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Couple plans wedding in Florida mansion they don’t own, owner unaware and calls cops

Published Apr 23, 2021 9:58 am

A Florida couple who planned their wedding at a multimillion-dollar mansion near Miami thought they could get hitched without a hitch until one tiny detail got in the way: the owner was home and had no idea about their party.

Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones, referring to themselves as “the Royal Couple,” invited friends and family to the “dream home and estate,” which includes a tennis court, pool and theater, plus nine bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, the local Sun Sentinel newspaper reported Wednesday.

With the $5.7 million mansion up for sale, Wilson, the groom, visited it several times, taking photos and pretending to be interested in buying it. 

Assuming no one lived at the vacant home, he invited guests to his wedding and related festivities, which included a red-carpet cocktail on Saturday afternoon and a breakfast on Sunday morning, the paper reported. 

The $5.7 million mansion a Florida couple thought was empty.  Photos from Sun-Sentinel
The mansion has nine bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, a tennis court and swimming pool. 

Owner Nathan Finkel, who lives elsewhere on the property, was therefore up for a surprise when the groom and another person arrived Saturday morning ready to set up.

“I have people trespassing on my property,” an irritated Finkel told a 911 dispatcher, according to the paper. “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.” (Finkel’s late father was an early IHOP restaurant franchisee.)

Police who arrived at the scene encouraged the wedding party to leave, without making any arrests.

Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones pretended they were interested in buying the property.  Photo from

Keith Poliakoff, an attorney for the Southwest Ranches suburb where the mansion is located, said that Wilson “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?” Poliakoff said. (AFP)

Banner photo from the Sun-Sentinel