I'm sure this has happened to everyone out there whether you take professional photos or just casual family, landscape shots. You arrive at a Wedding, or a family session and after looking at the background you wonder how in the world am I supposed to make this work??? Even in a lousy location you can have an amazing shoot if you take a deep breath and realize it's not a deal breaker!
USE A HIGH COMPRESSION LENS
CHANGE HOW YOU SHOOT - GO VERTICAL
USE YOUR SUBJECTS TO BLOCK A DISTRACTION
Sometimes the "entire" background may not be a Debbie downer, so if you can reposition people slightly to one side, have them sit on something to block out something behind them, or have them stand as a group (bridal party, family) and they would probably need to be tucked in close together depending on what you are trying to eliminate or minimize in the background.
If you have ever shot photos at Indian Springs you know that behind the falls are houses, there is also an annoying green hose, several things that through creative cropping can disappear or be less of a distraction from the subjects in the actual photograph. If you turn them around to the other end of the sidewalk you have power lines, street signs and vehicles to deal with, but take your time and weigh your options.
Living in the Black Hills we are blessed with some absolutely "breathtaking" landscapes and backgrounds but I have also had people that want photos in the "city" or at a park with a lot of distractions so you just need to get creative and do what you do best.....take the photos!! Believe in yourself, you can do it!