Wedding Crashers: How to Prevent Unwanted Guests From Ruining Your Big Day

Posted on: 2 January 2015

When celebrities pop into weddings unannounced and uninvited, most wedding couples graciously accept their presence as a rare treat. The truth is, however, wedding crashers can be problematic in a variety of ways from showing up in family pictures to stealing wedding gifts. Here are a few ways to tactfully keep unwanted guests from inviting themselves to your wedding.

Hire Security

Possibly the best thing you can do is hire a few security guards to keep the riff raff out. You can have one person stand at the door and check names against a list of approved guests while another person stands guard near the gift table to prevent people from making off with the presents.

There are a few benefits to this. First, security guards can act as neutral third parties who firmly turn away unwanted visitors without creating enmity between family members. For example, having your cousin deny access to other family members you don't want at your wedding may create bad blood between them whereas a security guard would act as the lightening rod for any ill will generated by being turned away at the door.

Another benefit is that security guards can deal with unruly people. Most have training in deescalating tense situations, which can prevent a bad situation from getting worse. They can also physically subdue aggressors in a safe way, preventing other people from getting injured during an unsavory confrontation.

Choose a Closed Venue

It's much more difficult to keep out wedding crashers when your big event is held in an open venue like a beach or park. There are just too many uncontrollable variables to plan for. One way to minimize the risk of having unwanted guests sneak into your wedding is to have the reception at a closed venue like a ballroom or reception room.

Avoid places that have public areas such as restaurants attached. Though this may be difficult, you'll also want to avoid venues where multiple events can be held at the same time such as convention centers. Though most venues are really good about putting up signage directing guests to the correct rooms, sometimes people find themselves in the wrong place anyway.

Don't Invite the Internet

Unfortunately, many Internet denizens don't know the meaning of boundaries and will show up at your wedding or reception anyway if you post the location information online. Only distribute that information on the wedding invitations. If you do use an online service, be certain to password protect the information and only distribute the password to guests who were invited to the event.

Stamp Hands

When guests arrive and are verified by the security guard or hostess, stamp their hands with a unique imprint. It may seem silly and give your wedding an exclusionary air, but this will make it very easy to determine who was invited and who wasn't. If you notice people who without have stamps on their hands hanging out around the open bar, for instance, you can tactfully question them and ask them to leave if they don't belong.

Stamps come in a variety of shapes and you can get inks that match your wedding colors. The inks typically go away after a few hand washings, so guests don't have to worry about permanent stains on their skin.

Account for Vendors

Believe it or not, some of the biggest offenders for wedding crashing are vendors. Wedding workers will sometimes help themselves to drink or food, particularly if it is a buffet or open bar.

It's essential that you talk to your vendors about what they can and cannot consume. You may want to consider making an arrangement with the caterer to provide a separate buffet of food and drinks for the people working your wedding to prevent them from noshing on items set aside for guests that you have paid for.

To learn more about stopping wedding crashers from ruining your big day, talk to security professional that can provide tips and advice for securing your venue.