Wedding hitches: What to do if it all goes wrong...
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What to do when someone invites themself to your wedding reception


© Paule Ka
© Paule Ka
It happens far more often than you imagine: a guest receives an invite to the evening reception and makes the mistake of thinking you've requested the pleasure of his or her company throughout the day (church, wedding breakfast, daytime and evening reception). 

Plan in advance...
To get rid of any room for confusion (intentional or otherwise), send separate invitations to the guests you want to invite to the whole day and guests who are only invited to the evening reception (plus brief cards to distant friends and relatives you just want to inform of the happy event). Don't include any details of the church or venue address to stop people from turning up where they're not wanted.   

Last-minute solutions
> If you're having a buffet rather than a sit-down dinner and you don't want to offend your surprise guest, squeeze them in (provided the entire family hasn't come along too).  

> If you're having a formal sit-down meal, six courses, name cards and all, it will be more difficult to make room for an extra person. Invite your guest for a pre-dinner/arrival cocktail and make it clear - subtly - that the invitation does not extend to the meal. Try: "So are you heading straight off to avoid the rush hour traffic?" or "Well, it's been lovely seeing you and we'll have to get together for a catch-up when we get back from our honeymoon..."
> If, quite frankly, you don't know the guest that well and you're not overly fussed about offending some extremely distant relative or old friend you only invited out of politeness in the first place, then hard luck. Be honest and explain that you feel really awkward but you've only invited close friends and family to the wedding breakfast and you haven't catered for any more. 


Sarah Horrocks
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