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7 Tips For Getting Through a Wedding Sober

By Millie Gooch on

Despite the fact that weddings are supposed to be the happiest day of some people’s lives, if it’s a) not yours and b) you have to do it sober, you can begin to think that, in fact, quite the opposite is true.

There are two main reasons why weddings are notoriously difficult to navigate without a drink. The first is that nuptials are a kind of an ‘all in’ package deal. With a lot of social events, you can simply leave if you’re feeling horrifically bored or out of sorts, it’s simply much harder to stand up during your second course or in the middle of the Best Man speech and declare that you’ve actually just had enough. There’s a certain level of expectation as a wedding guest that you’re more or less locked in for the duration and that duration is often rather lengthy.

The second is the more obvious one - the free-flowing booze. From the prosecco during the toasts to the abundance of wine with every course, trying to avoid saying yes to a drink when it’s literally being forced into your hands can be tricky for even the most seasoned sober pro. Try these tips to make sure your response to ‘Do you take this glass of wine?’ isn’t ‘I do.’

  1. Remind yourself that this day is not about you (I know, shocking). In the same way that you shouldn’t wear white, as to not upstage the bride, you also shouldn’t get horrendously drunk, as that kind of behaviour will literally take the attention away from the couple who have spent a LOT of money on this day.
  2. Ask if you can help with anything, especially if you’re close to the couple. It’s a stressful time for the wedding party so not only will they be grateful for the extra pair of hands but having something to do can help you forget the whole sober-wedding-thing. Even if it’s just helping to move the cake from one table to another. 
  3. Find a sober supporter. Whether that’s a date you bring yourself, a pregnant friend or someone at the end of a Whatsapp message who gets it and can pep-talk you through a wobble. 
  4. Find out if the venue has a good alcohol-free selection (and luckily, there’s a whole range of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from). This way, you won’t need to worry if you don’t fancy sipping on an orange juice all evening – there’s so many options out there. Try some alcohol-free beers, wines or prosecco and you’ll barely notice the difference.
  5. Offer to spend some time looking after any children attending the wedding. Not only will your Mum mates appreciate an hour off but your hands will be too full to even think about holding a drink. Best of all, kids almost never ask you why you aren’t drinking. 
  6. Dance like no one is watching because honestly, they probably aren’t. Most people will be too drunk to notice whether your moves are beginner or Beyoncé and dancing can help you shake off nervous energy.
  7. Lastly, remember that being sober at a wedding is pretty much the best gift you can give. It means that you get to witness every moment of pure authentic joy. You’ll notice and appreciate all the detail and effort (from chair bows to table decorations) that the happy couple have spent months organising and you’ll even stand a better chance of catching the bouquet with your reflexes on point.  

For more tips on sober socialising, visit Sober Girl Society on Instagram.

Millie Gooch, Founder of Sober Girl Society