Local News

Couple receives lavish wedding for free

Posted March 10, 2009

— A local engaged couple received a dream wedding Tuesday night at The Sutherland Estate and Gardens during a meeting of the Triangle, N.C. Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives.

Joshua McMinis, 25, and Christina Stein, 23, were selected two weeks ago for the estimated $50,000 wedding. Vendors donated transportation, jewelry, entertainment, flowers, food and attire.

Couple receives lavish wedding for free Triangle group sponsors free wedding

The couple has three small children – 2, 4 and 6 years old. They met eight years ago and have been through many hardships.

“They have been through some really difficult times,” said Jennifer Jones, of The Sutherlands, who helped organize the event.

With no financial way to pull off a big wedding, the couple planned to get married by a Justice of the Peace in late March.

The local NACE changed those plans by offering the couple a free wedding. The group had decided that since this month’s meeting focused on wedding trends, it would be great to have an actual couple get married at it.

“The only thing we didn’t have was a bride and groom,” Jones said.


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  • askinner Mar 12, 2009

    Thank you BMullins.... I mean whats the big deal if a business wants to donate THEIR time and THEIR products.... $50,000 is not what anyone paid out of pocket, and why not give the wedding away, they have bridal shows all the time and people show off their products and no one gets anything out of, why not just have a bride and groom so everything was not just a total waste! It's not that big of a deal...

  • bmullins Mar 11, 2009

    The event last night was the NACE monthly meeting. We were holding it at that location anyway so let's understand that first of all. The Triangle NACE chapter donates proceeds from these events to the Interfaith Food Shuttle. Last year, we donated $15,000 to the IFS which they use to feed the needy.
    The event last night had approximately 100 people in attendance. The costs associated with the wedding/meeting were mostly deferred due to the meetings but that makes it no less special to the happy couple. I can't tell you all the specifics of who paid for what because I honestly don't know (and frankly don't care). What I do know is a very large portion of the community donated their time, efforts, talent and even some cash to make this happen for the couple. For people to come back and say they weren't worth it is, quite possibly, the rudest, most insensitive and selfish comments I've ever seen on this board.
    This was the first time we have done this and, hopefully, wont be the las

  • lyteoflife Mar 11, 2009

    bmullins: since you were there last night...with this 50k worth of stuff...please, tell everyone how many people were allowed to attend this 'lavish event'. Really, tell the readers...funny how that is being left out.
    I went to a friends catholic wedding in Jersey with a reception of a 5 coarse meal, ice sculptures, a DJ and a band...they paid 50k and had almost 200 people there....
    I am not jealous at all. If anyone knew the two who were married, you would totally understand. Yes, everyone deserves a chance....wow, but how many times do you have to give them chances. I agree with other posters as far as having several weddings...this way...to be honest with you, the companies involved would have had more advertisment (in a good way). I hope they make it, God bless them, but I doubt they will.

  • bmullins Mar 11, 2009

    Well now.. this is an interesting response. As a member of NACE, a professional photographer AND I was in attendance at the wedding, let me clear a few things up.

    The retail value of the wedding was $50,000. However, most everyone donated their time and/or materials to the couple. Some things were paid for, others were donated. Yes, it was $50,000 total worth of stuff but that's not real money that was given. It is an accumulation of costs associated with all the services provided (photographers, DJ, catering, reception hall, officiants, rentals, dresses, tuxes, etc).

    What's the biggest surprise to me is how many negative people are posting about this. It really seems to me that people are jealous moreso then anything. As a member of NACE who actually donated my time last night, it shows to me that no good deed goes unpunished. If we all spent a little more time seeing what we could do to help others, rather then ourselves, this world would be a better place.

  • time4real Mar 11, 2009

    i didn't call YOU a cheap bride, but it sounds like the shoe does fit! Put it into an IRA, then you can wonder where it went when the market hits ZERO!

  • angora2 Mar 11, 2009

    "is such a waste...I agree with other post.....selecting 5 brides would have been more appropriate...."

    For one guy? Fie! Fie! Ha!

  • happy Mar 11, 2009

    No, you called me a cheap bride and I take offense to that. Besides, in this economy, does it really make sense to drop that kind of money on an event? I'd rather put it into an IRA.

  • time4real Mar 11, 2009

    if the shoe doesn't fit, don't put it on then. i never said a thing about you being "just as legal"

  • happy Mar 11, 2009

    time4real, please step off your soapbox. We are fortunate enough to have a very good friend who is a professional photographer, who used his services as his wedding gift to us. Don't judge. I'm not bashing those that have $50K weddings. I just made it a point to say that in the eyes of the law and land, the dollar amount spent on a marriage ceremony and festivities, makes no difference in how "much" one is married. I'm just as legal as someone who spends a penny more or a penny less.

  • time4real Mar 11, 2009

    you cheap brides probably have great memories to enjoy for the rest of your lives don't you! i have a friend who takes pictures of weddings for a living and it's those cheap brides that causes her hair to fall out. uncle Sammy takes great shots at those apt. complexes with his disposable camera I'm sure. the wedding wasn't worth 50K, that's just the # they want you to hear. All those that "donated" their time used their full price for doing so, so they could crank up the final price tag to impress everyone. at least they will have nice pictures, not like that probably mattered to them, because it sounds like they are like many other cheapO's out there! could care less!!