In the course of wedding planning, you'll probably come across a guest or two whose inappropriate actions, odd requests, or rude behavior seems appalling. Don't be shocked -- while you may know the ins and outs of wedding etiquette, some of your friends and family may not be aware of what's acceptable. What can you do? Be proactive. Here's how.
Not Sending RSVPs
What they did:
Anyone who's ever planned a wedding knows the importance of a punctual RSVP -- from plotting your seating chart to giving the caterer a final headcount, it's hard to proceed without a firm grasp of who's coming. Unfortunately, some of your guests may treat the RSVP as a novelty rather than a necessity.
How to deal: Give it a week. After that, it's time to give them a call. Recruit your maid of honor to help you with phone duties if you're really struggling with missing RSVPs. Or, better yet, send out a group email (use a blind CC) saying that you need to know by [insert deadline] if they're planning on attending. Keep the tone nice, but firm. Then, you only have to call those who don't reply to the email (which really is a double-duty foul).
Stop the cycle: Make the reply-by-date as early as possible, say two weeks from the date you intend to mail the invitations. That way, when your guests see that the deadline is quickly approaching, they'll (hopefully) stick the reply card in the mail right then and there.
Sending RSVPs With Extra GuestsWhat they did:
The good news is that the guest has returned the RSVP. The bad news is that she'd love to attend. . .with a person you never invited -- maybe never heard of. Whether she believes every invite bestows the right to bring a date, or a child, adding a name on the RSVP puts everyone in an awkward position.
How to deal: To avoid potential hurt feelings, you need to establish a no-exceptions guest list policy (significant others only if engaged; no children under 18). Then, call the misguided guest to explain the circumstances. Apologize for the misunderstanding, and tell her that unfortunately the limitations (a small reception space or a tight budget) require a strict guest list. The person most likely didn't intend to thwart your list with the addition of another guest, and will gladly come to the wedding solo.
Stop the cycle: Tell your parents, wedding party, and other close relatives and friends, so that they can spread the word when asked. And, of course, address your invitations in a direct manner (don't write "Smith Family" unless they really are all invited). The earlier that a guest knows who's actually invited, the less painful the conversation will be.
Calling the CoupleWhat they did:
As soon as they received the invite to your wedding, the phone calls began. Guests are treating you like their personal concierge, with questions about transportation, accommodations, and fun things to do while they're in town.
How to deal: Make sure every guest has all the info they need by creating a wedding website. Include a link to the hotel where you've reserved a block of rooms, local museums and restaurants, and driving directions. Put together a welcome basket for out-of-towners with the weekend's itinerary, so that no one feels the need to ask you about the wedding game plan.
Stop the cycle: Some technophobes might still pester you with questions. Go over the guest list with both sets of parents, and decide which key invitees, if any, are not likely to check your website. Print out a copy of the info listed on the site and mail it to them.