Friends and family of Shenita Jones and Courtney Wilson were thrilled when they were invited to their ‘dream home’ to watch them get married.
Guests were invited to spend the weekend at the $5.7million (£4million) estate with 7.2 acres, in Southwest Ranches, Florida.
They couple even called it the ‘The Wilson’s Estate’ on invitations, but there was just one tiny snag.
The home wasn’t theirs, they hadn’t even hired it, and the real owner knew nothing about their plan until he showed up on the Saturday morning, when they were meant to tie the knot.
A stunned Nathan Finkel called 911 and said there were people trespassing at his property.
He said they were ‘harassing’ him and telling him it was ‘God’s message’ that they should get married at his home.
Mr Finkel added: ‘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.’
Mr Wilson allegedly posed as a prospective buyer and visited the home multiple times several months before the ceremony.
The nine-bed home was first listed for $7.25million (£5.2million) in 2019 but has since come down in price.
It comes complete with a grand ballroom, two-storey bar, movie theatre, two-lane bowling alley, pool, tennis court and dance studio.
Southwest Ranches attorney Keith Poliakoff said Mr Wilson took many photos while touring the estate.
He added: ‘A few months later, this guy asked Nathan if he could use Nathan’s backyard for his wedding. Nathan said no.’
But that didn’t stop the couple from sending out elaborate invitations to the estate, detailing the story of how they reconnected 30 years after high school and how Mr Wilson proposed over pizza on Christmas Eve.
The Saturday afternoon ceremony would be followed by a red carpet cocktail hour and a reception lasting past midnight. Sunday brunch would be from noon to 4.
An invitation on an elaborate wedding website read: ‘It is our honor to welcome you into our dream home and Estate, to share this special occasion with us,’ the website reads.
‘We are excited to celebrate our wedding night with you and look forward to a wonderful evening of celebration, exquisite feast and dancing. At our Royal Extravaganza!’
Mr Poliakoff added: ‘The guy figured it was a vacant house and didn’t realise 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?’
Two police officers arrived at the scene and told Mr Wilson to leave ‘and not to come back,’ Mr Finkel told the Sun Sentinel.
No charges were brought against the couple, and when approached by reporters, Mr Wilson said: ‘I don’t want to talk about it’.
Broward County records show a marriage license has been issued to the couple last week, but they had not registered as married by Wednesday.
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