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25/02/2016

How to manage your drink on your wedding day

You’ve been planning for months — or potentially even years — and of course, you want to remember all the details of your wedding day. A fuzzy recollection, tequila-induced memory loss, and embarrassing photos are perhaps not ideal wedding mementos, much less spending the first day of your married life nursing a hangover.

While you can’t control the weather or keep the best man’s dance moves in check, what you can manage is pacing yourself when it comes to alcohol, and ensuring that the beloved tipple doesn’t have an overwhelmingly negative effect on your big day. In short, here are our easiest-ever tips and tricks to follow.

How to manage your drink on your wedding day

Eating isn’t cheating

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Your mum always told you not to skip breakfast, and this happens to be a rule you should remember on your wedding day. Even if you’re experiencing a dramatic case of butterflies or you’re thinking about fitting into your dress, if you’re going to drink, then you need to eat a proper meal. Otherwise, you could face getting drunk unusually quickly or becoming ill once you begin drinking. Breakfast should include protein, like a poached egg, and fruit and juice, while a salad with grilled fish or chicken is ideal for lunch. You don’t need a big meal, but you need to choose clean food that nourishes the body.

The Good: salmon, chicken, turkey, tofu, avocado, seeds, olives, fruit, almonds, honey, hummus, eggs, olive oil, cheese, fruit, wholemeal bread and all the veggies you can think of.

The Bad: salty confections like chips and salted nuts will dehydrate you. Foods with a high GI (Glycemic Index) and high sugar content will make your hunger and energy levels spike and fall (and will probably take your mood along for the ride).

Don’t forget to eat at the reception. The meal slows down the absorption of alcohol and it gives you the chance to actually taste the food you’ve so carefully planned.

Stay hydrated

Start your day with a multivitamin and plenty of water, even if you’re wondering how you’ll deal with a full bladder when you’re in your wedding dress. It’s important to rehydrate while you’re sipping Shiraz, so have one glass of water, or another non-alcoholic drink, for every alcoholic one. Replace expended electrolytes by having a sports drink during the evening.

The sky isn’t the limit

Drinking in moderation is the key to avoiding that nasty hangover in the morning. Whether you share a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids while you get dressed or wait until the toasts, whatever limit you set, make sure you stick to it.

Pick your type

Because you’re limiting your drinks, make them count. Decide on something special like the cocktail from your first date or the wine from your engagement. Make sure it’s good quality and enjoy it. When you’ve chosen what you want, stick with the same type of drink for the whole night as mixing drinks can lead to being sick and a raging hangover the next day.

Avoid carbonated mixers as they increase the rate of alcohol absorption.

Choose clear rather than dark alcohol. Dark alcohol contains more congeners, which are toxic chemicals that are created in the fermentation process (meaning that you’ll have a worse hangover to deal with).

Add ice to dilute your drink.

Take your time

Don’t drink for the effect — do it because you enjoy the taste. Sip slowly and have one drink per hour, as this is roughly how long it takes your body to process the alcohol. Hit the dance floor and spend time socializing with your guests because if you’re dancing or talking, you’ll be having fun with a focus on socializing, rather than drinking.

Avoid shooters

Remember the point of shooters: to get drunk quickly (i.e. the opposite of what you want on your wedding day). This isn’t your bachelorettes and you’d probably like some semblance of decorum and order, so stay away from party shots and drinking games. It might seem like a fun idea at the time but that Jägerbomb will come back to haunt you.

Sneaky tactics

If you want it to look like you’re drinking alcohol when you’re not, then you can also of course fake it. You’ve chosen your bridesmaids for a reason, so ask them to bring you ginger ale in a champagne flute or coke without the rum. They’re there to help you stick to your drinking plan, so you can enjoy your evening without any regrets.

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It’s okay to say ‘no’

The easiest way to stay sober is to avoid alcohol completely. While drinking is often seen as an indispensable part of many celebrations, you don’t have to drink to have a good time and you don’t want to miss your own wedding because you’ve overindulged.

Weddings are emotional enough on their own without adding the fuel of alcohol. Whether you’re a teetotaller for the night or you’ve mastered self-control, all your friends and family are at this one event and you’ll want to remember every special moment.

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