A wedding is a joyous occasion meant to celebrate love and unity. And while it may not be a fun topic of conversation (especially when you have a million other things on your mind!), it’s essential to prioritize the safety of the couple, guests, and vendors. We hope this list of wedding security tips is helpful as you continue to plan your special day.
Incorporate security into the initial planning phase.
You’ve popped the question and you’ve celebrated your engagement – now it’s time to pick a date and find a venue. Of course, many couples don’t have security at the top of their minds when choosing where to celebrate their special day. But once you’ve selected your venue, it’s time to think about the important stuff.
Begin the process by reviewing potential wedding security risks:
- The venue: Evaluate the venue for potential security risks like its location, access points (both indoors and outdoors), and the surrounding neighborhood.
- The guest list: Make sure the guest list is well-organized. It might not be a good idea to seat Uncle Frank and Aunt Betty at the same table if they’ve been divorced for 10 years. You should also identify any potential unexpected guests.
- Security personnel: Be sure to ask about existing security options and measures at the venue. If there are none, consider hiring experienced personnel to help manage or respond to any security issues.
- Posted emergency plans: If you’re not in a venue that has these posted already, be sure to post information for fire exits, extinguishers, AED defibrillator machines, emergency phone numbers, emergency shelter areas, and any other security plans that make sense for your venue and event.
Keep track of who is accessing your event.
Yes, Wedding Crashers is a hilarious movie. But realistically, uninvited guests aren’t as fun and charming as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
Depending on the venue you select, others may be able to access your event without even trying. You can take steps to avoid having unexpected guests at your wedding by:
- Keeping track of invitations and RSVPs. Of course, this is multi-purpose as it helps with seating, catering, and thank you notes. However, it can be an easy way to make sure your event stays secure. While many couples opt to place a seating chart at the entrance, consider asking friends or family members to help check in guests as they arrive.
- Easily identifying your guests. At large venues, like casinos, hotels, or public event spaces, you may encounter wanderers, onlookers, or gawkers who could pose a security issue. Consider using wristbands or stickers to distinguish your guests.
Make security measures visible.
While it may not be ideal, a visible security presence can help minimize any potential security threats.
- Uniformed security guards. This does not mean you need to have a bunch of people walking around in bright yellow shirts that say “SECURITY” in big, bold letters. It can be as simple as an earpiece to create a sense of safety should an issue arise.
- Locked doors. Creating a secure space can put your guests at ease.
- A gift table guard. While many couples opt for a locked card box, it’s not enough to deter possible theft. In fact, it can make it easier for a thief to make a quick, significant getaway. Station a security guard – or even a little cousin looking for an important job – at the gift table. And plan to move the gifts into a secure location once the festivities begin.
- Storage for valuables. Guests will certainly have valuables, so offering secure storage is important. A coat check with attendants and tickets is simple and effective.
Ensure your security plan is realistic.
It’s easy to treat your security plan as a check box. But your plan should be tried and true. You should be able to easily answer these questions:
- Can fire exits be easily accessed? Tables, chairs, bars, and other pieces of equipment can very easily be set up in a place that makes emergency exits difficult to access.
- Are there places to shelter during a catastrophic weather event? Depending on the season and your location, weather events can certainly happen. Make sure you know where to go.
- Is your security team prepared for an incident? If you hire a security team independently, it’s important for them to be briefed on procedures should something happen.
Hire vendors that have safety and security in mind.
Whether it’s catering, audio-visual services, or transportation, your vendors must be committed to security measures to mitigate any emergencies. Consider these questions:
- Are they using safe, up-to-code equipment?
- In the case of catering, are they committed to keeping food and beverages in a controlled environment?
- Are transportation providers servicing their vehicles and screening drivers?
- Are audio-visual companies using safe electrical connectivity and secured equipment?
Not to overuse the phrase, but “in these unprecedented times,” the responsibility of the safety and security of your wedding guests cannot be understated.
There certainly aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions, but we’re hopeful the wedding safety tips we’ve mentioned above give you a solid foundation. By making security a priority, we’re sure your event will be as magical and memorable as you could ever imagine.
Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and proud Cleveland sports fan.