Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wedding Etiquette for Uninvited Guests

You might assume that something as black-or-white as your wedding guest list wouldnt leave much room for problems of etiquette to arise, but its not uncommon for your guests to want to include extras on the invitation you sent them. Some guests just don't realize that if a name is not on the envelope, or it doesn't state "and Guest," then a guest is not invited. If you handle these issues firmly and immediately, these errors in etiquette should cause less stress.

Be Firm

    Some of the finer points of etiquette evaporate when guests start pressuring you to expand their invitation to include others. Merely requesting an additional seat at a wedding or a reception is extremely rude, so dont worry about coming off as Miss Manners when dealing with the indiscretion. Be firm, but tell your guest it isnt possible to accommodate the request for a variety of reasons, many of which provide you a handy excuse to hide behind without appearing too unconvincing yourself.

A Matter of Planning

    Explain to your intrusive guest and his unwanted plus one that invitations were sent after careful planning, with seating charts and other arrangements already calculated before invitations were issued. Guests, and in the case of single guests, the option to bring a date were calculated when arriving at your headcount and seating chart. If space is limited at the church or reception hall dont be afraid to use that as an excuse as well.

A Matter of Budget

    Unless you're royalty, you have to plan your wedding around a fixed budget. Explain to your guest that his addition to the guest list will strain food and drink budgets. If you could afford it, everyone would be able to drag a few extras along to the reception, but you won't be able to accommodate the imposition on your budget for his guest.

A Matter of Scope

    At any wedding, there are a finite amount of spots on the guest list. You can gracefully deflect the request for an additional guest by telling your pushy guest that you've already had to pare the guest list down to the bare minimum, and have already had to exclude members of your extended family from the list, and the addition of someone not in your hand-picked, close-knit guest list may spark a minor family crisis.

Be Blunt

    The bottom line is you don't need to provide a reason to deny a request to add an uninvited guest into your planning. Because the request itself is the height of rudeness, as wedding planer, simply bluntly and courteously deny the request. Once you start allowing guests to expand your guest list, you're on a slippery slope: Where do you draw the line? Avoid those headaches by being firm and denying all requests to help nip that problem in the bud.

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