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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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: