Many couples spend a fair amount of time crafting the perfect wedding guest list. This can be a meticulous process as you determine your A-list, B-list, and C-list individuals. You may have to address some tough questions, like who you can leave off the list, but eventually, you will have the perfect list of people and send out your invitations. Despite this, a few uninvited people could show up to crash the party, and, contrary to what you might have seen in the movies, it’s typically not hysterical. To help couples avoid the hassle of wedding crashers, we’ve created this guide on how to prevent unwelcome guests at your wedding.
Carefully Address Invitations
It might seem obvious to state that you should carefully address invitations, but after addressing invite after invite, your eyes may start crossing as you hit your limit. Have your partner help you with addressing envelopes and take your time to avoid making mistakes. Once you’ve written out all addresses on the envelopes, double-check your work. If you split the work, have your partner check the invitations you address as you do the same for theirs.
Looking over your work reduces the risk of writing out the wrong addresses. Sometimes, if the incorrect person receives an invite, they’ll simply send it back to you or toss the invitation. But others might see this as the ideal opportunity for a free night of partying.
Another important tip for mailing your wedding invites is to give yourself plenty of time. By waiting until the last second and cramming address writing into a single session, you increase the risk of making a mistake. Additionally, contact those you haven’t yet heard from a few weeks before RSVPs are due to verify all guests on the list received their invitations.
Ask Your Planner for Help
If you’re worried an ex-friend or brash relative will crash your wedding, warn the venue manager and your wedding planner. These individuals will watch for the worst-case scenario and handle any issues. Warning your team ahead of time also allows them to create a plan of action in the event uninvited guests show up. More importantly, they’ll be ready to remove the individual before you even spot the crasher.
Have an Entry List
Uninvited guests can cause a lot of commotion you don’t need on your special day. Most crashers aren’t as fun-loving as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s characters in Wedding Crashers. Rather than add to the party, uninvited guests can create anxiety-inducing situations.
Compiling an entry list is one plan you and your team can devise to reduce the risk of unwanted guests. The venue manager, your day-of-planner, or wedding planner can allow guests through the front door after asking for their names. If someone shows up and their name isn’t on the list, they’ll be denied entry.
If you create an entry list, make sure all your guests RSVP so your bouncer knows who’s truly a crasher. When you invite guests to the wedding, tell them that without an RSVP, they won’t be able to attend your big day because they won’t make the entry list.
Have Wedding Security
While it’s not required, having a security squad is another way to prevent unwelcome guests at your wedding. Some couples assign this duty to friends or relatives, while others hire security teams. With the latter option, all your guests can focus on partying alongside you rather than watching for crashers. Typically, hiring a security team is ideal if you expect specific relatives or other people in your life to crash the wedding in retaliation.
Plus, with a security team, you can dedicate your attention to enjoying time with your partner. Feeling anxious on your big day is natural, but it shouldn’t stem from the fear of toxic people crashing your wedding.
No matter what anyone tells you, there’s no individual you mustinvite—it can be just you and your partner if that’s what you want. If someone crashes your wedding, that uninvited guest is in the wrong.
Avoid Venues With Multiple Events
The ceremony and reception locations you choose might hold various other events, such as retirement parties, work functions, and family reunions. While this is perfectly fine, try to avoid places that hold several events simultaneously. Guests from other events could wander into your wedding, and although some of these individuals may be accidental crashers who leave once they notice their error, others might stick around for free food and refreshments.
Avoid Public Places
It’s common to have events leading up to the wedding—like the engagement party and bridal shower—at public places such as restaurants, but you should avoid doing this for the big day to prevent crashers. Tying the knot at a private venue helps decrease the risk of uninvited guests.
It’s easy for a crasher to sneak in when you hold your ceremony and reception in public places such as restaurants or parks. If you don’t rent out the entire space, an establishment isn’t going to turn away customers since it’s a business and they need to make money.
Don’t Invite Too Many People
For some—people pleasers especially—sending an invitation to absolutely everyone is tempting. That way, no one feels left out and you won’t have to have those awkward conversations about why someone didn’t get an invite.
The problem with giving everyone an invitation is that the more people you host, the harder it is to keep track of who you actually invited. After all the partying and a few drinks, you may believe that stranger claiming to be a distant relative belongs at your celebration. Weigh the pros and cons of choosing an intimate wedding over a big reception. While more guests can mean extra fun, it’s hard to track who’s a relative and who’s a crasher when there are too many people.
Remember That Not All Uninvited Guests Are Crashers
A lot of negativity surrounds wedding crashers. Generally, the assumption is that these individuals show up either to spite you or for free food and alcohol. However, that’s not always the case. Some of your guests may bring a plus one, such as a date or child. If you did not specify plus one on the invitation and they didn’t get your permission, their date is technically a crasher.
Typically, it’s best to just roll with it if this happens. Expressing your frustration over the situation is not worth the time or energy. It’s easy to assume that the act was rude or selfish of your guest, especially with Bridezilla whispering in your ear. But it could just as easily be a misunderstanding—the friend may have thought bringing a date was no big deal.
It’s a lot easier to react with love than with anger. If an uninvited plus one shows up to celebrate your union, ask your venue manager to create a solution rather than kick them out and risk upsetting your invited guest. In a worst-case scenario, the guest may have to share their meal with their date.
Closing Note: Don’t Let It Ruin Your Day
If crashers show up at your wedding, all you can do is ask your planner or another individual to handle it; don’t try tackling the task yourself. If the crasher is a stranger, you won’t know what their intentions are or how they’ll react to being asked to leave. Don’t let uninvited guests put a damper on your special day. Focus on your friends, family, and, most importantly, your partner as you celebrate this new and exciting chapter in your life.