(Illustration via The World’s Best Ever)
In light of a recent incident at a wedding in Ohio, where one guest wound up in jail for assault and intoxicated disorderly conduct, it might be a good idea to discuss the etiquette of dancing at weddings.
Tip #1 for Wedding Guests: Do not attempt to slow dance with one of the people who just got married unless that person married you. Stick to fast dances with the bride or the groom. This guest decided slow dancing with the groom was a good idea. It was not.
Tip #2 for Wedding Guests: If you do make the mistake of slow dancing with the groom and the bride wants to cut in, let her. The guest in question decided that her wanting to slow dance with the groom outweighed the bride’s right to dance with her new husband. This did not end well.
Tip #3 for Wedding Guests: If you don’t want to stop slow dancing with the groom, this does not mean you get to attempt to slug the bride.
Tip #4 for Wedding Guests: If while in a drunken state you do slow dance with the groom and then attempt to slug the bride, do not attempt to wrest your car keys from the good people trying to stop you from driving drunk and quite possibly killing yourself on your way home, not to mention endangering the lives of everyone on your path.
Tip #5 for Wedding Guests: If the local constabulary arrive to try to sort out the situation, do not ever slug the cop. Trust me, this will not help your case.
Tip #6 for Wedding Guests (which probably ought to have been number one): Do not get drunk at weddings. Pace yourself with the liquor. Break it up with non-booze-based drinks.
As for the Bride and Groom, well, I’ve got a couple tips for them, too.
Tip #1 for Bridal Couples: Save the slow dances for the person you just married. Seriously, save it for your spouse.
Tip #2 for Bridal Couples: Really don’t dance with people who are drunk. Be nice, but escort them to the sidelines and make sure someone takes their car keys away.
Tip #3 for Bridal Couples: If you do find yourself slow dancing with a drunken guest, be sure your new spouse knows you’re just humoring a drunk person to minimize the ruckus. The corollary is that if you see your new spouse slow dancing with a drunken guest, try not to overreact. Do your best to come up with a distraction rather than a confrontation. It’s a lot easier to end the situation without violence that way.
Tip #4 for Bridal Couples: Keep your sense of humor. You’re going to need it.
Tip #5 for Bridal Couples: If a guest gets drunk enough to take a swing at you, call them a cab as well as wresting the car keys away. If that person gets behind the wheel of a car and causes serious damage to property or people along the way home, you could find yourself legally on the hook for part of the damage. If your crowd runs to heavy drinking, have a plan for getting the keys away and cabs to the site.
Tip #6 for Bridal Couples (which probably should have been number one): Make sure guests have non-alcoholic choices at the bar and on the tables. Consider limiting the amount of liquor available if drinking is a problem in your circle. There is nothing impolite about holding a dry reception or keeping the liquor list to wine and beer. Hosts are required to provide refreshments, but that does not mean they are required to provide every form of alcohol known to man in copious amounts.
Also, feed your guests well. Plenty of food reduces the likelihood of guests getting hit hard by what they drink. It’s a lot easier to get drunk on an empty stomach than a full one.
Guests do overindulge at weddings and get drunk. It happens. The important thing is to watch carefully for the signs, and handle the issue as quietly as possible.
After all, you don’t want your wedding remembered for the drunk guest who tried to assault the bride and got arrested, do you?
I didn’t think so.