Top Tips – Dealing with Unruly Guests

As wedding planners, we all have the odd awkward moment at weddings, where some – or perhaps just one – of the guests become really quite unruly, for any number of reasons. We asked some of our members to list some hints and tips on how to deal with such situations:

  • Unruly guests can mean anything from family members who don’t get along, to your over-flirtatious cousin to your fiancé’s rugby mates who sometimes forget where the line is after a few drinks.  Since no-one knows your guests better than you, spend a little time thinking through any potential conflicts ahead of the day and allocate a more responsible friend to keep an eye out and report back to the ushers if things start to escalate.  The ushers can then be the ones to take problem guests aside and quietly explain the importance of the day and ask them to either behave or take their leave. Isabel Smith – Isabel Smith Wedding Design


  • It’s ok to hire security staff to man the entrance to your event, particularly if you are using a urban venue which is usually open to the public. Using discrete and professional staff will ensure that only your invited guests join your party and they will be able to handle any unruly behaviour quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Sarah Nendick – Helen Carter Weddings


  • If there is a free bar, guests often make the most of this so limit the timings perhaps to a 3 hour window as opposed to all night.  If guests are paying for their own drinks they are more likely to take it slower! Lisa Baker – Just Bespoke


  • If the unruly guests are children then try to find something to entertain them.  A well prepared planner would have arranged some entertainment or toys / games in advance or have some things with him/ her to play with or use things in the venue to entertain them.  If not, perhaps give them a little job to keep them occupied – finding napkins and making a pile on the change over from day to evening for example – kids often love helping! Melanie Kiani – Bellissimo Weddings


  • Sun and alcohol can be a dangerous combination so ensure that guests don’t have the opportunity to drink too much on an empty stomach by providing canapes and limiting the size / strength of cocktails if you are serving them.  Rachel Brierley-Jones – The Cotswold Wedding Planner


  • Select your guest list carefully and ask a trusted family member or friend to have a quiet word with anyone who may put a dampener on your day Suzanne Prout – RSVP Wedding


  • As a planner who tends to stay at a wedding until late into the evening you can and do get the odd difficult guest especially when alcohol has been consumed during the day.  Personally speaking with an unruly guest in a polite but firm way and reminding them of whose special day it is and how their behavior could be spoiling the day for the couple often helps to diffuse a potentially difficult situation.  Have a quiet word with the bar staff as well to keep an eye on the amount of alcohol being served to this particular guest.  Nicola Jones – The Brighton Weddng Planner


Many thanks everyone for these great suggestions – and good luck to anyone dealing with difficult wedding guests this season.

1 Comment

  1. About us | RSVP Wedding on 16th October 2013 at 8:29 pm

    […] with your venue in mind UKAWP Blog, 16th April 2012 Dealing with unruly guests UKAWP Blog, 11th April 2012 Wedding Gowns Your Hampshire & Dorset Wedding Magazine, Issue 31 […]

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