Wedding Crashers? For real?
Yes. While the 2005 box-office hit starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson was a laughathon that rated a 75 per cent on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer … (despite its raunchiness), in real life wedding crashers are not nearly so funny.
That’s not to say there are tricksters roaming around Ottawa area wedding venues on Saturday nights looking for free drinks and people to chat up. Odds are that’s not the case. In those sorts of situations, security or the venue manager can be alerted and interlopers can be removed from the premises.
However, that doesn’t mean unexpected guests won’t show up. Despite the most meticulous organizing and budgeting and planning, sometimes there’s an unexpected Plus One, or Plus Two or Plus Three. Good manners and traditional rules of etiquette occasionally fall by the wayside and people you know … who did not receive dinner invitations … somehow manage to arrive and sit down at assigned tables with mutual friends or family members.
What the what? It might be the case that a single relative or colleague is newly part of a couple and misread your invitation to welcome an escort. Whatever the dynamic or background story, you’ve got more bodies in the room than place cards and place settings.
What do you do? Here’s what Jaimie Mackey has to say, in part, at Brides.com: “If someone does show up with an uninvited guest, put your planner to work. Squeeze in another chair, and let the caterer know that one of those back-up dishes will be headed to the out-of-place seat at table 12.”
Folks in the hospitality business, including those at wedding venues, are used to handling the unexpected, so should be well able to accommodate an extra guest or three. If it’s someone you don’t want at your celebration, for instance an ex or a problematic relative, get your planner or a trusted member of your entourage to diplomatically usher the intruder to the door. Always delegate.
And if any of these sorts of situations come about, don’t let them dampen your joy. The extra dinner charges for a few Plus Ones will be insignificant in the long run. It’s far better to be gracious and welcoming and to handle wedding crashers diplomatically. That way you’ll have happy memories and something to laugh about during an anniversary celebration many years from now.