How to Deal With Common Wedding Guest Faux Pas

Brides fight over a bouquet

As a couple, the very last thing you want to deal with on your big day is a guest committing a faux pas at your event, but that doesn’t mean one won’t happen. How do you manage those situations without letting it ruin the day for you?

Here are some ideas to stop these things before they start and make sure that you’re as ready to handle these things at your wedding as you possibly can be.

Wedding guest takes a photo with smartphone

Taking Photos or Video During an Unplugged Ceremony

If you know you want to have an “unplugged” or cell-phone-free ceremony, the last thing you want is for your guests to ignore your request and start taking photos or videos on their phones while you and your partner are tying the knot. Although you likely can’t actually stop any guests from taking their phones out while you’re up there saying your vows, there are quite a few ways to make it as clear as possible that you’d like their eyes to be on your ceremony and not their screens.

Putting up a sign at the entrance to the venue stating your desires can help, as well as including that information in the program for the guests to read. Have your officiant take a moment to bring up the subject once everyone is seated, but before the ceremony begins. This is especially effective because now, if someone wants to ignore your requests, it is pretty blatant to everyone around them that they’re doing it, so there’s an added social pressure for them to put their phone down and behave.

The Guest Who Drinks a Little Too Much

This is an issue you absolutely do not want to be worrying about while you’re trying to enjoy your reception. It’s a good idea to have a designated person chosen beforehand—a groomsman, a sibling, the bartenders, whomever—to be on the lookout. Some people may need to be cut off or even taken aside for a little while to calm down and drink a glass of water.

The most important things here are that you and your partner are not the ones put in charge of managing “that guest” and that the person who is on the lookout makes sure to stop them before they cause any damage to the event—emotionally or literally!

A group of people with alcoholic drinks

Disagreement Among the Wedding Party

Hopefully the group of men and women you’ve chosen to celebrate your day with you are all able to get along (or at least fake it) for the entirety of your day. If they can’t get along for some reason, how do you handle it? This is where your Maid of Honor and/or Best Man come in. Their jobs are to make sure that any chaos or discontent within the wedding party stays far, far away from you and your partner. Keep this factor in mind when choosing your wedding party, and be sure to designate people in those key positions, who will be able to navigate the potential social complications, should they occur. An amazing Honor Attendant can keep a ton of negativity and drama away from you, keep the wedding party in check and getting along together, and keep you in a great, positive mood all day.

Any Other Faux Pas?

Just try to relax and ignore it. Your wedding day has so much potential for drama and craziness if you let it, but just think—at the end of the day, will this really matter to you? When in doubt, use the 5-5-5 rule: Will this matter in five minutes? Will it matter in five hours? Will it matter in five years? If it won’t, then just let it slide off your back. Allowing the actions of others to ruin even one minute of your special day will be the biggest regret. Don’t worry about your sister-in-law bringing her baby when she wasn’t supposed to or that one of your friends wore a too-casual-for-your-dress-code outfit.

I know it sounds simple, but keeping your focus on the good things and away from the negative will make a massive difference, especially on a day that has the potential to bring so much stress and overwhelm. Although it would be wonderful for all of your guests to arrive on time, behave and dress as expected, and go through the day without making a mistake or doing something you don’t like, sometimes reality doesn’t work that way, and controlling what you can—your attitude and reactions—will make a world of difference.

Don’t get me wrong—you should definitely still have your people at the ready to handle anything and anyone that needs to be handled—but remembering that at the end of the day, you and your partner will be married and that’s really the only thing that truly matters can really help when you’re faced with stress and a couple of clueless guests.

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