Most of us, if not all of us, can think of at least one unwanted guest we’ve consistently had to invite to all of our major family and milestone celebrations. Maybe it is the nosy aunt, the quintessential creepy uncle, the grandparent who states any and all opinions no matter how unfavorable to the audience. Perhaps it your soon-to-be-in-laws, an enormous weight if they are coming to your wedding and expect to be warmly welcomed.
What to do with these unwanted guests? You do not want them to mess up your special day in any way, including your mood. You deserve to really enjoy this day, right? But, you also do not want to be rude and give people the cold shoulder, especially the people you may be seeing every year after that for family events and who may have a powerful influence over your spouse, and even the children you may have.
So, can you have your (wedding) cake and eat it too? That is, can you invite these unwanted guests and still enjoy your wedding? Absolutely! It just takes a little planning and forethought. Here are some suggestions:
First, plan way ahead and expect the stress. The moment you mail out that invitation mentally adjust yourself. You have invited them and now the cat is out of the bag. Instead of filling yourself with dread about them being there, try an alternative. Imagine having a positive interaction with them. You know their tricks and what bothers you, so head them off at the pass. Come ready with some jokes to fend them off.
Second, create a buffer with people. Have a super chatty cousin you just cannot stand who is always asking those irritating (though outwardly harmless) questions? Seat them accordingly. Find someone, whether it is through friends, or maybe your spouse’s family, that also loves to chat and be a little gossipy/speak-off-the-cuff. You could make this a little fun, acting like a detective and uncovering qualities about others near and dear to you and then playing match-maker to keep the unwanted guests at bay by having them entertain each other.
Third, be totally upfront with your spouse about who might bother you that day. There is no reason to be demeaning or insulting about this. You can simply say something like, “so-and-so is coming and of course I am delighted they will be at our wedding. I am just concerned because they sometimes leave me feeling frustrated and I want to really enjoy this day and be able to celebrate it with you.”
The idea is to be honest. You may not be delighted because you want them to be there, but are delighted because I am sure you like the idea that your wedding is a welcoming event and you can be the bigger person. Still, they bug you, and your spouse-to-be can be an ally so long as you do not put them on the defensive if this person doesn’t also bug them.
The idea is therefore to also be tactful. There is no reason to rock the boat on this one, especially because that will only create more stress around the issue. You want your spouse-to-be to empathize but not necessarily take sides, but rather to see your point of view. If they recognize that the conflict is with what you want for this day, and that your concern is for how another may make it less special for you, and that in turn will impact your spouse-to-be, they might be able to offer you some insights, and help you plan even more. Maybe you could share a secret wink or sign when that certain party guest is getting on your nerves. Who knows? Your spouse-to-be may end up being the hero you always knew he could be!
Want more advice? Check out this great video that touches upon inviting people that are just friends, that you might want to get to know better before you consider doing such a thing because it might be fun, or “the more the merrier.”