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How To Deal with Inappropriate Wedding Guest Behavior

By Lynn Wheatley

wedding planner

Grooms, this one is for you: how to (not) deal with inappropriate wedding guests. Throughout the history of weddings there has always been that one guy, the guy who sets up camp at the bar and then does really stupid stuff. He thinks it’s hilarious, but it’s really not. How should you address the drunk wedding guest? 

Rule No. 1: The Groom should NEVER get involved.

The hotel staff is there to help you! Whether you plan the wedding yourself or hire a wedding planner, you should always address the potential issue of inappropriate wedding guest behavior with your venue staff prior to the event.

Rule No. 2: A wise man once said, "Be nice, until it’s time not to be nice."

So if you don’t have a planner, head over to the nearest hotel staff and make them aware of the issue. It can be the server at your table or you can ask the server to send over the banquet manager. Fill them in on the details and tell them what you want to be done. Don’t leave any room for error. You can ask them to "keep an eye” on the person, or just cut them off. If they are going to cut them off, then I suggest having a couple (depending on the size of the guest) of staff at the bar when the barkeep tells the guest the sad, sad news. Things may get heated, but the hotel management will know what to do. If the guests comes to you after the fact, then tell your guests that the hotel has rules and they were just following them. Again, this shifts any blame AWAY from you and all is well with the world.

There are times that we must “cut off” guests at the bar.   When it’s necessary, we ask the catering or bartending staff to handle the situation.  If you find yourself having to deal with THAT guy at your wedding you (as the Groom) never get involved! Your first plan of attack is to go to your planner, let them know what is going on and have them deal with it. This way, you don’t get dragged into the problem, especially if it’s a family member or close friend. This way the planner is the bad guy and your family Christmas dinner will be free of “hey, remember when you cut me off at your wedding” comments. Planners know how to deal with these issues and to be honest, it’s your day, you need to enjoy it and this will not be fun for you in any way shape or form.

Whoever is dealing with this issue needs to know that violence is NOT an option. Even if the guest takes a swing, be nice! Again, ask the staff to calmly explain that the hotel has decided to stop serving them, they can stay but they will have to stop drinking. As an event planner, I have done weddings with private security and always have a pre-event meeting where we discuss possible situations and how to handle them.

So back to the No. 1 RULE: As a groom, NEVER, EVER get involved. I mean NEVER!!! Take care of it, yes, but never address the guest in person. This is your day and you don’t need that. You have people there that can take care of it for you. Dance with your Bride, talk to your friends and have someone else deal with THAT guy(person).

Wishing you wedding day happiness - Lynn 


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