Wedding Day Dilemmas

Planning Your Wedding Magazine solves six common wedding day dilemmas…

From guest list dramas to family politics, they’re the dilemmas that could make or break your wedding. However, how you deal with them is key to surviving any crisis – and with our “wediquette” guide to playing your way through the political minefield of planning, the only fireworks you’ll witness will be the official display on your big day!


Dealing with guests who drink too much at your wedding

We’ve all probably got one or two guests on our invite list that have been known to have too much to drink or get out of control. As hard as this might seem you must not worry as, if this scenario were to arise, it really is not your problem to solve.

The biggest thing to remember here is that this most likely won’t be a problem at all. When guests attend a wedding, they know they’re going to an event for all ages that’s on the more formal side of things and they won’t want to make a fool of themselves in front of old friends or their entire family.

Here are a few fool-proof rules for dealing with out-of-control guests at your wedding:

1. Talk to your venue coordinators and wedding planners. They’ll be able to give the staff quick tips to deal with a situation and can discretely deal with the guest at hand without alerting other guests.

2. Let the bar staff do their job. Bartenders do more than just serve drinks, they judge whether or not people are old enough to drink and they can decide if someone’s had one too many.

3. Delegate to the best man. Make him responsible for dealing with potential problem guests. This way, the guest understands that the close friend/family of the couple is involved and his/her actions need to end.


Should I invite my ex to our wedding?

This is a tricky one. Has he or she moved on or do they still obviously hold a flame for you? How would you feel if your other half invited their ex too? Honesty is always the best policy. Draw up your guest list together and very quickly you will both see if there are any question marks or issues. The important thing is to air any problems before the big day itself.

If you’re inviting your ex because he’s the father of your children, this is a reasonably valid reason. If you dated in high school for six months out of the 10 years you’ve been friends, he is for all intents and purposes a friend.

Ultimately, whether or not you decide to invite your ex should depend on what you agree together. And since a wedding is the first big event a couple faces in married life, your ability to reach a compromise is an important skill to learn.


Who pays for over night guests?

Chances are there will be a number of guests who don’t live down the road and will need to arrange overnight accommodation. These out-of-towners will go to a lot of effort and expense to share in your momentous occasion, so it’s your job to welcome them, help them get around, and keep them entertained, but is it your responsibility to pay their overnight accommodation?

From the outset, make it clear to your guests that they will have to book accommodation and that, while you are not footing the cost, you have negotiated a rate with the venue which they can take advantage of if they wish. Recommend different places for guests to stay in locations near your ceremony and reception venues, and start calling around about six months beforehand to check on large-scale availability for the days surrounding your wedding.

Remember the reason that these travelling guests have come is to see you, so make sure they do. Raise your glass during the toasts to acknowledge those who have come from afar, and consider setting up something special for them, such as a brunch the morning after the ceremony (if you aren’t already off to a magnificent honeymoon).


Should we invite work colleagues and the boss to our wedding?

Ultimately, this is your day and you don’t want anyone there who is going to make you moderate your behaviour. You don’t want to spend your celebrations worrying about your embarrassing uncle regaling your colleagues with what you used to do as a toddler. Likewise, you should feel completely at ease blubbing your way through the ceremony or going crazy with your girls on the dance floor in front of all of your guests.

Rather than feel obliged to invite them to your big day, organise a “works do” in the weeks leading up to the wedding and you can all celebrate together. And this doesn’t simply mean just popping up the pub at lunchtime – you could arrange 10 pin bowling, go-karting, paint balling or a more sedate theatre trip followed by dinner.


How do I involve my parents without it becoming their wedding?

The first thing to remember is that the moment you announce you are getting married, it’s not just the realisation of your dreams, but most likely your parents’ too, so tread gently – especially if they are contributing financially. Make them feel involved, but only ask their opinions on decisions if you are really going to listen to them.

One of the best ways of making people feel wanted and involved is to delegate a job to them. If your future mother-in-law loves flowers, ask her to help come up with ideas for decorations and arrangements for the church. And if your dad isn’t busy enough writing his speech, you could get him involved in choosing wines for the reception.

Parents’ say in planning a wedding can often be governed by if, and how much, they are contributing. Have an upfront conversation asking them how involved they expect to be, saying something like: “Are you happy for us to make the choices and use your money as a very generous gift? Or, would you like to play a part in the planning decision?” That way, before you even accept any help you can have a conversation about their expectations.


Dreading the best man’s speech?

It’s been a great day so far, the meal is drawing to a close and it’s time for the speeches. But you want yours to be a memorable moment, remembered for the right reasons! Include random and funny anecdotes of times you’ve spent with the couple, particularly any memories you have from when your friend first introduced you to their significant other. Take it easy with inside jokes – one or two is fine, but you don’t want the other guests to feel left out.

A good rule of thumb: Stay away from anything – bad language, drunken anecdotes – that you’d hesitate saying directly to the bride’s grandmother’s face. And, no matter how funny you think the story might be – do not bring up a bride or groom’s ex during the toast – it’s sure to make at least one person uncomfortable. No matter what you choose to say, just remember to finish with: “I’m so happy for you two. I love you both. Cheers!”


To read more from Planning Your Wedding Magazine head to www.planningyourwedding.co.uk or visit us at stand L22 at the Bluewater Wedding Fair to pick up the latest issue of the magazine!

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