Weddings are a time of celebration with family and close friends. Usually, the bride and groom are careful to select the closest of their loved ones to attend their nuptials, making the day the ultimate party for their best friends and dear fam.
Any uninvited guests or wedding crashes are almost always unexpected and usually kicked out swiftly.
Sarah Marantelli and Jez Menzel’s policy when it came to guests was a little bit unusual, to say the least.
The two, both 34 years old, noticed just two months away from their big day that they had some seats available.
Instead of leaving the spots unfilled and letting the seats go to waste, they decided to fill up their guest list by seeking “wedding crashers” online.
Their only requirements: “outgoing, fun and have to be drinkers.”
The couple used the social sharing website Gumtree, a British classifieds community, to attract possible crashers.
In the past, Marantelli and Menzel had used the website for camping trips and excursions.
“We had two seats available so we decided to put it out there to the Gumtree community,” Marantelli told Daily Mail. “It was my husband’s idea so he posted the ad on a Wednesday night. And after the media got a hold of it, we were inundated with more than 600 responses.”
The responses were wild, ranging from congratulations to swaps.
‘We had a lot of people offering swaps – like “we’d come to your wedding if you come to ours?’,” Marantelli said. “Someone had their birthday on the same day as our wedding day so they offered us all their birthday presents.”
Others were a little less innocent.
“We had a few offers from people who wanted to strip down to their birthday suit,” Marantelli said. “From memory, one man told us he was arrested for attempting to burn down a petrol station. We didn’t know if he was joking because we thought he might’ve been a bit of a character. But in the end, we thought he might be risky to have.”
They couldn’t quite afford to invite 600 people, especially arsonists… but they also couldn’t choose only two guests. They decided to bring in five new friends from the pool of applicants.
Who stood out from the crowd?
“What caught our attention were the two guys from Geelong,” Marantelli said. “They said they were broke uni students so they were only coming for the free booze and conga line.”
And they didn’t disappoint. “They all had a really good time.”
“We split them up among the guests and put them on different tables,” Marantelli said of their strategy. “They were awesome, they introduced themselves to family, made small talk with everyone, they were dancing and taking advantage of the alcohol.”
They even got a performance from one of their new buds.
“Paul from Canada said in his application he would sing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ – he followed through with his promise. He got up on stage and did numbers with the band.”
In the end, the couple made some pretty strong connections.
“We’re still in contact with four out of five of them.”
Their big day went off without a hitch and the pair recommends their innovative method to anyone.
“Go for it,” they said. Looks like fam and friends will also be joined by wedding crashers for some future I-dos.