A couple was celebrating their wedding day in Mississippi on Saturday when an allegedserial wedding crasher snuck in.
Sandra Lynn Henson, 57, has been accused of crashing weddings in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee and stealing money and cards from purses, according to the Pontotoc Sheriff’s Department.
She was already wanted in Alabama, the department said, when she was caught with sticky fingers at Lexi Loden and Brady Butler’s wedding in Pontotoc County.
“When Sandra turned around in the bridal room, she was eating a piece of my cake,” said newlywed Lexi Loden Butler, who recalled how her sister caught Henson at her wedding at Lilly Creek Farm.
Sandra Lynn Henson.Courtesy Florence, AL Police
Henson was arrested Sept. 30 and charged with petit larceny, trespassing, and disturbing the peace, the sheriff’s department said Monday.
Henson has since bonded out of jail, Sheriff Leo Mask said.
Last week’s wedding was the latest in a string of wedding crashing incidentsallegedlylinked to Henson.
“From what we understand, she’s been charged with [wedding crashing] several times,” Mask said. He said he was unsure about Henson’s convictions because some cases were in other states.
Henson was on parole in Mississippi, where she’d been behind bars on burglary and grand larceny charges, according to state corrections department records.
In 2019, Henson was accused of taking gifts from two weddings in Alabama, the Florence Alabama Police Department said at the time. She was charged with two counts of property theft. The outcome of the cases was not immediately clear Friday night.
In 2021, Henson stole wedding gifts, cash and gift cards amounting to over $1,000 in her home state of Mississippi and wasindicted on a charge of grand larceny. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Marshall County to five years’ probation, court records show.
Henson was caught this time by Loden Butler’s sister, who had entered the bridal suite to fix a bottle for her baby when she found Henson rummaging through belongings. Loden Butler said her sister asked Henson who she was at the wedding for and Henson replied “I’m here for Lexi.”
After Henson failed to answer other questions about the wedding, Loden Butler said her sister got help from other family members. The wedding coordinator found that $200 had been taken out of her purse, which Henson initially denied when asked, Loden Butler said.
“When threatened with calling the cops, she admitted to stealing $200 in cash,” Kristian Joshlin, Loden Butler’s other sister, said in an interview. Henson “had the money hidden in her bra.”
Henson then pulled the $200 out of her bra and handed it to back to the family, Loden Butler said.
Joshlin said Henson begged the family not to call the police because she said she didn’t want to “go back to jail.” She said they notified the Pontotoc County police shortly after.
“She apologized and talked about how good she’d been doing lately, saying, ‘I’ve been going to church and doordashing,’” Joshlin said.
Joshlin and Loden Butler said they think Henson got the information about the wedding online or from social media. In Henson’s belongings, they said they found a notebook listing the locations of at least seven other weddings and couples in the area.
The notebook “blew my mind and broke my heart at the same time,” Loden Butler said. “To have people have no idea that their name is in a book and that they’re a target … to go that far and to be that deep with something like that.”
Loden Butler said she was grateful that her family hid the incident from her and her new husband until the police arrived on the scene.
She said when her sister initially told her what had happened, she was concerned that Henson was just homeless or hungry and needed help. That was until Loden Butler’s family started googling Henson’s name and found the other alleged incidents.
“We were in complete shock to find out that she was a serial wedding Crasher and had even been dubbed the Mid-South Wedding Crasher,” Joshlin said. “We are all still in a state of disbelief that this happened to us.”
Mask, the sheriff, commended the family for taking charge of the situation until police arrived. “They pretty much had their own security,” he said.
Loden Butler said that although she felt robbed of some of her quality time with her family on her wedding day, she’s nonetheless grateful for how they handled the situation.
“Did she ruin our day? Absolutely not,” Loden Butler said. “The day was about me and Brady getting married and we had the best day ever.”
Natalie Kainz is a news associate for NBC News.