Weddings are beautiful and wonderful -- the most exciting time of your life. But let's be serious: they also tend to conjure up the crazy in many people. Even those around you who you would never imagine acting out suddenly chug the krazy kool-aid, take a running start and swan-dive off into the deep end. And, while it is your day, you may inevitably wind up dealing with the drama of others, or worse -- fighting with your hubby-to-be over it.
But you can prevent this from happening! In order to prepare yourself, here is my list of the 11 crazy wedding guests you may encounter, and tips on how to help these characters find -- or help you put them in -- their place on your big day. Let's dive right into the roster, shall we?
- The Control Freak: Everyone has one. You know, the one that just needs to be a part of something in order to "help out" (read: completely take over every detail of your wedding). Instead of getting heated or wasting energy fending her off, keep her busy instead to distract her for a bit. Give her a job to do, such as helping with your favors. She can be in charge of separating the silver m&m's from the white ones. For all two hundred goody bags. Moohoohaha.
- The Unsolicited Advice Giver: She'll ask how your planning is going and, before you can get a word out, she's firing off advice for you on everything from entrée options at your reception to Kama Sutra positions for your wedding night. To exit the conversation, show her to her table. In the coatroom. Then shut the door, and back away.
- The Hot Mess Bridesmaid: Remember how funny it was in college that night when she got wasted and left her shoes at the frat house, making her late for graduation the next day? Know what's not funny? When she does it the day of your wedding. Just remember: she's your bestie, you love her, and your stress levels are running high right now. Take a deep breath. Give her an additional reminder of her responsibilities beforehand to prevent any mishaps (and keep her away from both the groomsmen and the tequila at the rehearsal dinner).
- The Drunk: Another common character that will pop up during your wedding: the drunken, unpredictable scene-maker. Will he grab the mic and say something crazy? Will she use the giant pole holding up your tent as an invitation to show off her "moves"? When it comes to this wild card, do yourself a favor and take precaution. You know there is someone in your social circle who knows just how to wrangle this beast. Put them on watch so they can take action (read: stuff them in the coatroom) quickly, before a scene breaks out once the drinks start flowing.
- Creepy Uncle Eddie: Your future hubby's pervy uncle seems to be on a mission to make every family gathering uncomfortable with his smoldering stares from across the table and suggestive comments and glances. But luckily, as the bride, you can sidestep this guy tonight since you are the one in the white gown. As for the bridesmaids, sorry ladies -- you're on your own with this one. Every (wo)man for herself!
- The Overbearing Relative: They come in the forms of an in-law, a sibling who has been married before, a cousin thrice-removed who demands not to be seated in the "nosebleeds"... the list goes on. No matter the relation, one thing is certain: this person is pretty sure they know exactly how you should do things, and they are very vocal about their opinions. If they are super close to you and you cannot dodge this person, then similar to the control freak, deal with them by giving them something to feel special about even if you have to grit your teeth while doing so. Allow her to choose the centerpieces, help with the menu... just SOMETHING she can be proud of. If it's your mother-in-law, maybe she'll be less likely to act out on the day you steal her son from her, you wretched being, you.
- The Idea-Stealer: You found the best deejay in town, so you excitedly gush to your friend, who is also engaged, about how you plan to meet with him Thursday night. But when you call him, he's all booked up -- for a meeting with her. You innocently mention you are having a bouquet full of Charlie Brown orchids, and -- whaddya know! -- now she is, too. Listen to me carefully: do not share any of your ideas with her. Unless it's the top-secret information about how you are wearing a lime green wedding gown with shoulder pads and dancing into your reception room with your spouse to the Macarena.
- The Wet Blanket: She's the one who complains the bridesmaid dress is too tight, the food is too cold, and the band is too loud. Take her for a walk and stuff her in the coatroom with #2 and #4. Those three will keep each other busy the whole night, don't you worry.
- The Forever Frat Boy: He'll get up there in front of your relatives, friends, co-workers, and total strangers and lovingly share how he and your groom met you on "tequila one-two-three night" after you danced on the bar and licked a body shot off of him, believe it or not, which led you to your hubby (because isn't fate awesome?). You'll stand there in shock as you watch your wedding gown change from white to black right before your eyes, with nowhere near enough champagne in that tiny glass to drown yourself in. Prevention plan: have your hubs talk with him beforehand to remind him that your wedding is a family event, and to be sure there are no discrepancies in his speech.
- The Villainous Vendor: Your vendors are all smiles when you write them checks and sign the contracts, but the reality is that sometimes they flake out on the day of your wedding and venture off course from what you agreed upon. Prevent any miscommunications by researching vendors thoroughly before booking, working off of trusted recommendations, and reading all contracts before signing. If something is very important to you -- for instance, an emphasis on candid photos, or specific songs you want on the playlist -- make this clear to the vendor ahead of time. And don't be afraid to follow-up, even if you feel like it may be annoying. Remember: you are paying them.
- Your alter-ego, The Franken-Bride: Wait a minute -- what? Are we talking about you?! Yes! Because, as every bride knows, even with the best of intentions, sometimes wedding planning makes us a little... loopy. Sure, it is one of the biggest days of our lives, and of course, you've invested more time and money into this thing than any other, but it's helpful to give ourselves a little reality check during our planning and stay in touch with our sanity. Take some deep breaths and count to ten. Sleep on it. Accept the fact that nothing can be perfect, that beauty lies in imperfections, and that life's best moments happen unscripted.Lastly, always remember that this is the most exciting time of your life, and that you will (hopefully) never have the chance to do it again, so instead of putting pressure on yourself or dealing with unnecessary drama, relax and enjoy every bit of it! Because it is going to be absolutely amazing, I promise. Just be sure, when checking out reception sites, that they have a decent-sized coat room.
Follow Alessandra Macaluso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/punkwife