Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wedding Crashers

No…this is not a review of the Owen Wilson / Vince Vaughn movie that came out in 2005 with the same title.  I am talking about real life people who actually attend weddings uninvited (aka wedding crashers). 
There are two types of wedding crashers.
Type 1 - Invited guests who bring along a few extra people with them to a wedding.  Those few extra guests are not on the guest list and were not mentioned during the RSVP head count.  They are just last minute people who showed up unexpected and uninvited to the wedding.
Your “know it all” uncle is in town and staying at your place boring you with his knowledge of politics.  You have to attend a wedding and when you mention it to him, his response is “I love weddings.” Shaking your head in disbelief, you know what you have to do.  Congratulations you are now bringing along a wedding crasher – type 1.
I guess a single wedding crasher (or two) is ok if 500 people are going to attend the wedding/reception with no specific seating arrangements at the event.  However nowadays it’s not ok, as every wedding detail is accounted for (including seating arrangements). At the reception, cocktails are followed by dinner and dinner tables have seating arrangements with name tags at each table (yep - this is the norm over here nowadays).  Congratulations once again – you have now put the host in a difficult situation.  Where would they seat these “extra guests” who are really guests of the invited guests?
Type 2 – The more interesting type (bold and daring).   Complete strangers who show up uninvited to a wedding/reception.  They are there only for the free alcohol and hors d'oeuvres.  They won’t stay for dinner because they know they don’t have a reserved name tag.  The will however drink alcohol and munch on some goodies and then leave.  If this happens to be a reception that has no specified seating arrangement, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they are staying for dinner and beyond.
Type 2 Wedding Crashers don’t come alone.  If they come alone then they won’t have anyone to talk to and they will stand out in a crowd.  So they usually come in pairs - two guys or two girls.  Sometimes even two couples (four people).  During the entire cocktail hour, they will just talk amongst themselves and no one will suspect anything. The bride’s side will think they are part of the groom’s side. And, vice versa.
These wedding crashers are always well dressed.  Excellent conversationalists.  Never get drunk. Never create trouble.  I actually met a guy who does this frequently.  He told me he gets a kick out of doing this.  Total thrill ride for him in his own mind.  He told me that if he gets caught, the maximum penalty that he has ever faced is that the host will politely ask him to leave. And, he will leave without causing a scene.
He also said that sometimes it’s not just the wedding or reception that he is interested in.  When he has to travel, he likes staying at nice hotels for a really low rate.  How does he do this?  Well…
Wedding Receptions are held in very nice hotels.  The host usually blocks out a number of rooms in bulk for their out of town guests at a deeply discounted rate.  Out of town guests make their reservations through “event booking” and then pay for the room at a discount.
So the wedding crasher just finds a hotel, enters a date, and searches for a block of rooms associated with a wedding and then makes a reservation. Hotels don’t know and don’t care because it’s better to sell a room than it going empty (even at a discounted rate). The only problem is if invited guests can’t reserve a room because the entire block is taken already.  Then the host can ask for the names of the people who booked under their blocked reservation.  If they find an unfamiliar name, they can inform the hotel and the hotel will cancel the reservation.
Pretty clever…in a twisted sort of way.
So now I ask you…
Q1 – Have you ever been a wedding crasher?
Q2 – Do you know a wedding crasher?
Q3 – Have you ever taken with you an uninvited guest to a wedding/reception? May be even in an unavoidable circumstance.
Q4 – Would you want to (but will not) experience being the wedding crasher Type 2?


  1. No, never been a wedding crasher. But a group of college boys(around 6) crashed into my cousins wedding in Tiruchi. They were fedup of hostel food and so ended up at the wedding hall. But like you know, in Indian weddings, an extra 6 mouths is not a big count. My uncle actually felt sad for those home sick boys.

  2. I cant even think how can we go uninvited anywhere, I wont ever go.
    I am very particular not to take any thing in life if I am not eligible for it...

  3. Some guts are needed to be a wedding crasher type 2!!
    Coming to your questions...
    1. Have you ever been a wedding crasher? NO
    2. Do you know a wedding crasher? NO
    3. Have you ever taken with you an uninvited guest to a wedding/reception? May be even in an unavoidable circumstance. NO 4. Would you want to (but will not) experience being the wedding crasher Type 2? NO, Never!!
    I would die of embarrassment in case I am caught and somehow such thrills dont appeal to me! :D

  4. I have a confession to make.
    In Bombay !as a bachelor!I was always short of funds.
    At Churchgate,there is a wedding hall of IMC.
    I was a regular gate crashes there....

  5. Thanks for your comments Asha. Your uncle did the right thing.

  6. Thanks for your comments Renu. I know you are very principled.

  7. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. I was expecting these answers from you. If you had said "yes" to any of the 4 questions, I would have died in shock.

  8. Thanks for your comments Mr. Chowla. You have gone up in my estimation for 2 reasons. Having the guts to do it. Having the guts to tell about it.

  9. A very practical post.In Kerala now a days this tendency has has started as the entire family reaches the venue.Till a decade before it was a matter of below dignity,weddings being attended by all the members.

  10. Laughing out loud at your comment :D

  11. Thanks for your comments Sarala. In the past, Tamil marriage invitations would say “request the pleasure of your company with family and friends”. Looks like in Kerala they are taking that literally.

  12. @ Shilpa,

    Happy you liked my reply.

  13. In India, there are some families that (secretly) welcome wedding crashers so that the guest count could be 'inflated', as more the no. of people, more (perceived) connections & status!

    I think every family plans for a considerably high number of meals and seats (mostly) to accommodate wedding crashers.

    I might have gone to a wedding along with a friend, once or twice, before many years. These days I don't waste my time attending meaningless wedding ceremonies.

    Destination Infinity

  14. Hi SG

    Really nice post! When I was a kid, I knew a few girls in our locality (from good families) who would get all dressed up to eat snacks at weddings (of course they were not invited). People took them to be the kids of guests. The worst part was that their parents did not have any issues with their girls doing such a thing! My mom clearly instructed me to stay away from that group.

    Such freeloaders are just so annoying...:P

  15. @ SG, type 1 in India is not recognized as a gate crasher as all wedding invites are for friends and family. That boring uncle is obviously family.

    Type 2 is done by guys from college hostels who are bored with the food that is doled out in their dining halls! A lot of my friends have done this and have enjoyed the thrill.

    I will tell you about a "conference crasher". There used to be a guy who used to show up at all such events organized by NGOs. I eventually spotted him. He used to come by about 11.00 AM ( just before the tea break) and leave post lunch. He attended a lot of these events by walking into hotels and searching the banquet announcements. Guess it was easier to merge into the NGO crowd- we are such a motley lot!!

  16. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. Things are different in India, especially in Tamil weddings. As they say "comer comer goer goer no asker no teller" People come and go and nobody ask or tell anything.

  17. Thanks for your comments Ankita. Kids as wedding crashers! Unbelievable. I agree kids should have fun. But parents should stop these kind of activities.

  18. Thanks for your comments Meera. Conference Crasher? News to me. Never heard of this before. I have to tell this to the guy I met who is a wedding crasher and boast about Indian ingenuity.

  19. Nopes..never been a wedding crasher..I infact avoid attending many.

    Nice post. I loved th movie..lolz

  20. I have 2-3 friends from college who are wedding crashers in Chandigarh.

    My parents have dragged me to a few marriages involving their colleagues' kids etc. I liked meeting people (mostly males) of my age and talking to them. You normally have friends similar to you in thought and outlook, and meeting others who are getting bored themselves is kind of good.

  21. Thanks for your comments Ekta. I am glad you are not a wedding crasher. But why do you avoid attending when you are invited? Weddings are fun. Again, may be you have your own reasons.

  22. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. Did you by chance go to DAV College? Attending wedding with parents will not be considered wedding crashing.