Avoiding a wedding drama

Hopefully, your wedding day is one of the most wonderful days of your life. But, as with all the best laid plans, there can be unexpected challenges for both the couple and guests so here’s some advice on how to handle some tricky scenarios before they occur.

What if someone is upset because you haven’t invited them? Well, once you’ve chosen your guest list (and this is usually, understandably, dictated by cost) you don’t have to apologise or explain but you do need to be polite and straightforward. Every wedding has to have a cut-off point.

What if you’ve been invited but you are worried about the cost? Again, honesty is the best policy. If you explain your difficulty, thank them for asking, and wish them every happiness in the right way, then they are far more likely to understand. And then you’ve done your best.

Couples can also make a conscious effort to minimise costs and cut corners to help guests. In turn, bridesmaids and ushers can be told the expected costs in plenty of time so they can gauge the expected financial commitment and whether they can manage it.

Decide on plus-ones before you send out your invitations. If the only plus-ones are for bridal party and immediate family, then so be it. Whatever you decide, stick to it – and then you’re being fair. And if it makes you feel better remember venues have guest number limits and you don’t have a limitless budget. From the point of view of the single guest who then declines to come alone, try not to be offended – be understanding instead. And if you are that guest, don’t ask if you can bring someone – if that were the case then your invitation would have been plus-one.

If your wedding is going to cause family tensions because of new partners or old feuds, make sure you’ve talked it through between the two of you in plenty of time, then you can be united on how to handle things. Weigh up the positives and negatives of who’s going to attend, and if they do, choose your seating arrangement carefully, and tactfully try to keep them apart. Nothing is perfect.

If one of your guests has clearly drunk more than is wise, or is likely too, delegate a trusted friend or relative to ‘help’ them sit down, slow down or even get home.

Finally, if for whatever reason the wedding must be cancelled, ask close family member, to email your guests and wedding suppliers. You don’t have to go into details, but you should return gifts. As a guest, don’t pry – just listen. It’s up to the couple how much they want people to know. And you can’t really ask for your gift back – you’ll just have to wait.

The pressure to keep everyone happy and make everything perfect can take an emotional toll on the engaged couple, so really, everyone should try to remember that the day is really about the two people who are getting married.