Kicking 'em out: how can we word our "zero argument" drama-free wedding rule?

How can we explain our "zero argument" drama-free wedding as seen on @offbeatbride #wedding #drama
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"Obviously no one wants arguments and drama on their wedding day. Our families are full of both daily. Everyone we have invited are pretty good at biting their tongue when needed, but we're still slightly afraid something might happen and we're just not having it. So, we have decided that if there is any drama, arguments, fighting, etc. on our wedding day, we will be kicking people out.

We know it sounds mean, which is why we don't want to put that on our invitations. I was thinking of just putting 'We're having a "zero argument" drama-free wedding! For more information, visit: [our eventual wedding website]' at the bottom of the invitations so I could go into detail on the site. Do you have any suggestions for how to word this?" – Kambria

We are no strangers to family and guest drama at weddings. Hell, we've got whole archives for family advice, family drama, and conflict resolution. People are people and people can bring the dramaz.

You're totally on the right path by nipping it in the bud early and diplomatically addressing the issue on your wedding website. Wedding websites are the best place to explain anything you want explained: dress codes, ceremony rituals, accommodations, and of course, any specific drama rules that you'll be putting in place. Let's talk about how to word it on the site itself.

Drama-free wedding explanation

I think your line on the invitation is great, so here's how I'd expand upon it on the wedding website:

We know that weddings can be a high-emotion time for everyone, so we'd like to make sure that the emotion stays positive and that everyone has a great, drama-free wedding experience. If you have any disagreements with other guests, we kindly ask you to put it aside for the wedding day and surrounding events so that we can all enjoy the celebrations without any negativity.

If there are any disputes or arguments, however, we will have someone escorting disrupting guests out. We definitely don't want to do this, but we want to make sure that the events stay as peaceful as possible.

Thank you so much for your cooperation and we appreciate all your love and support.

Have YOU experienced this kind of fighting drama between guests? What advice have you got for them?

More drama-minimizing advice:

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  1. I'm so glad someone posted this! I really want both of my parents there. They split when I was very young and still squabble to this day. Also my father and sister aren't currently speaking and she is my matron of honor. The drama abounds and I needed to figure out a good way to say get over it or get out!

    3 agree
    • I'm sorry your wedding peeps aren't getting along. 🙁 Sounds like something fit for a brief and well-toned email to a select few, not something to be included on a wedding invitation to everyone… right?

  2. I wouldn't say anything. I would have thought the requirement to behave would be common sense, even amongst feuding family members.

    I'd probably say something about hoping to get everyone together for a positive experience. I wouldn't tell people they're liable to be thrown out in case they see that as a challenge or try to test limits. I'd just throw them out.

    I'd maybe spread through the grapevine that if parties can't guarantee they'll behave then they are welcome to decline the invitation

    9 agree
  3. There is really only one person whom I want at my eventual, prospective wedding who might cause drama, and I'm talking to the people she's most likely to cause drama with because whenever I try to point out that the fact that she's factious with other members of my family is entirely her doing, she argues that she never said that (which she did) or that she doesn't do that (which she does), and it causes more drama. Instead, I'm talking to the people who were hurt by her and asking them to grin and bear it, because chances are, they are better prepared to do this than she is. I also have a few family members who can run interference because they have much larger reservoirs of patience.

    1 agrees
  4. I am getting married for the second time now, but when I married the first time, my parents had not seen each other in over 20 years and my mother and step mother had never met. I sat both of my parents down individually and basically said, you are adults, I expect you to act like it. There will be no drama. Good Luck.

    2 agree
  5. We expected some drama at my wedding, so we were very clear with the relatives in question about our expectations. Come our wedding day, those relatives were great and other relatives caused problems. Just goes to show, making your expectations clear with everyone is the way to go! (And there will be problems no matter how hard you try to avoid them.)

    Possible alternative to the drama-free invite–why not consider a drama room? Sort of like the quiet room in spas? If people fight, instead of kicking them out, send them there to air their issues and keep your reception a happy place. Then when they can behave like grownups again, they can come back and join the party.

    2 agree
  6. At my first wedding my friend who was also my sound tech for the bands was flirting with this hot out of town guest. Her girlfriend didn't appreciate it and attacked him during the first band. She was very tiny though and when she took a swing, punched him directly in the throat. He left early, but luckily other sound savvy friends took over his job. My brother also started a mosh pit later on and I ended up with a torn shoulder ligament. I'm thinking a physical drama clause might be in order for wedding #2…

  7. Whilst we don't expect any all-out fights at our wedding, we have several passive-aggressive sulkers who will sit and stare silently throughout an event to make a point that it is not going their way. We get tears and locking themselves into rooms and having a complete meltdown. They will do so deliberately in full view of everyone, because they simply cannot cope when they are not the centre of attention. They have upset many people by their immature behaviour, but they simply do not see it and just do not have the skills to behave like adults. Telling them how to behave beforehand is likely to make matters worse, and they are not suddenly going to learn how to be adult for the wedding when they can't even get through birthday parties. We've dealt with it by giving them jobs to do during the wedding so they feel more loved and involved, and appointing 'babysitters' among the wider family who will deal with any issues arising. We've also agreed who will ask them to leave if all else fails, and how to tell them. We're also working on strategies to minimise the fall-out afterwards, as the people concerned are likely to tell us repeatedly how awful and inconsiderate the whole wedding was, without giving any thought to others' feelings. My mother is still going on about my first wedding from 15 years ago (and how much suffering I put her through with my wedding, marriage and divorce!).

    2 agree
  8. I think this is going to depend on the nature of your guests. A lot of drama-instigators don't perceive themselves as being such, so will assume it doesn't apply to them and their perfectly reasonable, appropriately timed, no-offense-but, why-don't-we-all-just-calm-down, I'm-just-playing-devil's-advocate-here, conversation starters. Others, as RamblingHen says, will take it too personally and start the celebration in a sulk, and try and drag others in with them.

    I think Cassie's idea of having a drama room is a good one. Maybe a 'stress space'? Emphasise on the wedsite that it's about making space for their wellbeing. "We know weddings can be stressful for everyone, not just the bride and groom, so we're setting aside a space for those who need somewhere to take a break from the rest of the gathering and spend ten minutes putting themselves back in a positive place. You should always feel free to have a chat with a member of the wedding party if something or someone is particularly stressing you out, so we can make sure everyone is enjoying the day as much as we are."

    3 agree
    • Holy crap, that's genius! I know a couple of my friends are autistic/have anxiety issues/are extreme introverts, so this would be the BEST idea (not expecting drama from them, but they genuinely might need it)! Might fill said room with bean-bags and chocolate. Hmm…. thank you for this!!

      1 agrees
      • I hope it helps 🙂 Make sure there's something non-alcoholic to drink in there, and a big box of tissues, and maybe a free/occupied sign for the door.

  9. Honestly, putting this out as a disclaimer to everyone is just going to START drama. You're already giving people something to talk about. If you have known drama offenders, address them individually before the wedding – don't chastise all of your guests en masse!

    6 agree

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