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Problematic Wedding Guest

I have a bit of a dilemma here, and was wondering if anyone would chime in with some advice.  
My fiance really, really wants to invite a childhood friend to our wedding. The problem? My fiance's friend is an alcoholic. I have seen him drunk and have been saddled with "taking care of him" when he's drunk, and it is not a pretty sight. He always drinks to the point where he cannot stand up without falling over, slurs his speech, and makes insanely racist comments. He has acknowledged that he has a drinking problem and that he is trying to "reel it in," but he also joined the Wall Street Journal Wine Club, which sends him 12 bottles of wine every 3-4 months. My fiance believes that he can change his ways and get better, but I do not. I have spoken with him at length and asked him to try AA, but he told me that he wanted to try quitting on his own and that his drinking problem wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be.  
The long story short: I do not want this man at my wedding at all. My fiance and I have been arguing about it; he really wants to give his friend another chance, but I'm not convinced that he can change his behavior. It's getting to the point where I can't stand being in the same room with him, sober or not. 
My question is this: how can I convince my fiance to not invite his alcoholic friend?


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Re: Problematic Wedding Guest

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    itzMSitzMS member
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    LinnieG said:
    I have a bit of a dilemma here, and was wondering if anyone would chime in with some advice.  
    My fiance really, really wants to invite a childhood friend to our wedding. The problem? My fiance's friend is an alcoholic. I have seen him drunk and have been saddled with "taking care of him" when he's drunk, and it is not a pretty sight. He always drinks to the point where he cannot stand up without falling over, slurs his speech, and makes insanely racist comments. He has acknowledged that he has a drinking problem and that he is trying to "reel it in," but he also joined the Wall Street Journal Wine Club, which sends him 12 bottles of wine every 3-4 months. My fiance believes that he can change his ways and get better, but I do not. I have spoken with him at length and asked him to try AA, but he told me that he wanted to try quitting on his own and that his drinking problem wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be.  
    The long story short: I do not want this man at my wedding at all. My fiance and I have been arguing about it; he really wants to give his friend another chance, but I'm not convinced that he can change his behavior. It's getting to the point where I can't stand being in the same room with him, sober or not. 
    My question is this: how can I convince my fiance to not invite his alcoholic friend?



    It doesn't appear like he's violent or threatening...he's just gets drunk and you don't like it. Now if the man has ever threatened you or has been violent...that's a different story.

    We had someone throw up at our wedding from drinking too much. Some other people were really drunk, too. We lived. We're still married.

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    I'd just invite him. Not inviting him would end FI's friendship, and it doesn't sound like he wants to do that.

    I'd make it clear to FI that he cannot sit with your family, co-workers, or other people you are concerned about him offending. He will have to find a table of his friends or family (or people who already know what this guy is like and still are friends with him) to seat him with. 

    If he does something horrible the day of, the venue or a family member will definitely be happy to escort him out. I just wouldn't assume something is going to happen. 
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    It doesn't sound like a hill to die on. Just invite him. If he gets out of line at the reception, your fiance should tell him to leave. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    Just invite him. The bartender/venue staff can escort him out if he gets out of hand.
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    Invite him and have security, a day of coordinator, or someone who can have him escorted out when he crosses the line.
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    Jen4948 said:

    Invite him and have security, a day of coordinator, or someone who can have him escorted out when he crosses the line.

    IMO, this is a great compromise.
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    I would say invite him and make the bartender aware of his tendancies so he is sure to cut him off.
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    (From another bride who doesn't appreciate sloppy/mean drunks... at a wedding or ever.) I totally understand where you're coming from, you want to avoid all potential problems, but don't stress yourself out about this one guest! You have plenty of other things to worry about. I would rely on your coordinator, an employee of the venue or the bartender to keep an eye on him (and all guests). It sounds like you and your fiance are close enough to the guest to even warn him - tell him that if he gets out of line like he has in the past then he will be asked to leave. 
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    I currently live with my fiance and three of his friends (the alcoholic included); hopefully, we'll be moving out in October. My fiance, my other roommates, and I have all had to deal with this guy when he's been drinking, and it's thoroughly unpleasant. In addition to it being a hassle to make sure he doesn't hurt himself (he has the tendency to drink until he literally cannot stand up without falling over, plus he's broken several wine glasses), he tends to make extremely racist comments when he is drunk. I've talked to him multiple times about his drinking, as has my fiance, and as have my other roommates, but he insists that he does not have a problem. He's recently lost his job because he got slammed, passed out, and did not go to work. 
    I don't have a planner or a coordinator, and I'm hesitant to ask anyone to babysit him. He's a grown man; I don't want to saddle anyone with the task of making sure that he doesn't overdo it. 
    He's not a violent drunk, but he has broken several wine glasses, and I'd rather not have to deal with the potential safety hazard there.
    Is it OK to ask the bartender not to serve him at all? Can I hand the bartender a photo of him and say "Look, this guy can't have anything to drink"? Is that an acceptable thing to do, or is it crossing a line?
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    itzMSitzMS member
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    LinnieG said:
    I currently live with my fiance and three of his friends (the alcoholic included); hopefully, we'll be moving out in October. My fiance, my other roommates, and I have all had to deal with this guy when he's been drinking, and it's thoroughly unpleasant. In addition to it being a hassle to make sure he doesn't hurt himself (he has the tendency to drink until he literally cannot stand up without falling over, plus he's broken several wine glasses), he tends to make extremely racist comments when he is drunk. I've talked to him multiple times about his drinking, as has my fiance, and as have my other roommates, but he insists that he does not have a problem. He's recently lost his job because he got slammed, passed out, and did not go to work. 
    I don't have a planner or a coordinator, and I'm hesitant to ask anyone to babysit him. He's a grown man; I don't want to saddle anyone with the task of making sure that he doesn't overdo it. 
    He's not a violent drunk, but he has broken several wine glasses, and I'd rather not have to deal with the potential safety hazard there.
    Is it OK to ask the bartender not to serve him at all? Can I hand the bartender a photo of him and say "Look, this guy can't have anything to drink"? Is that an acceptable thing to do, or is it crossing a line?

    No, no, no, and No.

    Are you being serious right now? You really need to not worry about this friend so much.

    If your bartender overserves someone, they are not a very good bartender.

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    I think that's crossing a line. Licensed bartenders are legally liable to cut people off at a certain point. They know what to do. This guy is an adult, alcoholic or not.

    And I've dropped a glass at a wedding before. I was embarrassed and apologized while venue staff came over to sweep it up.

    I'd also encourage your FI to encourage his friend to seek professional help.
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    It is another thing to worry about if you have to keep an eye on him. It is hard to say no if he is your FI good friend.I think it would be smart to let the staff know that he should not drink too much. Hopefully their is hotel rooms close to the reception so he can go to his room if he gets out of hand.
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    All you can do is talk to the venue and tell them that you need those over-served to be cut off.


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    At the end of the day, he's your FIs very close friend and your FI wants to invite him. He's non-violent so we're not going to say "don't invite him" even if he is a sloppy drunk.
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    LinnieG said:
    I have a bit of a dilemma here, and was wondering if anyone would chime in with some advice.  
    My fiance really, really wants to invite a childhood friend to our wedding. The problem? My fiance's friend is an alcoholic. I have seen him drunk and have been saddled with "taking care of him" when he's drunk, and it is not a pretty sight. He always drinks to the point where he cannot stand up without falling over, slurs his speech, and makes insanely racist comments. He has acknowledged that he has a drinking problem and that he is trying to "reel it in," but he also joined the Wall Street Journal Wine Club, which sends him 12 bottles of wine every 3-4 months. My fiance believes that he can change his ways and get better, but I do not. I have spoken with him at length and asked him to try AA, but he told me that he wanted to try quitting on his own and that his drinking problem wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be.  
    The long story short: I do not want this man at my wedding at all. My fiance and I have been arguing about it; he really wants to give his friend another chance, but I'm not convinced that he can change his behavior. It's getting to the point where I can't stand being in the same room with him, sober or not. 
    My question is this: how can I convince my fiance to not invite his alcoholic friend?



    Why are you being saddled with taking care of him when he's drunk?
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    LinnieGLinnieG member
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    edited July 2013
    I currently live with this guy and, on multiple occasions, my fiance and I have to make sure he didn't hurt himself or damage the apartment. As I've said before, he's broken wine glasses on multiple occasions, plus he tends to walk around barefoot. I have the feeling that if my fiance and I didn't clean up the broken glass, he would've seriously hurt himself, or he would've left it and someone else would've gotten hurt. When we're stuck "babysitting" this guy, we're mostly making sure that he doesn't damage the apartment or anyone's belongings (he managed to spill red wine all over the cream-colored wall in the basement; we made him clean it up, but it's still stained, and I'm worried about what the landlord will say). 
    I do not consider myself to be an enabler. I've told him time and time again that I hate his drinking and that I don't like the person he becomes when he's drunk. I've told him time and time again that he needs to get professional help. I've told him repeatedly his behavior is ruining life for the rest of us. My fiance and my other roommates have talked with him at length about the problem, and he has promised time and time again to "reel it in," but every time he's relapsed and things have gotten worse.
    Honestly, I'm not really worried about him getting drunk and hurting himself. If he gets drunk and winds up breaking his arm, it's his problem, not mine. What I am worried about are the extremely racist comments he tends to make when he's been drinking. He once made a racist comment in front of my friends, and I got several phone calls the next day asking what was up with my racist roommate. He's become a person I can't stand being around, drunk or sober. 
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    Oh good grief.  That isn't what Stage is saying at all.

    You are not his mother.  And even if you were, he's a grown ass man.  You can't control the behavior of others.  All you can control is how you respond.

    You choose to take care of this man/clean up after him.  That's a choice you make.  It's not your fault he's an alcoholic, but it's also not his fault you chose this way to deal with his behavior.

    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    itzMSitzMS member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    LinnieG said:
    Oh, you're right. Of course it's my fault that he's an alcoholic. I'm the one pouring the wine down his throat and forcing him to drink to excess. Yep, it's all on me. Let's ignore the fact that I've told him repeatedly that his drinking is ruining life in the apartment. Let's ignore the fact that he's not the only one who could get hurt on broken glass; my fiance also likes to walk around barefoot. It's completely my fault for picking up broken glass and saving everyone a trip to the emergency room. I'm just pouring the wine down his throat, forcing him to drink himself stupid every damn night. It's entirely my fault.
    Up yours.


    If it makes you this upset...you should've probably just moved out by now. IMHO, you're blowing things a bit out of proportion. I'm pretty sure the death rate for a teensy bit of broken glass in one's foot is probably pretty low. Nor does this frequently require an ER trip.

    Stop helping the friend.

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    edited July 2013

    I had my little pointer over the flag button for that one but I am so confused by the flagging rules that I didn't know whether or not to click it.  So I did.

    You asked for help.  She gave advice.  If you didn't want any suggestions/statements, you should have just talked it out with your goldfish.


    ETA: I'm an idiot. DIDN'T  I DIDN'T click the flag.  D'oh.

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    I agree, talk to venue and just give them a heads up that you would appreciate it if they kept an eye on how much they served him, if he's drinking mixed drinks maybe they can water them down some. Maybe have the phone number of a local taxi service available that if he does get drunk a taxi can be called to get him home safely. Also talk to venue about how they deal with anyone that gets too drunk and out of control. I'm sure they have plan in place for dealing with that in a way to be least disruptive to any event.

    At my wedding when I got to the venue I made a quick stop at the bar and did give the bartenders a heads up to feel free to card anyone they felt necessary because I did have some older teens/early 20 something year olds at the reception.

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    Linnie, I think you need to look at it this way...
    It's like drowning in a pool. You have made yourself the lifeguard, but you're only able to just keep him afloat. You either need help (from others) getting him to dry land or you need to let him go so he has to swim.

    He needs to tell the landlord about the red wine stain. He needs to wakeup in a pool of his own vomit. Let him cut his foot on the glass. He can't be relying on good ole Linnie to clean up his messes. And other roommates can either clean up the glass or cut their feet, too.

    Any racist comments reflects poorly on him, not you. Honestly, I'd be more interested to know why fiance is friends with a racist, personally. I mean, does Fiance care about his drunken comments?
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    Sorry but people with addictions tend to need to hit rock bottom before they can admit that they have a problem.  You constantly cleaning up after him and babying him while he is drunk off his ass is not helping the situation.  Let him break a glass and cut his foot.  Let him fall to the floor and break his nose.  Let him make a complete full out of himself in public.  Hell, even call the damn police if he is making that much of a disturbance in your home when he is drunk.

    Like others have said, how he acts is a reflection on him and him only.  Invite him to the wedding.  Let your venue coordinator know about him and ask them to keep an eye out in case he gets out of hand.  They will kindly escort him out and get him a cab.

    Oh and as for the wall with the red wine stain, there is this little thing called paint that can tough that right up.  Just have the drunk dude ask the landlord for the color code and paint brand or have him find something that is similar at the hardware store and tell him to paint away.


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    Why haven't you kicked him out of your apartment (or moved out yourself) again?

    Also, do you honestly think it's not going to be insanely awkward when you don't invite your own roommate to the wedding? 

    I agree with everyone else's advice: get a new living situation, let drunk friend fend for himself, and invite him to the wedding if your FI wants to invite him.  There are a million ways to avoid him making a scene: having bartender cut him off when he's been served enough, asking someone from the venue to remove him if he gets disruptive, etc. 

    He's your FI's good friend and your FI wants him there. Period.
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    LinnieG said:
    Oh, you're right. Of course it's my fault that he's an alcoholic. I'm the one pouring the wine down his throat and forcing him to drink to excess. Yep, it's all on me. Let's ignore the fact that I've told him repeatedly that his drinking is ruining life in the apartment. Let's ignore the fact that he's not the only one who could get hurt on broken glass; my fiance also likes to walk around barefoot. It's completely my fault for picking up broken glass and saving everyone a trip to the emergency room. I'm just pouring the wine down his throat, forcing him to drink himself stupid every damn night. It's entirely my fault.
    Up yours.
    You didn't have to clean it up.  You should have told FI (and other roommates) that there is a broken glass there, and that you are not cleaning it up because douche broke it and you aren't responsible for him.  Unless everyone in the house are idiots, they could have avoided the glass for a day until douche sobered up and cleaned it or cut himself and learned something.  

    This is your FI's friend.  His desire to have this guy there trumps your desire not to.  You don't need to convince your FI.  You need to accept that this guy is invited.  Notify the bartender that you have a problem drinker in the bunch, and ask him/her to pay special attention to avoid over serving this guy.  
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    I'm going to skip all that other stuff and bring it back to the wedding. What are you serving? My MOH only served wine and beer at her wedding because her friend had a tendency to do shots, start a fight with her (own) boyfriend and then punch things.

    My BM is thrilled because that same girl is now pregnant and won't be able to get smashed at her wedding.



    Anniversary
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    I'm going to skip all that other stuff and bring it back to the wedding. What are you serving? My MOH only served wine and beer at her wedding because her friend had a tendency to do shots, start a fight with her (own) boyfriend and then punch things.

    My BM is thrilled because that same girl is now pregnant and won't be able to get smashed at her wedding.
    You do realize that people can get just as drunk off beer and wine, get into fights and punch things just as they could off hard liquor right?

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    I'm going to skip all that other stuff and bring it back to the wedding. What are you serving? My MOH only served wine and beer at her wedding because her friend had a tendency to do shots, start a fight with her (own) boyfriend and then punch things.

    My BM is thrilled because that same girl is now pregnant and won't be able to get smashed at her wedding.
    You do realize that people can get just as drunk off beer and wine, get into fights and punch things just as they could off hard liquor right?
    Eh.  Yes, that is true, but at the same time it takes at least a little longer to get super drunk off of beer/wine than it is from shots.  Unless the guy is shotgunning beers at weddings.  Even then, it's not like someone is going to shotgun 4-5 beers in the span of 10 minutes, but doing 4-5 shots in 10 minutes is doable.

    Before drinking ages were universally set at 21, a lot of states allowed those ages 18-21 consume and purchase beer and wine but not hard liquor.  
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    I need to apologize for my comments earlier.
    I am genuinely sorry.
    I'm under a lot of stress right now. We won't have the money to move out until October, and we can't really kick this guy out because - as of right now - he's still able to pay rent.
    My fiance was - and still is - appalled by his friend's racist comments; it's especially upsetting because this guy used to work with ethnic minorities. 
    He was bitching and moaning the other day about how he had broken his favorite wine glass (a gigantic goblet of a thing with his name printed on the side), and I really let him have it. I told him that it was his own damn fault he'd broken the thing, that his behavior is putting people in danger and causing potential property damage, etc. He started crying, and I just left. 
    At this point, it isn't about the drinking binges, the broken glass, or the racist remarks. I hate this man and don't want this man anywhere near me. 
    He knows that he's on thin ice as far as I'm concerned. I just don't think he'll change his behavior.
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    Actually, this guy's drink of choice is wine. He recently joined the Wall Street Journal Wine Club, which ships about 12 bottles to our house every four months. 
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