Inspired by Judy Abel’s article about wedding crashers, we asked readers to share their own experience with uninvited guests. Here is a selection of their stories.
1. Taking the Dance Floor By Force
Our wedding had over 300 people in attendance. When we got the pictures back, we saw a picture of two girls dancing. No one in our wedding party knew who they were, and we just figured they were plus ones of friends that we didn’t get to talk to, given there were so many people. Later we found out that they were crashers and one of our friends actually kicked them out. At least it looked like they had a good time.
Annabel Lui, Long Island City, Queens
2. Two Welcomed Crashers
We had two Appalachian Trail hikers crash our rehearsal dinner. It was an amazingly authentic Vermont experience. We invited them to join us and they immediately dropped their packs, grabbed a beer and joined in the celebration. Some of our friends from New York even asked if we had hired them to make it a more “real” Vermont experience. Having them crash was a highlight of the day
Elizabeth Stevenson, Brooklyn
3. Oh, This is YOUR Wedding?!
Ted Nugent was the speaker at a hunting event next door to our wedding reception and his attendees (about 10 to 15 people in the span of about an hour) crashed our wedding reception, and more specifically, the open bar. I watched one guy walk the perimeter of the reception room trying to blend in, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts, and then make a beeline for the bar. A couple came in and started dancing together on the dance floor, and then slowly, step by step, they danced closer to the bar. One guy was about to order a drink and I introduced myself and he feigned surprise saying, “Ohhhhh is this YOUR wedding?!” I responded, “did my DRESS give it away?” and showed him the door.
Mollie Michie-Lepp, Portland, Ore.
4. Does He Work Here?
We had our wedding on Labor Day at the Lightship Frying Pan, which at the time was docked on Pier 63 in New York. A few days before the wedding, we got a call from the staff that the ship had been inspected by the city and because of the large number of guests attending we couldn’t have the ceremony or festivities on the actual boat but we were welcomed to use the pier. It was a public pier, but we were assured that there would be a person on staff checking names and making sure only guests would be admitted. There was no such person. The weather was warm and sunny in the morning, but in the afternoon during the ceremony the pier began to move. Just as a big wave crashed over the pier we heard a man yell, “God wants them to be happy!” My almost husband and I turned to look and there was a man dressed in a red apron holding both of his hands up to the sky. It was a pleasant interruption, and everyone laughed. The boat was red so we thought the man may have been be part of the staff. We didn’t realize until after the ceremony that he was a crasher. I was brought up Jewish, although we had a nondenominational ceremony, and I always loved the tradition of setting the table at Passover and leaving a place for a stranger called Elijah, so when people show up uninvited I think of it as a gift. I remember asking a friend to make sure he got something to eat. Later he showed up in many of our wedding photographs and in a video that our friend Gene Temesy made.
Boni Joi Koelliker, Lucerne, Switzerland
5. Official Wedding Crashers
We had five wedding crashers! High school friends of my husband who hadn’t been invited showed up in official “wedding crasher” T-shirts they had made — and we were thrilled.
Kathryn Muskopf, St. Louis
6. Grandpa’s Plus One
The first thing I need to explain about Israeli weddings is that invitations are extended more widely and generously than at your typical American affair. When the co-workers you don’t know all that well have implied plus-ones, you can hardly apply the term “crash” to your grandfather’s second cousin, even if you’ve never met her. Standing with me and my about-to-be-husband were our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and, apparently my grandfather’s second cousin. I didn’t notice at the time. Then the pictures came back. My grandfather’s second cousin is featured in just about every photo of our marriage ceremony. In many of them, it appears that either a slip or skirt had fallen around her ankles. Almost 10 years later, I’m so glad she was there.
Rivka Romm, the Bronx
7. Drawn, Drunk and Disorderly
Our wedding crasher had made her entrance toward the end of the evening, when a couple of other guests were headed out. Clearly intoxicated, she made herself known by hitting the bar hard and then hitting the dance floor harder for some awkward dancing and flirting with married friends. When our day-of coordinator asked who she was at the wedding with, her story morphed from being “with the family” to “working at the building.” At some point in that conversation, she seemed to become aware that she was somewhere she should not have been, saying “I need to go, don’t I?” She suddenly took off, her legs wobbling like a little lamb’s as she tried to run away in her heels. We remember her fondly and have event cemented her memory in our guest book.
Julianna Gouss, Washington, D.C.