As you peruse your guest list, is there a name that jumps out to you spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E? Sometimes who to invite to a wedding, and who not to invite, can be a real stressor for brides and grooms. We all want our wedding and reception to be beautiful, fun, happy, and memorable - in a good way. I recently read an article in which a bride-to-be was anxious about a very out-spoken uncle who she was afraid may not be able to keep his political opinions and prejudices to himself in her diverse group of wedding guests. Should uncle be un-invited?
I think we can all agree that our world is a politically charged environment these days. And, let's agree that we also live in a world less traditional than ever before. That is, your group of family and friends may very well include conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats, same-sex couples, multiple ethnic groups, and diverse family members that may include ex-laws. I'm OK with that and you're OK with that. Is Uncle I-Use-To-Be-Married-To-Her OK with that? Especially after he's had a few drinks?
I'm not trying to invent another reason to stress a bride and groom. I'm here to say that all will be well! I know from experience that at happy family events, even Uncle Off-Color-Joke gets caught up in all the awesomeness and behaves like a prince. First, and most importantly, when worrying about the chemistry of your guest list, DON'T! Honestly, these things work themselves out.
If I haven't successfully calmed your fears, here are a few things to consider:
~Liquor loosens lips. And inhibitions. A proven fact! Think about a few local craft beers and wines vs. an unlimited open bar.
~The later, the longer, the looser. Most outdoor receptions and many venues have a curfew. A party that goes into the wee hours of the night offers more opportunity for politics and prejudices.
~Pass the worry onto someone else. Alert your wedding planner or day-of go-to person. Arm them with names and concerns and let them keep their eyes and ears open. If something's brewing they can nip it in the bud while you dine and dance the night away.
~Alert your wedding vendors, especially your photographer and DJ about your guest concerns. Studio Jay always wants to know who the microphone is off limits to and family groups who want to be photographed together and which ones don't want to be in the same frame.
~I don't recommend a pre-wedding conversation with Uncle My-Way-Or-The-Highway. But that may be just the thing in your situation. Any dialogue should be positive and kind: "I love you and want you to be at my wedding but don't want to put you in an uncomfortable situation." "FYI, Uncle No-Ones-Lifestyle-Is-Right-Except-Mine, my maid of honor will bring her wife to the wedding. It that's too difficult for you, I'll understand if you choose to stay home or leave immediately after the ceremony." Give Uncle Archie Bunker a heads up and a way out.
We have our own diverse family of in-laws, ex-laws, and adopted-laws. There have been legitimate concerns pre-wedding several times. And, no imagined disaster or near disaster ever materialized. Please, invite people to you're wedding who are important to you and don't waste any energy wondering if they will get along. They will. Because they love you.