Most of these tips are pretty straight forward, and pulled from the article posted on the Wedding Bells website with some tweaks and notes of my own.
1. The Guest Who Doesn’t RSVP
You sent out the invites months ago, but your friend still hasn’t confirmed yes or no. Maybe they’re super busy, or just have just procrastinated/forgot. Instead of playing the waiting game, it might be time give them a friendly phone call and ask. We all know how snail mail isn’t always reliable, so there is a chance their RSVP was lost in the mail.
2. The Guest That Forgets To Write Their Name On The RSVP
The other issue you might run into is that your guest forgot to write their name on the RSVP card. Solution: Number your guests on your master guest list. As you address your envelope, number your RSVP envelope with the number the matches the guest name. When you get a card with no name you’ll be able to match up the numbers, and yes…this really does happen.
3. The Guest(s) That Is Late To The Ceremony
Let’s face it, we’ve all been to many weddings that just don’t start on time. They usually blame the bride or groom, which may actually be the case. Nothing, in my opinion, is more annoying and rude than guests showing up late to the ceremony 20 minutes in, no matter how quiet they try to be, everyone still notices. A simple trick, is to state an earlier start time on your invitations but actually start 30 minutes later. This allows those “late to everything” guests a few extra minutes to arrive and get settled before you walk down the isle. When I read this tip on a few other blogs, I thought, do people really do this on purpose? Something to consider.
4. The Guest That Gets A Little Too Drunk
An open bar is meant to be enjoyed, but there’s always that one guest that has one too many. If the guest poses a risk to themselves or others, have a friend, a family member, or someone from your wedding party to quietly encourage them to sober up and switch to water. If the guest won’t cooperate, it’s best to have your venue manager ask them to leave and ensure they get home safely. It would be unfortunate, but it really is to ensure that the guest gets home safely and minimizes any disruption or unfortunately events at the wedding.
5. The Guest That Brings A Plus One Without Asking
Maybe I’m too naïve and think…people don’t actually do that, do they? It’s understandable that some want company during a long wedding, but a guest should never bring along a date (no matter how charming they are) if they haven’t been given a plus one. If you find out in advance, try letting them know that you don’t have the space or the budget for additional guests. If they do bring a plus one along anyways, then the only thing you can do is fit them in and pay for an extra meal. How can you really try to avoid this from happening? Help them out by pre-filling in their RSVP card with a “0” on the number of guests permitted.
6. The Guest That Shows Up In Inappropriate Attire
Sometimes dress codes can be a bit confusing for a wedding, especially if it’s a backyard wedding, themed, or what have you. In any case, that never justifies wearing blue jeans to a semi-formal event, or white, ever. So how do you let your guests know what’s appropriate for you event? Easy, state it on your invitation. Your guests will be grateful, and you can ensure that they will be decked out in their finest gowns, tuxes, or perhaps chinos and button downs, what ever your vision is.
I love this example I used for a client that did a 1920’s Great Gatsby themed wedding, “Come as a flapper or come as you are. Dress like Gatsby or a silent star. It’s going to be fun no matter the dress, just bring yourself and we’ll do the rest.”
7. The Guest Brings A Terrible Gift Or None At All
What’s worse – receiving a monogrammed towel set with your name misspelled on it, or no towel set at all? If you would like to ensure that the gifts would be things that you really appreciate and need, be sure to set up a gift registry with your favourite department store(s). Maybe you already have “everything” you think you need but are doing home reno’s or landscaping. Registering at Home Depot for drywall may seem a bit odd. I’ve experienced first hand friends not registering at all. I don’t know about you but I LOVE gift cards. You can buy what you want/need. Instead of writing “Monetary gifts appreciated”, as that can be tacky, let your guests know that you’re giving your basement an overhaul and Home Depot is where your buying all your supplies from. Even if you receive a gift you hate, you should be thankful anyways. A wedding is about celebrating your love and commitment.
8. The Guest Who Brings A Child Along To An Adults-Only Wedding
Yes, your guests’ kids are super adorable and yes, you enjoy spending time with them – just not on your wedding day. But how do you tell a parent that your day is “adults only” with offending them? First off, if they’re offended, are they really that good of friends? In all seriousness, it’s one night. One night out and they can use it as a night away form the kids to be adults and enjoy the day/night. The easiest way to let everyone know is on your invitations. Simply state that your reception is adults only, or both ceremony and reception. Your family and wedding party can also spread the word, but if your guest still shows up with their kid(s), then there’s nothing you can really do. Seat the child with the mother and father and move on.
“But I have a flower girl and ring bearer or junior bridesmaid, will my guest be upset I let them come and not their kids?” Maybe, but its your day, you make the rules.
9. The Guest(s) Posts About The Wedding On Social Media And/Or Is Constantly On Their Phone
No bride wants to walk down the isle and see their friends and family staring down at their phones because they’re searching for the perfect Instagram filter. If you want your ceremony to be phone free, let your guests know. It’s become quite popular to make/buy signs asking your guests to turn their phones off for the ceremony. Or we’ve hired a professional photographer and we promise to share all the special moments with you so you can be in the moment with us. You could also ask whoever is performing the ceremony to remind your guests to please put away their phones, turn them off or silent in respect of the bride and groom.
10. Guests Are Speaking Over the Speeches.
I’ve been a guest at several weddings, just like you. Most of them I knew the couple really well and some I was a plus one. Either way, there is nothing more annoying than people talking when your trying to listen to the speeches being given. If I were giving the speech I’d be pretty darn ticked off, and even more ticked off if it was my own wedding. A tip to try to avoid this is doing your speeches early on in the evening. I’d suggest during dinner. This way everyone is seated and hopefully has a mouthful. Your MC will be able to keep the flow going and instead of everyone sitting around after dinner listening to speech after speech, your guests won’t feel like the evening dragged on, and you can get the party started and keep your guest happy. Everybody wins!
WeddingBells has great tips and other articles for you future brides. I thought this was a great article to share. Again, I have tweaked some of the suggestions, the original article can be found here. All of the photos used are from the Wedding Bells original article.