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10 Awkward Problems with Wedding Guests (And How to Solve Them)

So you're planning a wedding. There will be awkward problems with wedding guests, even if you try to avoid them. Here's how to navigate the stickier issues you might struggle with.

By Riley Raul ReesePublished 5 years ago 8 min read

Planning a wedding is so wonderful, isn't it? You get to try all the cool DIY projects you've always wanted to try. You get to tour a bunch of palatial venues and get treated like a princess. You even get to shop for a pretty princess dress for your special day!

Oh, and then there's the wedding guest list.

Whether you like it or not, planning a wedding means that you will probably need to deal with at least one or two awkward situations. Maybe it's a boozy mother-in-law or a "guest" who wrongfully assumed that they were invited. Whatever it'll be, you can expect it to be a doozy.

Wondering how to handle the most common problems with wedding guests or guest lists? Here's how to do it gracefully, without losing your mind in the process.

It's almost inevitable that some people will end up feeling like they are way closer to you than they really are. Most of the time, this isn't actually that bad. It's when you're planning a wedding that they start to get upset and offended.

How to Handle It:

Truth be told, there's no way to escape this without them being upset, offended, or otherwise hurt. It sucks when you feel like someone you really care about doesn't actually view you as important enough in their lives.

The best way to do this is to try to avoid the topic when they strike up a conversation with you. If they ask, your best bet is to tell them that budget constraints limited it to "just family."

Obviously, this may be a lie, but it's a lie that will at least protect their feelings. After that, ask them if they would be up for meeting up with you both as a couple.

Drunk wedding guests are almost always going to be a given—unless you're throwing a dry wedding. So if you want to prepare for any problems with wedding guests, make a point of knowing how to handle this one ahead of time.

How to Handle It:

The most important thing to do with a drunk wedding guest is to distract them and prevent them from drinking any more booze. By getting them away from the booze, you're solving half the problem.

After that, you may want to get a bridesmaid or groomsman to escort them out of the venue if they get too belligerent. Having a friend who's well-versed in frat parties will help with this.

We all have that person. Maybe it's an unsupportive in-law, or maybe it's just that one friend your partner has that thinks it's hilarious to drop his pants around kids as a joke. Whatever the reason may be, you know that they will most likely be a problem at the wedding.

If you have personal problems with wedding guests everyone expects you to invite, don't worry. You're not alone. Everyone has someone like that in their lives.

How to Handle It:

The cool thing about planning your wedding is that it's your wedding. That means that no one can force you to invite someone there. So, have a talk with your spouse about whether you both actually want them there and then strike them off the guest list if you don't.

To enforce it, notify security about potential drop-bys at the door.

Oof! I feel this one, primarily because I'm childfree myself. Not wanting to have screaming, shouting kids at your wedding is absolutely, totally acceptable and reasonable.

Unfortunately, parents tend to have a lot of rage about this and will often give you flak for it. Some may even try to show up with kids regardless, claiming that they felt you could "make an exception." (Rude, right?)

How to Handle It:

This is one of those issues that can cause longterm damage to your relationships, but in many cases, it's long overdue. People who can't respect your wishes on a once-in-a-lifetime day aren't people who will be good friends in the long term.

The best way to handle planning a childfree wedding is to hire a baby bouncer who denies entry to parents with children. Make sure that you remind parents that they need to hire a sitter or have kids stay with grandparents during the wedding and reception.

If they refuse to listen to your wishes or throw a tantrum, that's their problem more than it is yours. At this point, you've already made them aware this would happen. So, they have no right to be upset.

In-laws are tricky, because you are adding them to your family when you marry them. You don't want to have them hate you, but you also don't want to have them ruin your wedding by acting out, making obscene demands, or turning your wedding into a public spectacle.

So, how can you trust your future family members to behave?

How to Handle It:

At this point, you have to expect your partner to stick up for you. If they don't, you have to strongly consider calling the wedding off. This behavior will not get better, and in fact, may become worse once you can't actually leave.

Should they start demanding things, stay firm when it comes to your needs. If they refuse to listen, pull them aside and tell them that they are making a scene and need to stop. If all else fails, talk with your partner about barring them entry to the wedding or ask someone to escort them out.

Let's say you have a coworker named Greg. Greg is your homeboy and your workplace confidant. He's your rock, and you even share beers after work. You want to invite Greg, but you don't know whether or not he will feel weird about it.

You also don't want other coworkers approaching you for invites either, since that can cause even more problems with wedding guests. How can you solve this dilemma?

How to Handle It:

If you are friends with your Greg outside of work, pull him aside and low-key invite him. If you aren't, you may want to avoid it simply because it could create waves with others.

Plus-ones are absolutely necessary when it comes to ensuring that couples get to be represented at your wedding. However, they also can be a source of drama and can seriously drain your bank account. So, what should you do? What can you do?

How to Handle It:

Tell guests that they are offered plus-ones across the board if you can afford it. If you can't, just offer plus-ones to the married couples, and cite budgeting issues to people who ask why their latest "woobie" can't come with.

At the very least, come up with a blanket policy, and make it crystal-clear on the invitation about plus-ones. This will also save you money by ensuring to cut your guest list in half.

Let's face it. Most people yearn for the day that their mom or dad sends them off to marital bliss. But, what happens when your parents or your partner's parents are not going to be there? How can you put together the ceremony?

How to Handle It:

If your parents passed away, the best fix is to have an older relative or friend take the place of your parents during the ceremony. It'll be seen as a respectful way to show someone that you see them as a parental figure.

If one pair of parents decided to opt out as a way to disapprove of the wedding, or because they have been booted off the guest list as a result of their behavior, things will be a little bit more tricky. Some guests may know your parents and wonder why someone else is walking you down the aisle.

You have two options here. You can have a person walk you down the aisle, or you can just go solo. You might ask your partner if they would be comfortable having neither set of parents walking you both down the aisle.

Should anyone ask, you can explain that your family couldn't make it due to "prior matters." If it has become a very bitter battle, then simply tell them the truth—if you so choose.

You really don't know who your second cousin twice removed is. You don't know Great-Grandpa Gelbert. But, people are badgering you to invite them regardless, simply because they're faaaaaamily.

How to Handle It:

If your parents are paying for the wedding, you really don't have much say in it. At the very most, you can explain to your parents that you want a wedding that's representative of your closest friends and family.

On the other hand, if you're paying for the wedding, you don't have to capitulate to those demands. There are simply people you shouldn't feel obligated to invite to your wedding. Simply cite budget, and tell them that it's just "not doable."

Cara and Sara are your two best buddies. They hate each other's guts; however, they both love you. Can you invite them both without further prompting problems with wedding guests that may choose to say, "I do," to a couple of choice words towards each other?

You're worried that they may start bickering, or even get into an all-out catfight. You don't want to have your big day turn into a Jerry Springer rerun. What can you do?

How to Handle It:

Invite them both, but remind them that the wedding is about keeping the peace. This is, of course, assuming that they are both rational people who care more about your happiness than they do about making drama.

If you're not sure they can stand being with one another, then you should consider pulling them both aside to talk about them. And, if you really feel like you can't expect them to deal, don't invite either and cite why. Who knows? It may be the wakeup call they need.

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About the Creator

Riley Raul Reese

Riley Reese is comic book fanatic who loves anything that has to do with science-fiction, anime, action movies, and Monster Energy drink.

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