How to Solve the Most Awkward Wedding Situations

December 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm (Wedding Planning Tips)

How to Solve the Most Awkward Wedding Situations

  1. Saying “No” To Unexpected Plus-Ones

The best way to deal with this problem is head-on: pick up the phone and call the person. Be direct but polite with your explanation, whether it’s an issue with having a structured guest list or capacity limits at your venue, just be straightforward. If you’re worried about hurt feelings, say that you and your partner would love to meet up with the person and his/her significant other after the wedding.

  1. Inviting Your Ex

The honest truth is that inviting an ex to your wedding (even if you share a child) is usually a bad idea, but this is a situation where it is truly unique to the people involved. Answer a few questions: is your future spouse okay with you inviting your ex? Will your ex get along with you, your family/friends, and your future spouse at the wedding? Will your family/friends be comfortable with your ex being at the wedding? If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then you’re probably in the clear, but make absolutely certain that the chance for any sort of altercation is nixed before doing so.

  1. Seating Divorced Parents At The Ceremony

Hopefully, your parents (or your partner’s parents) divorced amicably and they will be happy to sit together and share in your big day. If that’s not the case, though, etiquette says that the father and his close family sit behind his ex-wife and her family at the ceremony. If your relationship is estranged with any stepparents, they may want to sit a few rows back out of respect. Keep in mind, though, that it’s your wedding ceremony – you are more than entitled to seat people however you feel is best!

  1. Including Exes And “Frenemies” In The Bridal Party

Your wedding party is going to be your support system from start to finish for your wedding, and you will all have to intermingle at certain points. As such, you’re going to want people who can generally get along and that you can lean on when times get tough. If that group of people includes friends and family who have butted heads in the past, though, you’ll need to address the issue from the very start. When you ask the people who don’t get along to be in your bridal party, make sure you tell them that they’ll be doing so with individuals with whom they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Explain that you’ll understand if they don’t feel comfortable being in your bridal party under the circumstances. Hopefully maturity wins the day and everyone can set their differences aside for you and your significant other, but if they decline your invitation, consider it a bullet dodged!

  1. Dealing With The Raging Family Feud

As with many “people” issues related to wedding planning, it’s best to address this one directly with the individuals involved. Explain to them how important your wedding day is and how you would love everyone to be there to celebrate with you, but you need them to agree to be cordial and behave with everyone attending. Make sure they understand the consequences ahead of time for causing any sort of scene: they will be asked to leave, no questions asked. If they can’t promise you that they will set their differences aside, try proposing only coming to the ceremony and avoiding the reception. If that still doesn’t work, then do not invite them. You definitely do not want your wedding to be remembered for an epic family showdown!

  1. Disagreeing With The Future In-Laws

Whether or not they are helping to pay for the wedding, when disagreements creep up with your future in-laws, try to keep in mind this old saying: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. When you approach your future in-laws with any disagreements on the wedding planning, do so with respect and gratitude for their contributions and feedback and try to find a compromise. If there’s no getting to an agreeable solution between you, then have your partner try talking to them.

  1. Deciding Who Makes It Into The Bridal Party

So, your fiancé has 7 sisters. How do you decide who makes it into the bridal party? First, consider this potentially hard truth: you are about to marry into your spouse’s family for life, and friends will probably come and go. If you’re sacrificing family members in your wedding party so that your best friends from high school who you hardly speak to now can be in the bridal party, you might want to reconsider. That being said, if you have size constraints for your bridal party, you may simply have no choice but to pare down. The most important thing to remember is to be considerate and explain the situation and why you’re making the decision. Consider giving them other important roles in the ceremony, such as the readings. However, make sure anyone who isn’t included in the bridal party is still invited to participate in other areas, such as the bachelor/bachelorette parties.

  1. Asking for Cash On Your Registry

While Great Aunt Mildred might tell you different, there is absolutely no reason to have a traditional registry if you don’t want or need one! If you’re asking for cash, services like PayPal can help you create a “digital registry” of sorts where your guests can send you money electronically, usually through a phone number or email address, for a small fee or no fee at all. Name the account accordingly for what you’re planning to use the cash on: Our First Home, Honeymoon Fund, etc. Then, include the link and any other applicable information on your wedding website for guests to easily find.

  1. Fixing Problems With Your Vendors

The chances of you having a rift or problem (hopefully all minor!) with at least one of your wedding vendors is likely. First, find out what exactly is making you upset – is someone not listening to your feedback? Is the person not returning your phone calls as quickly as you’d like? Did the seating arrangement change unexpectedly? Remember that your vendors are usually focused on multiple events at once, so it very well could all be a misunderstanding. Keep a cool head and explain clearly what you have a problem with and why, then work together to come up with a plan and communication strategy to keep you both on the same page moving forward.

  1. Having an Adults-Only Wedding

Make it clear from the get-go who is invited by addressing the invitations to exactly who is invited, as in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and not The Smith Family. Most etiquette sources today agree that it’s better to avoid putting “Adults Only” on your invitation. A more tactful approach would be to include the information on your wedding website with babysitting recommendations while also having family members and bridal party members spread the word, if necessary. If someone directly questions you on why they can’t bring their children, simply explain that it’s for budgetary purposes. Absolutely DO NOT back down and have an “adults mostly” reception by allowing certain people to bring children – this will almost certainly not end well for you! However, you are still fine to have as many flower girls, ring bearers, and junior wedding party members as you wish. Just make sure to come up with a plan for them at the reception, whether it’s having a babysitter present or other entertainment scheduled to keep the younger bridal party members occupied.


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