How To Politely Ask A Guest To Leave Your Wedding
Today we're talking all about dealing with someone drunk at wedding. How do you politely tell a guest that they need to leave your wedding? Wedding security should be a concern for every couple as a problem can happen at any time. Emotions can run high, especially if there are bar services and alcohol, and a guest has become drunk at wedding. Family and friend dynamics complicate conversations, which can create demanding wedding guests and the need to remove someone from your wedding. Hopefully, this is something that you don't have to deal with, but if you're concerned, we're going to give you a few helpful tips to ask somebody to leave your wedding. To help separate any family members or guests, check out our Ceremony Cheat Sheet to help plan who stands where, when, and why!
1. Give hints that they need to calm down or suggest that they go somewhere else on the property.
Maybe they can go hang out in the lounge area where the gift table and guest book are. Suggest they relax and not drink for a little bit and leave the reception where everybody else is having a good time. Some other tips include pretending like they're the ones ready to go. Say something like, "Wow, you've already been here half the night. Why don't I clean up while you head home for some rest." I 110% do not agree with that tip, and you'll more than likely spark an argument immediately.
Approaching somebody that's been drinking for too long with silly things like, "Oh my goodness, it's already nine o'clock, maybe you should head home" probably won't work and might offend the guest. If they've been drinking, it might make the situation worse as well. So what I'd like to do, is tell you how we would suggest you handled this as professional wedding planners. We've done over a hundred events in a single year, and we, unfortunately, have had to deal with situations just like this.
If you have a guest that's been overserved or just for one reason or another are wholly unruly at your wedding, and they need to leave, here's what you should do. Understandably, it may be something that you don't want to handle. So we suggest that you continue to enjoy your day and choose somebody that you trust that will resolve the matter gracefully. Maybe this is your Maid of Honor, your dad, or if you've hired a wedding planner or security personnel. Most definitely have them involved to do it.
2. Lead the guest(s) to a more private location.
Bring another person along with you if you don't feel comfortable being alone with confrontation. You don't want them to make a scene in the middle of the reception, so ask them to step outside, step into where the ceremony or where the cocktail hour has just taken place, any place where there are no other guests around.
Having another person with you also means any details discussed won't get misconstrued. There are two people on our side versus the one person that is creating a problem. This is also just for a safety issue! We want to make sure that it's not a one on one conversation.
3. Let the guest(s) know that the party is over and ask them to leave.
We would suspect that you've already dropped a few hints throughout the night if you get to this point. A professional wedding planner will have already told the bartender to stop serving them.
Being honest about the situation but not hurtful with them can defuse the problem naturally. Explain that this is the bride and groom's day and we don't want to disturb the ceremony or reception. It's been a costly event to plan, and it's also a super important day, obviously, and they are causing a distraction. With them being present any longer, it might ruin the whole wedding day.
This situation can be a little bit touchy, and it is a case by case basis on how you should handle the actual wording when you're speaking to them. Having somebody that is around that knows that person would be beneficial. Now you can always try to inform them that they've had too much to drink and they need to leave. If they refuse, you might need to have security escort them out.
This is another reason we recommend it should be done away from the reception and in a private location. It would be best if you have a plan in advance! This means collecting their belongings (jacket, purse, shoes) so they can quickly leave without having to come back. Suggest an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or other safe rides available. You're not going to want them driving in their car if they don't have a ride!
4. Identify any potential problems before the wedding even starts.
We'll admit there's no perfect way to do it, and it can be a sticky situation for anyone. So, if you think someone, in particular, is likely to be a big problem on your wedding day, talk to them about the situation. If you still feel uneasy, consider not inviting them in the first place. We know that sounds a little bit harsh, but if they're stressing you out about their behavior, they probably don't deserve an invitation.
5. Hire a professional bartender!
A professional bartender will help stop guests from being over-served alcohol. That alone can solve problems before they happen and is the best deterrent for wedding disturbances in general. It also helps when you have to cut somebody off from drinking, allowing the bartender to stop service instead of the couple. Having a professional bartender telling them that they are legally no longer allowed to serve them alcohol can be an excellent intermediary. It comes with a little more authority than when delivered by a best friend or family member.
6. Hire a professional security guard.
We know it seems weird to have security present at such a loving event but trust us, we've seen all kinds of crazy things happen. We've seen fistfights at weddings before between the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride. We've had broken noses at weddings, people that sneak in alcohol, drink too much, and break things. Even guests that do things for no reason, like smashing a wine bottle on a brick wall (recent event!)
Some things can happen at weddings that are just out of anyone's control. Having security there will make you feel safer, and it also protects you from certain liabilities. Having security shows you've done your due diligence to have a safe party. You can contact a local security company for your event; you could even get your local police department to see if you can hire an off duty uniform police officer. Even if you don't think there will be a problem, hiring professionals can help your day run smoother and keep your stress levels at a minimum. This alone is worth the added expense depending on guest count, location, spirit availability, etc.
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