I learned the hard way to pay better attention when walking into a wedding reception.

Saturday Jami and I attended the wedding of some friends, Dana and Joe, and later in the evening we went to the reception in Washington.

The bash was held in the Washington Brewery banquet hall. It is a large, historic venue that is host to wedding receptions, dinners and other events.

I parked the car across the street and the two of us walked into the entrance next to the sign that read, “The Signature Room.”

I placed our wedding gift, a card with cash, into a suitcase set up on a table by the door that held the cards and gifts from other guests.

We went up to the bar and I ordered Jami a glass of wine and I had a beer.

I took one sip of beer, looked around the room for a place to sit and saw the bride and groom.

The bride was in a beautiful white dress and she and her new husband looked happy, however, they weren’t the couple I was expecting to see.

I looked at Jami, who hadn’t yet noticed the unfamiliar couple, and whispered, “We have to leave.”

I grabbed her hand and rushed her to the door as they were announcing the happy couple: Cassie and Jordan. . . not Dana and Joe.

As we walked out the door, I snagged the card that we had slipped in the suitcase.

We walked around the building and entered a side door of the brewery into the reception we were invited to attend.

This time, I recognized some faces and read the envelopes of some cards to make sure we were at the right party. Then I added our card, first making sure I didn’t take the wrong card in my haste, and placed it with the others.

We were unintentional Vince Vaughns and Owen Wilsons from “Wedding Crashers,” if you look past Jami being a woman and much prettier than Owen Wilson.

It didn’t dawn on me until we relayed the story to some friends that people watching me leave the first reception may have thought I was stealing wedding gifts.

My friends also mentioned that oftentimes cards are placed into a box, under lock and key, to prevent people from taking cash intended for the bride and groom.

I was already embarrassed by the situation, but I can just imagine how much worse the situation would have been if the card was in a box and I couldn’t get to it.

I’m not sure what we would have done in that situation. Would I have taken the box, broken the lock to remove my card and then sneak it back in? Probably not, but I don’t know that I was thinking too clearly in my mad dash for the exit.

I probably would have been more level headed and called a locksmith, and then paid him extra to covertly pick the lock and retrieve my card.

Not only could someone have perceived me as a thief, but I actually did take two drinks that were intended for the guests of this wedding reception. Guests who likely left the cards they brought through the door in the suitcase.

As Jami and I plan our own wedding, we know that these things aren’t cheap. So I offer my sincerest apology to Cassie and Jordan, and extend an invitation to them to come to our wedding reception, have a beer and glass of wine, then promptly leave with a terrified look on their faces.