How to Handle Uninvited Guests

You have spent months planning your wedding and weeks organizing your seating chart, but unexpectedly, you are face to face with a WEDDING CRASHER.  This is not the moment to cause a scene or stir conflict.  What do you do?

You may wonder, who would show up without and invitation?  Surprise, it happens.  Here are some examples of extra bodies you didn’t anticipate.

The Plus One:

When a guest brings a date, but wasn’t given the option.

On average 85% of your guest list will attend, and you planned for this.  You carefully worded your invitations and made it obvious to your single friends not to bring along their new fling.  Still, you find yourself rearranging for an uninvited date.  This could happen one of two ways:

  1. Your buddy added a “Plus One” to the RSVP, but you simply cannot accommodate. Just be honest. Have a face to face conversation or make a personal phone call and explain why you need to limit your guest list.  Let them know there are space, food, or budget restrictions…whatever your reason may be.
  2. “Surprise! I brought a friend, isn’t he cute?!” In this situation, it is better to allow the ‘cute friend’ to stay rather than cause a scene or turn him away.  Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to plan ahead and have a reserve chair just in case.  If it is impossible to let the couple sit side by side, it’s okay – they will manage.

Yes, they are adorable. But, this was an adult only party!

Your invitations shouldn’t exactly read, “No kids” but in the most delicate way make it apparent who IS invited. For example, “Two seats have been reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the Wedding Ceremony and Reception for…” Or, a brief note at the bottom of the invitation that reads, “Adult reception to follow the ceremony.”

If you have a few little guys actually on your list, separate an activity filled area just for them and place the unexpected kids at their table too.  Also, let your wedding coordinator handle this task, it is probably not the first time they have seen it happen!

Complete Strangers:

Um, we haven’t met. Are you a friend of the bride or the groom?

Is there a stranger lurking around your bar or trying to sneak a taste of your wedding cake? This scenario is more common when you have a wedding at a hotel or an open public venue.  Here are the best ways to prevent these crashers:

  • Use plenty of signage so there is no confusion when people are entering a private reception area.
  • Have people on guard to help keep your wedding private. Let your wedding planner or the venue manager handle this matter professionally and discreetly.

Most importantly, if you do have a surprise visitor, let someone else oversee this burden.  The bride should always appear graceful and welcoming, not confrontational.  This day should only be happy for you!