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?