want lasting sobriety. i.e. not just a year but a lifetime, I don’t want to drink ever again.

My resolve is stronger and I feel I can put things into perspective more. What other people think has been/is a trigger for me. Now, if people think I’m boring for not drinking I think it’s a shame they’re so narrowminded. I was boring when I was drinking because half the time I was mute/couldn’t string a sentence together! People say I was funny when I was drunk. Well, sorry I’m no longer your source of amusement…

If my friendships change because I’ve made a decision to be healthier and happier, then so be it.

Weddings & Booze

Weddings and booze go hand in hand don’t they? Champagne receptions, booze cruises for your table wine, signature cocktails, toasts after the speeches, the ceremonial opening of the evening bar that ensures guests are suitably lubricated to do the conga around the dining room, and Oooops Upside Your Head sitting in a puddle of dresses on the dancefloor.

And of course we have the pre-wedding hen and stag rituals, famed for drunken debauchery.

I worked at a wedding on Tuesday… Yes a Tuesday. A Tuesday wedding with a winning England game. Way to throw my week. Anyway, I was expecting a tame affair. Surely people had to go to work on Wednesday? It was far from a tame affair. These people were THIRSTY. As we popped cork after cork and went round topping up I was observing those not drinking with interest. There were of course the pregnant ones, they had a legit excuse. There were a few drivers who furnished themselves with Appletiser in Champagne glasses to look like they were drinking. A wise move to keep people off your back! There were a few people drinking alcohol free beer.

I’m a big fan of AF beer in tricky drinking scenarios, it’s so good these days, really hits the spot as far as I’m concerned. The interesting thing was, the couple had provided all the drinks themselves. It was good they thought to provide AF beer but there was only a very small amount (compared to the crate and crates of alcohol) so they ran out very quickly.

Free bars at weddings is a generous thing for couples to do, but a bit of a thing of the past in my opinion. Couples have to spend so much throwing a party to celebrate their marriage, why can’t guests chip in and buy their own drinks? In my opinion it’s nice to offer your guests reception drinks, table wine and a glass of bubbly for the toast. Anything else should be paid for. Do you really want your guests going so mad they make a spectacle of themselves and don’t remember the day you’ve painstakingly put together?

Luckily most of my friends got married 10+ years ago.

I’m off to work at another wedding today so, again, I will observe the drinking etiquette with interest.

Helen x


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