(Closed) sticky-handed guests

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
230 posts
Helper bee

Good question – I find it strange too that anything on the table seems to be fair game at the end of the night. I would never take something (except favors or menus, stuff like that) unless I was explicitly told by the wedding party! I hope to resell or salvage stuff too, so I’m interested in hearing how people are avoiding this. I hadn’t given it any thought, other than that it would seem rather awkward/rude to tell someone to "put it back!" after the deed was done. But, I can see it being one of those little things that gets under my skin if I see it happening during the evening!

Post # 4
Member
16 posts
Newbee

Very good question…

You could drop small hints when family/friends ask about the wedding planning…you could say, "oh ive got so much stuff now i cant wait to start selling it off once the wedding is over"…

seems everything i think of is a bit tacky…

Oh, another idea would be to put it in the hands of a coordinator or strong willed family member. Have them keep an eye on things towards the end and make them do the dirty work by telling people they can’t take things.

Post # 5
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

I had this worry too, but since we didn’t have much for table decorations (faux flower centerpieces), I was hoping they’d get the hint. I’d spread the word too: bridal party, parents, coordinator (or the person everyone will naturally go to if they have a question…which they almost always do). If that’s not enough, maybe tack the centerpiece down with some tape. If they try to pull it up and the table cloth sticks to it, they might get the idea.

Post # 6
Member
230 posts
Helper bee

Hee hee, I was just thinking of the ultimate in tackiness – put price tag stickers on everything! 🙂 sure, you can take it home… for a price…

Post # 7
Member
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

we are in a somewhat similar boat….we are donating all our flowers to a local nursing home the day after so we don’t want people to take them.  I think the only way to tactfully do this is by word of mouth.  You’ll probably have at least one close family member or friend at each table, let them know the displays aren’t to be taken and then when others mention taking things or start to take things someone at the table can chime in and say "oh they will be keeping all the displays".  If it makes it easier just say all the stuff is rented/borrowed and has to be returned

 

Post # 9
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I have a slightly different but related dilemma – we simply CAN’T let our guests take our centrepieces home, or at least not the vases, because they are rentals and we have to return them!  So we have to be a little bit more obvious about letting people know, because it wouldn’t just be annoying if they took our vases, it would be theft.  So we are going to ask our MC to make a quick announcement, hopefully with a bit of humour so it doesn’t seem tactless, telling guests they are welcome to take the flowers if they like (they will be tied at the stems in such a way that they can just grab them out of the vase and go – no loose flowers) but to please leave the vases on the table as they are rentals.

To be honest, if I were in your shoes, I might do a short announcement as well.  Tell a white lie and say that the items are rentals that need to be returned, then people will be more likely to leave them!

Post # 10
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

This might be dumb, but an idea…Maybe you could put a bright, noticable, little card underneath the centerpiece, that if its lifted says like, "these are rentals and need to be returned. Please don’t take them!" 

Post # 11
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee

Same boat here ~ we are going to put on the underside of each item (centerpiece, special vases, candles, etc, anything that we want to keep) a taped note that reads "Already promised to Aunt Suzie Q" so when people try to take things hopefully they will see the note and feel obligated to put it back.  Then all the Aunt Suzie Q’s will be "in" on the scheme and help take things home for us that we will pick up at a later date.

Post # 12
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

OK, I was recently at a wedding where the centerpieces were so big no one thought of taking them.  But, as we left the bride told us we could take the flowers only. 

At another, the father of the bride asked that the couple married the ongest at each table raise their hand.  Then, he told them they won the centerpieces.

<span class=”Apple-style-span”>So, with that in mind, I suggest that you combine the two.  Have your band/DJ/person in the bridal party make an announcement about a game (the oldest married couple, newest couple, or play a game where people pull out a dollar and pass it– without using their hands– until the music stops, etc.) and then announce that that person wins the <span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”text-decoration: underline”>flowers.  Then, advise that so and so will be handing out something foe them to take the flowers home in and give them either those clear plastic bags or a cheap plastic vase or whatever, to take them home in.
🙂

Post # 13
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

oops, that’s married the Longest

sorry about that "apple-style" stuff too– that’s the computer, not me!

Post # 14
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

I like the idea of a little card. That way, if the centerpiece doesn’t get lifted (as in moved) then they won’t know the difference….and if they do see the card, the centerpiece won’t get lifted (as in taken). An announcement seems too far…but that might just be my internal etiquette school marm jumping up and down.

Post # 15
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

ha-ha!  i have to laugh b/c this is so common an experience for me.  i always see people (usually the little old aunties) grabbing all kinds of stuff.  and i have to wonder: what do they do with it?!?  so, when i did our table decorations, i painstakingly made little candle lanterns, and fully expected my hard work to be carried away by "aunties…" lo and behold, they must’ve thought that we wanted to keep ’em, ’cause now i’ve got like 100 lantern boxes that *i* don’t know what to do with!  just can’t win…(as a side note, you know what DID get swiped? my cute little glass votive holders that we DID want to keep…i mean, they were only 25 cents at IKEA, but we don’t have IKEA here, and they’re cute!  and useable.  again, just can’t win…)

i think you might have to be a little in-your-face and make a little announcement or station a "guard" at the door.  taping a note on the bottom would work only if someone looked underneath, which they probably won’t do…if i was swiping a vase, i don’t think i’d look at the bottom, i’d just grab it and go. 

Post # 16
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I went to a very fancy wedding where the DJ made an announcement at the beginning of the night asking guests to refrain from taking the decorations home. Everyone giggled and nobody thought it was rude. Personally I think this is a better approach than chastising people who are already taking things. We plan to make a similar announcement, if only because it is my biggest pet peeve when guests take the centerpieces home when they leave the wedding EARLY. What could be tackier???

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