The Bride Link
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Thursday, June 20, 2019

How To Politely Ask A Guest To Leave Your Wedding

Welcome to The Bride Link podcast, your home for expert wedding planning advice! Today we're talking all about how to politely tell a guest that they need to leave your wedding.

Today we're going to deal with a little bit of drama and hopefully, this is something that you don't have to deal with, but if you're concerned, we're going to give you a few helpful tips to ask somebody to leave your wedding if they start to get out of hand. First, is to give hints to people that they need to come down or suggest that they go somewhere else on the property. Maybe they can go hang out in the lounge area where the gift table and guest book are. Suggest they relax and not drink for a little bit and leave the reception where everybody else is having a good time.

Some other tips that I read on how to ask a guest to leave a party are to pretend like they're the ones ready to leave. Say something like, “Wow, you've already been here half the night. Why don't I clean up while you head home for some rest.” It says they will be unlikely to argue with you...I 110% do not agree with that tip. Approaching somebody that's been drinking for too long with silly things like, “Oh my goodness, it's already nine o'clock maybe you should head home” probably won't work and might offend the guest. If they've been drinking, it might make the situation worse as well. So what I'd like to do, is tell you how we would suggest you handled this as professional wedding planners. We've done over a hundred events in a single year and we unfortunately have had to deal with situations just like this.

If you have a guest that's been overserved or just for one reason or another are completely unruly at your wedding and they need to be asked to leave, here's what we think you should do. This may be something that you personally don't want to handle. So we suggest that you continue to enjoy your day and choose somebody that you trust that we'll handle it gracefully. Maybe this is your Maid of Honor, your dad or if you've hired a wedding planner or security personnel. Most definitely have them involved to do it. The first thing that I would do is bring the guests to a more private location. I don't want them making a scene in the middle of the reception, so I might ask them to step outside, step into where the ceremony or where the cocktail hour had taken place, any place where there are no other guests around.

Typically for me, I like to have one other person with me. That way if there are any details that get misconstrued, then there are two people on our side versus the one person that is being asked to leave. This is also just for a safety issue! We want to make sure that it's not one on one so at least have another person available with you. Now, you need to let the guests know that the party for them is over and they are being asked to leave. I would suspect if you get to this point that you've already dropped a few hints throughout the night. As a wedding planner, I have already told the bartender to stop serving you. You would already that you've been overserved and would have been asked you to calm down a few times before bringing you to a private location and tell you that the party for you is over.

So what we would do is be really honest about the situation but, not hurtful. We would explain that this is the bride and groom special day. It's been a very expensive event to plan and it's also a super important day obviously, and they are causing a distraction. With them being present any longer, it might ruin their wedding day. This situation can be a little bit touchy and it depends on really a case by case basis on how you should handle the actual wording when you're speaking to them. Having somebody that is around that knows that person well might be extremely helpful. Now you can always just try to inform them that they've had too much to drink and politely they need to leave. If they refuse, you might need to have security escort them out. This is another reason why I think it should be done in a private location away from the reception. You need to have a plan in advance, this means collecting their belongings (jacket, purse, shoes) in advance so that way they can easily leave without having to go back into the reception. We definitely recommend having an Uber, Lyft, taxi or other safe rides home. You're definitely not going to want them driving in their car if they don't have a ride!

There's a couple of things that you can do just to make sure that you don't get in this situation in the first place. I'll admit there's no perfect way to do it and it can be a sticky situation for anyone. So, if you think someone, in particular, is likely to be a big problem on your wedding day, talk to them about the situation. If you still feel uneasy, consider not inviting them in the first place. I know that sounds a little bit harsh, but if they're stressing you out about their behavior, they probably don't deserve an invitation. Next, hire a professional bartender! This will combat people being over-served alcohol and that alone can solve problems before they happen. It also helps when you have to cut somebody off from drinking alcohol. Having a professional telling them that they are legally no longer allowed to serve them alcohol can be a nice intermediary. When delivered this way, it comes with a little bit more authority than when delivered by a best friend or family member. The next thing you're going to want to do is to hire security. I know it seems weird to have security present at such a loving event but trust me, I've seen all kinds of crazy things happen.

We've seen fist fights at weddings before between the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride. We've had broken noses at weddings, people that were really drunk and break things. Even guests that do things for no reason, like smashing a wine bottle on a brick wall (recent event). There are definitely some things that can happen at weddings which can be tough to control. Having security there will make you feel safer and it also protects you with certain liabilities. Having security shows you’ve done your due diligence to have a safe party. You can contact a local security company for your event, you could even contact your local police department to see if you can hire an off duty uniform police officer. Now, even if you don't think there will be a problem, hiring professionals can help your day run smoother and keep your stress levels at a minimum. This alone is worth the added expense depending on guest count, location, spirit availability, etc.

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