Every bride wants her wedding day to be perfect, with her closest friends and family members as witnesses to the beginning of her new life as the wife of her beloved. Sometimes, however, our loved ones’ partners are not so beloved! We’d rather not have them attend the wedding and reception, fearing that their presence or behavior may ruin an otherwise beautiful occasion.
The truth is that no matter where we go in life there will be difficult people to deal with. We can’t choose our loved ones’ partners for them, and accepting them into our life gracefully is a sign of maturity. Showing proper etiquette on your wedding day will raise your esteem in the eyes of your family and friends, but you shouldn’t have to deal with their bad manners in return. Here are some tips on handling unwanted or uninvited guests:
How to Deal With Friends or Family Members Who Over-Indulge in Alcohol
You may love your Aunt Ethel dearly, but Uncle Fred just can’t seem to control his drinking habits. You don’t want him doing the hokey-pokey on your wedding cake or offending other guests. Ask an usher, or a member of your family who has some influence over Uncle Fred, to keep and eye on him and remove him from the room if he becomes too belligerent. For a larger reception where alcohol is served, you may even want to hire bouncers who can discreetly handle those wedding guests who have over-indulged.
Unless you feel no celebration is complete without intoxicating liquors, as unfortunately many people do, you may choose to have an alcohol-free reception. This may upset some of your guests, but remain firm in your convictions. One would hope they could remain sober for a few hours out of respect for your wishes. It’s your special day, after all.
If all else fails, make sure someone keeps the video camera on Uncle Fred so you may have a shot at winning the big prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos.
How to Respond When an Invited Guest Asks to Bring a Date
Weddings are celebrations, not dating opportunities. Don’t let Cousin Brittney to guilt-trip you into allowing her boyfriend-of-the-week to accompany her. Get yourself off the hook by explaining that the catering has already been ordered and you just can’t fit in another guest.
Some brides may find themselves unable to turn down such requests for fear of offending the inquiring guest. The invited guest is the one exhibiting rude behavior, not the bride for denying the request. You may want to ask one of your bridesmaids or another person involved in the wedding planning to take care of the RSVP’s and handle any such rude requests for extra invitations!
Consider the circumstances of the request. If a close friend or relative has become engaged since the wedding invitations were sent out, it would be courteous of you to welcome the newly intended partner to your wedding and reception. Since you can expect a small percentage of your invited guests not to attend, even though they may have sent their RSVP accepting your wedding invitation, it’s likely that you will have an extra seat available to accommodate the extra guest.
What to Do When You Don’t Like the Live-In Partner of a Wedding Guest
In today’s society, couples who live together as man and wife without the benefit of marriage are socially accepted as a couple. It would be discourteous to invite your friend or relative but to exclude the live-in partner. However you feel about the live-in partner, he or she is still your friend’s or family member’s chosen one. Include his or her name on the invitation, but don’t allow this person’s presence to ruin your day. While it’s courteous for the bride and groom to welcome each guest at the reception, you won’t have much time to spend with each guest. Speak to the person briefly and then excuse yourself to speak to other guests.
How to Have a Wedding without Children as Guests
Some couples are happy to have their youngest family members and their friends’ children as wedding guests, while others prefer to celebrate in a more adult atmosphere. Couples who don’t wish to have children attend the wedding and reception should state this clearly on the invitation. While this may delight some guests, it may upset others. Stand your ground, and tell any angry parents who refuse to come that you will miss their presence on your special day. Send your invitations far enough in advance of your wedding date so that parents have time to arrange for a sitter if they wish to attend.
Dealing With Wedding Guests Who Show Up Uninvited
Cousin Brittany may just have enough gall to bring her current boyfriend along anyway, even though her request was turned down. Older relatives may bring adult children, even though their names weren’t included on the invitation Accept the presence of these uninvited guests with charm and grace, instead of lowering yourself to their level of boorishness by turning them away.
The reception is a different matter, however! Those who are socially ignorant enough to crash your wedding may feel their uninvited presence at your wedding ceremony gives them the right to attend the reception, also. You have every right to turn these people away from your wedding reception, as well as anyone else who is not on the guest list. Have security personnel at the door (ask your ushers if they would perform this service, or hire professional security guards if you think this is going to be a major problem) who will only allow invited wedding guests into the reception room.
Don’t Turn Into Bridezilla!
As brides, we want our day to be perfect, but few weddings are! Relax and enjoy the day, and ignore any rude behavior displayed by your wedding guests. We are only responsible for our own attitudes and behavior. Be a gracious, courteous, and charming bride, and send your guests home with wonderful memories of your beautiful wedding ceremony.