The weather is warming up, love is in the air, and cocktail dresses are on display racks. You know what that means — it’s wedding season! This is a time of light-hearted fun, celebrating couples that you love, and getting smashed on someone else’s dime.
However, weddings can be anxiety-inducing for those of us that don’t drink. Attending weddings as a sober person can often feel lonely and about as fun as having dental work without novocaine. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are five tips to getting through wedding season without needing a drink:
1. The only person concerned with what is (or isn’t) in your glass is you. When I first stopped drinking I thought that everyone was judging me when I went out and ordered water (or Diet Coke or a Shirley Temple). It turns out that people either a) didn’t notice or b) didn’t care. Order a soda water with lime and no one will know there’s no vodka in it. And feel free to raise a glass of champagne to toast your friends, without taking a sip. I promise, no one will think less of you.
2. Find a sober support person. Can you bring a sober date? Is there someone else at the wedding that you know won’t be drinking? Is there someone you can call or text from the wedding, if you’re feeling awkward or unsafe? Everything is harder when you do it alone, so make sure you have support.
3. You’re allowed to leave whenever you want. You came, you celebrated, and you can leave! Plus, the happy couple is probably so busy and distracted, they won’t even notice if you duck out early. Take care of you and do what you need to do. No one is forcing you to be somewhere that feels threatening to your sobriety. And if you feel you need to leave, people that love you will understand.
4. Remember who the day is about (spoiler alert: it isn’t you). At the end of the day, you have (at most) a few hours of discomfort to sit through. It might be hard and uncomfortable for you, but the day is about celebrating your friends/family members. Remember that this, too, shall pass and in a few short hours you get to go home and not be surrounded by sloppy drunks and free booze. Grin and bear it.
5. Have fun! There’s so much that’s awesome about weddings besides the open bar. There’s usually awesome food, great people, and fun music. Stuff your face with hors d’oeuvres, get down to the beat (everyone is just as bad at dancing as you are).
Whether, it is your first (or tenth) sober wedding, it can still feel like a huge deal but it doesn’t have to be. And at least you won’t be the one having to worry about embarrassing photos the next day — because you’ll remember the whole party!