Celebrity wedding-crashers: from Tom Hanks to Taylor Swift

Hanks is the latest celeb to make an unexpected star appearance at a couple’s nuptials. But would you want someone famous to steal the limelight on your big day?

Brangelina might be over, but Tom Hanks’s un-showy union with Rita Wilson is still going strong after 28 years. The actor would seem to be the ideal fame deity to bless anyone’s nuptials, and so it proved for one couple having their post-wedding photos taken in Central Park last weekend. Hanks was jogging past and stopped to wish them all the best; the photos soon went viral on Instagram.

Celebrity wedding-crashing seems to have become more frequent of late. But would you want just any famous person to headline your big day? Here are some recent highlights – and lowlights – and how welcome their interventions might have been.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams crashes a wedding on Miami beach.
Serena Williams crashes a wedding on Miami beach. Photograph: serenawillimas/instagram

In 2014, Serena Williams was on a Miami Beach stroll with tennis friend Caroline Wozniacki. Days earlier, Wozniacki had been dumped by fiance Rory McIlroy, who had confessed that the moment the invitations had gone out, he had realised he wasn’t ready for marriage. But that still didn’t stop Williams from invading a beach wedding, to pose with the bride in a leopard-print swimsuit.

Welcome rating: 7

Gary Barlow

After one fan used the hashtag campaign #getgary2louswedding to get Gary to crash Louise Newman’s wedding in 2014, Barlow announced that he wanted to sing at three more fans’ weddings in 2015. Cue thousands of requests, culminating in surprise gigs in Oxfordshire, Old Windsor and Liverpool. If nothing else it was at least therapeutic for Barlow, who introspected: “What started out as just a bit of fun turned into something much more meaningful and amazing.”

Welcome rating: 5

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift crashes the wedding of Max Singer and Kenya Smith.
Taylor Swift crashes the wedding of Max Singer and Kenya Smith. Photograph: taylorswift/instagram

As even Swift’s own romantic relationships are dismissed as fake, the term “Swiftian” takes on a new meaning when you consider the emotional dynamics of her turning up “spontaneously” at the wedding of a New Jersey fan this summer. The marriage itself had taken place a few days earlier, in the hospital room of the groom’s dying mother, where the pair had slow-danced to Swift’s Blank Space. Cue Swift popping up at the wedding to open her set with that song.

Welcome rating: 8

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg crashes a wedding.
Snoop Dogg crashes a Hindu wedding. Photograph: snoopdogg/instagram

“He’s the bride’s mother’s favourite rapper,” is a phrase that will make many feel older than time, but news of that generational shift seems to have been the chief takeaway from Snoop’s decision to crash a Hindu wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago in 2014. Snoop was there ahead of a performance at the North Coast Music Festival, and, spotted by the photographer, was wrangled into the room by an overexcited Mrs Ghadiali.

Welcome rating: 9

Justin Bieber

Is enjoying the music of Justin Bieber a clear sign you’re not ready for marriage? “I was actually wiping cake off my face,” the mis-named groom Rob McCool recounted. “So to see Justin Bieber was just a surreal experience.” Bieber had been strolling past McCool’s wedding venue in Malibu with Selena Gomez when he heard a karaoke version of his own pedant-terrorising hit One Less Lonely Girl being belted out, and decided to improve on it. Incredibly, the bride’s teenage cousin singing it was a super-fan who’d previously met the pool-eyed pop mooner on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Welcome rating: 4

Maroon 5

Some wedding crashers straddle that awkward line between abstract fame and facial identifiability. Anyone who followed schlock-funk in the noughties will know of Maroon 5. But could you pick singer Adam Levine out of a police lineup? Regardless, in 2015 the band enlisted Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin to use several real-life LA weddings as a backdrop to their new video, with only the grooms being in on the crash. “Honey, Maroon 5 are going to play a song no one knows from ten years past their peak, and do it twice because the director wants to be able to cut between different angles”? Maybe it’s best they didn’t tell the bride.

Welcome rating: 3


Gavin Haynes

The GuardianTramp

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