How to Deal with Uninvited Guests at Your Wedding

Blog Post

Empty tables and chairs at a wedding reception.

Surprises aren’t always a good thing—especially when they come in the form of uninvited wedding guests. Although this is not a common issue, it is something that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if it happens to you. Because an unexpected arrival at an event can happen to anyone, it’s smart to not only take precautions to prevent the scenario, but also know how to deal with it should it become a reality.

When it comes down to it, there are essentially three types of uninvited guest scenarios: the guest who brought a plus-one ignoring the rules, the guest who brought a plus-one by accident, and, of course, the wedding crasher. But to start, let’s cover a few basic preventative measures you can take to avoid having to deal with this problem to begin with.

Expect the Unexpected

If you know the outcome of a situation, you won’t be too surprised when it actually happens and you’ll know exactly how to address it. Unexpected wedding guests are something every couple needs to think about when planning a wedding, no matter how big or small the event may be.


For starters, let’s discuss invitations. First, make it clear on the invite that people are not allowed to bring additional guests. As an example, “This is an adults-only event” may be added as a line if you don’t want guests to bring their kids. You can also be creative with a statement about no uninvited “plus-ones,” noting your venue’s capacity limits or security. And feel free to add a more detailed statement on your wedding website to make it clear that no additional guests will be tolerated (just in less harsh words). However, if you do allow a plus-one, make sure the invitee lists the name(s) of said person(s), because some people might think a “plus-one” is essentially a cue to bring all their friends along.


Someone holding a wedding invitation with a wax seal on it.

In addition, double-check this with RSVPs, making sure that no one scribbles down an extra name to the list without your permission. Or if you suspect someone might try to sneak someone in, give them an in-person call and double-check that they’ll be coming alone. For example, inquire if they need assistance hiring a babysitter for the wedding night.


Finally, as much as this can score you social media points, do not make your wedding details public if you want to avoid dealing with strangers. Wedding crashers might not always be as fun as they are in the movies. If you’re having a larger event, it’s important to have some kind of “security” at the door, even if it’s just a bridesmaid/groomsman doing check-ins and asking people to sign the guest book. And if you’re having a huge or publicized wedding, it will be worth hiring a bouncer or two to keep an eye on intruders.

Dealing with the Guest of a Guest

Even if you’ve taken every preventative measure, you might still end up with a surprise on your big day. In which case, what do you do?

The number one solution is to simply expect it and have a few extra chairs around. There might always be a last-minute emergency where the babysitter had to cancel and you’ll be the one left with the decision of either dealing with a small child at the party or asking the original parties invited to leave altogether. Be honest with yourself—which choice makes you seem like a better host? Similarly, if a very close friend came from out of town and didn’t get the message, do you really want to kick them out? As long as you’re not being taken advantage of, the ideal thing you can do is make the best of the situation.

…or the Uninvited Guest of a Guest

A wedding seating chart in a vintage frame.

On the other hand, you might have friends or relatives who simply will bring someone out of spite. In which case, if capacity or budget is truly an issue, you have the right to politely ask their guest (or maybe even both of them) to leave—especially if you’ve made it very clear about no unexpected plus-ones. However, be as diplomatic about it as possible and say you’ll catch up with them sometime after the wedding and honor the celebration.

…and the Wedding Crashers

As mentioned earlier, wedding crashers can be dangerous. It’s not always just random people trying to score free drinks. Some might try to steal wedding gifts or rob your guests. While this isn’t as common as movies might lead to you think, it can happen and it needs to be dealt with appropriately.

First things first: do make sure the person is genuinely a crasher and not a long-distance relative you’ve forgotten about. Have someone chat with them and inquire how they’re here and who they know. Then have someone else double-check which guests they name-dropped.

Should they prove to be an intruder, do not attempt to confront them directly and instead ask the venue or your wedding planner to deal with them in a discreet manner. Do not be afraid to call security if the person acts in an aggressive manner, as the safety of your guests is at stake.

The post How to Deal with Uninvited Guests at Your Wedding appeared first on Weddingbee.

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