While every bride and groom hopes their friends and family will be on their absolute best behavior on the wedding day–and throughout the planning process–that doesn’t always play out in reality. From in-laws who refuse to get along to drunk guest (or worse, groomsmen!), there are some sticky situations you and your fiancee should be prepared for–just in case. We rounded up 8 of the most common below and included expert advice for how to defuse the problem before it ruins your big day.
1. Guests breaking up post-invitations. The invites are stamped, mailed, and delivered. But now you hear that your best couple friend just called it quits. What to do? Etiquette says that if both names appeared on the invitation, there is no room for them to bring a new plus one, so your best bet is to talk to the couple–or the half of the couple you are better friends with. If they both still want to come, sit them far away and pray for no-drama.
2. Bridesmaids fighting. Your best friend from high school is clashing with your college roommate on the planning of the bachelorette party/bridal shower/anything and everything. If your maid of honor is not caught on a side, she should be the mediator–that is why you gave her the title and responsibility. You, as the bride, are not supposed to be dealing with unnecessary drama.
3. An over-eager wedding guest. There will inevitably be a guest who wants to make a toast, sing a song and/or read a poem, but you hardly know her. This is where you bring in the planner. She can politely tell her that speeches are limited to the wedding party and close family and that the DJ isn’t taking special requests. Don’t have a planner? Use your maid of honor or day-of coordinator.
4. Disruptive children. You made the decision to invite children and now they are screaming at the top of their lungs while you are trying to have a moment. Don’t fret. Plan ahead and hire babysitters for the reception. Set aside an area with crayons, paper and kid-friendly snacks to keep them occupied.
5. Drunk groomsmen. It happens, more than you might imagine. Whatever you do, do not blame your groom. He cannot control his buddies, so instead, use your maid of honor or wedding planner to gently take him aside and sit him down for a little nap and some water. He won’t budge? Get a man (ehem, your father) to ask him to calm down. Worst case scenario? Remove him.
6. Wedding know-it-all. Every bride will encounter one. The future sister-in-law picking out colors, mother of the groom making catering decisions, the list goes on. This one won’t be fun, but you have to face these kind of people head on. In your sweetest, “aren’t I just the most wonderful bride” voice, tell them you appreciate their opinion, will take it into consideration, but ultimately, you and the groom make all final decisions together. Always play up the team effort (even if he is soooo not interested in flower colors).
7. Testy bridesmaid. She doesn’t want to wear that color purple, she refuses to wear strapless, or she ignores your request of no neon nail polish. She is totally annoying and throwing a real wrench in your plans. How to deal? Sit her down and talk to her, nicely. If you can’t deal, this is another situation where your maid of honor should step in (hopefully the testy bridesmaid isn’t your MoH). Kindly remind her that this is not her wedding so she needs to swallow her opinions and do what is asked. Or, get out.
8. Parents and in-laws not getting along. In a perfect world, all parents will happily make decisions, dole out money for wedding items, and love each other instantly like family. We do not, however, live in a perfect world. The best way to keep the peace if your parents can’t play nice? Split up tasks and assignments. Bring your parents to the tasting and let your in-laws join for the florist meeting. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter if they love or hate each other, as long as they can fake it. If needed, you and your groom should each sit down with your respective parents and ask them to play nice. They want to please you, trust us.