Bridezilla Conundrum: Do You Really Have to Invite Everyone on the Big Day?

Posted by on 08 Feb, 2013

We all have that one person who is just kind of in our lives — for better or worse. Whether it’s a weird uncle, your best friend’s annoying sister, or the snarky gal you work with, everyone has someone in their lives that they can’t really stand, but are stuck with. Of course, you know that “certain someone” will be expecting a save the date to your big day.

Angry Bride

Courtesy of Flickr user jumfer.

But do you really have to invite them? It’s your wedding, after all. This is supposed to be the most important day of your life. Do you really want to run the risk of your slightly sexist third cousin making some off color remark and insulting your friends, or having that one friend of a friend of a friend you can’t stand getting drunk and making a scene on your big day?

How to Break the News Gently

Ask yourself “What are the real consequences of not inviting these people?” Most of the time, we tend to convince ourselves that we must adhere to certain social expectations, otherwise we’ll be outcasts and people will resent us forever. Oh no!

But when you think about it, isn’t the idea that we have that much power over someone else a little self-centered? The belief that you will do irrecoverable damage to someone’s self-esteem if that person doesn’t get an invite to your wedding is probably not true.

But if you want to be safe and go through every possible precaution to spare someone’s feelings, you can always whip up a perfectly reasonable excuse as to why you can’t invite creepy uncle Pete, or sassy Sally from HR.

Here are some prime excuses for leaving someone out of your wedding plans that you’re free to steal.

  1. You’re Having a Really Small Wedding: You can always get away with saying that you’re just having a super small, intimate ceremony with close friends and immediate blood relatives only. You can just say that you’re keeping it simple and affordable (you know, the economy), you’re on a tight budget, etc. They will understand.
  2. Blame the Venue: You can also say that the venue you choose has strict maximum occupancy limitations. It’s a bit of a stretch, but you could tell them that the location has a special meaning for you and that you just have to get married there and nowhere else, so that’s why you’re putting up the building’s lame occupancy restrictions. Bummer!
  3. Say the Guest List “Isn’t Finalized Yet”: It’s certainly not ideal, but if you’re backed into a corner and find yourself frozen in awkwardness, at least this will buy you some time until you can think of something better to say. “Nothing is final yet. You know, everything has just been so crazy.”

I know it sounds kind of shady, but if directness isn’t your thing, having a few pre-planned excuses in the bag can certainly get you out of some sticky social situations.

What if There’s No Way Out?

If you feel like you just can’t handle the backlash that will come with leaving “you know who” off the guest list, there are some things you can do to make sure that person doesn’t ruin your day (and if they do, the damage will be minimal).

Here are some options for how to handle the folks you’re unfortunately stuck with.

  1. Create an Island of Misfit Toys: It may sound harsh, but you can always put the randoms together at a table and hope they hit it off. Maybe their wacky social styles will somehow compliment each other. You get them off to the side and out of the way, and they get to make a new friend. Win/win.
  2. Covertly Assign a Babysitter: Ask your bestie who you would trust with your life to “please keep an eye on so and so.” Figure out who the best person would be to keep a watchful but discreet eye on the guest you’re worried about. The drunken uncle? Dad, you’re up. The rude girl at work? Pair her up with someone else from the office. Give the pesky person someone to direct their weird vibes to, and hopefully it will keep them contained and prevent it from spreading throughout your entire wedding.
  3. Have an Open Bar: In the end, by the time the reception rolls around, everyone is usually too toasted to notice someone who’s a little off. If you do choose to opt for an “all inclusive” invite policy, go for an open bar and hope for the best. After all, the crazier your wedding gets, the more memorable it will be!

If your groom-to-be is the one who has a buddy you just can’t stand, what should you do then? You can always take a page from celebs like Zac Efron and run a criminal background check on all your guests prior to the big day. If you can find some serious dirt on your man’s buddies, then you have a valid reason to insist that that his obnoxious bros stay home on your big day.

This guest post was written by Jessica Ruane, a San Diego-based blogger and event planner.

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