Confessions of a Wedding Planner – Dealing with a Wedding Crasher

At a recent wedding, I encountered a touchy situation – Wedding Crashers. The term “wedding crashers” conjures the image of a couple of fun-loving strangers drinking and dancing the night away at a wedding that they were not invited to, while charming and entertaining the guests. The truth is, party crashers at your event are not as innocent or fun as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the movie The Wedding Crashers. 

What clued me in that the couple may be wedding crashers?  They were sitting by themselves in the foyer, not interacting with the other guests.  When I politely asked for their names, they became defensive and rude.  Realizing that the couple were not invited guests and did not have any reason to be there, I worked with hotel security to have them escorted from the event without the bride and groom or any of their guests knowing what had just transpired.

Party crashers not only cost you more money by eating your food and drinking your alcohol, they also can pose a security risk to you and your guests.  This is especially important if you are planning a children’s party. The last thing you want at your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is to have strangers wandering around interacting with your young guests.

When planning an event, security should be near the top of your list of important items to cover.  Make sure you discuss the possibility of uninvited guests with your planner. If the event is in a public space, you need a plan for how to keep the public out of your private event.  After one such conversation with a client, she changed her mind about having her event at a venue on the Santa Monica Pier and ended up selecting a nearby hotel specifically because of security concerns.   Fortunately, we had a chance to speak before my client signed the contract!

You will need to determine if the venue provides security (most hotels do) or if you will need to hire your own.  If you are working with a planner, he will be ready to deal with party crashers quickly and effectively by having an alphabetized guest list with him.

If you do not have an event planner and have to deal with this issue on your own, treat the party crasher with kindness and respect.  Remember, you don’t want them to get angry or belligerent and cause a scene in the middle of your event.

If you keep all of this in mind you will be sure to have an event that is free from party crashers.

Wedding planning tips to remember:

  • Talk about the need for security before the event.
  • Make sure that you have an alphabetized guest list.
  • Always use kindness, respect and tact when dealing with party crashers.
  • Work closely with security to have the party crashers escorted from your event as quickly and quietly as possible.
  • Be respectful in order to avoid causing a scene.
  • If children are present, it is even more important that security and your event planner are vigilant about making sure that party crashers are dealt with quickly and as safely as possible.

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