We've all got 'em: friends or family members who tend NOT to bring their best selves to large family gatherings.
You know, your eldest sister who's wrecked a lifetime of Christmas celebrations with her displeasure about the presents. Or your uncle who gets wasted and argumentative at Thanksgiving dinners. Or your best childhood girlfriend who's a major drama queen. You love her, but she's got a short fuse. Under stress or in social situations, her hot-headedness often makes an ugly and unwanted appearance.
Your wedding is the next big event on the family calendar. What can you do with these potentially ill-behaved, uncontrolled, scene-making wedding guests?
Reality is, you can't not invite them; they're close family and friends; they have to be there. But don't just hope they'll be on their best behavior on your wedding day. Instead, get some plans in place for if (when?) one or the other blows their tops.
Here's how: Months before your wedding, identify the possible troublemakers on your guest list and note how they've created drama at previous weddings. Don't blow past disturbances out of proportion; be realistic about the magnitude of the disruptions they've previously caused.
Then think about that person: is Uncle Joe always an inappropriate, messy, mic-stealing drunk? Or was he going through a nasty divorce the one time he was an embarrassment to himself and your entire family? Ask yourself: what are the circumstances going on in your potential troublemakers lives?
If Uncle Joe is always inappropriately drunk, or your best childhood girlfriend always blows her top at black-tie affairs, then you need to take some steps to mitigate their disruptions.
First, when completing the seating chart, place your troublemakers on the opposite side of the ballroom from you and your new husband. That way, you won't see whatever hijinx they get up to.
Second, a few weeks before your wedding, enlist some level-headed friends and family members to keep an eye on your rogue relatives. Your stolid Uncle Jerry and sympathetic Aunt Jane can intervene if they start acting up. Worst case: Uncle Jerry can escort the misbehaver to the hotel bar, or out the door.
With these plans in place, you probably won't hear a thing about it until you're back from your honeymoon— if at all.
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is a bridal counselor, cold feet expert, creator of How Brides-To-Be REALLY Feel videos, and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life.