Reader Question: Entertaining Guests at our Wedding

A bit ago, I got a really interesting reader question from Allie. She needs some serious right-off-the-bat wedding planning help. Allie writes:

"We're in the very early stages of planning our wedding and we're batting around wedding ideas. We're pretty sure it's going to be a destination wedding but we aren't sure what KIND of wedding to have. We both like to have a good time – lounge/hang out good time vs. club good-time.

The challenge is that a destination wedding means many of our friends aren't going to be there and it'll be mostly our families. And while they are lovely folks, the lounge/good time thing just seems unlikely. Throw in his mother, who hates his father (divorced), his step-mother who hates his father (also divorced), and his father [who will probably be there even though no one likes him], and THEN the mother + step-mother awkwardness – and well, it's one huge awkward moment waiting to happen.

How do we plan a wedding that is US, include the people who are important to us, and have fun at the same time? We're thinking Oct/Nov 2012, probably in the Riviera Maya part of Mexico.

Any advice you can share is much appreciated!!"

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Image Courtesy of: Memories at the Pines

Wow. That is a whole lotta disliking for one location. Seriously though, this is a solvable problem. For one thing, it sounds like you two are paying for this shindig yourselves. That's awesome because it allows YOU to be in control of the guest list and seating plan. Basically, sit down RIGHT NOW and let each person who has a problem with such-and-such person know that this is your wedding. And they can grow up (and shut up) if they have an issue with the guest list. They don't have to interact or talk to each other but they Do need to be there and be supportive of the two of you.

As for the seating plan, you wedding is the reason that God invited assigned seating. You need to place card the SHIT out of your reception. Don't seat the moms next to each other, put your dad with random friends or extended family from your side, and so on. At a wedding like yours – placecards are next to the marriage license in importance.

Next, I loved you idea of having a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort. Talk about your laid-back/lougy vaca! Also a bonus, at an all-inclusive resort – there are activites for the people who cannot just relax.

For example, at The Royal Playa del Carmen All Inclusive Spa & Resort (Playa del Carmen), there's a stage show six nights a week + scuba lessons are built into the price of the room!

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Image Courtesy of: Expedia

And at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun All Inclusive (Puerto Morelos) all kayaking and windsurfing sports are part of the all-inclusive package (and the rooms are GORGE!).

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Image Courtesy of: Expedia

Another option that I found is Excellence Riviera Cancun Luxury (Puerto Morelos) which includes daily special activites, nightly shows, snorkling/kayaking, and discounted green fees in it's all-inclusive price. Also, this resort offers a great FREE honeymoon package to anyone who books a suite (like a champagne breakfast, a romantic dinner, and rose petals on the bed).

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Image Courtesy of: Expedia

The important thing to remember is that any kind of a wedding is going to have activities built into it – it doesn't matter what the theme is or what kind of wedding it is… there will always be a first dance, the cake cutting, the meal. So don't stress out too hard about that – just focus on hosting a nice party with equal parts laid-back fun and fun fun (some big band music for dancing [popular with ALL ages and personalities] and lawn/board games [also fun for all ages]). Let Mexico guide you – hire a marachi band to perform, ask a guru to do tarot card readings, beat the crap out of a pinata. Those are fun actitives that are pretty easy-going but still fun. Also, alcohol. Alcohol generally makes any party fun for everyone.

Hope that helps you with your complicated little planning fiasco, Allie! Hey Tulle Nation, do any of you have some "I dealt with messy family issues at my wedding" advice for Allie? Did anyone do a destination wedding in Mexico? Can you recommend a good adults-only resort her? Chime in!