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guests, invitation

8 People You Don't Want to Invite to the Wedding (but Have To!)

You can't cross off these guests -- no matter how tempting. Trust us: Every bride goes through it.

Photo: Brinton Studios

Some guests get the automatic check just for being family, while other guests -- like your boss -- are simply harder to reject than include. And, as if making your guest list isn't complicated enough, your parents also get a say if they're helping to pay for the wedding. The bright side? Unwanted guests don't have to ruin your big day -- as long as you know where to put 'em. Meet the top eight nuisances and troublemakers you'll invite (and learn how you can minimize the damage!).

Bridesmaid's Weird Boyfriend

Why He's Invited: Okay, so it's a little strange that he wears Batman T-shirts and barely talks. But even if he's not your fave, your bridesmaid loves him -- and she's gone through a lot with you (read: three dress fittings, two cake tastings, and one crazy breakdown over your flowers). Not inviting her boyfriend (he's not exactly a random fling, you know) would be a huge slap in the face.
Where to Put Him: Instead of having a large table with your entire wedding party plus their dates, mix things up. Sit with your maid of honor, best man, and their dates; then spread the rest of the wedding party throughout other tables. Not only will this keep you away from your bridesmaid's boyfriend (bonus!), it'll also keep some of your guests from feeling like they're stuck at a D-list table while you and your wedding party are rolling VIP-style.

Kooky Wedding Planner

Why She's Invited: Aside from the fact that she, um, helped plan out your entire wedding (and admit it: you weren't always easy to deal with), she's your number one in command on the big day. Trust us: It's worth putting up with her cat stories -- or even foisting the cat stories on your guests -- in order to have her on hand for all the details (and disasters). Besides, treating her like an actual guest (with a real seat, meal and invitation) will help make her feel more welcome.
Where to Put Her: Your planner will be so busy during your wedding you'll barely even notice she's there. Besides, what's really the worst that can happen -- she talks to your guests and reveals her Barry Manilow obsession? For all you know, they love "Copacabana" as much as she does. Sit her at a table with your equally whacked-out aunt, or take a chance and throw her in the mix of your friends. Nothing she says will be that shocking after a few glasses of champagne anyway, so stop worrying!

Little Niece

Why She's Invited: So you explicitly told your sister you weren't inviting kids to your wedding, but of course she didn't think that rule applied to her kid. Not wanting little ones at your wedding is certainly understandable. But making your sister spend half the night upstairs in her hotel room reading bedtime stories (and thus missing out on the first dance, and the cake cutting, and the bouquet toss) isn't exactly fair to her -- or you, for that matter.
Where to Put Her: If having a baby at your wedding bothers you that much, offer to hire a babysitter. Suggest that your niece stay with the sitter during the ceremony (so there's no crying during the vows) and then leave it up to your sister to decide whether or not she wants to bring the baby to the reception. By that point, guests will be drinking and dancing; they won't even notice a sleeping newborn. You can also assign your sister a table close to the door in case she needs to scoot out for a diaper change or other mommy emergency.

Fiance's Horny Ex-Frat Brother

Why He's Invited: Do you remember the last time that you met up with your guy's best college buddy and he spent half the night rubbing up against you and your friends? Well, forget it (at least for now). He's one of your fiance's closest friends, and not having him at the wedding would hurt him way more than it would benefit you.
Where to Put Him: First of all, it's not like you're on the market, so you have nothing to worry about (although you might want to give your single friends a heads up). Sit him at a table with other single people, or suggest to your fiance that Mr. Fratastic bring a date of his own. Really, as long as he's not grinding or groping, there's not much destruction he can cause. And as for how much he might annoy you -- you'll be too busy visiting with all of your other guests to even notice the guy.

Cousin You Barely Know

Why She's Invited: You might have played in the sandbox together 20 years ago, but these days, you can't even remember if she was the cousin with the glasses or the one who borrowed your Malibu Barbie and never gave it back to you. Yet your mom still wants you to invite her to your wedding. What gives? Well, she's family (sorry, that's the way it goes). Not inviting her would be extremely awkward not just for you, but for your parents too. And they'd probably be the ones who are stuck explaining to her parents why she wasn't invited. In this case, it's easier on everyone to just be inclusive.
Where to Put Her: Sit her at a table with other family members she knows or, if you think she'd enjoy it, mix her in with some of your friends. Hey, it's been a while since you've seen her -- she just might end up being the life of the party (besides you, of course).

Wedding Hater

Why She's Invited: She's one of your best friends and has been by your side for everything from college graduation and birthdays to the time you got sick for two days after eating less-than-fresh sushi. The only problem: She's currently in a love rut and is completely sick of weddings. Sigh. The fact is, if she's truly your friend, she'll still be happy for you. And even if you think she'll pout at everything from your dress to your bouquet, chances are she won't.
Where to Put Her: Introduce her to some other singles at your wedding beforehand (say, at the engagement party) to make it clear she won't be the third wheel. If there aren't many singles in your circle of friends, invite her to bring a date -- even if it's just a friend. Having someone to dance with will save her from sitting out the slow songs; plus, she might feel more confident with a partner-in-crime. Oh, and seat her with a younger crowd. She'll feel like an old maid if she's chillin' with your grandma.

Your Boss

Why She's Invited: Well, perhaps if you hadn't run into your office screaming, "I'm engaged!", spent hours upon hours of work time browsing wedding websites or telling your boss every little detail about your dress, venue, and cake, you wouldn't have this problem. But you did, and by this point, your boss feels as close to your wedding as your bridesmaids.
Where to Put Her: Invite your boss along with her significant other (at least she'll have one person to talk to). And honestly, it might not be the worst thing to let her come since she decides your salary! If you're particularly close with a few coworkers, add them to your guest list as well and seat them at a table with your guy's work buddies. And if you cringe at the thought of your boss witnessing some of your sloppy friends in action, well, maybe she won't be able to attend, anyway.

Drunk Uncle

Why He's Invited: Oh, that family rule, don't you just love it? So here's the deal: Your uncle is your father's brother...or your mom's brother, or your dad's sister's husband (you get it -- he's close), and whether or not he's had seven too many Heinekens doesn't change that. Even if he has a history of mooning party guests or slipping into a tequila-induced mean streak, your uncle still makes the cut.
Where to Put Him: While you don't want to bog down your dad with babysitting duties, seating him near your uncle so he can keep an eye on him is fair game -- especially if it's an open bar. You might also politely ask the bartenders to cut off any guests who seem to have had their fill. If there's a particular drink he's a fan of, don't stock it. Also, keep plenty of water on the tables and serve dinner early so nobody's drinking on an empty stomach.

-- Caitlin Moscatello