How to (Politely) Deal with Unruly Wedding Guests

Etiquette
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Photo: New Line/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Don't let a badly-behaved guest ruin your big day! While, unfortunately, you can't predict how people will act at your wedding, you can have a plan in place to help prevent and resolve any potential altercations. From belligerent guests to wedding crashers, here's how to deal without making a big deal out of it (unless, of course, you have to).

Use your seating chart to your advantage
Your seating chart is a great tool to proactively deal with potential problems. "For example, if you know your mother and your father's new wife don't get along, don't sit them at the same table or anywhere near each other," warns Tracie Domino, founder and creative director of Tracie Domino Events. Did you invite guests who tend to drink too much? "Sit them as far away from the bar as possible to make getting cocktails less convenient for them."

Fill your planner in on any problem guests
If your Uncle Joey has a bad track record at weddings, prep your planner so he or she can keep a close eye on him throughout the night. "It's also really easy to bring in security and dress them as servers so they can blend into the background and only be called upon if needed," notes Domino.

See More: 8 Groomsmen Fashion Emergencies and How to Solve Them

Limit the amount of time you have an open bar
Five hours (a standard reception) of unlimited booze is more than enough for most guests to get adequately inebriated, points out professional wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques. "After that, if the bride and groom want to continue the party, they should plan on paying for buses to shuttle their guests around late night."

If someone has obviously had too much to drink, Cemone Glinton, owner of Out of Box Events and Weddings, LLC, suggests letting the bartender know in advance that they're permitted to take a bit longer to serve the person, offer them water (or watered-down drinks) as a distraction or alert the wedding coordinator before the situation gets out of hand. "The planner can then locate a family member, usually the mother or father of the bride or groom, to take care of the matter."

See More: 18 Tips for Dealing With Bridal Party Dilemmas

Switch up the music
Sometimes guests can get a little too rowdy on the dance floor. And by that, we mean they are dancing so wildly that people actually clear the floor to avoid personal injury. "If you have a guest who can't seem to keep his limbs from flailing, ask the DJ to change the vibe to something a bit mellower for a few minutes," suggests Sojourner Auguste, founder of Erganic Design. "This usually does the trick. Or you can grab your bridal party and have an 'impromptu' dance circle that your guests can't help but stop to watch."

Give a deadline for RSVPs
Don't want uninvited guests crashing your big day? Be sure to give a deadline for RSVPs, and most importantly, create a detailed seating chart for your coordinator to have on hand the day of, says Glinton. "It then becomes obvious to your coordinator if someone does not belong and the uninvited guest can be politely escorted out."

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