We’ve all heard horror stories of wedding houses getting robbed or gifts going missing which always add a touch of worry to wedding festivities. My Dad was so worried about break ins he refused to have house lights. It’s also especially difficult trying to keep your valuables safe whilst hosting, as the guests feel you should trust them whilst you’re just trying to be cautious. Below are some ways we handled the valuables during my wedding, or ideas I have since seen.
Never Have an Empty House
This is particularly important for houses where it is very evident from the outside that a wedding is taking place. I know this one may seem difficult as when you go out for functions, so will all your family and friends. So, who could you ask to stay back? Demand has been met for this by tea ladies who help wash up and make tea whilst you host functions. They’ll also stay back at the house on wedding/reception days. However, I have no clue how to find them sorry, i’ve just seen people have them at houses i’ve done mehndi for. For my wedding my sister asked one of her friends’ siblings to house sit, as she knew them, but they weren’t close enough to the family to be invited to the wedding so it wasn’t awkward. There are also house sitter or pet sitter services that can be used too. If you are friendly with your neighbours (especially any with cameras) ask them to keep an eye on your house too. There are also lots of cameras you can buy on line if you are really worried, some people even buy fake cameras to put up.
Have a Wedding Room
If space allows try and keep all the important wedding stuff in a room that can be locked. On days where you have house functions, only one person should have the key to the room, and it should always be locked. The person with the key should be the only one opening and closing the room. This not only prevents against theft but will also help to stop all the key wedding stuff from getting touched and moved around. For my wedding we had all mine and my family’s outfits and jewellery, and the main wedding objects such as maiyaan stuff etc. locked in the one room. Try to avoid taking things out of the wedding room to show people, as this is when most things go missing. Tell people that it is a surprise and they’ll find out on the wedding day. If they push just say everything is too much of a mess and your embarrassed or that you don’t know who has the key.
Have a Single Point of Entry
When you are having functions at your house, ensure that guests can only get into the house from one entryway. This helps you to have visibility of everyone coming into the house. If you have a side door that leads into the kitchen, that’s the best entrance to use as kitchens are rarely empty during functions, so there will always be somebody there. It also helps protect your carpets! If possible, also try and keep the house entry door closed so someone has to let new guests in each time. It is annoying, but it’s the best way to keep track of who is in your house and prevent any unwanted people from entering. It is very common for opportunist to just wander into a house, and grab what they can.
If you have a hotel room for your reception that you are using to store stuff in (or if everyone is using your room to store things in), make sure that you know how many key cards there are and that entrance is restricted. Make sure any spare cards are with trusted people and they know not to pass them out.
There will be a lot of cash thrown around during a wedding week. Not only for gifting but also paying some of the smaller wedding suppliers. Having an idea on how you will manage it is extremely beneficially and will make the main days less stressful.
Ensure you have identified a secure place for any cash to be held, you can use more than one place to spread the risk. Try and ensure that it is in a secluded place, so that when guests are round you can access the cash discretely. Make sure whoever will be paying suppliers know the location so that they can access the cash and don’t shout across the house asking you where it is (like my siblings did). Have envelopes or bags around too for any lose cash you are gifted, so you can store it properly. Lots of places sell lockable metal money boxes. There are these cool bags you can get from India now that you can collect shagun money in too, they lay flat on your lap then you pull the string and it turns into a bag. That really helps to stop it falling everywhere and is perfect for Gurudwara ceremonies.
Storing cash is the hardest during the religious ceremony as that is when the most is given but you have no-where to put it. For my wedding we regularly took collections of the cash to the car and left it locked in there. It was not ideal, but we didn’t think of what to do with the cash on the day and that was the best we could come up with. You could take this up a step by putting a safe or cash box in the car to keep it secure. This works best if people don’t realise that is where you are putting the money. It’s easier for the reception as the bride and groom are normally given a suite and that should have a safe in it. So, your nominated people can just pop to the room every now and again and leave the cash/cards in the safe. Don’t leave it lying around the room, as they always end up with lots of people in them.
Have designated people to collect cash/gifts and tell people that are gifting to give it to them. Not everyone that collects the cash needs to know where the storage place is, they just need to know who to give it to. For example, your parents and siblings can be cash/gift contacts, however only your parents know where it is kept. So, your siblings will collect the cash then pass it to your parents to store when they get a chance. Try to handle the cash as little as possible and ensure it is not clearly visible. Make limited trips to where it is stored to keep the location hidden. When you have to pay suppliers, count out the amount in the storage place, not in public. Or have envelopes ready with the set amount inside so you can just grab it and go. For the religious ceremony and reception time have a designated person to take the cash from the function to your safe place. Make sure they do regular trips to stop any build up. Avoid having card post boxes as they are not secure, and I have heard of lots of cards going missing from them. The best thing to do is to make clear to people who to give the cash/gifts to.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!