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.
Wedding escort cards
Photo by Jose Villa

Some guests automatically make the list just for being family, but 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 chipping in on the bill. You might not believe it, but unwanted guests don't have to ruin your day—as long as you know where to put them. Meet the top eight potential troublemakers you'll invite (and learn how you to minimize the damage!).

Bridesmaid's New Boyfriend

Why He's Invited: Okay, so it's a little off-putting that he never wears shoes and has yet to tell you congratulations, but even if he isn't your top pick to hang out with, one of your closest friends adores him. Plus, your bridesmaid has gone through a lot with you (read: three dress fittings, two cake tastings and one crazy breakdown over your flowers). Not inviting her boyfriend (who's clearly more than just a fling) would be pretty uncool.

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 you be a safe distance from the your friend's date, but 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 get the full VIP treatment.

Eccentric Wedding Planner

Why They're Invited: Aside from the fact that they're planning and executing your entire wedding, they're number one in command on the day-of. Trust us: It's worth putting up with their crazy anecdotes in order to have them on hand for all the details (and possible disasters). Besides, treating them like an actual guest (with a real seat, meal and invitation) will help make them feel more welcome.

Where to Put Them: Your planner will be so busy during your wedding you'll barely even notice they're there. Besides, what's really the worst that can happen—they talks to your guests and reveals their Barry Manilow obsession? For all you know, everyone loves "Copacabana" as much as your planner does! Sit them at a table with your relatives or family friends with similar personalities or interests, or take a chance and throw them into the mix with your friends. And remember, nothing anyone says or does is that shocking after a few glasses of champagne anyway, so don't worry too much.

Little Niece

Why She's Invited: You explicitly told your sister you weren't inviting kids to your wedding, but she decided that rule didn't apply to her child. 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 miss the first dance, cake cutting and bouquet toss) isn't exactly fair to either of you.
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 (if she's able to sleep through your party, that is!). You can also assign your sister a table close to the door in case she needs to scoot out for any mommy emergencies.

Fiancé's Flirtatious Frat Brother

Why He's Invited: It may be difficult to forget the last time you met up with your partner's best college buddy—since he spent half the night hitting on you and your friends. But you have to try to move on. He's one of your fiancé's closest friends, so not including him would do more damage than good.
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 fiancé that Mr. Bachelor bring a date of his own. Really, as long as he's not inappropriate or making a scene, there's not much destruction he can cause. And even if you find him irritating in general, you'll be too busy visiting with all of your other guests and reveling in your special day to really notice him.

Cousin (Who's Practically a Stranger)

Why She's Invited: You might have played in the sandbox together 20 years ago, but now, you can't even remember if she was the cousin with the glasses or the one who borrowed your favorite doll and never gave it back. But still, your mom insists she makes the guest list. Here's the deal: she's family (sorry, that's the way it goes!). Not inviting her would be both impolite and extremely awkward—not just for you, but for your parents too (they'd probably be stuck explaining to her parents why she wasn't invited). In this case, it's easier on everyone to 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. It's been a while since you've seen her and she's done some growing up—she might end up being a hit at the party.

Wedding Downer

Why She's Invited: She's one of your best friends and has been by your side for everything from graduations and birthdays to the summer you were stuck inside with a broken ankle. The only problem is, she's currently in a love rut and completely sick of weddings (read: bringing her cynical attitude with her everywhere). But even if you're assuming she'll pout at everything from your dress to your bouquet, give her the benefit of the doubt—chances are she won't. The fact is, if she's truly your friend, she'll still be happy for you.

Where to Put Her: Introduce her to some other singles at your wedding beforehand (say, at the engagement party) to make it clear she'll never be 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 and chat with will save her from sitting out the slow songs, and she feel more confident with a partner-in-crime. Definitely seat her with a younger crowd so she doesn't feel like a reject at a table with your grandparents.

Your Boss

Why She's Invited: Listen, we totally get it—it's almost impossible not to shout your engagement from the mountain tops, or to keep from talking about your wedding planning while at work. But it's never a good idea to flaunt a party in front of people who aren't invited. So if you've discussed your day at work so often your boss feels as close to the wedding as your bridesmaids—you need to extend the invite.

Where to Put Her: Invite your boss along with their significant other. If you're particularly close with a few coworkers, add them to your guest list as well and consider seating them at a table with your partner's work friends too. And even if you cringe at the thought of your boss witnessing some of your friends in party mode, don't sweat it—it's your day. Plus, they might not even be able to attend anyway, but making the ask is always the right gesture.

Tipsy Uncle

Why He's Invited: Don't you just love that family rule? Your uncle is one of your parents' brothers, or one of their siblings' spouses, and the fact that he's known to down a few too many craft brews doesn't change that. Even if he has a history of getting out of hand, your uncle always makes the cut.

Where to Put Him: While you wouldn't want to burden 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.

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