"The minute I saw them, because I was very surprised, I immediately grabbed the list and looked for their name and noticed it wasn't there, which is very unusual," Roxanne Roberts, who writes for The Washington Post's column The Reliable Source, told CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes.
It wasn't there because they weren't invited. Still, the Salahis managed to talk their way past the Secret Service and into the star-studded state dinner, where they warmed up to Vice President Joe Biden, media luminaries and even the Marines posted at the door.
Then the Virginia couple hurried home to post the photos on Facebook, gushing "I was honored to be invited to attend the First State Dinner."
Unlike the big-time Obama donors and political heavyweights who snagged real invitations, Michaele Salahi is best known for her rumored casting in Bravo TV'S upcoming reality series "The Real Housewives of DC," the newest entry in a popular franchise that features wealthy wives leading decidedly unreal lives. ("I have the luxury to be able to buy beautiful things!" exclaimed one housewife during an episode of "The Real Housewives of New York City.")
The Secret Service has launched an investigation into the security breach and says a preliminary probe reveals that proper procedure wasn't followed at one of its checkpoints.
"This is really consistent with the corner cutting that's been going on in the Secret Service ever since the Department of Homeland Security took over in 2003," Ron Kessler, author of "In the President's Secret Service," .
This is hardly the Salahis' first foray into the spotlight. She's a former Washington Redskins cheerleader. He's involved in a public dispute over control of the family vineyard in Virginia.
In an odd bit of foreshadowing, the couple told CBS in a September interview to "stay tuned" and watch to see what they do next.
"President Obama has made it very accessible for anyone to visit the White House, so that's like the big thing right now," Michaele Salahi said then.
While some may see this as just another desperate stunt to get cast on a reality TV show such as , this time the show's producers may have been in on the act.
Erwin Gomez did Michaele's makeup that day.
"How many camera crews were filming you doing her makeup and then her getting her hair done?" Cordes asked Gomez.
"Just think about a production company, OK?" Gomez said.
Late Thursday, representatives for the couple put out a statement saying they "did not 'crash' this event. We look forward to setting the record straight very soon."
The question is if they did crash the dinner, was it a crime or just a great story for the next cocktail party?