Worried some of your pals might drink too much at the open bar? Follow these tips to keep the buzzed at bay.

Hire Experienced Bartenders

Your drink masters should be licensed, insured, and practiced enough to recognize when someone needs to be cut off-and must absolutely pull the plug when necessary.

Offer a Great-Tasting Virgin Alternative

Go beyond the soda and juice options and provide a delicious nonalcoholic punch, suggests contributing editor Claudia Hanlin, owner of The Wedding Library in New York City. Serve the mocktail until the bar closes, then nix the booze and offer tea or coffee instead.

Limit the Hard Stuff

Curb the variety of liquor on hand and instead present a preportioned signature sipper to help keep overconsumption down.

Have Cabs on Call

Give your planner, bartenders, and caterer taxi numbers to hand out to tipsy guests, and reserve a crash pad at a nearby hotel for those who live too far away to be driven.

Then, Let It Go

Even if guests do act up, there's always the chance it could be a funny moment. If you're really apprehensive, consider a brunch, lunch, or tea reception: They're shorter (and cheaper!) than a formal evening affair, giving guests less time to knock back a few.


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