Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A dummy's guide to Crashing weddings

I have seen a few movies which had scenes of smart looking, glib talking gentlemen crash wedding parties with the sole intention of eating good food for free. However I never thought that such things are actually possible. One event however got me thinking otherwise to the extent that I decided to write this dummy's guide.

The recent event was nothing out of the ordinary. I got invited to a friend's wedding. For a change I chose to be punctual at a social function and reached the hall on time for the wedding reception party. To my surprise the couple in question had not arrived. Apparently they were delayed in the previous ceremonies and were running late. Now the only people I knew at the place were the bride and the groom. Everybody else was alien to me. Further, Unfortunately the Hall manager did not bother putting a welcome board mentioning the names of the bride and groom. So here I was at a wedding reception party, with no clue as to whether I was at the right party at all. Absentminded as I am I started doubting whether I had taken down the details correctly and walked out of the hall to check the neighbourhood for any other halls out there. Thankfully there were none and a quick chat with another guest confirmed that I was at the right place.
As the reception started, I could see people going upto the stage and greeting the newly wed couple. I sat on one of the seats, observing other people, not knowing whom to talk to and what to talk. As I observed the people around me an idea hit me ... What if I were a wedding crasher... My situation, frankly, was different only to the extent that I was invited to this one and my friend did smile at me from the stage to confirm that I was at the right place. However even if both the bride or groom were not my friends, I think I could have easily passed of as an invited guest... Thus based on my observation and thoughts I came out with this guide. So here are the steps -

Dress Smart
.- As they say "Clothes maketh the man". If some one is dressed well most people will think that you are an invited person. They will appreciate your presence. Imagine showing up at a wedding in a dirty green T'shirt and a muddy blue jeans. The chances are that even if you are the bride / bridegroom's best friend that person will refuse to recognize you ... On the other hand, have clean, well ironed, formal clothes appropriate for the occasion and the person at the door might just believe that you are an invited guest without having to give any sort of introduction. After all Indian weddings are also about the great and colourful clothes.. The Kurtas, payjamas, chunnis, choli - lehengas, sarees, the stylish suits .... the list goes on. With so many good clothes at stake, a smart looking, well dressed gentleman or lady are always going to be welcome.

Appear Confident - Even if you don't know anybody or the place no body will doubt confident looking person walking around the place. When some one sees a confident person walking around they would think you are some one of importance. How to appear confident ... that's easy, Hold your head and sholders high, walk at a steady pace and look in front as you are walking, have a grin of satisfaction on your face. Walking too fast may give an impression confusion or tension and walking too slow may give out an impression that you are not too comfortable. With the above point and this, even if some one doubts your credentials they would not dare ask. Who would want to piss you off on such an auspicious ocassion.

Choose your seat
- Even if you enter confidently it is important to choose a good seat. A good place would be a seat somewhere amongst the relatively quite crowd. These people won't talk much and most probably they would think you are from the other side (i.e if they are the bride's relatives, they would think you are the bridegroom's friend or something). It is important that this crowd is not around your age. That adds to the generation gap, which always delays the start of any conversation. Continue your grin as if you are very happy to see the couple wed.

Have a story
- The first 2 points set the tone for your entry. However if you are seated for quite some time, the chances are that some body looking to build a network might just talk to you. An obvious question would be "So whose side are you from ?" .. Obviously here you would want to be related to either the bride or the groom or else you would be perhaps shown the door. So have a story. After all no conversation would end at the above question. I'll give out my tips here with an example conversation which could be (replace the bride part with groom if you choose to be the groom's friend)...
Other Guest (OG): "So who's side are you from ?"
You: "I am here from the bride's side (ladkiwalen). What about you?" (Tip: Before such a thing happens, try to eaves drop a few conversations so as to figure out useful details about the bride and groom such as name, education, city of origin, place of work etc .. you don't need all of those but know some are definitely useful. Use the confident walk to roam around while you are gathering details and pause often at places and stare at the bride and groom with appreciation. Be on alert for people approaching you as you do this).

OG: (Blah blah's about him being from ladkiwalen as well and some relationship). So how do you know 'xyz' (substitute the bride's name here)
You: (Tip: Have a relationship that can not be verified by anyone but the bride herslef. ). I used to go to a french class along with her. The class went out for a trek to Mahabaleshwar and there we got to know each other better and became good friends. It is such a pleasure to be here to see her tie the knot .. (heave a breathe of satisfaction like "awe" as you look at her and then smile) (Tip: Make sure that the story is believable, easily forgettable and not verifiable by any one but the bride herself. No body will dare ask the bride and others won't be sure but would believe rather than disturb the bride during her wedding.)
OG: Ohh I see.. (After having verified your intent at the wedding, the focus will now shift towards what you do what he does and so on .. again have some story ....) (Tip: Do not carry any thing which can lead to you being chased - eg. business card, working cell number. If you have to divulge your cell, give out an out of area cell and mention that it is not on roaming, lest OG insists on giving you a missed call at that instant. )

Know one should recognize you - This is one of the most important points. If anyone knows your intentions definitively, the chances are that you will get kicked out. Therefore make sure that know one who knows you is around. You would already have concoted a story by now which says that the only person who can verify your authenticity is either the bride or the groom. (Tip: Have a common name, so that the chances are that the bride / groom already have some invited friend by that name). A combination of the point above and this means that you are now there to stay pretty much like all the invited guests.

Avoid socializing too much - The more the people who have talked to you, the more the chances that your story will be caught and that some one might just inform the bride / groom about your presence. The simple solution is too avoid socializing too much. Additionally socialize with the people who are not likely to talk to the bride / groom or their parents / siblings about you. It goes without saying here that you would have to keep a close eye on the people around the bride and groom to identify who their closest people are (parents, siblings, close friends etc) and avoid getting too close to them. Watch out for facial, structural, behavioural similarities, interaction with the couple of interest, body language etc to identify these. If you end up socializing then be sure to have some unique and interesting adventure stories like "your experience with trekking the Mt Fuji in Japan" ... Such experiences will completely divert your conversation from the marriage and you are thus safe.

If there is a Dance floor - Well If you love dancing be sure to dance where a group of people is dancing. They don't mind somebody who dances well, dancing along with them. Enjoy the dance along with others, but make sure that your entry and exit are stealthy lest somebody wants to involve you in a useful conversation ...

Be sure to relish the food - After all what are you in for ... All the above steps set you up till the time you get to eat. Relish the food well (unless it is inedible, in which case all your effort was a total waste). All of the above steps were meant for this very culmination...
If there are the cocktails and you like them, be sure to have only as much as you can take. You don't want to ruin all your efforts so far by belching out truth about in under the influence of alcohol.

I have by now given you a "dummy's guide to crashing weddings". But there is always a fine print to all products and so here is my disclaimer...

"Try the above steps at your own risk. I am not responsible if you get beaten black and blue or charged for impersonation. All of the above description is based out of my imagination and interpretation of imaginary situations so they might be complete hallucinations of my mind. The guide has not gone through any testing and there are no testimonials to prove that it works."

If after reading the disclaimer you do follow this guide to your own "wedding crash" then let me know about there result by leaving a comment at this blog. Also please don't try this at my wedding. Finally I hope my friend, whose wedding inspired this does have that little bit extra sense of humour to accept this post :) .


  1. Hey Vishius,
    Nice dummy guide... but my bro definitely recognized u at the wedding in question, as he had seen sm snap of urs b4... also just a word of caution... we already threw 2 wedding crashers that day ;)

  2. Bhaisaab, ye kaisi shiksha de rahe ho tum naye zamaane ke chhoro ko... Good imagination...