While the majority of your wedding guests will most likely be kind, supportive, and polite as they assist you in celebrating your new marriage, you may have a few guests who seem impossible to please. You may encounter people who wish to bring uninvited guests, complain about the venue, or are picky about the catered food. It can be difficult to deal with these visitors when you are busy or stressed, but it is possible. You can begin by planning the day ahead of time and communicating your plans clearly prior to the wedding. Maintain peace on the wedding day by keeping a cool head, giving clear directions, and appointing someone to deal with troublemakers.
Part 1 Avoiding Potential Problems
1. Consider carefully who you will invite. Remember that you are not required to invite anyone to your wedding. This day is all about you and your significant other. If you are estranged from certain family members or have a falling out with an old friend, don’t feel obligated to send an invitation. Furthermore, if you are aware that certain family members or friends are notorious for being difficult, it may be best to leave them off the guest list.
If a distant relative or acquaintance expresses disappointment at not being invited, explain, “I would have loved to have everyone attend, but we’ve decided to have a smaller wedding due to budget constraints.”
Consider organising an informal get-together or party after you return from your honeymoon to avoid making people feel left out.
2. Hire friends and family members to provide wedding services instead. You should avoid hiring friends or family members who are caterers, food vendors, or provide other types of wedding services. Hiring a family member may open the door to problems, so it may be in your best interest to avoid hiring any family members or friends at all if you can afford to.
3. Discuss any concerns with family and close friends. If you know ahead of time that a particular aspect of your wedding will be a source of contention for one of your guests, talk to them about it. Bringing up the subject will make them feel as if you are concerned about their concerns. You might be able to come to an agreement so that your wedding day goes off without any drama or hurt feelings.
For example, you could invite a close friend who also happens to be your brother’s ex-girlfriend. Explain your selection by saying, “I know you and Charlie are no longer together, but she has been a friend of mine for many years. I would love to have her there. I’ll make sure you’re sitting far apart from one another.”
If your friends and family members are already feuding, you might consider skipping some of the traditional wedding elements to eliminate the source of the problems. For example, if friends and family are arguing over who will sit at the head table, you may want to do away with the head table entirely. If there are disagreements about who will be a bridesmaid or groomsman, you may want to skip the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
4. Inquire about any dietary restrictions or other special needs that guests may have. Guests who announce they won’t be able to eat the food at the reception can cost you and the caterer extra money and time. Include a section on your RSVP card for guests to indicate any food allergies or dietary restrictions, such as a vegan or religious diet.
You can send an email or call each guest individually and tell them, “We’re planning the menu for the reception dinner and wanted to know if there were any special dietary requirements. Do you have any dietary requirements?”
5. Determine your top priorities. Something will undoubtedly go wrong at your wedding, but you can reduce your frustration by paying extra special attention to certain aspects of the day. Even if there is a minor hiccup in the plan, thinking about what is most important to you and your partner and planning accordingly will ensure that the day is memorable.
For example, if you and your spouse really want your guests to have a good time and dance all night, you might spend a little extra money on a DJ with a diverse music selection. If guests are dissatisfied with your music selections, they can make special requests.
You might also think about relinquishing control over less important details, such as what everyone wears.
If you have a difficult friend or family member, you might consider asking them to make a small decision for you to make them feel special and important.
Part 2 Setting Clear Expectations
1. Decide early on how to divide the guest list. Traditionally, the bride and groom select half of the guests, with the remaining half divided equally between their families. If you believe your family or your fiancé’s family will object to this arrangement, divide the list into three parts.
Keep in mind that if one or both of your families is contributing to the wedding’s cost, they should have a greater say in who gets to attend.
2. Be forthright about decisions you are unwilling to budge on. If you’re dead set on a particular venue or style of dress, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. You’ll remember this day for the rest of your life, so stand firm on details that are particularly important to you.
Identify some areas where you are willing to make concessions and use them as bargaining chips. So, when your mother tries to pick out flowers for you, you can say, “Mom, I appreciate your willingness to assist, but I’m certain I want gardenias.” Will you instead assist me in designing my invitations?”
Make certain that you and your fiancé present a united front on issues that are important to both of you. If you’re not sure where your fiancé stands on certain issues, talk to them about it so you’re on the same page.
3. Allowing people to bring uninvited guests is not a good idea. Print names on the response cards that come with your invitations so that guests cannot write their own names on them. Make it clear on the envelope if you intend to allow someone to bring a date.
If someone tries to write in the name of an extra guest anyway, call them and apologise politely for the error. “I’m sorry the invitation was unclear, but we don’t have enough space at the venue for everyone to bring a guest.” But I’m looking forward to seeing you.”
Remember that if one of your guests is engaged or married, you must also invite their fiancé or spouse.
Part 3 Keeping the Peace on the Big Day
1. Give specific instructions. Some wedding guests who appear to be demanding may simply be confused. Make certain that everyone knows how to get to the hotel, the wedding, and the reception venue. As a result, no one will give you, your wedding planner, or the hotel staff a hard time if they are lost.
It’s especially important to give clear directions if you’re having a destination wedding or getting married somewhere unfamiliar to most of your guests.
On your wedding website, for example, you can include detailed directions and an itinerary. Provide links to hotels where guests can book a stay, easy-to-follow directions to the wedding and reception locations, and practical advice such as what to wear to the event.
You might want to appoint someone to answer any logistical questions. Provide that person’s contact information as well as times when they are available to speak with your guests.
2. Prepare someone to act as a referee and deal with any conflicts that may arise. If a guest becomes rude, demanding, or belligerent at your wedding, you should not have to deal with it. To deal with difficult guests, enlist the assistance of your wedding planner or a friend.
Choose a code word ahead of time to alert the designated referee if a guest is becoming a nuisance.
For example, if your mother-in-law won’t stop complaining, you could appoint someone in her family to distract her with a task or provide her with an alcoholic beverage to calm her down.
You might even consider leaving your phone at home for the day if you are being bombarded with texts and phone calls about the problem.
3. Make plans for children’s activities. If you’ve invited children to your wedding and reception, a little extra thought can go a long way toward keeping them happy all night. This will reduce any issues that may arise as a result of parents not knowing how to entertain their children while also attending the wedding. Allow both adults and children to have fun by providing kid-friendly activities.
Make sure there are kid-friendly foods available, place crayon boxes at their table, and provide small toys or bottles of bubble solution for them.
You could also hire a babysitter (or several, depending on the number of children) to entertain the children so that the parents can enjoy the festivities.
4. Make an effort not to take criticism personally. When people are drunk, they can lose their sense of etiquette. Someone will always be dissatisfied with the music, food, or venue and will think it’s a good idea to tell you about it. If you can, shrug it off and redirect the conversation – it’s your wedding, not theirs, and a little ill-advised criticism doesn’t have to ruin the night.
For example, if your great-aunt Harriet goes on and on about how the ceremony was not carried out according to tradition, conduct a self-evaluation and ask yourself, “Am I happy with the way things went?” Ignore her criticism and enjoy your special day if you are.
Keep in mind that criticism often stems from a sense of concern or envy, so try to empathise with the person and see things from their point of view. This will enable you to respond to criticism with compassion rather than resentment.
5. On your wedding day, practise mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can help you enjoy every detail of your wedding day. You can practise mindfulness throughout the day by pausing to observe what is going on around you.
You can, for example, pause and take a few deep breaths as you take in the sights, smells, sounds, and feel of your surroundings. You may notice the colours of your wedding decorations, the aroma of the food, the sound of people conversing, and the coolness of the room you are in.
A calming mantra can also help you stay mindful throughout the day. For example, as you pause and breathe, tell yourself, “Everything is fine on my wedding day.” Continue to repeat the mantra to yourself (silently or aloud) for a few minutes while breathing.
6. Surround yourself with people who will be there for you. If you are surrounded by negative people who see flaws in everything, you may end up feeling more stressed on your wedding day. Instead, surround yourself with positive people who can support you and lift your spirits if someone causes a problem.
For example, instead of spending the day with your complaining cousin, spend it with your most upbeat and positive friends and family members.
7. Take excellent care of yourself. Self-care can help to reduce stress and keep you sane in the run-up to the big day. Make time each day to perform basic hygiene tasks such as showering, styling your hair, brushing your teeth, and selecting clean clothes. Also, make sure you are taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods and exercising.
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