How to Handle Uninvited Wedding Guests

We’ve written before about guest lists, and how to approach the sensitive task of choosing just who to invite to your wedding. It’s a tricky job and one that generally requires a lot of thought. However, no matter how much time you spend deliberating about your guest list, the chances are that there will be some extra faces present on the day. Everyone loves a wedding, after all!

Uninvited wedding guests, or “wedding crashers” as they are sometimes called, come in several varieties. They may be a nuisance, or they may be an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. In this week’s blog post, we’d like to describe some of the most common types of uninvited guests, as well as offer some tips for dealing with them as diplomatically as possible.

Friends of Friends

Some of your guests may assume that it’s okay to bring someone else along, especially where romantic partners are involved. Ideally, all of your guests would check with you that it’s okay to bring a companion, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

It may be an inconvenience, but the best thing to do here is to accommodate the unexpected guest as much as possible. Politely tell the guest that, as he or she was not expected, some rough and ready seating and dining arrangements may be necessary. Sometimes, in situations like this, the guest may be offended at having been omitted from the guest list. For this reason, it’s best to offer every hospitality.

Children of Other Guests

When we wrote about making your guest list, we advised caution when it comes to inviting children. As well as adding numbers to the guest list, the presence of children affects the ambience of a wedding in ways that may not be to everyone’s liking. If you’ve decided that you’d rather not have any children present, it’s best to make this very clear your guests. However, this may not be enough to deter everyone, and you may find you have some very small, loud guests on your hands!

In cases like this, it’s important to balance courtesy towards the child’s parents with consideration for the rest of your guests. Remember that your guests may have brought their child as a last resort, having been unable to make other arrangements. A sympathetic attitude is appropriate in these circumstances. Nevertheless, if the child becomes disruptive, you’ll need to ask the parents to remove their young one if he or she cannot be calmed. If you politely explain that you are acting out of consideration for your other guests, the child’s parents will usually be understanding.

Finally, don’t forget to take the well-being of the child into account. He or she may not have been invited, but should be treated with consideration all the same. If there are no child-friendly options on the dinner menu, check with the caterer to see if special arrangements can be made.

Total Strangers

This is the sort of uninvited guest that comes to mind for most of us when we think of so-called “wedding crashers.” Free-loading party animals looking to have a good time at your expense, despite never having met you. While they may not conform to this exact stereotype, there is a definite possibility of strangers showing up at receptions held in public venues. Of course, they could turn out to be charming and entertaining characters, but the more likely possibility is that you’d rather they weren’t there.

If you’re concerned that you’ve spotted people you don’t recognise at your wedding, the first thing to do is make absolutely sure that they’re not supposed to be there. Try checking with your other half, as well as both sets of parents, to see if their identities can be ascertained. You can also try the direct approach, and simply ask them who they are. It needn’t be confrontational; just politely introduce yourself, and ask them to do likewise.

If you’ve made absolutely sure that someone is not one of your invited guests, and you want him or her to leave, don’t fret. All you need to do in this situation is inform the venue manager that you have some unwanted guests, and leave the venue staff to handle the rest.