Archive for March 5th, 2008

Gypsies, Tramps, And Thieves

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Once upon a simpler time, wedding guests used to bring presents to the reception site, where soon, a table outside the ballroom would be stacked to the ceiling with gifts for the bride and groom. After the event was over, and the last guest had trundled off to bed, Mom and Dad would load all the booty into the family station wagon and head for home.

That’s the way it was, not so long ago (and perhaps in Mayberry, it still is.) But in my town, no one today with an ounce of common sense would leave such a treasure trove outside their line of sight. Because thieves may be lazy, but they aren’t stupid. And they have learned that “the gift table” is a high-profit, low-risk gold mine.

Now, you might ask, “How could someone just walk up and clean out a gift table without being noticed? Are they invisible?” And the answer is, yes. Simply by donning a tuxedo and an air of authority, a savvy thief can cart off thousands of dollars in gifts. Family members and guests will assume such a well-dressed soul is a catering executive, while venue staffers will presume that someone operating so openly must be a family member. By the time the two sides compare notes, the brazen thief has disappeared. Invisible indeed.

Also high on the thief’s shopping list is the unattended coat rack filled with fur-this and leather-that. Your photographer’s expensive lenses provide another quick and profitable addition to the night’s haul. Virtually anything lighter than a grand piano is fair game.

So – what can you do to prevent your special evening from being a thief’s bonanza?

1. Nothing deters theft like the experienced eyes and 6th sense of an off-duty uniformed cop.

2. Coat-checking attendants are worth every penny you pay them.

3. Best of all, suggest that your guests not bring gifts to the reception.

These days, brides and grooms register on-line at national chains like Crate & Barrel, Nordstroms, and even Home Depot. Guests can pick out and pay for their gifts electronically. Doing so not only assures that the gifts will get to their proper destination, it also saves Mom and Dad a big load-out after the party. In today’s world, it’s the only way to go.

Unless you live in Mayberry.