We all hope for a smooth-sailing kind of wedding day, but of course, there’s always the odd chance that some drama will go down.
You might think no one would be rude enough to show up to a wedding uninvited, but it can happen. Rather have a game plan worked out on how to handle it than get caught off guard.
Here’s how to avoid having unwanted guests show up, and what to do if it happens.
1. Be clear on the wedding invitations
Firstly, make sure that you are very clear about who is invited when sending the wedding invitation. Sending one card to a family when you only intended to invite the parents, for instance, could cause a misunderstanding. The best way to avoid this is to put the names of your guests on the card, and state whether or not plus-ones and children are invited.
Here’s an example: Instead of saying “Dear Maxwell family”, rather say “Dear Julia and John, please join us in the celebration of our wedding. We regret, we are not able to accommodate children”.
2. Follow up on unwanted RSVPs
Should you receive an RSVP for someone who was not directly invited, you have the full right to contact the person and politely ask them not to come. This is most likely to happen in the case of invited guests who want to bring uninvited partners. Contact the invited partner, and gently but firmly say that you really do not have space for more people than invited.
3. Make a decision about whether to let them stay
Once you’ve done all the invitations right, there is still a chance that someone might show up out of the blue. A long-lost cousin you have no contact with might feel wronged and shows up to confront the family, or an ex-partner tries to interfere with your new relationship.
In cases like these, you need to decide whether you will force them to leave or let them stay and adopt a “the more the merrier”-attitude, provided there is no drama. You will probably be too caught up in your own fun and happiness to bother about the plus-one that snuck in after all. If it’s more serious than that, you should address it.
4. Speak up
Should the situation need sorting out, you will have to face the person and ask them to leave. It will probably be unpleasant, but it is needed. Be friendly and kind, and take your partner or a member of the bridal party with you. Take them aside in private and tell them that it’s wrong for them to be here. Here’s an example: “I’m really sorry I couldn’t invite you, but I feel that it’s better if you are not here today. Please leave the wedding, and we can talk more later.”
5. Know who to call
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. If the uninvited guest for some reason refuses, you need to have backup. The person might be intoxicated, aggressive or just plain rude but you do not need that on your special day. If you have a wedding planner, call them for assistance. If not, call the venue security or the manager, and explain the situation. It might be a good idea to also save the nearest police station’s number too, just in case.