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Have you ever attended one of those weddings where there are just too many guests and not enough seats? And someone is running around trying to rearrange chairs or pulling extra tables and chairs from another room? Or maybe you’ve been to a wedding with a buffet where there was more people than food?

I have. It was awful. The bride and her mom were stressed out as they tried to figure out what went wrong and how to fix the situation. After you’ve selected your wedding invitations, you start to stress about who will show up. Will guests RSVP? Will they bring extra people with them? Will I end up with enough tables and chairs?

No bride wants to have THAT wedding. You know…the one where people talk about you like a dog and how you didn’t have enough seating and you ran out of food, etc.

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There’s an easy way to avoid the drama. It starts with the printing of your invitations. I suggest that all of my brides include a line where guests indicate the total number of people who will be attending. Granted, the invitation may only be addressed to Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. You would assume that only Mr. and Mrs. John Smith will be attending, right? WRONG. I’ve done so many events where Mr. and Mrs. Smith show up with a couple of extra guests. They may even be their house guests who happen to be in town the weekend of your wedding.

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I like for guests to tell me in advance that they are going to do something inappropriate like invite more people. That way, I have time to correct the issue. If Mr. and Mrs. Smith indicate on their response card that a total of four guests will be attending (instead of the two guests you were anticipating,) you or your planner can contact the Smiths. What you say to them might sound something like this:

“I’m so excited that the two of you will be attending our wedding! Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate your extra guests because of ___________ issues (spacing, budget, famine, plague, insert your phrasing of choice here.) I’m sure you understand. Again, we look forward to seeing you on our wedding day!”

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