No matter how many (or how few) people you invite to your wedding, there are going to be some people on the list who you’d prefer not show up. Whether it’s for social reasons (your boss), family (an aunt you dislike), or the husband of your best friend, it’s a wedding fact. Here’s how to deal with the unwanted:
First off, know proper etiquette before nixing people from your list. If a girlfriend of yours is living or married to a man, he is automatically invited too, even if you don’t know him or don’t care for him. While there is no law that says you can invite one of your sisters but not the other, remember that a wedding will be talked about for the rest of your lives; a snub can mean the permanent end of a relationship.
When it comes to boyfriends and husbands, it’s often the case that you don’t know them, and feel strange having them front and center at your wedding. One smart move is to disperse the bridal party through the reception hall, so the “other halves” aren’t at a head table. You can also apply this strategy with distant relatives and new siblings. However, it has to be equal: Make sure that everyone is dispersed in a similar fashion, and never let casual acquaintances sit closer than family.
If you’re not close to a parent, it’s important to know that they’re not expected to sit right next to you—generally, the parent who raised you has that honor. Greet them politely, and treat them like every other guest. Should you decide to sit them next to you or include them in the receiving line, most people will assume you’re still very close and ask questions accordingly. You’re probably doing everyone a favor if you have them close to you, but not at a major table.
Other guests that cause problems are obnoxious friends, or friends who imbibe too much, or people you’ve simply never liked—maybe your fiancé’s best friend. There’s only one word to describe how to deal with that situation: Diplomacy. Remember, the people at your wedding are going to be part of your new life. What better way to get off on the right foot than to extend an invitation, both of friendship and of your wedding.