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How to Plan a Wedding Without Gatecrashing

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If you’re hosting your wedding at a public venue, then there’s a chance that people will try to crash your reception.

You might not think it’s a big deal, but watching someone head to the buffet line who you know wasn’t invited is enough to stress you out and ruin your day.

Planning a wedding without gatecrashing isn’t only about people looking to get a free meal.

Friends and relatives sometimes think that it’s no big deal for someone they know to tag along even when they weren’t invited.

Bride and groom with guests at wedding reception outside in the backyard

To deal with crashers, you should appoint someone else to handle it, so you don’t have to manage another issue on your wedding day.

One of the most important things you can do is accept the fact that someone uninvited may show up at your wedding. That way, you won’t be as surprised and respond rashly.

Accept that you’re throwing an awesome party; everyone will want to be there! However, if you want to reduce the chances of gatecrashing, here are some things that will help protect your event.

Appoint Someone to Handle Crashers

Don’t imagine you can handle getting married and kicking uninvited people out of your wedding. You’re not there to be a bouncer, even if it is an event you’ve carefully curated for months or years.

Before you get too into the weeds about stopping uninvited guests, you should offload the responsibility to someone you can trust.

If you’re hosting a large wedding, it’s not as if you’ll recognize everyone there by name. There are going to be plus ones and other guests you’ve never met before.

Bride With Wedding Planner

You can’t expect to spot crashers all of the time.

Usually, wedding crashers give themselves away by lingering around tables too long or failing to register at the reception properly.

You have more important things to do, so appoint a bridesmaid or a relative who you can trust to handle the job. They can get you involved if things escalate to a certain point.

Ask Guests to Register

Not every wedding makes guests register when they enter the venue, but some venues and reception schedules facilitate easy registration. If yours does, then it’s no big deal to ask your guests to check in for the event.

Registration is quickly done with a simple table and nice tablecloth.

You can set it up next to the table seating chart and other information your guests will be looking for once they arrive at the wedding.

Womans hand signing a guest book with a pen

When you check off names on the list, you can avoid instances where people can say they’re someone’s invited guest or that they know so and so.

They don’t get in if they’re not on the list.

If you see a guest arrive and someone is already there under that name, at least you know that someone either got in without a proper invitation or someone who shouldn’t be there is trying to get in.

Limit Entrances

Your ability to control entrances and exits is limited due to fire codes and venue requirements, but there may be some leeway with regard to which doors your guests can use.

Venues with a lot of doors, like a city hall or a beach resort, will have more than a few entrances into most areas of the venue.

It will help if you work with the event planner or any other contact to shut off any available ways in that you won’t want guests using.

beautiful wedding plaque index for guests banquet

You can always present your entry plan as a way to funnel guests in for the best experience. That is, after all, a major consideration in wedding planning.

You want your guests to come in and see the venue from certain angles, etc., so why not also think about stopping gatecrashing as well?

What to Look for to Avoid Wedding Crashers

Most of the time, it’s relatively easy to spot wedding crashers. They mill around hesitantly, looking confused about where to go and what to do.

They may be hugging the walls surveying the venue for an open place to sit or someone they can latch onto for the evening.

For whatever reason, people love to crash weddings. It gives them some sort of rush.

They get a free night of food and entertainment, and some people enjoy making up stories about who they are so that they can pretend all night long.

If you’re worried about wedding crashers, here’s generally what to watch out for:

Wedding guests drinking champagne while the newlyweds clinking glasses in the background

Accidental Crashers

This happens more than you’d think. For example, if you’re hosting a wedding reception at a hotel, other guests may stumble upon the festivities and want to join in on the fun.

They will typically ask strange questions about who’s getting married, what the occasion is, or wonder about other people most guests should know.

Stalling at the Registration Table

Ever seen supposed wedding guests trying to eye the guestlist before they tell you who they are? Chances are, they’re trying to find a name they can use to get through the doors.

Don’t just leave your guest list on a table for guests to check in themselves. Have someone there to guide people to their places and ensure only invited guests can make it inside.

People with Strange Stories

Crashers try to divert attention away from themselves at weddings.

They don’t want other people to learn too much about them or figure out that they weren’t invited. This goes for impromptu crashers and uninvited guests who come in the form of a plus one when one wasn’t granted.

Ask your friends and relatives to chat up any people they don’t recognize to try and figure out if there are crashers in the mix.

Guests eating at the wedding reception outside in the backyard

If people can’t give you straightforward answers about who they know and why they are there, then it could be they weren’t invited.

At the end of the day, anyone who looks or acts like they don’t belong either needs some help or could be a crasher. In both cases, have a chat and see what they need.

How to Handle Wedding Crashers

It’s up to you how big of a deal you want to make at your reception if you find out someone who shouldn’t be there came anyway.

You’ll likely have to roll with the punches at some point, especially if they aren’t causing disruptions or inconveniencing other guests.

For example, if you’re serving a buffet meal, one extra scoop of chicken isn’t going to ruin anyone. But receptions with assigned seating and catered meals are a different story.

Wedding Guest Only Sign

If you find out someone is crashing your wedding, have someone ask them to leave politely.

If they refuse, take it up the chain to family members and have them deal with it. If they still don’t leave, you can get the venue administration involved and decide whether calling the police is the best decision.

Final Thoughts

Your wedding day is too important to get mixed up in any drama with someone you don’t know who happened to walk by the party and decided to try and join.

If you don’t care about someone you don’t know tearing it up on the dance floor and eating some of the extra cheesecake, then treat it like it’s no big deal and just focus on having fun at your wedding.