It’s the ultimate wedding no-no. I don’ know how many different ways to say it – if “Mr / Ms. So and So” is all that is listed on your invitation, do not, under any circumstances, bring a date. I realize being alone at a wedding can be uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as arriving with a date that has nowhere to sit and no food to eat!
That being said, I know some of you brides and grooms will still have extra guests you didn’t plan for. We can spend all day talking about ways to avoid this, but sometimes it’s going to happen no matter what you do to prevent it. So, instead, let’s talk about how to be a classy bride and handle unwanted plus-ones at your wedding.
First, stay calm. I know, it’s frustrating after you’ve slaved over a seating chart to be sure everyone is placed in just the right spot with just the right people and someone shows up and throws it off. I get it. However, keep in mind that people always remember the bad before they remember the good. You don’t want your wedding day forever remembered as the one where the bride told Jerry he and his guest had to leave the reception even though they flew in from Arkansas. Also, nothing kills the good vibe you’ve got going like the uncomfortable conversation of “we have nowhere for you to sit.”
So what do you do?
First, find a professional. If you hired a wedding planner then they are your go-to for all minor incidents that happen on your wedding day. Let your planner know about the extra person and then go on about your day. They’re handling it so that you don’t have to worry a bit! Hopefully, your uninvited guest caught on that there is a planner and spoke with them about the issue so it can all be handled without you ever knowing a thing! If you don’t have a planner, let your caterer know and ask for their help in squeezing in an extra seat and setting aside an extra plate. Most likely, this is not your caterer’s first experience with uninvited guests; they probably brought a little extra food just in case! Also, remember your venue coordinator knows where all the extra chairs are. If your caterer is unable to create a spot, talk to your venue coordinator about finding a chair and scooting them in!
Most importantly, remember to be gracious. Often there is some form of miscommunication and your guest didn’t intend to bring an uninvited date. I myself have been a victim of this, and I was very uncomfortable. Sometimes even wedding planners think we are supposed to bring a date only to find our date was unexpected. Believe me, I am very careful to never make that mistake, but sometimes it just happens! I was so relieved to leave the wedding, and that is not how you want your guests to feel! I suggest reaching out to them and letting it slide. Introduce yourself, make them feel welcome, and let a professional figure out the logistics. Even if they were completely inconsiderate, you will feel better about being gracious and letting the little things go!
Ever had an unexpected guest? How did you handle it? Tell us about it in the comments!
Image Credits: Windy Peak Photography