The co-owners of a shop are frustrated after a couple rushed into its store and held a full wedding ceremony without obtaining management permission for the event.
Ana Lezama is co-owner of Mansion Society, a coffee shop in Indianapolis, Indiana, that opened two years ago.
Co-owner Lezama, in a phone interview with FOX Business, said the couple barged into the shop and held a full-blown wedding on New Year’s Eve — disrupting the business.
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Lezama was under the impression that the expected group of six were coming in to meet with a venue leasing agent and sign a wedding document. But she was shocked when the group turned into an estimated 20 people — plus a bride and groom.
“The bride walked in [wearing] her full gown with a veil and went directly to get married,” she recalled.
In a video captured by Lezama’s sister, the bride, groom, officiant and guests can be seen standing in an area of the café during the ceremony.
Lezama said she and the rest of the café staff were confused, shocked and didn’t know how to respond.
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“How can you stop somebody in the middle of their ceremony?” she also said.
The aesthetically vintage coffee shop is located on the first floor of a building. The building once housed the administrative offices, as well as residents, of an insane asylum, Lezama noted.
Additionally, there is a wedding venue right next door to the coffee shop — so Lezama said it’s not unusual to see guests stopping in for coffee before or after a wedding.
Lezama said she first heard about this bride and groom weeks before, on Dec. 5, 2023.
The leasing manager for the wedding venue and coffee shop building reached out to her about someone wanting to make a reservation at Mansion for six people to sign “wedding documents.”
“Isaac [the leasing manager] understood that a party of six wanted to come in and learn more about the 1899 wedding venue and maybe sign a wedding contract,” she said.
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So, on Dec. 31, 2023, around noon, a group of people walked into the Mansion Society coffee shop asking about the reservation.
“We kind of explained to them that we [told] the bride that we don’t do reservations and we’re a coffee shop, but the manager did let us know and we left a long-style table open for them,” Lezama said.
That’s when people started trickling in the shop in pairs of two or three until the full ceremony abruptly began.
Lezama said the wedding lasted only 10 or 15 minutes, but the group of people stayed for at least an hour and a half, during which time some customers decided not to come into the venue as it appeared to be crowded.
“We did notice some customers left just because they couldn’t get through, and they just wanted a cup of coffee and [went] in and out,” she said.
After the ceremony, Lezama said some of the guests were treating the place like it was their own by leaving personal items around the store and blocking the counter for people to order.
Lezama said the wedding photographer asked an employee for “five more minutes” after being told they needed to leave.
The group, in total, ordered five or six lattes, Lezama said, and the store lost money during this time.
After the ordeal, Isaac, the leasing manager, reached out to the bride to explain that this was not something the coffee shop offered and was very unexpected for its management.
The bride responded in an understanding manner that she wasn’t expecting that many people to show up, as her guests invited other guests to the gathering, according to Lezama.
When the bride offered a $200 donation to Mansion Society, the organization responded by asking for a larger payment.
“For the day that she took it over, not counting that it was a holiday, our regular standard rate for a Sunday for three hours is $500, and then there is a $250 food minimum and then 20% gratuity added to their food and drink total,” the co-owner detailed.
Lezama said the store responded to the bride, “Your ‘donation’ doesn’t even meet minimum consumption requirements,” and asked for a $500 payment instead.
She said the bride responded with, “That’s unreasonable.”
On social media, Mansion Society is asking the community to properly schedule private events in the future.
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