Your wedding is around the corner. While you may have your flowers, photographer, videographer, DJ, and outdoor wedding venue lined up, what many don’t anticipate is the level of wedding politics involved. Should you invite some of your co-workers? Can you un-invite guests? And, why you need to have a backup plan when choosing an outdoor wedding venue. Read on to learn how you can make your wedding not only memorable and special but politics-free.
Should You or Shouldn’t You Un-Invite Wedding Guests?
The truth is, there are a number of factors you have to consider. First off, what is the reason you are considering un-inviting a specific guest? Did you and your significant other realize you didn’t have any more room in your budget to accommodate a large wedding party? Did the guest do something so offensive it warrants and un-invite?
Also, what are the ramifications if you do un-invite this person? Could you lose out on a friendship or other important relationship? Sometimes, it is best to suck it up and welcome that specific guest with open arms. At the end of the day, your wedding isn’t about who was or wasn’t invited; it’s about celebrating the love you and your significant other have for one another.
If you do end up wanting to un-invite the guest, don’t take the easy way out and send a Facebook message. Be polite and calmly (and truthfully) explain the situation—you need to downsize the wedding or he or she crossed a boundary that warrants an un-invite.
Of course, know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all with who goes and who doesn’t go to a wedding. Check in with yourself and your significant other to see when the line is crossed that un-inviting the guest becomes necessary. Look back at past experience, taking inventory of behavior. And, always ask yourself what the consequences will be should you pass up the un-invite and have them come anyways.
Coming Up with the Seating Chart
Seating charts can serve as a strategic set-up to keep bickering, estranged spouses away from one another. In a nutshell, it gives the bride and groom some control in guest interaction, which can be handy to ward off a possible scene.
For instance, if you and/or your significant other knows that Aunt Jill and Uncle Tom cannot stand one another, seat them at not just another table but go so far as the opposite sides of the wedding venue. That way, they have less of a chance in exchanging glares and stirring up trouble.
Also, if you are allowing guests to bring their kids, perhaps keep in mind which guests are not kid-friendly and which are. So, you can seat kid-friendly guests next to young families and non-kid-friendly guests at other tables.
No matter what, do not just randomly make up the seating chart. Even if you and your significant other have the most peaceful and compliant of families, chances are, there are some family politics brewing underneath the surface. Stay proactive, but don’t spend a majority of your time strategizing the seating chart.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: Who Stays? Who Goes?
In some weddings, there is an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. In others, there are ten bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. Or 3 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen. What it comes down to is that there isn’t a specific number of bridesmaids or groomsmen that you need to have.
However, that doesn’t make it less tricky or politically charged when choosing who to be in your wedding and who not to be. Normally, close family, the grooms family, and long-time friends and family are go-to choices.
However, know that nowadays, some brides and grooms are opting out of having bridesmaids and groomsmen in their wedding at all.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to tell some friends and family that they won’t be in your wedding, we recommend that you use a similar strategy as when un-inviting a guest. Be honest and upfront (however use some tact), and let them know what the reasons is: perhaps you and your significant other only want a certain number of bridesmaids and grooms? Or you have limited the count to only close family?
Either way, if this individual is close, you can always invite him or her to your bachelor or bachelorette party.
The Opposite Effect
What if you are at a time in your life where your close friends from high school and college have gone their separate ways? You recently changed jobs and have moved across the country. Given your current situation and given the timing, you don’t have any close friends at the moment who you know would immediately say yes to being one of your bridesmaids (or groomsmen).
Should you ask the friendly co-worker you make small talk with to be in your wedding? What about your neighbor? Perhaps you can reach out to that childhood friend to see if they can attend? Whatever you choose, know that in some cases this may cause pressure, let alone awkwardness—especially if you haven’t contacted this person in several years.
The choice to make this call is up to you, but know that you do have options. Discuss with your significant other, and see if not having groomsmen or bridesmaids is something they are up to. Also, you could ask some of your soon-to-be spouse’s family (i.e. sisters, brothers, cousins…) if they can be either your groomsmen or bridesmaid. In fact, this could be an opportunity to get closer to your significant other’s family. And most likely they will jump at the chance to welcome new family and get to know you and be a part of your celebration.
Still, tread lightly. Understand the dynamics at play. And, take a look at all options before you reach out to your college roommate.
Get a Backup Plan
When you have an outdoor wedding, the last thing you don’t want to have is a backup plan. While the weather forecast may be clear and sunny, those fluffy clouds could turn grey. To ensure your wedding goes as planned, make sure your wedding venue has some type of covering in case the sunny weather takes a turn.
If you aren’t paying for the venue, it may be a good idea to discuss this with the paying party beforehand to ensure you have a great wedding and that there is no miscommunication. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn-out; simply a short and sweet discussion will suffice.
Travel Accommodations for Out-of-Town Guests
Many may believe that wedding politics only take place at the wedding itself, but that’s further from the truth. The reality is, you want your guests to feel comfortable—from the outdoor wedding venue to the travel plans. This means, when it comes to out-of-town guests, skip out on the awkwardness by choosing a more affordable hotel. The last thing you want is for guests to have to shell out large sums of money not only for the plane trip but hotel accommodations as well. While guests may not complain outright, there may be some tension. To make sure this doesn’t happen, if you can, try to score a deal with the hotel—shop around and don’t be afraid to ask about wedding discounts for large parties.
This means, when it comes to out-of-town guests, skip out on the awkwardness by choosing a more affordable hotel. The last thing you want is for guests to have to shell out large sums of money not only for the plane trip but hotel accommodations as well. While guests may not complain outright, there may be some tension. To make sure this doesn’t happen, if you can, try to score a deal with the hotel—shop around and don’t be afraid to ask about wedding discounts for large parties.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, if you can, try to score a deal with the hotel—shop around and don’t be afraid to ask about wedding discounts for large parties.
Final Thoughts: Navigating Wedding Politics for Your Outdoor Wedding
Out-of-town guests, who is in or out of your wedding party, to invite or un-invite guests, and making the seating chart and coming up with a Plan B are all wedding politic issues you may have to deal with.
But there doesn’t have to be a huge scene. Taking proactive steps—such as creating the seating chart months in advance and discussing a Plan B outdoor wedding venue—can save you unnecessary awkwardness and tension.
If you find yourself in a wedding political situation you’re unsure how to deal with, direct communication is always best.
No matter what though, the love you and your significant other have for one another is what matters; focus on that, and the rest will fall into place.
- Un-inviting wedding guests is a tricky situation; etiquette-wise, you may only want to do this if you need to downsize the guest count or you know the wedding guest will cause a scene or has crossed a boundary
- Simply be honest and straight up with the guest while still being polite and considerate
- As for bridesmaids and groomsmen, family and long-time friends tend to be the go-to; however, if you don’t have close friends at the moment, you can always reach out to your significant other’s family, using this as a bonding moment
- Have a backup plan for your outdoor wedding in case sunny skies turn into rain; do this ahead of time to ensure guests don’t get rained on and become agitated
- Talk with hotels to ensure you get a good discount rate for out-of-town guests; while guests may not directly complain to you about the travel and room prices, know that they will be grateful for going the extra mile
If you have any other questions or want to book a free consultation for your outdoor wedding, contact us!