OK, so now that the AJC has finally posted their article on the subject, I'm going to throw my two cents in on this subject that probably most Atlantans are pretty familiar with by now-- "Music Midtown Ruined My Wedding" and the good folks behind it.
The bride is a high school friend of mine, and I AM a wedding planner, so clearly I'm going to be biased BUT I feel like Emily and Aaron have a legitimate complaint here. For those of you who don't live in Atlanta, here are the players:
Music Midtown: A staple of high school social life when I was a teenager, Music Midtown is an Atlanta classic. Back in the day, it was three stages and more bands than you could count-- thanks to MM, I've seen Bonnie Raitt closer than I ever thought I would, Bob Dylan, The Offspring, and countless other fantastic musical acts. It was also raucous, filled with drunk people, and everything else a music festival should be. About six years ago, they shut down due to low ticket sales but we all always kinda hoped it would come back. We found out last week that MM WOULD be making a comeback this fall, but on a smaller scale-- only 55k people instead of a billion.
The Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011.
Piedmont Park: A popular wedding venue destination for Atlanta couples-- specifically The Greystone (pictured below, courtesy of piedmont.org) and Park Tavern.
Emily and Aaron: The engaged couple-- totally excited about getting married, found their dream location, and were only warned that Coldplay "might" be playing in Piedmont that night, but no hints of a full fledged music festival on site.
Now, the common argument against E&A is that Piedmont is a public park (which it is) and they need to suck it up and not be snobby about it. MY opinion is that the venue, being a part of the Piedmont Park Conservancy and therefore having access to the calendar, had the onus on them to tell E&A and anyone else who asked that there was the potential for a major event that evening. A Coldplay concert? OK, all you have to worry about is some hipster kids wandering around, maybe a few drunk soccer moms getting lost on their way back to MARTA-- a full fledged music festival entails more than one stage, major vendors, port-a-potties, and lots and lots of drunk people.
How do I know this? I used to go to the old MM and we all know music festivals aren't the most family-friendly places.
The AJC didn't do a great job of covering the costs of the wedding, which I think is a key point here, and they failed to really emphasize the fact that they are having to advocate for themselves here. There's not an agency out there that will go to bat for couples getting married, which is interesting considering the amount of money people spend on weddings.
What remains to be seen is whether or not E&A will have to/be able to change venues on such short notice. They have caterers and music booked, save the dates and invitations sent and RSVPs coming in. With two months left, there would be an unexpected cost of mailing out (since not everyone's grandmother uses eVite!) venue change notifications and potentially of putting down new deposits, and even changing caterers. I think that Greystone needs to let them out of their contract penalty free, and negotiate with their preferred vendors to refund all, if not part, of the deposits put down on catering.
Obviously, E&A aren't holding MM the event responsible for this, but the fact that it was kept from them until a nearly prohibitive last minute is unacceptable and unprofessional. I think it's their right to vent however they need to and in whatever fashion gets them the wedding they have not only dreamed of, but paid for.