Going from Accommodating to Doormat: When Guests Ask Too Much

It goes without saying that you want to make sure guests are comfortable and have a fabulous time at your wedding. Many newlyweds like to be hospitable by providing transportation from the ceremony to the reception, gifting welcome bags with a few goodies and snacks, or planning a few entertaining activities (especially if it's a destination affair). If you plan on having an adults-only celebration, an intimate gathering, or a non-traditional reception format without a sit-down dinner, then communication is key. Inform guests months ahead of time so that they can make arrangements.

However, it's also important to keep in mind that you can't please everyone; there will always be that one demanding guest who can stress out even the most laid-back bride. "This is not the day to let nut allergies, ill-fitting dresses, and seating squabbles distract you from having the time of your life. Defer to the many helping hands around you: your maid of honor, planner, mother, venue catering staff, photographer...heck, even the person standing next to you all in black. We've all got your back," says Britt Chudleigh of Britt Chudleigh Weddings.

Here, vendors and brides share their personal experiences with guest requests that crossed the line.

Lip Sync Battle
"I run into challenges where guests make song requests that are the polar opposite of what the bride and groom want. One time, I had a groomsman threaten to fight me because I wouldn't give him the microphone to make an impromptu speech, and I wouldn't play his desired songs, which were on the "do not play" list. (The groom told me he liked them but did not want to hear them at his wedding because they were inappropriate.) I passed that information along to the guest, but he kept coming back, becoming drunker and more irate as the night progressed. The tipping point was when he asked me for the microphone to sing along to a song, and I told him 'no,' so he lunged at me and got in my face. The banquet captain and another server came over to stand by me as a backup, and the groomsmen finally got the picture and left." —Kevin Dennis, JWIC, Fantasy Sound Event Services


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Date Drama
"I'm a bridal stylist, and I personally serve over 60 brides a year, so I've heard it all. After one of my brides sent her save-the-dates, she received a call from her cousin, who freaked out and asked her to change her wedding date because that's when she was getting married. The kicker: She wasn't engaged yet, but expected him to ask any day." —Kelly


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Travel Concierge at Your Service
"Sometimes travel arrangements can bring up issues. Once, I had a bride whose family member called and wanted her to send a full itinerary of things to do if they were going to travel cross-country to her wedding. I always suggest that clients create a wedding website and include as much information as possible — event timing to help with flight arrangements, the distance from the airport to the hotel, whether or not guests should rent a car, local sightseeing, and their favorite restaurants in the area. This approach will save you from calls asking you to be their personal travel agent!" —Alex Chalk, Taylor'd Events Group


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Shuttle Service Nightmare
"When they found out that we were providing transportation to and from the wedding, several members of the groom's family requested that the bus act as more of a continuously running shuttle between the venue and the hotel. That way, they could leave or come back whenever they wanted. Did I mention that the two locations were 45 minutes apart, and the bus company charges by the mile?" —Audrey


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Dress Code Disaster
"One of my guests requested to wear jeans to the reception so that they could feel more comfortable. I had to politely tell her that it was a formal affair. She asked several times if we would re-consider, and when I said no (for the third time) she finally gave up and wore a dress like I asked her to." —Caitlin


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Maid of Dishonor
"One of my aunts inserted herself as my maid of honor. A few days before my wedding, she announced to our entire family that I had asked her to be a co-maid of honor with my best friend. I definitely had not!" —Heather


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+1 for Rudeness
"I had one guest ask if he could bring a plus-one, then he only RSVP'ed for himself. The day before the wedding, he asked if the plus-one could still come. A couple from out of state had just canceled due to health issues, so it was fine. On the day of the wedding, the plus-one brought a child along, when we had been telling friends and extended family that we weren't having kids at the wedding!" —Andrea


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Master Course in Mind Games
"I had distant family members (and friends) who demanded that they be invited. I ended up inviting my one cousin after she kept asking where her invite was. She wouldn't RSVP to the bridal shower and didn't even come after I told her that she couldn't stay at my house that weekend. She never bothered to show up to the wedding either." —Brooke


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The Parent Trap
"We were told to invite my father-in-law's brother's second cousin (who we never met) because if we didn't, then our FIL will never let us live it down. Yet, they're paying jack squat for our $90 per person catering." —Amy


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—Stefania Sainato