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I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!

I have two friends who I would absolutely love to invite to my wedding (they had a hand in setting my fiance and I up, in the first place!).  These women are two of the most caring ladies I know.  They've been here for me throughout many issues in my life.  However, they both have severe drinking problems.  I avoid going to bars with them at all costs, because they're embarrassing to be around when they drink. 

More than likely, they will be drunk even before my ceremony begins, and will continue to drink throughout the night.  They put away vodka like water.  When intoxicated, they usually become extremely loud, and sometimes violent.  I can envision their drunken behavior essentially hijacking my reception.  Our guest list is small.  There would be no way to hide it if they did become too rowdy.

How do I tell them that they're not invited?  They will be shocked.  I know they'll ask why, and the only reason I have is their drinking problem.  Please help!

Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:e4eb3735-8efd-44d2-a0d3-0eb510b0f866">I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have two friends who I would absolutely love to invite to my wedding (they had a hand in setting my fiance and I up, in the first place!).  These women are two of the most caring ladies I know.  They've been here for me throughout many issues in my life.  However, they both have severe drinking problems.  I avoid going to bars with them at all costs, because they're embarrassing to be around when they drink.  More than likely, they will be drunk even before my ceremony begins, and will continue to drink throughout the night.  They put away vodka like water.  When intoxicated, they usually become extremely loud, and sometimes violent.  I can envision their drunken behavior essentially hijacking my reception.  Our guest list is small.  There would be no way to hide it if they did become too rowdy. <strong>How do I tell them that they're not invited?</strong>  They will be shocked.  I know they'll ask why, and the only reason I have is their drinking problem.  Please help!
    Posted by allisonef[/QUOTE]

    You don't.

    You don't say anything - they'll figure it out when they don't receive invites.
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    well if you're that close with them and plan on not inviting them you may lose them as friends. i don't really think there is any way to tell your close friends "youre not invited because i think you have a drinking problem".

    if you're having small wedding you may be able to get off on telling them you have a very limited guest list.
    5/27/12
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    WildRumpusWildRumpus member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited May 2011
    Honestly, if someone who I considered a friend left me out of their wedding and reception because they didn't agree with my drinking, I would probably consider the friendship to be over. If that's something you're willing to have happen, then by all means, talk to them about it.

    There's also the option of hiring security to remove them if they do become rowdy, or speaking with the bartenders ahead of time about these particular women. It's their job to decide when someone has had too much to drink.

    ETA: These women are adults right? They should know how to behave. Just because someone acts one way when out at a bar doesn't mean that they would act the same way at a wedding. I'm assuming that they have jobs and can manage to function in other public settings?
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    If you do not want to invite them, don't. Tell them you are having a small wedding and you are not able to invite everyone that you want. They may not like it though and it could possibly damage the friendship.

    But, if you did want to invite them, they are adults and should know how to act. Weddings are different from bars and I am sure they know that. If they still go overboard, they will look like the fools.
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    mica178mica178 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment
    If they are that important to you, I'd invite them.  However, I'd make sure the bartender is watching out for intoxicated guests and have the security or venue coordinator ready to call a taxi and remove any rowdy guests.
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    We have a friend, well, fiance has a friend, that doesn't know when to stop drinking. He gets very very loud, he starts hitting things, throwing things.... He's part of our bridal party. Am I worried about what might happen? Sure I won't lie of course it's in the back of my mind. Another of our friends who is also a GM has told us he is going to kind of keep an eye on this other guy and make sure he doesn't get carried away. I don't think this guy would do anything on purpose at all, it's just the not knowing when to stop. So maybe if our other friend can divert his attention towards other things or something it might help. We will see... Good luck to you!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:33fd1658-9bcb-4b19-a2d8-3cd6aaeb4853">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]If they are that important to you, I'd invite them.  However, I'd make sure the bartender is watching out for intoxicated guests and have the security or venue coordinator ready to call a taxi and remove any rowdy guests.
    Posted by mica178[/QUOTE]

    This.  There are other ways of dealing with drinking issues than just not inviting someone.
    Anniversary
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    CellesCelles member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    I agree with Mica and Jemmini. I think it would be sad not to invite them if they are as important to you as you say they are. :(
    image
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    I think it's really messed up that you wouldn't invite such near and dear friends just bc you're assuming they'll be drunk and disorderly.

    How offensive!
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    meep2meep2 member
    First Comment
    If you anticipate that they will get violent when refused a drink, as you mentioned that they sometimes do when they've had too much, you absolutely need to have security there if you invite them. It may be part of the bartender's job to refuse to serve someone who is intoxicated, but it is absolutely not part of the bartender's job to deal with violent drunks.

    I anticipate that you (and cbratthauer!) need to have security and breathelizers. Depending on the law where you hold your reception, and your venue, you may be liable for anything that happens if you overserve alcohol. If they assault anyone, you could be sued. If they get into a drunk driving accident, you could be sued. Property damage, same thing. This isn't just a social situation here, it's a Really Big Deal. I can see why you would want these people at your weddings, and would want to do everything you can do accomodate them, but it's important that you protect yourselves, too. Tell your bartender and security that anyone acting up should not be served alcohol and should receive a warning. At the end of the night, anyone driving should get a breath test. Also, weak mixed drinks may elicit complaints from the overdrinkers, but they'll keep them with something in their hands longer.

    If you don't invite them, well, they might be unhappy. That's the way things work, I'm afraid. They helped set you up, they're caring people, you seem otherwise close, even the small wedding excuse won't cut it. If you know anyone else who thinks they have problems, this might be bigger than your wedding. I hesitate to say intervention just to get you out of a sticky social situation, but maybe it's needed?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:43a1388a-f9e6-413f-8d48-89734e5d0558">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you anticipate that they will get violent when refused a drink, as you mentioned that they sometimes do when they've had too much, you absolutely need to have security there if you invite them. It may be part of the bartender's job to refuse to serve someone who is intoxicated, but it is absolutely not part of the bartender's job to deal with violent drunks. I anticipate that you (and cbratthauer!) need to have security and breathelizers . Depending on the law where you hold your reception, and your venue, you may be liable for anything that happens if you overserve alcohol. If they assault anyone, you could be sued. If they get into a drunk driving accident, you could be sued. Property damage, same thing. This isn't just a social situation here, it's a Really Big Deal. I can see why you would want these people at your weddings, and would want to do everything you can do accomodate them, but it's important that you protect yourselves, too. Tell your bartender and security that anyone acting up should not be served alcohol and should receive a warning. <strong>At the end of the night, anyone driving should get a breath test.</strong> Also, weak mixed drinks may elicit complaints from the overdrinkers, but they'll keep them with something in their hands longer. If you don't invite them, well, they might be unhappy. That's the way things work, I'm afraid. They helped set you up, they're caring people, you seem otherwise close, even the small wedding excuse won't cut it. If you know anyone else who thinks they have problems, this might be bigger than your wedding. I hesitate to say intervention just to get you out of a sticky social situation, but maybe it's needed?
    Posted by meep2[/QUOTE]

    Please do not try to make your guests submit to a ridiculous test before "allowing" them to drive home. They are adults, and you are not the police.

    OP, if you want to invite these girls and are only worried about the drinking, just rely on venue security and bartenders to do their jobs.
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    We apparently had people at the bar before the ceremony even started (everything was in the same place).  I didn't notice.  One of our friend's wives got so drunk she made a huge mess and was making a scene so they left early, we had no idea she was drunk.  We DID have one person that got really drunk and made an ass out of himself that we did notice but that was because it was later in the night when there were literally about 12 people left dancing.  Yeah, he made an ass out of himself but it didn't really effect us (except for when we had to ask him to stop hitting on the bartenders).  So...I think it would be a shame to not invite these two women you claim to be very close to just because they'll get really drunk.

    image
    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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    Honestly, I wouldn't not invite them just because of this unless you are prepared to not be friends anymore. I would invite them and trust them to act like adults. As a backup plan, make sure you have a chat with the bartender and your venue. They can watch for guests bringing in outside booze and will not serve intoxicated guests. If you don't feel thats enough, hire security or a ask a trusted friend to keep an eye out so they can be escorted out if there are any issues.
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    meep2meep2 member
    First Comment
    edited May 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:477c6aa2-3d97-41a8-bfdc-345e4dfc54f9">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much! : Please do not try to make your guests submit to a <strong>ridiculous test</strong> before "allowing" them to drive home. They are adults, and you are not the police. OP, if you want to invite these girls and are only worried about the drinking, just rely on venue security and bartenders to do their jobs.
    Posted by emilyinchile[/QUOTE]

    I'm not saying "line them up and have a check point," (previous phrasing was admittedly bad on my part), but if they appear intoxicated it's a good idea to have one around and have someone take their keys. You know the phrase "friends don't let friends drive drunk"? Friends don't let their wedding guests drive drunk, either. Especially not when those friends have been paying for the drinks that got the wedding guests drunk in the first place. You don't have to do it yourself, but your security can. But hey, I'm just trying to prevent people from dying. I'm "ridiculous" that way I guess.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:8ed33dae-754f-49d3-9ac9-dca8e270445e">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much! : I'm not saying "line them up and have a check point," (previous phrasing was admittedly bad on my part), but if they appear intoxicated it's a good idea to have one around and have someone take their keys. You know the phrase "friends don't let friends drive drunk"? Friends don't let their wedding guests drive drunk, either. Especially not when those friends have been paying for the drinks that got the wedding guests drunk in the first place. You don't have to do it yourself, but your security can. But hey, I'm just trying to prevent people from dying. I'm "ridiculous" that way I guess.
    Posted by meep2[/QUOTE]

    Oh please. There is a whole lot of difference between taking the keys away from a specific person who is clearly too drunk to drive and having a breathalizer on hand to use on the majority of people who've had a drop of alcohol or even to use on anyone you think is drunk - you don't need a breathalizer to tell someone is unfit to drive.

    Don't try to make it seem like I want my friends to die just because your suggestion is over the top.
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    I think this is the first time I've heard it suggested that the b&g administer sobriety tests for their guests prior to allowing them to depart.  A few weeks ago when hiring kidnappers for crying children was suggested, I  thought I'd heard it all, but once again here we are.  I'm reasonably certain that having a discussion with the venue's bar staff about not overserving guests (which they likely would not do anyway- that's their job) should suffice.  Don't be the couple that had sobriety check points in the parking lot.  It is, in fact, ridiculous. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:8ed33dae-754f-49d3-9ac9-dca8e270445e">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much! : I'm not saying "line them up and have a check point," (previous phrasing was admittedly bad on my part), but if they appear intoxicated it's a good idea to have one around and have someone take their keys. You know the phrase "friends don't let friends drive drunk"? Friends don't let their wedding guests drive drunk, either. <strong>Especially not when those friends have been paying for the drinks that got the wedding guests drunk in the first place</strong>. You don't have to do it yourself, but your security can. But hey, I'm just trying to prevent people from dying. I'm "ridiculous" that way I guess.
    Posted by meep2[/QUOTE]

    It's not like you forced people to drink them, too.  Let adults be adults.

    If a friend of mine said "I'm not inviting you to my wedding because I think you're going to get too drunk" then I don't think that person would be my friend any more.
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    meep2meep2 member
    First Comment
    Have you really never been to a party that had breathalizers on hand? I have. They're useful tools, and some people use them voluntarily. Legal limits are waaaaaaaaaay lower than what makes a person look drunk nowadays. I'm not suggesting you force a breathalizer on someone, but if someone's saying "oh I'm not drunk I'm not really I'm fiiiiiiiiiine" and just not getting it, it can be extremely useful to suggest (key word is "suggest," not "hold them down,") that they double-check their alcohol level. I mean, you're not exactly letting them be adults if you refuse them drinks, either, but I see it as part of responsible hosting.

    Then again, perhaps I and the people I know have just seen way too many stories.
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    Umm, no, I have never been to a party with breathalizers. I don't think that's normal. Pretty much everyone I know is aware of their limit - by which I mean 1 to 2 drinks, maybe 3 for some of the men over the course of a dinner and dancing reception - so I have never been in the situation of someone being unsure if they might be over the legal limit and wishing they could check their BAC with a breathalizer.

    Oh wait, I lied, I HAVE been to a party with breathalizers. In college. When frat guys thought it was cool to see who could blow the highest number.
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    rkatz8rkatz8 member
    First Comment
    "(they had a hand in setting my fiance and I up, in the first place!).  These women are two of the most caring ladies I know.  They've been here for me throughout many issues in my life."

    these are the type of people you ask to be in your wedding party! not the types of people you exclude from your wedding entirely!

    if you have an experience wedding planner, they are generally very good at handling these types of issues. if you don't have one, consider hiring a day-of assistant.
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    edited May 2011
    Maybe I'm missing something or am just naive, but if they're as good of friends as you say they are, can't you invite them and then just sit down and talk with them about your "rowdy reception" worries? The only thing that not inviting them says is that you didn't respect them enough as friends to say to their faces what you're essentially telling them by not sending them an invite. 
    "He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."
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    meep2meep2 member
    First Comment
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_want-invite-youbut-drink-way-much?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3567337-dd42-4fba-860d-97264d1f5a38Post:96ab0e15-7640-4dda-aef0-35750249fff0">Re: I want to invite you...but you drink way too much!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Umm, no, I have never been to a party with breathalizers. I don't think that's normal. Pretty much everyone I know is aware of their limit - by which I mean 1 to 2 drinks, maybe 3 for some of the men over the course of a dinner and dancing reception - so I have never been in the situation of someone being unsure if they might be over the legal limit and wishing they could check their BAC with a breathalizer. Oh wait, I lied, I HAVE been to a party with breathalizers. In college. When frat guys thought it was cool to see who could blow the highest number.
    Posted by emilyinchile[/QUOTE]

    Maybe I hang out with people who are paranoid, then. Once you know someone who has lost any chance of getting their professional license because just two drinks total put him over the limit and he was stopped at a checkpoint, you stop being so confident that your limit is the same as the state's. I just figure if you're setting yourself us for trouble with people who are known to get out of control with their drinking and who don't even stick with their own visible intoxication limit, some people find it a useful tool. YMMV.
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    Very similar situation: A close friend of seven years IS the same guest you're discussing. On my last visit she became belligerent after ladies night and ended up driving 20+ miles home dangerously intoxicated. At the wedding of a mutual friend, she was found undressed on the lawn of the hotel, causing the bride to be pulled out of her suite on her wedding day to retrieve her drunken guest (whom no one cleaning up could identify). We had been close since we met, and just recently drifted apart because of this drinking problem. We share the exact set of friends, so it's 'out of the question' not to invite her; I'm terrified of the impending shenanigans and feel slightly resentful at the idea of hiring a babysitter to wrangle irresponsible guests. rock/hard place. Any ideas? 
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    I have several friends who drink a lot to say the least and I understand the fear of having a out of control drunk guest...make sure you have good bartenders, that either the venue or you have a close friend to run mild security for you (just someone who you can ask to remove someone if needed) and have a earlier wedding. Not all people will refrain from drinking at a afternoon wedding but people are less likely to get hammered. 
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