Ways to Stay Sober at Weddings During Recovery
Monday, June 27 2016 Kira Lesley
Can you stay sober at a wedding? I think so. Weddings can present a challenge for sober folks (Sobriety Becoming the New Norm). Here are some tips for staying sober during wedding season.
Attending Weddings As a Sober Person
What is a sober person to do during stressful wedding season? Some weddings are dry but the majority are not. Tips for staying sober at weddings are similar to those for staying sober at other functions where alcohol is served. Here a few good ones:
- Keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand so in case anyone offers you a drink, you can say you've already got one.
- Make an exit plan. If you cannot drive yourself, make sure you can call a cab or that you have a hotel room to stay in (depending on the type of wedding).
- If you think people might pressure you to drink or inquire why you are not drinking, practice a response ahead of time. You do not owe anyone an explanation, but it may be more comfortable to feel prepared in case the situation comes up.
- Do not stay long if you feel your sobriety is in danger. The ceremony might not be the fun part, but is is the most important part.
Balancing Sobriety and Wedding Obligations
Weddings are joyous events, and, especially when it comes to close friends and family, you may feel obligated to attend, or to stay into the wee hours. The bottom line for recovering addicts and alcoholics, however, is that your sobriety, your addiction recovery, must come first. If that means saying "no" to a bachelor or bachelorette party, leaving a reception early, or even kindly sending your regrets for not being able to attend the wedding at all, then that is what you need to do. It might not be easy, but those who truly care about you will understand. Please remember as well that even if drugs other than alcohol have been your main recovery focus, treating alcohol as different from any other drug is a grave mistake.
I have not, personally, turned down a wedding invitation in sobriety, but I also have only attended two, one of which was a dry wedding. I have, however, turned down invitations to birthday parties and gatherings that took place at bars because it felt risky to my sobriety. That being said, you can have a wonderful, sober time at weddings--just make sure your sobriety comes first.