Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Stranger ruined my wedding

I spent two years planning and every spare dollar putting together my dream wedding. The venue I was in love with,  I had to book 2 years in advance. It was a gorgeous garden in a park, complete with garden house. I paid the top price to book the venue for the entire day, and to make it a private event that was closed to the public. (There are fences and unlocked gates with 'Closed for private event signs.) Our ceremony was beautiful and went as I had hoped. After, we moved into the garden house for dinner. While dinner was being served, ANOTHER COUPLE CAME INTO THE GARDENS, AND GOT MARRIED! As dinner was wrapping up and people began moving back outdoors, my priest mentioned that the other bride and groom were getting closer to where most of my guests were, doing photos. It ended up with the other bride calling my husband a pussy, and a very large feud between the couple and many members of our wedding party as the venue director arrived and escorted them out.

A lot of my guests were very riled up. And I'm still angry as hell. All that planning, patiently waiting for an available date, and another bride showed up to my wedding! Although my family and friends were very supportive, I'm still so embarrassed. On top of it being so tacky that the other bride and groom showed up, I'm embarrassed about the screaming and yelling.

I worked and dreamed so hard over this one day, and it's hard to imagine I'll ever remember it fondly. As much as I'd like to just forget, every time it comes up, I am so outraged by what this couple took from me.

Re: Stranger ruined my wedding

  • It was very rude of the couple to assume that they could trespass on your wedding space.  I am sorry your husband felt it necessary to engage them.  It would have been better to have someone quietly call the police.
    They didn't ruin your wedding.  You married your husband in the beautiful venue that you chose.  Your reception was nice, too, wasn't it?
    What they did was to act like donkeys on their own wedding day.  Imagine the happy memories THEY will have!
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    InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • I'm sorry this happened to you. I have so many questions though....

    - Did they actually get married in the gardens or just to take photos? So did the venue allowed another wedding or did this couple just "jump the fence" to take pictures?
    - Did your venue contract say you had the entire place booked? 
    - Had you hired security and security just missed them coming in? 

    Hindsight is 20/20 but what did you think was going to happen when a bride and groom (feeling entitled to "their day") confronts another bride and groom (feeling entitled to beautiful photos)? Heightened emotions and angry words were BOUND to happen. You probably should have had the venue coordinator go kick them out and never even got close to speaking with them.
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    InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm sorry this happened to you. I have so many questions though....

    - Did they actually get married in the gardens or just to take photos? So did the venue allowed another wedding or did this couple just "jump the fence" to take pictures?
    - Did your venue contract say you had the entire place booked? 
    - Had you hired security and security just missed them coming in? 

    Hindsight is 20/20 but what did you think was going to happen when a bride and groom (feeling entitled to "their day") confronts another bride and groom (feeling entitled to beautiful photos)? Heightened emotions and angry words were BOUND to happen. You probably should have had the venue coordinator go kick them out and never even got close to speaking with them.
    I think this is too harsh on the OP. If the venue led her and her husband to believe that they would have exclusive use of the area, then I don't think scolding her in hindsight is helpful.
  • Jen4948 said:
    I'm sorry this happened to you. I have so many questions though....

    - Did they actually get married in the gardens or just to take photos? So did the venue allowed another wedding or did this couple just "jump the fence" to take pictures?
    - Did your venue contract say you had the entire place booked? 
    - Had you hired security and security just missed them coming in? 

    Hindsight is 20/20 but what did you think was going to happen when a bride and groom (feeling entitled to "their day") confronts another bride and groom (feeling entitled to beautiful photos)? Heightened emotions and angry words were BOUND to happen. You probably should have had the venue coordinator go kick them out and never even got close to speaking with them.
    I think this is too harsh on the OP. If the venue led her and her husband to believe that they would have exclusive use of the area, then I don't think scolding her in hindsight is helpful.
    I know - after I wrote it, I realized it did seem harsh.

    But maybe they did have exclusive use, maybe they didn't. There isn't really a way to know without seeing their contract. That's why I asked.
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    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensJen4948PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    I'm sorry this happened to you. I have so many questions though....

    - Did they actually get married in the gardens or just to take photos? So did the venue allowed another wedding or did this couple just "jump the fence" to take pictures?
    - Did your venue contract say you had the entire place booked? 
    - Had you hired security and security just missed them coming in? 

    Hindsight is 20/20 but what did you think was going to happen when a bride and groom (feeling entitled to "their day") confronts another bride and groom (feeling entitled to beautiful photos)? Heightened emotions and angry words were BOUND to happen. You probably should have had the venue coordinator go kick them out and never even got close to speaking with them.
    I think this is too harsh on the OP. If the venue led her and her husband to believe that they would have exclusive use of the area, then I don't think scolding her in hindsight is helpful.
    I know - after I wrote it, I realized it did seem harsh.

    But maybe they did have exclusive use, maybe they didn't. There isn't really a way to know without seeing their contract. That's why I asked.

    It was a fair question and I agree with you that if the venue did promise exclusive use, then its staff should have told the other couple that they couldn't use the space.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I always wanted a beach wedding.   When I finally got engaged I  spent 15 months planning the perfect beach wedding.     Mother nature had other ideas and I didn't get my dream wedding.

    Sure it's a little different than your situation, but the point is sometimes things don't go as planned.  Sometimes an outside influence can change things.   It sucks, but shit happens.    

      My advice to you is let it go and focus on the good things.    I look back at my wedding with fondness.   All my family and friends all gathered during a hurricane to watch us get married.  I remember how amazing my husband.  I laugh at the cake melting.  How is was my 90+ year old great-aunts last family gathering.   How after 9 years we still love each other.    Focus on what went right.



    That all said,  I also think it's a fair question to ask if you did have exclusive rights to the area.  If you did, I would be demanding compensation from the venue.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • edited July 16
    I spent two years planning and every spare dollar putting together my dream wedding. The venue I was in love with,  I had to book 2 years in advance. It was a gorgeous garden in a park, complete with garden house. I paid the top price to book the venue for the entire day, and to make it a private event that was closed to the public. (There are fences and unlocked gates with 'Closed for private event signs.) Our ceremony was beautiful and went as I had hoped. After, we moved into the garden house for dinner. While dinner was being served, ANOTHER COUPLE CAME INTO THE GARDENS, AND GOT MARRIED! As dinner was wrapping up and people began moving back outdoors, my priest mentioned that the other bride and groom were getting closer to where most of my guests were, doing photos. It ended up with the other bride calling my husband a pussy, and a very large feud between the couple and many members of our wedding party as the venue director arrived and escorted them out.

    A lot of my guests were very riled up. And I'm still angry as hell. All that planning, patiently waiting for an available date, and another bride showed up to my wedding! Although my family and friends were very supportive, I'm still so embarrassed. On top of it being so tacky that the other bride and groom showed up, I'm embarrassed about the screaming and yelling.

    I worked and dreamed so hard over this one day, and it's hard to imagine I'll ever remember it fondly. As much as I'd like to just forget, every time it comes up, I am so outraged by what this couple took from me.
    I am a little confused. If another couple got married at the same time, meaning they scheduled an officiant, photographer, guests, etc. then it sounds like the venue may have double booked. I don't blame the other couple... I blame the venue. The couple didn't "crash" your wedding, it seems like they showed up to their own wedding and were probably equally surprised to find another couple at their venue (and probably equally pissed) - they probably even assumed the signage was for their wedding. I assume the venue had staff manning the gate, meaning they would have been let in. So if you paid for the entire venue for the whole day and for it to be private - and if it is stated as such in your contract - then I would address this with the venue and demand compensation (the difference in price from private and non-private). If your contract doesn't state that the entire grounds would be private for your party the entire day, then the venue has every right to schedule another wedding - it sounds like they scheduled it for after your ceremony while you were having dinner inside a house on the property, so they staggered the ceremonies. You said they arrived during your dinner and they were doing their photos as your dinner wrapped up... so I am assuming they were there for at least a half hour to an hour during the time of dinner. Seems like they may have booked the venue too. 
    ahoyweddingholyguacamole79PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree that is sounds like the venue may have allowed this other couple in. Surely they didn't just walk in off the street with an officiant. And if that's the case, your issue should have been with the venue, and not this other couple. 

    There's nothing you can do to change what happened. Just focus on the good of the day and move forward. 

    PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • I think you need to look back at the good memories and not let this ruin your day.

    However you can also find out why the couple got in on the property and look at your contract.   If you had exclusive rights and they were able to get on property I'd look into some kind of refund because the area clearly didn't provide any kind of security.

    I'm curious about the kind of space you used.   There's an old historic mansion on state property that you can book for weddings near me.   It's actually on the same grounds where DH proposed.   The venue will stay open until after the park closes but the park doesn't close to the public until sunset.  Was your venue one of these types of places?   I could see bringing in my own officiant if I was one of two people on public grounds and as long as I didn't book the mansion I wouldn't think about it.   However I also wouldn't take photos that encroached on the party of someone else.   

    A call to your venue management sounds like it's in order. 
    Knottiee1f600ef60336ab1PrettyGirlLost
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