An Enthusiast’s guide to tying the knot

—Christian and Josey

Full disclosure: two of us here at Alcohol Enthusiast headquarters are married—to each other. Ok, ok—we get it. Stop making that fake gagging noise. Just hurry up and get drunker so you can be happy for us already.

When two Enthusiasts meet, blackout and forget that they met, then meet again and attribute their deja vu-esque recollection of one another to some sort of important past life connection, get wasted, fall in love, and decide at some point to make this most unholy and booze-soaked of unions legit—there are certain rules that must be followed in the planning of the wedding. Just as a Catholic wedding requires readings from both Testaments and a Psalm song, and Jewish grooms break glasses—a wedding between two (or more) Enthusiasts must also follow certain tenets of faith.

Here are some pointers to help you get your enthusiastic matrimony on correctly:

1. Gratis booze only: If you don’t have the funds to get your wedding-goers tanked, either run off to Vegas, downsize your guest list, start brewin’ moonshine or make pruno ASAP—just please don’t ask your trembling guests to crack open their happy hour piggy banks to celebrate your heartwarming day. That waffle maker they gifted in honor of your happy coupletude wasn’t cheap, nor will be the dry cleaning bill for their jacket or dress which you will inevitably douse with bourbon once “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” starts you fist-pumping across the dance floor. Enthusiasts aren’t picky about “quality:” can you afford a couple kegs? How about throwing in some boxes of Franzia for the grandmas? You’re set.

2. Serve before the ceremony: And let them enjoy their tasty beverages as they sob through your vows. After our wedding, some expressed amazement that we’d plied our guests with booze pre-ceremony. But for two Enthusiasts gettin’ hitched, it was the obvious path. We spent time writing those pretty-ass words and picking out those fancy-fucking outfits and we wanted our friends and family to laugh, cry, and cheer for us—goddamnit. Also, with beer and/or champagne flute already in hand (and several more in the belly and bloodstream), booze-fantisization is one less factor to distract guests from the very important make-out sesh going on in front of them after the “I do’s” are said.

3. Pace yourselves: As with any long-haul party, if you are going to be serving the full gamut of alcoholic beverage options, you should always start with beer, wine and possibly champagne. Despite the old axiom, “beer before liquor, never been sicker,” you will likely find that if you start pouring whiskey prior to the ceremony, your guests may or may not make it all the way through dinner, depending on their level of enthusiasm. Your best bet will be to pour the softer stuff pre-ceremony, and then bust out cocktails for the reception. By dinner time you want everyone to have reached the happy state where talking with someone two generations away is going to seem casual—in fact, the conversation’s been so natural, they might want to see where else this could go… Serve wine or beer with dinner and be sure to keep the bar open all night (see point No. 5 below for more on this).

4. Bourbon > champagne: When it’s time to toast to the happy couple, bubbly is lovely—but liquor is quicker. Really, any nearby booze as soon as the best man/best lady/father-of-the-bride/high-school-friend-who-seems-to-have-ingested-at-least-a-ten-strip-of-LSD grabs the mic works fine for toasting—but why not take this opportunity to inflict your personal favorite poison upon your guests? Great aunts and mothers and cousins and college buddies alike knocking back your favorite shot, especially one that the non-Enthusiasts among them might never have chosen to taste is ideal. For us, that shot was bourbon—much more than a favorite drink of ours, it would be more accurately qualified as a primary catalyst for our blossoming romance, and/or the polygamous third partner in our marriage. Cheers!

5. Never run out: A happy guest is one who’s been able to booze their enthusiasm-trembles away. And there is nothing worse than giving your guests that gnawing “I’ve got to get out of here” feeling that comes from the chilling realization that the last beer has been drank, or the final bottle of wine poured dry. Even that flask of the good stuff in his or her pocket or purse got cashed an hour ago when it was passed around the table to celebrate you and the new ball ‘n’ chain’s long lasting health. Shameful as it is not to finish your stockpile, it’s far better to have leftover handles to send your guests home with the next day (or take on your honeymoon) than to run out when the party’s still going at 4 a.m.

6. Don’t take any shit: It’s not really an Enthusiast’s wedding ’til the cops show up. Like with any good rager, your rowdy wedding will undoubtably result in irate neighbors’ noise complaints, and/or Debbie Downer-type venue managers trying to tell you to close the bar down because your “friends” seem “three sheets” to the “wind” and/or the cops showing up at the after-party. But don’t let a pesky thing like haters ruin this magical day for you and your loved ones—it’s time to put your convincing cap on. We had to thwart all three of the aforementioned party poopers, applying essentially the same tactics to each situation. Venue dude: “You should close the bar down. Your guests seem drunk.” Groom: “Do I seem drunk?” Venue dude: “No, I guess not.” Groom: “If I’m not drunk, then no one else is drunk, either. The bar stays open!” And at the after party: Hotel dude: “There is another wedding staying here and they are complaining about the noise.” Unnamed sibling: “There’s no one else here.” Hotel dude: “…What? No. Yes. Yes, there are. There are seven rooms with people from the other wedding!” Unnamed sibling: “No. That’s not true. It’s just us.” Hotel dude (flustered): “Buu…. I mean… Uhhh… ” And the cops: “We’ve received a complaint about the noise at this here gathering.” Father of the bride: “Listen, it’s my daughter’s wedding. We’ll turn the music down, but really, is there a problem?” Never fear the man, Enthusiast! Confuse, disregard, placate him. It’s your wedding for god’s sake!

7. Stay safe: Last but not at all least, be sure to have a stack of cards on hand, printed with the numbers of local taxi companies and/or accommodations within crawling distance of your wedding reception to help your guests avoid a morning-after in the ‘tank. If and when they find themselves “ready to go,” your guests should not be in any condition to walk in a straight line, let alone operate a motor vehicle or—god forbid—heavy machinery. As such, you should suggest a safe way for them to get home or a nearby “comfortable” place to pass out.

And there you have it. As you stagger down the oft-confusing aisle of enthusiastic wedding planning, we says “cheers.” Just remember that your wedding is as awesome as the guests you invite, so be sure to have plenty of fellow Enthusiasts there to celebrate with you. Like, say—us?

Photo by our fabulous wedding photographer, Sarah Peet