Wedding booze: Don't drink away your nest egg!

wine glasses at wedding
wine glasses at wedding

Even under the best of circumstances, weddings are difficult affairs. Between the emotionally explosive brides and/or bridesmaids re-creating Ophelia's scenes from Hamlet and the unsure, second-guessing bridegrooms who are contemplating a quick move to a country without extradition, there are the cast of Tennessee Williams extras, including the over-protective daddy, the twitchy mother of the groom, and the various friends and family who are wondering if they will ever have a special day.

But enough about my wedding.

All kidding aside, emotions run high at weddings, which is where alcohol comes in handy. I'm not advocating a Romanesque, bacchanalian free-for-all, but even the best wedding is improved with a little liquid lubrication; for the worst wedding, it can be the crutch that keeps the whole thing from falling into an abyss of despair, recrimination, and permanent estrangement. The few dry weddings that I've attended have had the air of forced jollity, as if everyone was trying really hard to pretend to have fun. We kept saying things like, "See, we don't need alcohol to have fun," "Wow, this grape Kool-Aid tastes terrific," and "Maybe you'll be old enough to drink at your second wedding, Lurleen."

On the other end of the spectrum, of course, there's the massive boozefest, in which the bride and groom blow tons of cash (sometimes theirs, more often daddy's) on a well-stocked bar featuring everything from staples like rum and vodka to exotic horrors like kumquat schnappes and vodka made from scorpions. Of course, there are always a few people who have to try everything, after which they dance like Crispin Glover with a stomach cramp and end up falling asleep under one of the tables.

One of the big problems with alcohol is getting a good selection without overdoing it.