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Wedding Ceremony “Takes Over” Independent Cafe, Owners Say Fear Of Social Media Backlash Stopped Them From Intervening

The Publica Team

A viral post on social media is sparking debate and discussion after a small coffee shop in Indianapolis revealed a large group of people had “taken control” of their venue for an unbooked, unannounced wedding.

The Mansion Society is a small, independent coffee shop operated in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to their website, the cafe, which is located at the historic Central State Hospital in the Hawthorne neighborhood, is owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo with a passion for serving their community.

But what is usually a quiet local favorite for snacks and drinks has now garnered international attention after revealing they had been the victims of a rogue wedding. In an Instagram post made on January 1, the coffee shop details their bizarre ordeal.

“While our staff was expecting a normal Sunday, we noticed a downpour of patrons walking in,” the post reads. “Soon enough, there was a full bridal and groomsmen party, a wedding officiant, wedding photographers, and patrons were leaving personal items including wedding gifts, coats, purposes, all throughout the coffee shop as they took over.”

The post goes on to state that a wedding ceremony featuring 20-30 people suddenly kicked off, preventing paying customers from entering the cafe. But despite taking over the entire business, including the parking lot, the Mansion Society clarifies that they hadn’t been booked for the event.

“They were asking us to take coats, purses, and watch personal items as if they had rented us out for a private event.”

After the initial post gathered hundreds of comments and thousands of ‘likes,’ the Mansion Society made a separate post two days later, attempting to answer some questions many users had about what had happened.

The independent cafe explained that when the first trickling of wedding party guests came in, they had assumed they were typical customers preparing to order. But when the bride entered and the ceremony began, the Mansion Society staff were left in utter shock and felt unable to stop the event from continuing.

The post states that the Mansion Society had also been scared of stopping the wedding party due to fears of being cancelled on social media.

“The social media backlash could have been cancel worthy if spun the right way,” the post reads, including a short snippet of the wedding ceremony taking place, and screenshots of an email the cafe owners had sent to the bridal party after managing to get in touch.

The newlywed couple in the situation reportedly offered the cafe a “donation” of $200 to compensate them for the use of the space, which is over $300 less than the event booking fee the Mansion Society typically charges. The cafe rejected the offer, noting that the $200 was not only less than the base fee, but also didn’t include the minimum consumption requirement or any fees associated with preventing paying customers from accessing the business.

Despite taking over the coffee shop for approximately 90 minutes, the wedding party guests only ordered a total of 6 lattes and four croissants while leaving no tips for the workers who were also attending to their personal items.

Screenshots of the Mansion Society’s posts have begun circulating on X and prompting widespread discussion, with some users speculating that race was a factor in the small business being too afraid to stop the impromptu event.

“Nobody wants to step on the electrified third rail, and mention that the small restaurant could not risk being called racist? They were afraid to stand up for themselves because the bride would have accused the small restaurant of being racist, does that seem fair?” one X user asked.

Others slammed the wedding party for their lack of respect towards the business.

“This is where we are in our world today. Entitled people who think they are owed something. It’s appalling and tragic,” another user wrote.

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