Probably 99% of the guests that we’ve entertained at weddings have been excellent, but when you work with so many great people, there’s going to be a few bad apples that find their way into the reception.  How do you handle it, and if you have to invite them anyway, how do you tell your vendors?

From our friends from across the ocean,, recently posted about “Five terrible things wedding guests do“, and yes we’ve seen these happen.

One thing to do in the planning stage is to think about each guest that you’re inviting.  There are some guests who mean well, but wind up being mean.  Others who have such a big heart, that your cousin Jean may not realize that while they’re hugging your new husband’s aunt, that she’s also caught her dress on fire.  Yes, we’ve seen it happen!

Once you’ve identified who the possible trouble makers might be, talk to them about it. Take them to lunch, a movie, or somewhere comfortable and be direct.

Let’s take a look at the five terrible things wedding guests do, and we’ll share our experiences.

#1 Criticize everything. Loudly.

There are always going to be people who don’t like this or that.  We’ve had guests approach us because they didn’t like the music being played.  In one instance, an older woman would not stop complaining to the DJ about the lack of slow songs being played.  Since the dance floor had just opened, the DJ was on his second song when the complaining began.  Our typical form is to play two or three upbeat songs, then slow it down, and then go into a line dance or another more upbeat familiar song to spread out the slow dancing.  Well, by the third song, she’d dragged her husband into it even after the DJ assured her that the next song was a slow song.

Upon starting the slow song, she disappeared.  It wasn’t until after two more slow songs that filled the dance floor that she came back to the DJ booth to complain that we hadn’t played a slow song yet, and her husband was in tow.  The DJ asked her if it was ok to speak with her husband and after a short conversation, came to find out she wanted a specific slow song that she’d asked the bride about playing, and that it was part of the anniversary dance because the bride absolutely loved the song too.  The husband then calmed her until the anniversary dance and the lady was ecstatic to find out she would be dancing to her favorite song and be highlighted as one of the longest married couples.

In another situation, a gentleman didn’t like the policy of a cash bar and proceeded to tell everyone, including the bride and groom, about it as many times as possible.  He did drag the mood down a little bit, but had been warned about the cash bar beforehand because of his performance at a previous wedding in which he’d had too much to drink.  The couple did an excellent job of communication, but he still felt the need to complain.  Some people decided to buy him drinks throughout the night and a lot of people deflected the conversation to other topics and it helped to save the night.

#2 Wear white

We’ve seen it a few times and it’s gotten contentious, however the one time that made sense was a wedding that took place the night after a prom.  A couple of the attendees were at the prom the night before and didn’t have the money to purchase two dresses for two events.  The school’s prom theme was black and white, all the boys wore black, the girls wore white.  The girls got creative and even though they had the bride’s blessing to wear the white dresses, both girls went to a secondhand store and bought all kinds of accessories to cover most of the white in their dresses.  Wearing scarves and other accessories, it drew the attention of their outfit away from the white.  Guests were impressed that two young ladies would take the time to take the attention away from their dresses.

#3 Turn up without RSVP’ing

To a vendor, this usually means losing a seat at a table during dinner, but to the couple throwing the wedding, this can mean so much panning has gone out the window.  One wedding in which some guests showed up unannounced saw the offenders stay for the wedding and cocktail hour, but had to leave before dinner started.  The venue coordinator took care of this for the couple.

If you are being charged by the head, make sure your guests understand they need to reply, otherwise they may not be permitted to attend.  Unfortunately, this sometimes happens and it wasn’t the fault of the offending party as the reply may have been lost in the mail or even misplaced by the couple.  Just because someone who isn’t on the seating chart shows up, doesn’t mean they’re doing it to be mean.

#4 Get out-of-control drunk

Oh boy, the one that stands out is the guest who grabbed bottles from the bartender and threw a dinner roll at the emcee.  The emcee deflected it nicely and made it part of the reception.  It’s not looked at in a negative way, but actually something that was quite funny and we’ve been able to laugh about it after the fact.  The biggest thing is to make sure your DJ has thick skin and understands guests get drunk.

Now, the one thing to worry about with people who get out-of-control drunk is they may try something later.  You don’t want a fight at your reception so if you think the guest may do something to disrupt the events, assign someone to keep track of the guest, don’t invite him/her, or offer a cash bar, but be forward about it from the start.

#5 Share photos without your permission

This typically goes to preparation, make sure you’re not sharing photos of your dress, bridesmaids dresses, flowers, etc. that might make someone upset they aren’t invited.  We’ve been part of some large weddings and even those had some people that weren’t invited for space reasons.  Sharing photos of planning your wedding on social media can cause some people to get upset, it’s your special day, it’s a happy day and you want to keep it that way.

Wedding DJ, Sports DJ, P. A. Announcing, Mitzvah DJ, Emcee, Host, Corporate DJ. I get to help people have a great time!