The dance floor: hitting your stride
Now that the wedding’s in full on “party” mode, the temptation will be there to up your drinking accordingly, and this is where many folks take a wrong turn to disasterville. If you’ve done it right up to this point, you should be feeling great: social but not sloppy, alive but not annoying. Don’t push yourself over the edge into the land of regrets and awkward apologies to your friend’s new father-in-law about that shattered bay window. You’re just looking to maintain at this point. Repeat: maintain.
Basically, the idea is you’re taking your foot off the booze pedal just a bit at this point. This can be accomplished in a few ways. Personally, I’ll often switch to light beer here (even though I’m one of those card-carrying “beer snob” types) because it goes down easy, keeps me going without taking me to weird places, and the bottle doubles as an excellent fake microphone for when the DJ finally honors my repeated requests to play “Build Me Up Buttercup.” But if you don’t want to switch to a lighter drink, just slow your pace a bit further.
A word about mixing: I’ve personally never been big on the theory that mixing different kinds of alcohols gets you in trouble... I think that’s just an excuse people use when they over-served themselves in general and want to pretend it was the result of some mythic chemical reaction: “Oh, this always happens when I drink sangria before Manhattans.” Odds are, if you’re hurting, you had too much to drink, period. You could have stuck with Zima all night, and it wouldn't have made any difference.
But hey, if you’re one of those folks who really values sticking to one spirit all night, go for it, just be mindful of your pacing as the evening wears on.
Welp, Donna Summer just started imploring everyone to dance the last dance, so things appear to be wrapping up. Hey, the bar’s closed -- did you remember to get that last drink? If you’ve done things properly, it shouldn’t matter much either way. You’re feeling alert, on top of your game, with just the right amount of buzz still percolating between your ears, ready for whatever comes next. And because it’s only 11pm and you’re dealing with a potent combination of single people looking to get laid and young parents who have a sitter for the first time in six months, there’s definitely going to be a next.