You love your wedding guests and want everyone to come and share the celebration of your day. While you can't imagine that your guests would purposely ruin your day, you have heard the horror stories or seen firsthand as a bridesmaid how quick a bad behaving guests can ruin the fun. So now it is your day and you are not having any of that nonsense. Read on, and learn to kick these potential landmines to the curb.
1. PROBLEM, ARRIVING LATE: They will arrive for your wedding late. It used to be widely known that there are two occasions to which you should NEVER be late, Weddings & Funerals. However, within the last decade guests have opted for the fashionably late approach. I blame Hollywood and their twenty plus minutes of trailers before the film for this, What guests fail to understand is that in many cases the venue is rented just for the ceremony and everything is timed for the short amount of time you have. As you are lining up for your procession, it will be very frustrating to have guests pushing past you because they arrived at the start of the ceremony.
SOLUTION: If possible have your ushers or venue staff move to the entrance doors and hold late guests until after the procession has finished. Instruct them to find a place near the back so as not to disrupt the ceremony.
2. PROBLEM, NO RSVP: With multiple ways to let you know that they can or cannot attend you wedding, you will still have at least one guest who will show up without an RSVP. Whether a friend who free'd their plans or a family member who decided to bring a last minute "plus one" this can throw a wrench in your seating plan.
SOLUTION: When creating your seating chart keep a few spaces open to accommodate these "surprise guests". Let your coordinator or venue manager know where these extra seats are so the guests can be discretely seated.
3. PROBLEM, WON'T SIT WHERE ASSIGNED: While this sounds like a ridiculous problem, in a recent survey, 25% of people polled admitted to not sitting where assigned as a wedding guest. This rogue guest can upset an entire seating chart displacing numerous other guests. Often times, these same guests will refuse to move once they have chosen their seat. While you might feel like tossing them out altogether there are a few options to calm tensions.
SOLUTION: If the table has room, add another place setting. If the table is at capacity, apologize and ask the displaced guest or another guest at the table if they would mind relocating. Typically the displaced guest will volunteer to move since they don't want to spend an evening with the jerk who rudely took their seat.
4. PROBLEM, GUESTS BEGIN DANCING BEFORE TRADITIONAL DANCES: Generally, guests know that dancing before the first dance of the bride and groom is considered rude, however, some couples are following a trend of pre-dinner dancing over the last few years. For this reason, guest might assume that they can dance whenever the spirit moves them. If however, you want the first dance of the night to be between you and your new spouse, this cause some hurt feelings and a few stern glances.
SOLUTION: Talk to your DJ/Band when you are discussing your music choices. Let them know that you don't want to encourage dancing before your "First Dance." Your DJ/Band will select cocktail and dinner music that makes early dancing less likely.
5. PROBLEM, OVER-DRINKING: Of course you want all of your guests to have a wonderful evening and an open bar is a favorite for guests. It is important to remember that if you choose to serve unlimited alcohol to your guests, you also assume some liability. A drunk guest who causes a confrontation or damages the venue or themselves can lead to a nasty bill for you.
SOLUTION: Be smart about your bar service. Offer appetizers during cocktail hour and late-night snack. If you are offering hard liquor during your reception, you need warm appetizers with some protein and carbs. Also consider offering coffee service with your dessert and keeping it open throughout the evening, Finally, close the open bar 30 min. prior to the end of your event and switch to water and soft-drinks only.