We all try and plan the wedding in a way that is crystal clear for everyone, guests included. There are certain things, however, that are a bit sticky and may come up in questions when people simply aren’t sure. Here are some of the most tough questions your guests will ask you… and some great responses that avoid stepping on toes as much as possible.
1. Can I bring the kiddos?
This may not be a tough question at all if the answer is yes! When the answer is no, that’s when things get difficult. Obviously, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them that their loving, amazing, always behaving children aren’t invited… but sometimes you just have to. If you and your hubby have chosen to have a kid-free wedding, that’s your prerogative and guess what? That’s OK! This is a hard topic that many try to tiptoe around. Rather than doing that careful and often graceless dance, here are some of my favorite ways to clear the air.
Instead of detailing on your invitation that “no kids are allowed”, which comes across pretty tough if I must say so myself… it sounds much better to include something cute (and unoffensive!) like this…
“We can’t wait to celebrate this great day with you! Kick off your heels and enjoy a care-free, kid-free evening with us!”
Something else you could do to hopefully prevent the question all together, is to consider the way that you address the invitation. When my sister got married, no kids were allowed so to take it one step even further, we were very specific with the invites. Rather than saying “Tucker Family” you would say “Mr. and Mrs. Tucker”. That’s just easy and to me, pretty black and white.
2. Can I bring my new boyfriend/girlfriend?
Oh man, this really is a tough question. People mean well and they just want to bring someone with them to enjoy the evening. What people don’t always understand is that there can be very specific numbers that a venue can accommodate (and maybe you’re at the max!). It could also be that they are a last minute request and food/seating changes can’t always be made. Or the simple truth could be that you just didn’t invite them, period. It is your wedding and you can choose who attends.
Again, if the answer is “sure, they can come”… crisis averted. If the answer is no, as it normally is, it’s another story altogether.
As mentioned earlier, you can make a plan of attack ahead of time by addressing the invitation as simply “Mr. Tucker” if they are the only ones invited. If the guest is invited, consider addressing it as “Mr. Tucker and Guest”.
When the hint is not received and the question actually comes up, tell them the truth. If the venue can’t accommodate any more guests, tell them. When you can’t make last minute changes to the floor plan, tell them. If you were planning something more intimate and don’t want anyone there that wasn’t invited, tell them. Yes, it will be hard, but if they truly care for you, they will understand.
3. But you know I don’t eat meat, what about my meal?
Almost every single guest will have some kind of food allergy or dietary restriction of some kind. Please here me out… YOU CAN NOT CATER TO ALL OF THEM! Do not try. I know you want to be as inclusive as possible and that’s a good thing but making everyone 100% happy just isn’t an option. You can make sure everyone has fun though! Check out this helpful list!
If you are having a plated meal and the caterer has options, vegetarian and gluten free may be a simple box the guest checks! If you are having a buffet, it’s a bit more to consider. Look into one of my favorite caterers who can work with any of your food needs!
What if a lot of the guests are gluten free? You could consider having gluten free options (or just have your whole menu that way so there’s no problem). For those who have allergies, the good news is that they know what sets them off so they are pretty good at just avoiding that food without bothering you. What if they are vegetarian or vegan? There’s almost always a salad of some kind and side dishes are normally simple like vegetable medleys or sauteed green beans. Done and done.
4. What should I wear?
It’s very curious to me that this is ever a question, but it is. It certainly shouldn’t be a tough question, but for some, it is. I’ve always been of the mindset that the venue and season dictate dress quite a bit… I mean who wants to wear a summer dress and high heels when the wedding is in a barn in the middle of winter? Not me.
To hopefully avoid the question altogether, remember to add one of these on your invitations or RSVP cards.
Black tie wedding – tuxedos and ballgowns/evening gowns
Formal, black tie optional wedding – suit/tie and dresses
Semi-formal wedding – suit/tie and cocktail dresses
Cocktail wedding – suits and party dresses
Beach or garden party wedding – summer suits and summer dresses
Casual wedding – button down shirts or polo’s and summer sundresses
5. Who am I sitting with during the reception?
Oh come on, you know they’re just digging around because they don’t want to sit near Mary Sue. Last week they had a blow out because she told her that her dog was annoying. Oh Lawd not the dog! Heavens no!
It is not possible for you to know about all the little disagreements that happen between the printing of your seating chart and the day of the wedding. Obviously if you have very well known rivals, don’t seat them next to each other but these little explosions along the way… it’s not your job to pat grown adults on the head and ask them to play nice for a few hours OR to indulge in their little battles. Tough. I say let it ride.
After a few glasses of wine and some great dance songs, who knows, the backhanded slap-to-the-face dog comment might fade into old news anyway. As long as they normally get along, keep them seated together. At the very least, they can smile for the time being and then go back to slinging daggers after it’s over.