Florida couple invites wedding guests to ‘dream home’ that isn’t theirs

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Letters to the Editor — March 21, 2021

A Florida couple hoped to have their dream wedding on the grounds of a magnificent, multimillion-dollar mansion that boasts a tennis court, gazebo and a pool with a waterfall.

The only problem was, they never told the home’s owner about their plans.

Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones had invited their whole family to the nuptials at their “dream home and estate,” which turned out to be a palatial estate they don’t own and reportedly didn’t rent in the upscale Florida suburb of Southwest Ranches, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

The 16,300-square-foot mansion, which is on the market for $5.6 million, is no wedding factory. It boasts a bowling alley, 15 bathrooms, a home theater and 800-square-foot bar.

In their online wedding invitation, Wilson and Jones referred to themselves as “the Royal couple” and promised a reception that featured a “red carpet cocktail hour” on Saturday, followed by brunch on Sunday.

But when Wilson showed up to set up Saturday morning to set up, he shocked the homeowner, who claims he never gave them permission to hold their nuptials there.

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

“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.”

When officers arrived, they instructed Wilson to leave and he complied, the outlet reported.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Wilson told the paper of the episode.

Finkel, whose late father was an early IHOP restaurant franchisee, has been trying to sell the palatial estate for just over $5 million.

Keith Poliakoff, attorney for the Southwest Ranches suburb, said Wilson previously toured the estate while posing as a potential buyer.

“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?”

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