Gowns and Guests
Chaotic scene of destroyed wedding cake
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Guests Can Ruin Your Wedding–Here’s How to Avoid Disaster

We’ve all heard those wedding horror stories. While we all hope they won’t happen to us, the good news is that you aren’t powerless to prevent common disasters. Here are a few of the biggest wedding faux pas, as well as tactful ways of avoiding them.

Indulging Too Much During the Reception

While drunk wedding guests sometimes lead to viral videos, the reality is much more mundane. Nobody wants their wedding to be remembered for a drunk uncle, rowdy bridesmaids, or that one family friend who just had to give a thirty-minute speech about love.

There are a couple of ways around this. First, you could make the decision not to serve alcohol at your reception. While this might not be a popular choice, depending on your guest list, it’s your wedding and you can do what you want. If you do want to serve alcohol, consider creating a signature cocktail or two instead of a fully open bar. You’ll have a little more control over how much booze your guests are downing if you design the drinks.

Overdressed or Underdressed Guests–and Women in White

Chances are good that you’ve heard at least one tale of a woman–often a mother-in-law–who was determined to wear white to a wedding that was not her own. The ultimate wedding faux pas is intentionally upstaging the bride, and wearing white is sure to get everyone talking.

Less disruptive–but still disappointing–are guests who show up way overdressed or underdressed for the occasion. Your college buddy in denim cutoffs is going to look very weird next to your cousin who decided to wear a ballgown.

You can help avoid these issues by spelling out a clear dress code on the invitation, as well as your wedding website (if you have one). Don’t assume that everyone knows what “cocktail attire” means, either! While it’s probably wide to avoid micromanaging your guests’ wardrobes, you can give a few examples. Are you hoping for suits, tuxedos, blazers and jeans, or shorts and t-shirts? Spell it out.

Scene-Stealers and Drama Llamas

If you’re worried that an otherwise beloved family member or friend might try to steal the spotlight, then give them fewer opportunities to make a scene. It’s not required that you include the part about objections in the wedding ceremony, nor is there a reason to have speeches or toasts during the reception.

However, there are some wedding guests who are just determined to watch the world burn. If you have legitimate concerns about a guest’s etiquette, guess what? You don’t have to invite them. It’s your wedding, so you get to decide who can celebrate with you.

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