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WEDDING CRASHERS

Free Drinks, Why Not?
In order to keep all of the various weddings and receptions looking and feeling authentic, the filmmakers brought on board wedding planner Lovelynn Vanderhorst as a technical advisor. 

"I have coordinated a lot of ethnic weddings and mixed-faith weddings and I used to be a costume supervisor so I know what looks good on film,” says Vander Horst. "I went over with the filmmakers all of the different types of weddings, what takes place during the ceremony and reception, what kind of music is traditionally played and what kind of attire is typically worn at various ethnic weddings.” 

Vander Horst's expertise proved to be a valuable asset to the project.

"Having Lovelynn on board was such a blessing for the production,” says producer Andrew Panay. "We shot five different ethnic weddings in two weeks and she was right there every step of the way working with all our departments to ensure that wardrobe, décor, music, dances and small details were as authentic as possible.” 

For Vander Horst, wedding crashing is a reality that she's witnessed at some of her own events. 

"I've actually had to deal with crashers and the reason why most people do it is they're thinking, ‘Let's go get some free food and drinks,'” she says. "The hard part for me is usually a client will say, ‘I don't know who that person is, can you go find out?' Usually they're not invited and I have to ask them to leave. But at one wedding, it ended up being the groom's uncle and the bride was really embarrassed. That's why, I hate to admit it, but it wouldn't be as hard as you think to crash a wedding.”

In addition to shooting the various ethnic weddings for the wedding crashing montage, the filmmakers also faced the challenge of staging the enormous and lavish Cleary Wedding and reception in three different cities. The first part of the equation would entail shooting the actual wedding ceremony of Secretary Cleary's oldest daughter Christina. In the film, the exclusive affair is the crème de la crème of Washington, D. C.'s social season and for Jeremy, the ultimate wedding to crash. 

"Wedding season is over, but Jeremy discovers that there's one more wedding they can't miss,” explains David Dobkin. "He's really excited about crashing the Cleary wedding because they are a great American family and he knows the food is going to be very high end. John is reluctant and kind of growing tired of the crashing, but being the good friend that he is, he doesn't want to look like he's not showing up for his buddy, so he goes along for the ride.” 

The event had to reflect the caliber of the people involved.

"When the daughter of a cabinet member of the United States government gets married, there's going to be a lot of powerful and influential people in attendance and probably some secret service agents as well,” says Vaughn. "The crashing degree of difficulty is very high, but Jeremy feels like if you can fool these people, then you can fool anybody.” 

With the Cleary wedding taken place in front of an assembly of 500 well-dressed extras in a Pasadena church, the line between art and reality wasn't an easy one to decipher for producer Andrew Panay. 

"The first shot we filmed that day was a wide shot of the bridesmaids coming down the aisle and when the organist started playing, I looked around this massive church which was filled to capacity and the combination of all of the elements on the day made you feel that you were really at a wedding,” he says. "We also wanted it to be much more opulent and grand then all the other weddings so that it would heighten the stakes for John and Jeremy.”

On May 1st, 2004 the production headed east to Washington, D.C., where the filmmakers would stage the crashing duo's arrival at the high-powered ceremony that featured cameos by a number o

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