Wedding saved by Reddit

A redditor found himself in desperate straits when the millionaire whose mansion he'd rented for his wedding cancelled on him with only three weeks' notice. He solicited suggestions from other redditors on what he should do to find a Florida venue on short notice, and ended up hosting a hell of a party in a farmer's field, and came out with enough savings to treat his friends to gallons of free-flowing booze and a pair of bouncy-castles. He's written up the results in a Whos-Down-in-Whoville post that reminds us that weddings are about people celebrating, not venues or formalities.
Fucking AWESOME. I can't even say "it went okay" as a joke. It was epic. We took the "have it in a field" idea, and really ran with it. After three solid weeks of work cleaning and prepping, my wife's uncle's farm was ready for action. It is a big property, and he has horses, cows, pigs and goats. We cleared out a cow pasture for parking and set up a tent by the stables. The stables were filled with his best horses (Pasofinos for those who care) and one of the stalls had some week-and-a-half old puppies that were just born. We moved the wedding from 6 to 7, and the weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky, and the breeze started up about 30 minutes before the ceremony.
Update: I'm the guy whose wedding venue cancelled on him three weeks before the big day. Here's how it went. (


  1. In what way did Reddit “save” the wedding? The replacement venue was his wife’s uncle’s farm. Was this a long-lost uncle discovered only through the magic of Reddit?

    1. Someone in the thread suggested they have it in a field. Per the quote above, they ran with that suggestion. By crowdsourcing his predicament he came up with a solution that ended up working very well.

      It might have happened had he just posted on Facebook, too, but Reddit offers a bigger and more diverse audience.

      1. Talia, did those 800 posts supply the field, bounce houses, air-con or roasted pig? Did hordes of redditors drop everything and come from all corners of the globe to prepare the venue in a scene reminiscent of the barn-raising in ‘Witness’? Er, no. The net product of what is apparently the ultimate in web-2.0-crowdsourcy-goodness – appearing on Reddit’s front page – can be summed up thusly: “do it in a field”.

        By comparison, a few years ago I was a guest at an unexpectedly lavish wedding which I subsequently learned had been afflicted by a similar misfortune: the wedding planner had gone bust a little more than a month before the wedding, having already taken about half the money, but without virtually nothing to show for it. The mother of the bride told her tale of woe on a local radio phone-in show. Apparently, she told it well: there was a huge response and station ran with the story all day. Initially, comments were the usual mix of outrage, sympathy and half-assed advice, but they were soon supplanted by folks keen to express their regret in more tangible ways. By the end of the day businesses in the area had offered for free another wedding planner, a wedding dress, a horse-drawn coach, a photographer, floral arrangements, hairstyling, make-up, two honeymoons, and countless bands. Those businesses who wished to express their altruistic good will to the unlucky couple, but had the misfortune not to deal in goods and services traditionally associated with weddings, resolved the problem through the medium of wedding presents. Obviously, gifts of alloy wheels or a year’s supply of pet food aren’t to everyone’s taste, but it’s the thought that counts.

        Now, I don’t by any means want to suggest that one outcome is superior to the other, but the headline massively overplays Reddit’s role and you’re stretching the definition of solution considerably if you think Reddit provided one here.

        Now, I

    2. This reddit comment started the idea:
      The best reception I ever went to was in a big open field. They had a bonfire, live music, food was out on some foldable tables, and the dance floor was a bunch of bamboo mats thrown on the grass. It was a blast. You don’t need to have a big hall. It’s about the people you’re with, not the place you’re in.”

  2. I’ve been to at least two dozen weddings in the last decade, and the best ones were the informal ones. It’s supposed to be a celebration, so why spend the months leading up to it worrying about all the stupid details of a formal wedding, and the next ten years paying it off? If you’re more concerned with a fancy-pants party then enjoying one of the biggest days of your life, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. I got married in a tent in the back yard with little lead up (2 months) so similar experience. No regrets and would recommend as superior experience.

  4. > ” when the millionaire whose mansion he’d rented for his wedding cancelled…”

    I love the not-even-barely-concealed disdain for the rich. Why is the fact that the home’s owner is “a millionaire” relevant, or that the home was “a mansion”? They aren’t. But since he canceled, we’re allowed to slip a little bolus of classist venom, aren’t we?

      1. Sure, canceling is unfortunate. But “douchy”? Are we allowed to call him a “douche” just because he’s “a millionaire”? We don’t know shit about him, or why he had to cancel. And yet, because he’s “a millionaire”, he instantly becomes a douche, some rich fuck we can all run out of the village. Right?

        1. i don’t think franko mentioned anything about him being a millionaire. he just said that the act of cancelling 3 weeks out is douchy.
          me thinks you are projecting. but then, that would make you a millionaire, and we all know millionaires are douches.

        2. Run him out of the village? Fuck that, we’re gonna execute him and his family, sell the property, and give the wealth to migrant farm workers. Viva la straw-man revolucion!

    1. Does the distinction between “fancy formal traditional imagery” and “cow pasture” elude you? The message here is something like “you don’t have to be fancy,” which if you haven’t noticed is something promulgated by TV and modern society.

      Also, if you take the time to read the page, the OP doesn’t mention “millionaire.” I realize this may not assuage your bitter indignance toward Boing Boing’s editorializing, but facts are facts.

      1. also, ‘bolus’ and ‘classist venom’ in the same sentence? puh-leeze.

        Classist venom should only be administered by intravenous drip. Boluses are contraindicated, as are intramuscular and subcutaneous injections.

    2. Seriously? You don’t even think it’s relevant whether they were renting a mansion or a typical house, despite that a wedding held in each of those two places would work completely differently?

    3. Spincycle, they’re in Florida. There are still parts of the country where being a millionaire gets you a mansion, unlike San Francisco, where being a millionaire gets you three bedrooms.

      My wife and I got married in a church many years ago, just after college, and held the reception in the mansion that had belonged to the college’s first president, built back when being a millionaire robber baron got you a big mansion. (The catch was no dancing – not because they were anti-dancing prudes, but because the floors weren’t really built for it and the furniture and rugs were old and decorative.)

      On the other hand, getting bouncy castles sounds like way fun, and good job for whoever thought of that one.

    4. I love the not-even-barely-concealed disdain for the rich. Why is the fact that the home’s owner is “a millionaire” relevant, or that the home was “a mansion”? They aren’t. But since he canceled, we’re allowed to slip a little bolus of classist venom, aren’t we?

      Because many millionaires (in general) are assholes. I’ve dealt with lots of wealthy people over the years; too many to count. Most are all childish, selfish twats.

      You want to see disdain? Look at how the rich generally treat everyone else. It’s beyond disdain, really. This kind of shit is very typical behavior, were they have no self-responsibility for how their actions hurt others.

      I’m hope I’m “allowed” this little bolus of classist venom. I deeply apologize if I hurt your sensibilities. I’m deeply sorry that somehow watching rich assholes continue to spread FUD about things like the benefits of a single payer system for healthcare seems to make some of us who aren’t lackey stooges for these people a little resentful.

      Around 3,000 people died from the actions of extremist assholes around 10 years ago and we call them “terrorists”. Around 40,000 people die from the actions of extremist assholes EVERY YEAR and we call them “successful”.

      The funny thing about “class war” is that people really do die in these wars.

  5. Why would one even consider a formal wedding in the first place? They serve no purpose. Informal ones are always more fun, as no one is worrying about doing anything “properly”.

    We had ours in a city park, with fish-shaped squirt guns as party favors. It was a blast, and people remember it fondly 20 years later.

  6. A few years ago, a buddy of mine was freaking out about wedding plans. He had over 300 people on the guest list, many of whom were his dad’s business associates that he’d never met. Meanwhile, his wife was trying to find someone to carve ice sculptures at the reception. I think they spent around $40k on the event. By comparison, when my wife and I were making our wedding plans she said she didn’t want anything fancy, she just wanted to be together. We had a nice ceremony at city hall and just a few close friends as guests. It was perfect weather and we took some photos at a public park and an obligatory photo of me carrying her over the threshold of our house. It was the best day of my life. No fuss, just smiles and laughter.

  7. From the followup thread detailing the wedding:

    “Yeah…that was it. Here is the email he sent me canceling the venue. This is copied and pasted from the email, word for word, in entirety:
    Code enforcement and law suit today prevent me from renting the house out for weddings. You will need to find another venue. I will refund your money. Sorry

    He must have had an idea it was coming, but he gave no warning. Some poor couple had a wedding planned there the following day. Fuck knows what they ended up doing.”

  8. Hey Cory, you post an awful lot of Reddit-related post. I think it’s time you used the awesomeness of Reddit by visiting /r/iama and posting an all-out question- answer-thread.

  9. I think it is important to note that the real story here is about how millionaires just can’t get a break.

    All those other people are just detracting from the real victim here. Some one should pay… the millionaire. It’s freaking libel.


  10. Or maybe it’s just a cute story about a couple who managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and have a fun and wedding despite having their original plans screwed up by their unfortunate involvement with a poor victim of… fortune.

  11. If you can handle that situation and change your expectations with grace and creativity, your marriage should do just fine. Congratulations!!

  12. You know, I never thought about the feelings we must have been hurting of all those poor, poor millionaires. It’s SOOOO SAAAD.

    In fact, I’m now crying so hard I don’t even think I can finish this comme

  13. The better weddings I’ve been to have a bouncy house of some kind. It always starts off as “for the kids” but the bride and groom always end up with great photos from in there.

  14. Screw formality. Weddings should be a reflection of couple. I guess if you are all into formality go for it. But I’m not and my wife isn’t either. We had a great wedding. The traditions we liked, we kept and the ones we thought were stupid or unreasonably costly, we did our way. Everyone had a great time and three years later we still get comments on it.

  15. I’m planning a wedding right now. I originally wanted a more casual affair, like the one described here, but that only works if you have access to a property like that. There’s parks but many don’t allow booze or don’t have enough parking or don’t have enough bathroom facilities. Tent rentals don’t come cheap, either. And that’s before you add the catering costs.

    In the end, the rustic wedding we originally imagined would have cost us much, more more than the ceremony and reception we’re now having at a local county club. No site fees, no additional costs and they really worked with us on the catering costs. Plus, we have access to the very nice member lounges in order to get ready. And we get to drive golf carts!

    There’s no ice sculptures, fireworks or other overly extravagant details. I’m doing my own flowers and I bought my wedding gown at Goodwill. Not every wedding that that’s a bit more formal is an expensive event so a little less hatred for weddings that don’t happen in a field, ok?

  16. When the hell did the BoingBoing comments become The Bitterest Place on Earth? This story is awesome!

    Lawn, off, get etc.

  17. As other people here have said, the super-snazzy formal weddings I’ve been to have all been very pretty, but full of nonstop stress on the part of bride & groom, the parents, the planners, etc. No fun for anyone and a whole lot of headaches. My memories are of a lot of people freaking out at the last minute because the cake decoration is askew or the meat is badly folded on a tray.

    The best wedding? Out in a pick-your-own apple orchard on a late summer’s day, the sun setting behind the two grooms (yes, it was one of those kinda weddings). The best reception? When my friend and his wife got married and unveiled the lovely buffet spread of mac & cheese, beans & weenies, and ramen noodles — the groom’s favorite foods.

    1. This. I did it the right way mainly for my mother’s sake. It was horrible on me and I didn’t end up enjoying anything. I worked like a dog, still felt like no one appreciated it, spent enough money to get a degree… and really my husband and I would have been just as happy ourselves if we had just had a little party for ourselves. I ended up putting myself last so much that I actually forgot I was supposed to walk down the aisle and ended up just throwing my hair in a ponytail since I had cut corners on everything that had to do with me to save money without letting people down (who ended up just complaining that my gifts weren’t good enough, or that they didn’t like the food, or that I should have had a dance reception later)…

      It was one of the worst mistakes of my life, but if nothing else I realized I *could* plan something that large and so long as my own happiness was not a factor it would be great.

      I say SCREW weddings that are anything but fun for the couple!

  18. When are the millionaires going to get equal rights and protections? I’m ashamed to live in this country.

    1. Actually equal rights and protections *would* be an improvement– but that’s why they call me a red pig down here.

  19. To me, ‘millionaire’ no longer makes me think of the Clampetts but of Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger. And that ‘millionaire mansion’ that turned out to be a four-bedroom house in the suburbs.

    Still, it beats Abbottabad.

  20. The best wedding I have been to thus-far was my friends Joe & Nicole who decided to have it at our local goth bar. They rented the whole venue for the wedding itself, the food & dancing. Not only that, but it was on Halloween and it was a costumes-required party. They had friends carve jack-o-lanterns to line the “aisle” leading up to the stage/dancing area. And they got our friends who normally bartend there to bartend on the wedding day also. Best. Wedding. Ever. I’d like to have one as cool as that.

  21. The small weddings are the best, yet so many people scoff at me when I tell them I got married in a local park, with a dress that cost $125 and no flowers. It was the best day of my life because I got to marry the man I love after 5 years of long-distance struggle. I loved my wedding, unlike a friend of mine who had a wedding full of stress, tears, crazy mother-in-law and big bout of being a bridezilla.

    It should be about the person you love. If you’re more obsessed with the dress, the hairstyles and what the family will think if you don’t spend $30000, you’re not doing it right.

  22. When a friend of mine got married in the 80s, she and her husband-to-be had just renovated a huge Edwardian flat in SF. So here was this 4,000 sq ft, empty, freshly refinished and painted space that looked like a movie set. The bride and I went to the flower mart and did all the arrangements, one of our co-workers was a caterer and covered that. She rented some chairs and serving tables and hired a chamber music group and, voila, wedding reception. It was not only cheaper and less hassle than doing it at a hotel or hall, but it was much tonier than overcooked chicken and a bad DJ.

  23. Spincycle, you are absolutely correct. The comments slamming you here for stating the truth are absurd and nonsensical. CD’s post was written with inherent, unconcealed disdain toward the homeowner, and the linked post doesn’t even explain what the homeowner did that was so wrong. Reference to a lawsuit is mentioned–did a court order prevent him from renting out the house has planned? A divorce decree? An inheritance proceeding? A bankruptcy proceeding? Indian burial ground under the property? Yes, no, maybe? How the heck can we possibly know, from the facts given? But he’s a “millionaire,” so he must automatically be an asshole.

    “Millionaires are generally assholes?” What a small-souled, sour grapes, bitter thing to say. “Let’s hate the rich” is just as sweepingly moronic and prejudicial as “let’s hate the poor,” or “let’s hate people with red hair.”

    My grandparents bought a house in the early 1960s for $30K. When my grandmother sold it in 2009, guess what–she was a millionaire–just barely, for about a year, and then she died, and the money was divided up among her several kids. What an asshole my grandmother was, huh?

    Be careful, kiddies–there are millionaires all around you! Watch out! There’s a fat one on the Monopoly box!

    1. My grandparents bought a house in the early 1960s for $30K. When my grandmother sold it in 2009, guess what–she was a millionaire–just barely, for about a year, and then she died, and the money was divided up among her several kids. What an asshole my grandmother was, huh?

      You know (damn well) that not a single person here is talking about any situation that even remotely resembles that. Your attempt at half-hearted social engineering here is not going to get anyone to empathize with multi-millionaires because your grandmother sold a house.

  24. If the owner of the house that was originally rented out wasn’t lying, the headline could have read “Government Denies Couple Their Reception Choice, They Have a Blast Anyway”.

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