If the Wedding Crasher Comes

Movies quite naturally use nearly every aspect of our lives and traditions – often in odd ways. “The Wedding Crashers” – a pair of divorce mediators – crash weddings to find available women high on romance for one-night stands. Probably works better than lurking by the vegetable section. It was a most successful movie and it highlights an issue that few couples look at seriously: Just what do you do if a wedding crasher shows up?

For most weddings this is fairly low probability event, but it does happen. Receptions held in hotels and resorts with public traffic and often multiple simultaneous events can draw the simply curious as well as those looking for free drinks and food and a convivial atmosphere. They can also draw a variety of criminals more interested in what’s in people’s pockets or in making off with some of the gifts.

Another category is the ex-lover with a grudge who’s over the edge enough to cause a major scene or worse.

You should evaluate your situation to decide just how seriously you need to take the issue of security. If one of you has a problem with an ex-lover, talk it over and decide whether there’s a possible threat warranting hiring security. Perhaps having several friends aware of the problem and staying alert for trouble is all that’s required.

You need to remember that you aren’t going to be thinking about crashers or other security problems and you shouldn’t have to. All you really may need is to have several people who can – and will – be able to ensure that everyone attending was invited. Checking that attendees have invitations may be useful. Having a guest book for everyone to sign as they arrive creates another security barrier.

Obviously the best way to deal with this is before a crasher gets inside. Few churches have security personnel and generally there’s no reason. Crashers at the wedding itself can be usually be seated in back and basically ignored.

Depending on where you are holding your wedding reception, security may be provided or at least available quickly. So under most circumstances quickly notifying security and quietly asking the crasher to leave will solve the problem with little or no fuss.

However, if you have reason to believe that there may be a serious threat of disruption or violent behavior (that annoying and slightly psycho ex, maybe?), then consider hiring an off-duty policeman or going to a private security firm. A uniformed security officer is a powerful deterrent which won’t add much to your costs while the peace of mind it can offer is priceless.

Finally, to remove the temptation to swipe your gifts, you may want to have a specific area where guests place them. An area which is neither easily accessible to any non-invitees in the building nor obviously in plain sight. Unfortunately, this goes slightly counter to some practices where the gifts are essentially “on-display”. If that’s a part of your plan, remember that the location should only be accessible to your guests and it should be easily monitored.

Thinking and planning for crashers and security is unpleasant in the context of a joyful event like a wedding celebration. Some thought may convince you that this isn’t an issue you need to worry about. But if you do foresee possible problems, take care of preparing for it well in advance and then let whoever will be watching for crashers or handling security do the worrying while you relax, enjoy and do the wedding.

5 Often-Overlooked Things Needed For a Wedding at Home

There is nothing quite like having a wedding at home, especially if it is your childhood home. It can be a very sentimental and special place to have your wedding festivities, with a meaning unlike any other potential wedding location. Planning a wedding at your house is a big undertaking, however, and there are many extra details which must be considered. These are 5 very important often-overlooked things needed for a wedding at home.

One: Insurance. How unromantic, right? Indeed, but adequate insurance is critical when hosting a wedding at home. Start with your homeowner’s policy and find out what type of coverage it already has that would be applicable to a large party, such as damage to your property, theft from your home during the party, and personal liability insurance (in case a guest is injured on the premises). Wedding insurance is also a wise investment, and it covers things which would not be covered by a homeowner’s policy, such as if the wedding has to be rescheduled due to severe weather or if a vendor does not show up. It costs very little, but is important to purchase.

Two: Security. This is another thing which you hate to think about, but if your home is open for hours during a wedding, who is watching to make sure that no one wanders upstairs and swipes your mother’s wedding jewelry from her dresser or the silver from the dining room? You may feel absolutely comfortable with all of your wedding guests (hopefully!), but big parties can be targets for professional thieves, particularly in certain upscale neighborhoods. They know that if everyone is in the backyard at the wedding, no one is watching the rest of the house to make sure your jewelry and other valuables are safe. A couple of security guards can be discreetly stationed around the property to keep the house safe from thieves, and the reception free from wedding crashers, if that is also a concern.

Three: Parking. Having 100 people come to your house for a wedding? Where on earth are you planning to put all those cars? Most residential streets have no where near enough parking spaces for that many vehicles, and there may be local parking restrictions or required permits that make the situation even trickier. Hiring a valet parking service to manage the cars is often your best bet, especially if there is a nearby field where they can all be parked. Another option is to hire a shuttle bus to transport your guests from their hotel to your home and back again at the end of the night. Valet parking or shuttle services should always be paid for by the hosts, not the guests.

Four: Noise. If you are having a late afternoon wedding, the chances are that your party will run well into the evening hours. Check with your local police department about the noise ordinances in your town to find out what restrictions exist regarding both volume of music and what time music must end at night. It might well be earlier than you had planned to end your reception, like 9 or 10pm. You might discover that you can have your band switch from amplified to acoustic instruments after the cut-off time for noise, or it might be best to move your wedding to an earlier time. The last thing that you want is the police knocking on your door at the height of the party and telling you to pull the plug!

Five: Neighbors. Smart couples know that the key to having a great wedding at home is to get the neighbors on your side. After all, your wedding can cause a fair amount of disruption to their lives, everything from contractors coming to renovate your house pre-wedding to a loud band to people parking in front of their driveway. Your best bet is to kill them with kindness. Inform your neighbors about your wedding well in advance, be considerate of them when setting up the event, and if any damage occurs to their property, be sure to fix it immediately. Best of all, invite all of your neighbors to the wedding. If they are there enjoying the party, they will not be sitting at home feeling annoyed by all the commotion next door. Remember that these people will be your neighbors long after the wedding is all done, and treat them accordingly.