Your ceremony: A sobering event.

As part of the last-minute prep for a wedding, I provide every couple some advice to ensure they’ll be in the best shape possible for the ceremony:

  • Be sure to get some sleep the night before;
  • Eat small, frequent, protein-rich snacks throughout the day; and
  • Stay hydrated with “mostly water…not the kind with barley and hops or fermented grapes.”

I say that last part in a joking kind of way, but I let them know that drinking before the ceremony isn’t recommended because I have a legal responsibility to be sure they are clear-headed enough to agree to the commitment they’re making. One glass of wine or beer…tops.

Case in point: I was contracted to officiate an outdoor wedding, and was surprised to find when I arrived that the couple, wedding party and most of their guests had started celebrating early. I was concerned because the bride and groom were drunk. I take my responsibility very seriously, and it would have been well within my rights to refuse to officiate because of their altered states. Instead, I told them that we would have to delay the ceremony start time until I felt they were sober enough. It was a difficult conversation to have, and they were not happy with me. Their parents weren’t happy either. The owner of the venue assisted by providing lots of bottled water to get them rehydrated and flush out the toxins, and we waited it out. Once I was certain the couple and their witnesses were in better shape, the ceremony went on…an hour late.

Thank goodness that’s happened only once in my career.

I fully understand that pre-ceremony jitters can cause folks to want to have a drink or two (or three or four) to calm themselves. A better solution is to drink lots of water and take some deep breaths before saying “I do.”

So, do it straight.  You want to be able to remember your ceremony.  Once you’re legal, though, let the celebrating begin! 🥂 🍾

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