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Awkward Wedding Situations (and How to Handle Them)

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EMBARRASSED BRIDE
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Strange things happen as a part of almost every wedding. Here is a list of some common awkward moments and suggestions of how to navigate them:

1. A guest shows up that didn't RSVP or wasn't invited -- One problem with Facebook and other social media sites is it becomes very easy for people to learn the details of your wedding plans. You have a couple of options for how to handle this. I chose to pay for an extra table to accommodate any unexpected guests. I just figured it would be easier that way. Some brides choose to have someone check all guests in against a list. That way that person can tactfully tell them that you weren't expecting them and don't have a seat for them.

2. Someone RSVPs that you didn't invite -- I spoke to a bride recently and someone RSVPed via the wedding Facebook page. Apparently another guest invited this friend to the page assuming they were invited as well. First, change the settings of your wedding page to disallow people from adding people (who does that?) to it. Second, have a tactful conversation with that person. Let them know that you would love to invite everyone but finances or your venue require you to make some tough decisions. Third, have a conversation with the well-intentioned jack nard that is inviting people to your wedding all willy-nilly.

3. Someone has too much to drink at your reception -- Everyone has that uncle/aunt/cousin/friend/sibling that drinks too much and gets out of hand. If you don't have one, don't worry. I bet your fiancé does! This is kind of hard to avoid. In my family, people bring their own alcohol just in case it isn't served. Don't stress yourself over babysitting these people. If you are super concerned about this person, don't invite them. In any event, make sure you let them, and whoever they are coming with, know your concerns in advance and be clear that you want them to enjoy themselves but not to excess.

4. Inviting an ex -- I don't think this is ever a good idea, whether it's your ex, your parent's ex or even someone you have a child with. If everyone gets along, it's your call but you have to think about your other guests. They may not feel comfortable with your ex or your former step-father there. Their presence may distract from the meaning of the day.

5. Seating divorced parents -- If you think your parents will play nice and put their differences aside for until your reception is over, then by all means seat them together on the front row. If either has remarried it is wise to seat one in the second row. At the reception, each parent should have their own table where they host their respective family.

6. Someone you dated is in the bridal party -- This (hopefully) doesn't pertain to the happy couple but more to a guest or bridal party member. It's very common to run into someone you once dated at a mutual friend's wedding. If this happens, be an adult. Smile, say hello and walk away.

7. Inviting guests with adult children at home -- This one is tricky. You want to invite your mom's best friend, but not her son that lives with her. Be very explicit in your wording on your invite. Specify Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so and ask for her dinner choice and his. It may also be a good idea to enlist your mom to clarify if there is any confusion.

8. Dealing with family feuds -- Unfortunately not all families get along. My husband has a relative that doesn't like me for reasons I will never understand. And it was tough trying to decide whether or not to invite her. In the end I decided to invite her and hope that either she wouldn't come or if she did, she would behave. In my case, she didn't show and my wedding was wonderful, but in your case she may come. If she does, keep your distance and pretend she's not there. If the feud is among your guests, seat them as far away from each other as you can and recruit other relatives to keep them apart as much as they can. Ignore them and enjoy your wedding day.

9. You are invited and someone else isn't -- It's very exciting to get an invitation to a friend's wedding. That excitement shatters when you find out that another friend isn't invited to the same event. If your friend asks you to find out if they were invited or why they weren't invited, tell them no. You don't need to get in the middle of it. I'm very good at tactfully handling situations like this. I would tell the friend no, but mention something to the bride. I may say something like, "She mentioned that she didn't get an invitation. I don't know if that was intentional or an oversight but I just wanted to make you aware." And then leave it alone.