Seven Ways to Annoy Your Wedding Guests!

Seven Ways to Annoy Your Wedding Guests!

A wedding clearly takes a lot of planning and thought. When I got married, we managed to infuriate my aunt by altogether forgetting to invite her. She just got overlooked (no malice intended) and was justifiably miffed when she found out.

The guest list is not the only way to annoy your guests. Here are just seven other ways:

  1. When you send the invitations out, be as unclear as possible. Don’t spell out who exactly you are inviting (is plus one invited, or are the children?). Explain that there are various stages of the ceremony, but don’t actually specify what happens when, or who is invited to what.
  2. If you are holding your ceremony outdoors, ensure there is minimal, or no, shelter from the elements. People love sunburn almost as much as being soaked or frozen.
  3. Invite your guests to keep their phones on and to take photos throughout the ceremony, even if you are paying a photographer to do the job. The more guests that can block other people’s view by holding their phone in the air, the better.
  4. Have no thought for the audibility of the event. Nobody actually wants to hear what the celebrant – or couple – are saying, do they?
  5. Ensure there is plenty of “dead” time between the ceremony and, say, the canapes. The couple may go off and sign a certificate or have photos taken, but don’t let the guests know. It’s even more effective if nobody can tell anybody what’s meant to be happening. Oh, you get bonus points if guests are hungry and thirsty, but have no idea when the refreshments are served.
  6. The seating plan is a wonderful way to get even with people. You can “innocently” seat someone with their ex, or place enemies next to each other. Very rewarding.
  7. When presenting a speech, cramming it with in-jokes, preferably, about one side of the family only, is very satisfying and can exclude surprisingly large swathes of your guests.

Please don’t feel that this list is comprehensive. There are other ploys you can use very successfully. Perhaps you can think of a few?

I’d better point out that this list is delivered tongue-in-cheek! Should you choose to honour, entertain and please your guests, of course these are what you should strive to avoid.

If you want to chat about a dream, rather than a nightmare, ceremony, then please get in touch with me.

Photo: courtesy Matt Penberthy

Wedding Guest Etiquette

Wedding Guest Etiquette

There’s certainly a wedding guest etiquette, but it’s often unspoken. How, then, is one to know what to do and what to avoid?

Some guest etiquette is common sense. But thoughtlessness sometimes enters into it.

I know, as a celebrant, that being a guest can sometimes prove to be less than simple.

If you’re not careful, you can get it wrong –  and, potentially, months before the big day!


It’s easy to put off responding to the invitation because you’re want to be sure you are free. (Or because you forget about it!). But consider those making the arrangements. They have to book all manner of things (not least, the venue and catering), and this has to be done well in advance. Deposits need to be paid. They need to know numbers fairly soon.

If you’re able, then be one of those who responds as soon as possible.

Tweaking The Invitation

You may want to bring your child(ren), but if there is no mention of them on the invitation, then accept it. (It’s not meant as a snub, but there simply have to be limits on the numbers invited.) Obviously, the same goes for other people you may feel should be invited.

You may have a new partner, but don’t assume you can bring them. (For one thing, you might disrupt the seating plan.)


You could get asked to take on a role at the ceremony. Maybe as bridesmaid or usher. It’s an honour, so make sure you find out well in advance what the expectations are of your role. Will you have to attend a rehearsal the day or morning before or wear particular attire?

If you don’t want to (or can’t) do it, then give maximum notice Then there’s time to replace you, if necessary.

On the Day – Punctuality

Arrive well (30 minutes?) in advance – and don’t upstage the bride by a tardy, flustered entry. If you have been delayed, then you should simply wait until the end of the ceremony – just don’t interrupt it.

If you’re the Best Man, you should arrive an hour before the ceremony starts. If you’re going to be late, try and call the groom, at least, and warn him.


You will normally be given guidelines in the invitation. Go with what you are asked to wear, even if you might prefer a different style of attire.

At the Ceremony

Ushers may show you to your seat. If that’s not the case, leave the front two rows free for the family and VIPs.

Is the Ceremony “Unplugged”?

There will probably be an official photographer in attendance and his/her photos will matter a lot to the couple. It would be far better if they could show your smiling face rather than an iPhone held in the air. Take photos after the ceremony, by all means. Always respect any requests in this regard in the invitation or on the day.


It should go without saying that you ought to drink responsibly afterwards (and even more so, if you start before the ceremony!). Likewise, don’t trash the venue or embarrass yourself or the couple by loud or aggressive behaviour.

This is the biggest day in your friends’/relatives’ lives, so be grateful that they have chosen to include you. Enjoy the day – and enhance it for the happy couple. Make them glad they invited you!