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Let’s Do Shots!!!: The 12 People Who Always Get Drunk At Wedding Receptions

A whiter shade of pale.

Weddings are, let’s face it, wonderful places for people watching.

It usually doesn’t take long before serious people watchers like myself are in absolute heaven, really.

Something about the church organ kicking in makes lots of regular folks start bawling like little babies, their heartstrings giving out on them, their emotions flooding their freshly scrubbed faces with real honest-to-God tears.

Then, later, it’s always a blast for people watchers to check out the rice throwers. If you’ve never done this, please, do yourself a favor. Skip the throwing of the rice yourself, and instead concentrate on watching the flingers fling.

It’s freakin’ glorious.

Watch how young boys under the age of ten like to hurl rice like shrapnel, their best fastball arms kicking in for this once-in-a-blue-moon event when it’s perfectly fine to whip things at other people.

I also enjoy watching ‘take-charge’ guys after the ceremony, too. They are easy to spot, out on the street or in the parking lot, pulling up their britches and making sure that ancient Aunt Kay has a ride to the the reception.

But, in all honesty, we know where the real fun is.

It’s waiting there, a few hours into the near-distant future, lurking, lingering, circling in a holding pattern , ready to descend upon the joyously gathered in the comical and repulsively funny form of people who have had a few extra drinks than the rest of the party.

The strong and unflappable tradition of inebriated people at wedding receptions is as big a part as anybody’s wedding day as father’s dancing with their daughter brides and lukewarm salmon fillets wearing a wig of dill. Their inevitable appearance in the large fire halls or grand hotel ballrooms or catering joint reception facilities of this world are both a hysterical and sincere reminder of what wedding days are actually really about in the long run.

The whiskey-soaked uncles of the brides, the gin-riddled college roommates of the grooms, they circle the tables and slip out on the dance floor, and even get into fistfights on some rare occasions, but all in an unconscious effort to remind us that family and friends are both the most important thing in our lives.

And the most annoying thing too, a lot of the time.

So here, in the spirit of fun and ONLY fun, let us now raise our glasses together and toast the often overlooked and under-appreciated ‘legend in their time’.

Ladies and gentlemen, brides and grooms, let us now toast the wedding reception drunk!


  • The Groomsmen 1 of 12
    The Groomsmen
    It pretty much goes without saying that most groomsmen are ready to tie one on at the wedding reception. After all, they've just watched another close friend sail off into the sunset of domestic bliss, and so things will never be quite the same.
    Image: flickr.com/photos/mike-p
  • The Bridesmaids 2 of 12
    The Bridesmaids
    Of course, bridesmaids have been known to have a cocktail or six before the cutting of the cake, too. These gals might be single or they might not, but regardless, they often end up celebrating their girlfriend's dream wedding by cutting loose with chardonnay and tequila shots and dancing the night away. It's almost a tradition in a way, a monument to all those wild and carefree yesterdays! flickr.com/photos/42402904@N00
  • Drunkle Joe 3 of 12
    Drunkle Joe
    Every family has a drunkle (drunk uncle) or two in it, and weddings are the best times to watch them in their native environment. Proud of their niece or nephew, and willing to toast them with others and alone (if no one else is available), drunkles are harmless and loving by nature, usually ending their night in true Viking-fashion, with a good spill, or sadly, maybe even a mild heart attack. flickr.com/photos/wetwebwork
  • Slightly Bitter Singles 4 of 12
    Slightly Bitter Singles
    Slightly bitter singles (S.B.S) are never the best wedding guests, really, but they have their place in the reception hall. Jaded by a series of bad relationships, S.B.S.'s are, more often than not, women, as the male version is never quite bitter enough to ward off his powerful urges to 'hook up' with another guest. SBS's often spend most of their time knocking back boozy concoctions at their table. And they rarely dance. It is not uncommon for S.B.S.'s to hook-up with each other, but, unfortunately, these pairings rarely end with a new wedding.
  • The Slightly Creepy-Ex 5 of 12
    The Slightly Creepy-Ex
    Now, not every wedding reception is lucky enough to have a Slightly Creepy Ex-boyfriend or girlfriend in the house, but on some occasions they are invited. When they are present, they are prone to drink rather heavily in order to ward off the strangeness of being the Slightly Creepy Ex that ACTUALLY showed up. Slightly Creepy Ex's are a real people-watching favorite of mine! flickr.com/photos/magnusdigity
  • Bagpipers 6 of 12
    Bagpipers
    This one is not as common, but still. If, per chance, there is a Scottish slant at any wedding and that results in the high lonesome and beautiful sound of bagpipes being played either during the ceremony or later at the reception, there is a very very good chance that the people who played those instruments will drink their weight in strong spirits. Side note: if a bagpiper is present at a wedding but ISN'T playing his/her pipes, they are still entitled, under the Universal Bagpipers Code, to get rip-roaring smashed. flickr.com/photos/murdo
  • Younger Brothers 7 of 12
    Younger Brothers
    Younger brothers from either the groom's side or the bride's side can often be counted on to imbibe enough to kill a small rhinoceros. Why exactly this happens is a mystery, really, but it is so. flickr.com/photos/firepile
  • The Unexpecteds 8 of 12
    The Unexpecteds
    Weddings are so charming and interesting because they reveal to us little secrets as we observe our fellow guests. And inevitably, one secret that is always revealed is that a person we would least expect to be someone who would get carried away with the sauce DOES, in fact, get carried away with the sauce! These folks are known as 'The Unexpecteds.' Sometimes, an Unexpected can even be an attractive single female, in which case there will be an entirely subterranean and wonderful performance going on at the reception in which male S.B.S.s and single groomsmen and unabashed drunkles will all ply for the tipsy lass's blurred affections. This is one of the greatest people watching events that can possibly occur at a wedding and if you are privy to it's ragged ballet, you should consider yourself quite lucky indeed! flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub
  • Dancing Fools 9 of 12
    Dancing Fools
    Dancing fools are simply excellent. They can be male or female, the only one mandatory criteria defining them being the fact that they have spent an entire evening out on the dance floor, breaking only to wander back to their table/to the bar in order to re-fuel for yet another session of rug-cutting greatness. More often than not, Dancing Fools tend to take a spill toward the end of night, as their charming human spirit is bamboozled by the river of liquor running through their veins. Carry-offs (assisted removals off of the dance floor) are not uncommon endings to a Dancing Fool's reception experience. flickr.com/photos/48685334@N00
  • The Guy No One Really Knows 10 of 12
    The Guy No One Really Knows
    The Guy No One Really Knows is, against all odds, usually an invited guest and NOT a wedding crasher, so to speak. And yet, there is often much discussion amongst reception guests as to who he is exactly. This particular mystery is rarely solved during the actual party. It typically only reveals itself in post-wedding discussions in the ensuing days. The Guy Who No One Really Knows is quite often a man who likes to drink and converse and flirt and even partake in spare desserts. He is most assuredly drunk by the night's close when he simply vanishes. It is sometimes theorized that The Guy Who No One Really Knows may actually LIVE in a closet just off of the dance floor. flickr.com/photos/jnd90745
  • Single Male Co-Workers 11 of 12
    Single Male Co-Workers
    Single male co-workers, usually from the groom's side, are probably the safest bet when it comes to guessing who will get nice and damaged at a wedding reception. They really enjoy free booze and they are particularly fond of isolated periods of rapid ingestion ('doing shots') between more drawn out bouts of steady drinking. In most cases, they are veterans of many weddings, and in most cases they recall very little of any of them. flickr.com/photos/cianw
  • The Bachelor Party Legend 12 of 12
    The Bachelor Party Legend
    The bachelor Party legend has a lot to live up to, but give him a break. His show of super-human survival skills during the wee small hours of the groom's bachelor party aren't something that can be repeated very often. He has been to The Edge and he has lived to tell the tale. So, at the reception, please don't expect him to put on such a repeat performance. Just let him get normally drunk and have a good time, and smile to yourself as you wink at him in salutation of his epic night of self-nudity and complete obliteration not so long ago. flickr.com/photos/sanberdoo

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