Ah, the speeches. Whether it's childhood memories, a gentle roast, or a heartfelt wish for the newlyweds, wedding toasts during the reception can really set the tone for the night — or they can backfire, especially when it's later in the evening and everyone is a few drinks in. What should you do if the person holding the mic has clearly had too much? Our experts have some advice to tactfully handle a potentially messy situation.
Anyone who decides to speak at your wedding (hopefully) has your best interests at heart, but unfortunately open bars and open mics don't always mix. The first way to keep drunken speeches to a minimum is to limit who is invited to give a toast. You might want to ask the maid of honor, best man, and both sets of parents to speak at the wedding itself, encouraging any other friends or family members to share their thoughts the night before at the rehearsal dinner. This way, the scheduled speakers know what's coming up and can keep their drinking to a minimum until after they've put the microphone down.
If you do decide to allow other guests to speak at the reception, do so with a little bit of caution. Says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, "As soon as you notice a speech going downhill, have the best man or a groomsman (with a few other groomsmen nearby for backup) stand up and tactfully say, 'Thank you, George, for your sentiments. Let's open the floor to others who would like to toast the happy couple.' He can then gently take the microphone and guide the intoxicated guest back to his or her seat, or to another room where they can pull themselves together or you can get them a ride home. Act swiftly but calmly to avoid any embarrassment for yourselves or your guest."