Why You Need Security On Your Wedding Day

Why Professional California Wedding Venues Require Security Personnel

Why You Need Security for Your Wedding

The short answer is, “It’s for your protection and the protection of your wedding day.”  But here’s the longer answer, and when you’re finished reading this, you’ll understand why professional California wedding venues require a separate person to look out for your interests.

When a California wedding venue says you need Security, many people envision officers in uniforms acting as bouncers.  We wish there were a better word to describe what they do because that’s not the right vision of what this wedding vendor does, and why he’s so important.

Security May Be Required

Wedding Insurance, also called Event Insurance, is required by most California wedding venues and is a good idea even if not required. If you’re planning on serving any alcohol to your guests, you’ll need the policy to include Host Liquor Liability.  Some wedding event insurance policies require that you provide a security person if you are serving alcohol to your guests.  Make sure to read your policy carefully.  Even if you have a DIY wedding in someone’s backyard, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper coverage.  

What Security Does During Your Wedding Ceremony

They arrive at the California wedding venue before the guests and check-in with the wedding planner to confirm the timing of events, and if there is anything, they should know.   They check on the status of emergency equipment, such as the AED (Automated External Defibrillator), first aid items, fire extinguishers, and other details, none of which you should have to be concerned about your wedding day.

Then dressed like a guest, they station themselves near the entrance to greet guests.  “Welcome to _________, and _________ wedding”  Actual guests appreciate this greeting because they know they’ve found the right place, and those who aren’t guests can be given directions to the location they are seeking.  

Next, they let the wedding guests know where to park, where the bathrooms are, and where it will take place. Letting them know ensures that your guests don’t park in an area where you have something planned that might be arriving later, such as food trucks, limo’s, shuttle busses, and entertainment.

During the Wedding Ceremony, while acting as gate attendants, they make sure that no one drives in, disturbing the vows.  Yes, we all have friends and family who arrive late for everything, but you will have a person to make sure the latecomers don’t create a disturbance upon their arrival.

After the wedding vows may assist in guiding your guests to the proper location for the reception.  Sometimes, that’s on the same property; sometimes, guests will need to drive to the new site.  Either way, it helps to have a person who can guide them.

Security During Cocktail Hour

Typically, this is when the family pictures are taken. Your security personnel can assist by asking your guests (who wish to congratulate the new married couple) to head over to the cocktail hour location in the meantime.

With the guidance of the wedding planner and couple, they will just oversee the cocktail hour, especially if there are children at the wedding.  Children may have been sitting for an extended time and are anxious to move around.  They see their cousins, friends, and family and energized.  As their parents are busy talking to extended family members, the kids may start running around, playing.  That’s great, but watching areas where dangers may lurk is essential.  Kids are often oblivious to danger and climb on anything, run into traffic, and fall into the water.  So having someone there to watch after them is a good thing.

Security During Your Dinner and Speeches

Did you know that stealing the couple’s gifts and cards is “a thing”?  Nationwide, professional wedding crashers are caught stealing gifts and cards from unsuspecting couples.  Between the wedding planner and the security personnel, your wedding can be protected from this criminal behavior.

When wedding crashers are caught at a wedding, they don’t always leave when asked.  Verbal altercations and violence have resulted in weddings without security personnel.  It’s your wedding day; you don’t want to have to get involved.

Another thing that will happen during this time is the security person will speak with the bartenders and observe if there might be a guest who makes frequent trips to the bar.  Sometimes they are only getting drinks for themselves; other times, they are setting themselves and possibly others up for becoming drunk.

Security for Those Who are Party Animals

Many couples do not realize that, because they’ve provided the alcohol, there could be associated liabilities should something horrible happen, either during the wedding or after that.

Yes, you should obtain wedding event insurance with host liquor liability.  It’s cheap and does provide you with some protection.  But even if the policy pays off for the liability, it can never remove the memory.  You don’t want your wedding to be remembered as the one where that event happened.

The list of what could happen is infinite.  But here are a couple of quick examples:

  • One guest, in particular, is known as a heavy drinker.  The couple identifies her to the planner and security, who watches to make sure she doesn’t damage the wedding memories, herself, or anyone else.  We’ve seen people arrive at weddings already half drunk.  It doesn’t take much from there to cross the line.
  • The whole family knows that Uncle Joe and Uncle Bob have a long-running tense relationship.  Everyone is hoping they’ll keep things under control for their favorite niece’s wedding.  Everything goes fine into the evening, but then it all hits the fan after a few drinks, and the uncles begin arguing or, worse, exchange punches on the dance floor. 
  • Someone is irresponsible and allows underage people to drink. You could be liable.
  • Two young guys of legal drinking age were horsing around, talking about their love of WWF (World Wrestling Foundation).  It quickly escalated, when one put a chokehold (not allowed in wrestling or by the police) on the other and then did a pile driver, smashing the victims head into the hard roadbed.  The security guard who witnessed this all happens within a few seconds was worried that the victim’s neck was broken after just a few seconds of horseplay, and broke the “fun” up.  Fortunately, everyone walked away, but if they young guys were allowed to continue, would it have resulted in calling an ambulance?
  • Remember the safety equipment that security checked on when arriving?  Security personnel has AED, first aid, and CPR training.  Should something happen, they know what to do.

Security During the Reception, Dancing and Party

Besides keeping watch on the areas mentioned above, security will walk around the California wedding venue, helping to protect your interests.  They are looking for anything that will cost you money, and handle any problems that they see, such as:

  • Trash and other debris.  Who knows why, but some people think the parking lot is the proper place for them to toss out all the garbage they have in the car, and likely, the California wedding venue will charge you to have it picked up.  
  • Some people are embarrassed by their addiction to cigarettes, so they head out to the parking lot to smoke.  We’ve all seen it.  But many rural California wedding venues are surrounded by extremely flammable grass and forests.  It’s not the ending of your wedding you want to experience.  
  • Within the wedding industry, one of the things we always watch for and try to interrupt is Parking Lot Parties.  These take many forms, all of which are not positive for your wedding day.
    • Drugs and alcohol.  Yes, some people will come to your wedding with their drinks and drugs and consume them in the parking lot.  They aren’t there to celebrate your wedding; they are there to get inebriated.  And then, if something happens (get in an accident on the way home), the attorney of the injured party will find you served alcohol to your guests, and you get wrapped up in their mess.
    • Date rape.  Yes, it’s a real thing.  A few drinks, go to the car, or other hidden spots to make out, and it goes too far.  

Security Helping with Guest and Vendor Departure

Professional security people will have a flashlight and walk people to their cars while chatting with them.  They want the guest to have a great experience, but they are also looking out for your interests.  They observe the people, and if they look just a little bit ‘buzzed,’ they’ll invite them to sit down and call a taxi.  The guest doesn’t know that the security person is anything other than helpful and considerate while protecting you from potential liability.

“We don’t need security because…”

We’ll hear this when there’s going to be a bunch of guests that are first responders of any kind: police, fire, EMTs, military.  But in our experience, that’s when you need the disinterested security professional.  There are no pre-established conflicts, only someone there to help.  Remember, all those people are your guests, celebrating your day – not to work the event.

Some California Wedding Venues Claim to Provide In-House Security

If the California wedding venue you are considering tells you they will provide the security, you need to ask some questions.  Your wedding day hinges on their ability to protect your day.  

  • Is the security person provided a professional with training?  
  • Do they have their security guard card?  
  • Do they have current AED and CPR training?
  • Are they there to protect your interests or the California wedding venues’ interests?
  • Do they have separate liability insurance protecting you from their improper actions?
  • Do they have workers’ compensation insurance?

In some instances we’ve heard about, the California wedding venue simply uses a part-time, untrained person for security.  A good portion of your wedding day, the security person is acting as a California wedding venue staff person, moving chairs, bussing tables, carrying trash, not focusing on protecting your interests.

What happens when you don’t have a professional there to help?

Sometimes, everything goes smooth as silk.  No skinned knees, no hostile words, no drama.  But anytime you get dozens of people together for an extended period, during an emotionally charged event – your wedding – sometimes things come up.  If you don’t have a professional security present, the issue will have to be handled by you or your guests.  Is that really how you want to spend your wedding day – handling the problems caused by others?

Do you want a stress-free wedding day?  

Hire a professional to help you achieve that goal.  You only do this once.  Let’s make it the best day of your life.

About the Author, John Alden

John Alden is a Wine Country Wedding expert and the owner of Mountain House Estate, a Northern California wedding venue located near Cloverdale,  Sonoma County. Over the past 5 years, John has tirelessly worked to keep the property in pristine condition and has unmatched expertise about wine country weddings. In his free time, he enjoys working on classic cars in his garage.

Northern California Regions

Bay Area | East Bay | Lake County Wine Country | Lake Tahoe / Northern Sierras | Monterey and Carmel | Napa and Sonoma Wine Country | North Bay / Marin | North Coast / Mendocino | Redwood Coast / Humboldt County | Sacramento / Gold Country | San Francisco | SF Peninsula / Half Moon Bay | San Joaquin and Central Valley | Santa Cruz | Shasta / North State | Solano County | South Bay / San Jose | Tri-Valley and Livermore Wine Country | Yosemite / Mammoth / Forests |

Distance from Mountain House Estate to other Northern California regions:

  • Cloverdale – 15 minutes (9 miles)
  • Geyserville – 25 minutes (19 miles)
  • Healdsburg – 30 minutes (27 miles)
  • Ukiah – 40 minutes (25 miles)
  • Santa Rosa – 45 minutes (41 miles)
  • Marin – 1 hour 20 minutes (72 miles)
  • Mendocino Coast – 1 hour 20 minutes (59 miles)
  • East Bay – 1 hour 36 minutes (96 miles)
  • Napa – 1 hour 40 minutes (70 miles)
  • San Francisco – 1 hour 45 minutes (96 miles)
  • North Coast – 1 hour 50 minutes (86 miles)
  • Sacramento – 2 hour 20 minutes (120 miles)
  • San Jose – 2 hour 30 minutes (140 miles)
  • Santa Cruz – 2 hour 50 minutes (165 miles)
  • Redding – 3 hours (190 miles)
  • Central Valley – 3 hours 15 minutes (165 miles)
  • Monterey – 3 hour 25 minutes (200 miles)
  • Carmel Valley – 3 hour 30 minutes (216 miles)
  • Tahoe – 4 hour 23 minutes (250 miles)
  • Yosemite – 5 hours (270 miles)