In what might give an alternative meaning to the term ‘destination wedding,’ a Florida couple attempted to hold their nuptials at a posh mansion that they apparently assumed was unoccupied and without obtaining permission from the owner.
According to multiple media reports, the groom reportedly had previously visited the 16,000-square-foot-plus home, which sits on 7.5 acres in the Fort Lauderdale era, on more than one occasion claiming to be a potential buyer.
He subsequently asked owner Nathan Finkel, an heir to an IHOP fortune, if he could use the backyard for the wedding.
Finkel, however, turned down that request.
On their wedding website, however, the couple — identified by multiple media outlets as Shenita Jones and Courtney Wilson — reportedly invited guests to attend their lavish April 17 celebration at “our dream home” which they referred to as “The Wilson’s Estate.” Planned activities included the ceremony, a “red carpet cocktail hour,” and the reception itself.
The invitation even announced a brunch at the same location the following day for attendees, the Daily Mail reported.
Owner Finkel was apparently perplexed when Wilson and perhaps others showed up at the front gate on the morning of the wedding.
He told a 911 dispatcher that “I have people trespassing on my property. And they keep harassing me, calling me. They say they’re having a wedding here, and it’s God’s message. I don’t know what’s going on.
“All I want is [for] it to stop. And they’re sitting at my property right at the front gate right now,” he added.
(Source: Daily Mail)
Cops arrived shortly thereafter, and Wilson complied with their request for him to leave and not return. Officers did not cite him for any potential infractions.
MANSION WEDDING SHOCKER: A couple’s wedding ceremony at a sprawling Florida estate was cut short by police after it was discovered the couple didn’t own the property or have permission to be there. ABC’s Andrea Fujii has the story. pic.twitter.com/OncB23tuZb
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) April 22, 2021
Town attorney Keith Poliakoff told the Orlando Sentinel that “The guy figured it was a vacant house and didn’t realize Nathan lived on the property in a different home. This guy had no idea he lived there. You know the shock that must have been on his face when he showed up at the gate and the owner was home?”
When contacted by another Florida media outlet, Wilson said “I don’t want to talk about it.”
The estate located in the Broward County town of Southwest Ranches is currently on the market with an asking price of nearly $6 million, reduced from the original $7.25 million listing.
To date, it’s not determined if the couple, who originally met in high school and subsequently “discovered love in a pandemic,” have found another venue for their wedding.
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