A Parisian Wedding Crasher in the 19th Century

You may think wedding crashing didn’t originate until the twenty-first century, but I found this story from 1826 about a Parisian wedding crasher.

Among the wedding guests was a “gentleman dressed in black, whose countenance and manner displayed a kind of affected affability, which was not, however, obtrusive or disagreeable.” Upon entering the church, the gentleman offered his hand to the venerable grand-aunt of the bride. Of course, she was immediately charmed by his politeness.

Parisian wedding crasher

Parisian Bridal Couple in 1826. Author’s collection.

After the wedding, a celebratory feast was held in a well-known tavern, and guests were transported by carriage. On entering the carriages to repair to the feast, the gentleman wedding crasher suddenly reappeared and once again bestowed his attentions on the bride’s grand-aunt, helping her into the carriage. Then, at the feast, the gentleman seated himself next to her and stayed by her side during the entire banquet.

He ate a fine dinner, chatted with guests, and after dessert he even sang several couplets, “which seemed to have been composed [by him] for the occasion: he drew the cork from the first bottle of Champaigne; he … drank the first health to the new married folks; he fastened one of the bride-favours to his button-hole.” In short, he charmed everyone at the wedding with his affability and politeness.

When the gentleman took his leave, the groom said to his wife:

“My love … I am delighted in the acquisition of a relative so amiable as the gentleman who has just left us.”

“My dear,” replied the lady, “it is an acquisition which I value the more; as I am indebted for it to you.”

“What! is not this polite gentleman your cousin?” asked the bridegroom.

“On the contrary, I thought he was yours,” said she “and it was on that account I was impressed with the civilities and attention which he paid to me … but it seems he was nobody’s cousin, after all.”

“I rather suppose, my dear,” returned the new husband, “that our polite friend is every body’s cousin, and when he learns that any of his relations are about to give an entertainment, he takes care to be one among the guests.”


  • Casket, Volume 1, 1826

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  1. Fausto on July 24, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I did crash weddings in London, at the Savoy, late 60th. Important, wear a perfect cut tailcoat, white tie etc.

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