One of my brides called a few days ago and she was in tears. She was working on her guest list. Apparently there was a family member that was a real problem. She was terrified of inviting him to her wedding reception. Unfortunately, she was even more terrified of NOT inviting him to her garden wedding. She said that her family was already fighting over the issue.
He has a long history of getting drunk at family functions. He makes a scene and is very unpleasant to be around. But he is a close family member and they simply don't know what to do about him. Obviously, she doesn't want him to spoil her garden wedding ceremony and reception.
I talked to some friends that have wedding venues and asked what they recommend. I knew what I thought and they did concur. Don't invite someone that could ruin your day. Better have it be unpleasant now then on your wedding day. But if you feel that you really need to invite him here is some advice.
BE HONEST- First, with your friends or family that want you to invite this person. Point out his history and let his track record speak for its self. You may also want to go directly to that person and be HONEST with them. Tell them that this is your day and your would love to have them but........then lay down the law about what they cannot do. So if drinking to much is the issue tell them. You may say that they cannot drink at all if they come to you wedding. Then let them decide if drinking is more important then you.
You can also have someone that you trust point them out to the bartender. Tell the bartender that you want them to know that this person is a potential problem and water down the drinks. Cut him off when he hits that magic number. But you need to decide if this persons presence is worth the turmoil and tension.
In this case it was drinking. But other brides tell me they have people that do not get along with someone else at the wedding and may start an argument. Use the same thought process. In my opinion honesty is the best policy. Be kind but firm. Be straight forward and let them know that this is what you will need from them.
It really stinks to have these issues arise on your special day. But have a plan and stick to it. Make your decision known early so that it has time to sink in and let the dust settle.