Relationships

Strangers Help Brides Marry At Starbucks After Wedding Fell Through

The couple had to call off their beach elopement at the last minute. That's when friends and strangers stepped in.
Thanks to some kind, generous people, brides Amber Plyler and Kate Mang got their happily ever after. 
Thanks to some kind, generous people, brides Amber Plyler and Kate Mang got their happily ever after. 

When one couple’s wedding plans fell through, friends and strangers banded together to make sure they got their special day anyway.

On Dec. 13, Amber Plyler and Kate Mang planned to elope on the beach at Isle of Palms, South Carolina, in front of their four kids and a handful of friends. But the weather did not cooperate: It was cold and windy with heavy rains. As a plan B, they tried to see if they could set up indoors at the hotel they were staying at, but the hotel was unable to accommodate. The couple was disappointed and unsure what to do.

One of their friends, Megan Houghtaling, had an idea: They could do the wedding at a nearby Starbucks since Plyler and Mang first met at one while working as baristas. Several of their friends who were there for the elopement were Starbucks employees, too.

The brides met as baristas at Starbucks.
The brides met as baristas at Starbucks.

“So essentially our wedding was almost fully comprised of Starbucks partners plus close friends, our photographer Kaity Hughs, and our children,” Plyler told HuffPost. “So it seemed like a perfectly fitting idea to see if a local Starbucks would allow a short ceremony.”

Friend Lori Smith (who is also Plyler’s manager at Starbucks) made some calls and got in touch with Ben Payne, the manager at the Mount Pleasant location on Coleman Boulevard.

“[Ben] said he would love to help and to give him about an hour,” Plyler said. “We were all ready to go because we had really anticipated the hotel at least letting us use an empty meeting room. But in the end, that was never in the grand plan.”

The folks at the Mount Pleasant Starbucks had to unbolt tables from the floor and move the condiment bar to make enough space for the ceremony. 
The folks at the Mount Pleasant Starbucks had to unbolt tables from the floor and move the condiment bar to make enough space for the ceremony. 

Melissa Bigner, editor of Charleston Weddings magazine, just happened to be working in that Mount Pleasant Starbucks when she overheard part of the conversation and asked how she could help.

While staffers moved furniture, cleaned the floors and took down the Christmas decor, Bigner called an event planner friend from of Ooh! Events, who brought an aisle runner and macrame wall hanging to use as a ceremony backdrop. Bigner had a Balinese umbrella in her car, which they added to spruce up the space — and as a nod to the rainy weather that day. One of the Starbucks baristas, Elfie Cassell, went home to get her cello so they’d have music for the ceremony.

Friend Jessica Richards officiated the ceremony.
Friend Jessica Richards officiated the ceremony.
The brides and their four kids. Look at those smiles! 
The brides and their four kids. Look at those smiles! 

And somehow, it all came together: The brides exchanged vows in the beautifully transformed wing of the coffee shop.

“These people had never met us and they just dove in to help salvage our wedding day,” Mang said. “They helped to make it the most magical day of our lives. It truly meant the world to us.”

The cake topper purposely reads: "I love you to the back and moon" because that's how the couple's kids say the phrase. 
The cake topper purposely reads: "I love you to the back and moon" because that's how the couple's kids say the phrase. 

In spite of the setbacks, the brides were able to have an unforgettable day because of the help they received from close friends and perfect strangers alike.

“The stars aligned perfectly,” Mang said. “Along with the help of our best friends and an amazing group of Starbucks partners — we truly did have the best day ever!”

Check out more photos from the sweet celebration below:

Best Wedding Photos of 2018