When it comes to weddings, not everybody is going to know the ins and outs of wedding etiquette. From making inappropriate requests to general rude behavior, don’t be shocked when one of your guests acts in a way you find unacceptable. Instead, be ready to handle our top five wedding guest mistakes before they happen.
1. Not sending RSVPs
Everybody in the history of forever that’s ever planned a wedding knows firsthand the importance of a timely RSVP. Everything you need to do – from planning your seating chart and constructing that perfect escort display, to purchasing enough party favors – depends on knowing just how many guests are coming. Unfortunately, some of your guests just might view that pretty invitation as a novelty rather than a pure necessity.
So, what can you do when those RSVP cards haven’t seemed to make their way back to your mailbox? You have to give those guests a call or send out a group email (will a blind CC, of course). If you’re on the proactive end of this issue, make your reply-by date two weeks from the date you intend to send out your invitations. This way your guests see the RSVP date is soon and they’re more likely to stick it in the mail right away.
2. Sending RSVPs with extra guests added
Of course, you’re happy because your guest sent in their RSVP – hopefully in a timely manner – but they’ve added a guest, or a child, you didn’t invite or might not have ever heard of. Maybe they believe every invite comes with a plus one, but this puts everyone in an awkward situation. Whether it be space restraints, budget limitations, or the desire to keep your wedding intimate in nature, it’s ultimately up to you to decide who makes the cut. We suggest setting hard boundaries from the get-go (only a plus-one if they’re engaged; no children under 18). Then, you’ll need to call the guest to explain the situation and, most likely, they’ll completely understand and be more than happy to attend solo. Stop the issue before it starts by addressing your invitations specifically (Writing “The Jones Family” only if the entire family truly is invited, or “Mr. Josh Jones & Guest” to indicate they have a plus-one). The earlier you can make these restrictions clear, the less awkward these conversations will become.
3. Calls to the Bride and Groom
As soon as your wedding invites go out, the calls start coming in. It’s likely that Great Aunt Jenny is just so excited she can’t wait. But it’s not just her; Guests of all ages are treating you like their personal travel agent. From places to stay to fun things to do while they’re in town, the intentions are genuine, but you could do without the extra to-dos. Avoid these time-draining conversations by creating a wedding website. Here you can list information about the hotel block you’ve already reserved, as well as ideas of activities and even a link to your wedding registry. Put together a welcome bag, including a wedding weekend itinerary, for your out-of-town guests. Sure, you’ll still have those few guests who you know won’t make it to your site, but make sure to go over the weekend’s details with both sets of parents and your bridal parties, then print a copy of the info and send it (yes, snail mail) to those hand selected technophobes.
4. Requesting songs
You’ve spent months (maybe even longer) planning this oh-so-perfect day, just to hear “The Electric Slide” interrupt your perfectly-planned playlist. Sure, it might be inevitable to cancel out all requests from your guests (or is it?), but if your DJ thinks it’s appropriate they might give it a play. You can’t control everything during your wedding day or reception, but it sure can be a bummer. If you really hate the idea of going off script with your playlist, let your DJ or band know that you want to stick strictly to the set list, or that a certain type of song is off-limits for the night. This way you get to hear the music you’re expecting and there aren’t any unwanted surprises.
5. Drinking too much
Sure, your guests are going to have a drink or two (or few), but it’s possible that the center of the party quickly becomes a hot mess after a few too many. While you can’t be expected to monitor how many signature cocktails your guests have, you can’t ignore someone who’s had too much to drink. Let your day of coordinator know of the situation and have them or a responsible attendant call the guest a cab ride home. It’s extremely important to make sure each guest is safe, so granting the bartender permission to cut off guests who’ve had a few too many drinks is totally approptiate.