Don't let these jerks ruin your wedding

Story highlights

  • Your wedding day should be as stress-free as possible, but that's easier said than done
  • Enlist the help of some trusted friends to keep potentially problematic people at bay
  • Caterers, wedding coordinators and bartenders should be ready to fend off troublemakers
  • The hunt for booze and sex can make some people behave badly, so head them off at the pass

Whether it's the guest whose cell phone shrills in the middle of your vows or an inappropriate, drunken declaration made from your dance floor, there are just certain people who can put a crimp in what should otherwise be your carefree wedding day. Here, we identify seven key culprits and dish out tips that will keep them from getting under your skin.

The Texter

It's sad, but true — people are more apt to remember to turn off their cell phones during movie than they are during a wedding ceremony. (We once witnessed a guy whip out his smart phone so he could watch his favorite football team score points across the field — live — as the couple exchanged their vows.)

Placing a simple sentence — Please turn off your cell phones during the ceremony gets right to the point — inside your programs will remind guests to power down. Or take a more direct route by asking ushers to make the request as they seat each guest.

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The Problem Bridesmaid

If she's whined about your dress choice, grumbled about expenses or turned green with envy over your white wedding, there's a good chance she'll find something wrong on your wedding day. Ask another 'maid or two whom you trust to head-off this diva before she can bring her concerns to you. They can handle anything she throws out — or at least distract her until the day is over.

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The Meddling Mother-In-Law

Some women are blessed with the perfect mother-in-law. (We know of at least one, so we can say with certainty they do exist.) But the rest seem to take pleasure in pointing out everything you've done wrong — and then doing it their way instead.

Keeping your mother-in-law from breaking your wedding-day mold is a task for your wedding coordinator. Alert her to your new family member's maddening ways, and ask her to keep an eye and ear on her for the day.

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The Guest With A Guest

You didn't add a plus-one to this guest's invitation, but she showed up with her man-of-the-moment anyway. Accept this will happen before your big day, and ask your caterer to prepare a few additional meals and place settings to cover any unexpected guests. By the time you reach the reception, you won't even notice a difference.

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The Open-Bar Abuser

It's a small joy in life to sip on your favorite top-shelf liquor sans its normal heart-stopping bill. But you can count on at least one guest to ride that happy train all the way to disruptively drunk. Stop any alcohol-enabled antics in their tracks by giving your bartender carte blanche to cut-off anyone edging toward belligerent.

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The One Looking for a Hookup

Some men (and yes, women) will treat a wedding like the live version of Tinder. While you can't protect every guest from someone on the prowl, at least take a moment to alert your bridesmaids to any man who might have less than noble intentions. That way, whatever choices they make, you can at least feel good knowing you warned them.

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The Late Arriver

There is no such thing as fashionably late when it comes to a wedding, yet we can practically guarantee at least one guest won't get the memo. Keep latecomers from blocking your entrance by asking an usher to sit in the last row. He can nab the offenders before they can start a mad dash, and quietly seat them toward the back at the most appropriate moment.

Did you encounter any of these problem guests at your wedding? How did you deal? Let us know in the comments below.