While planning your wedding, you’ve most likely read many articles and consulted many individuals regarding proper wedding etiquette. Unfortunately, many wedding guests are clueless of proper etiquette and the mistakes they are making as attendees at your event.
Here are the 7 biggest mistakes wedding guests make and how to deal with them.
Guests who don’t RSVP
Having planned my own wedding, this one is sooooo annoying. I think it’s by far the biggest mistake wedding guests make. Some guests just assume you know they are coming so they don’t bother and some think you only RSVP if they cannot make the wedding.
If this happens to you, you’ve got to hit the phones. Ask your family and your wedding party to help you call the guests. Give them the firm deadline again and if they don’t reply assume they are not coming.
Guests who are a No Show
Seems like common sense that if you shouldn’t RSVP “yes” then not attend, but some folks still make this mistake.
If this happens to you, let your caterer know as soon as possible. If there is more than one table with guests missing, you may be able to combine tables. After the wedding, speak to your no shows and say something like, “When we didn’t see you at the wedding, we were worried. Is everything okay?” If the reason for their absence isn’t injury, sickness or an emergency, you should let them know you feel disappointed/hurt/disrespected.
Guests who call attention to themselves
Whether the guest is stealing attention by wearing something revealing, giving an unrequested toast, disrupting the dance floor with a solo, or getting drunk it can be unnerving.
If this happens to you, you may have to roll with it and know that it’s very hard for anyone to upstage you. You could get creative and interrupt by asking the DJ to play a slow song or choose this moment to cut the cake. Take a deep breath and try to relax. If the guest is drunk, ask your bartender, wedding coordinator, or trusted family member/friend to stop serving the guest and call a cab so he/she doesn’t drive. It will be uncomfortable to ask him/her to leave but you have the right to do so.
Guests who want to bring an uninvited Plus One
If you had the budget for every guest to bring a plus one, you would have put that on the invitation. But, some guests may ask to bring a friend.
If this happens to you, explain the circumstances and let them know your space and/or budget can’t accommodate their guest. Be sure to tell them this rule applies to all guest and emphasize you hope they will attend. To be pro-active about this mistake, you could note on the invitation that spouses, fiancés and partners are invited but all other guests are invited solo.
Guests who make unexpected toasts
This guest may be seeking attention, may have drank too much or may genuinely have something heartfelt to say.
If this happens to you, ask the DJ (or band) to start the music and cut off the unwelcome toast. You can try and prevent this from happening prior to the reception by asking your DJ (or band) not to give the microphone to anyone not scheduled to give a toast.
Guests who post your wedding activities on social media
Guests should be enjoying the moment, not live broadcasting the event and the activities leading up to it. Not every “follower” and “friend” needs to be privy to and, those who weren’t invited could get their feelings hurt.
If this happens to you, you can ask your head usher to ask them to stop and speak to them later about why you’d like to be able to manage the publicity of your special day. You can try and keep things private before the wedding by creating a “secret” Facebook group of wedding guests and designate that feed to capture the day. Change tagging approvals so that you can control what other people – like your boss or grandma – can see should there be questionable partying pictures.
Guests who are late
Not all guests allow enough time for parking, finding the venue, traffic, snafoos with children, etc.
If this happens to you, try to start 5-10 minutes late. Ask your head usher or wedding coordinator to monitor arriving guests and let you know when the majority have arrived. If someone is late, stick to your agenda and don’t make a big deal about it.
What wedding guest mistakes have we missed and how do you advise handling them?