Invitation Dilemma #1 How to avoid uninvited wedding guests and what to do when you have some!

With the stress of organising a wedding to accommodate all your close family and friends, the last thing a bride (or groom) needs is uninvited guests rocking up and increasing your numbers and budget, adding to already high stress levels.

I can't believe she invited her along to OUR wedding!

When it comes to weddings, sometimes certain family members and friends can be imposing and feel they should have a say in who should be invited to your wedding. Your Uncle Pete whom you haven’t seen in ages may insist on bringing his “lady friend” or colleagues may just assume they can bring a friend or their children along!

Remember that its YOUR wedding day, so really you are in charge of who can come to the wedding or not. You should not feel bullied into accommodating additional guests if you do not want to.
So what do you do? While etiquette suggests that the bride and groom should call any quests who have RSVP for more people than intended to explain the misunderstanding, this is not an easy thing to do. Some couples don’t say anything at all, but feel resentful afterward.

If you have not sent out your invitations yet, a few good suggestions are below, to assist with avoiding the issue of uninvited guests.

  • Be very clear when writing out the guest names on your invitations. This should notify guests on who is and who is not (by omission) invited.
  • Write guest names in the RSVP cards.
  • Add a line on your RSVP cards stating “We have reserved ___ seats for you”

Hopefully the above handy hints may help…but then again, there are always the few who may “not get the message” and think it is ok to bring along uninvited guests anyway… In such cases, the below may assist you if you are already confronted with the issue of extra uninvited guests:

  • Just say no. It is perfectly polite for the host to say no. Do be gentle but firm. If gentleness doesn’t work, simply be firm. Say no. We don’t want to encourage this behaviour. Yes, it is that simple. You can explain to your guests that you have certain numbers already budgeted for, and you can not add in any additional. A good friend/family member should be understanding once you have explained your reasons. If they are not, perhaps that tells you something about them?

Have you had to deal with uninvited guests during your wedding planning? Feel free to share your stories in the comments section!


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