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Open Post: Hosted By A Florida Couple Who Crashed Their Dream Mansion To Get Married

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Picture this. You’re Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones. Madly in love. You wanna get married at your “dream home and estate”: the gorgeous Southwest Ranches in Fort Lauderdale. This place has everything: a swimming pool with a waterfall, a hot tub, tennis courts, a gazebo, a bowling alley, and an 800-foot bar. COVID-19 be damned, you set the date and invite all your loved ones! When the big day finally arrives, you show up to the venue and are rudely informed that you’ve never actually booked the mansion, you’re not allowed to be there, and please stop trespassing. You tell the owner of the house you won’t leave, and that this wedding is “God’s message.” So he calls the cops? Exsqueeze me?!

I know. It’s shocking. Apparently, you just can’t show up to mansions and announce you’re getting married there. But that was Courtney and Shenita’s master plan. According to their wedding website, the couple went to the same high school, and thirty years later they “divinely reconnected” and got engaged. God’s plan, they said. Then the wedding planning began! The Huffington Post says that Courtney popped by an open house for Southwest Ranches (it’s currently on the market for $5.7 million) and pretended to be a prospective buyer. A few months later he called up the owner, Nathan Finkel, to ask if he could have a wedding there. Nathan immediately said no.

But somehow this didn’t stop the couple from picking Southwest Ranches. They invited guests to join them at “their home” for two days of wedding celebrations; red carpet cocktail hour, followed by the ceremony and reception on Saturday, and then brunch on Sunday. When Courtney showed up this past weekend to start setting up the wedding, he was greeted by an extremely confused Nathan Finkel. Courtney was asked to leave and refused, so Nathan called the police. via HuffPo:

“I have people trespassing on my property,” Finkel told a 911 dispatcher. “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.”

Two officers showed up and told Courtney he had to leave, so he did. No charges were filed. The South Florida SunSentinel reached out to Courtney for comment, and he replied with, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Keith Poliakoff, the attorney for Southwest Ranches, said:

“The guy figured it was a vacant house and didn’t realize Nathan lived on the property in a different home,” Poliakoff said. “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?”

Poor Courtney and Shenita. All that hard work and no wedding. And, look, I know it was a crazy plan, but ya gotta admire their blind Florida confidence. Also? Adds a whole new meaning to the phrase “wedding crashers”.
Pic: Coldwell Banker

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