I remember on New Year’s Eve sitting with my now Fiance and my parents talking about the fresh start the New Year brings. We didn’t have any resolutions so to speak but we did have goals. Brent and I both agreed that we wanted to get the ball rolling on making that whole marriage thing more than just talk. The news elated my parents. And it elated me too. All my life I dreamed of the moment I realized I was going to marry someone. I knew it was Brent from the moment we started dating but saying it out loud was a powerful affirmation.
As soon as the new year began I started doing some research. I wanted to elope. He wanted an actual wedding. With talks of Vegas or Destination Weddings in the Caribbean, I started to go in every direction with my search. One day I searched destination weddings. The next Bed and Breakfast weddings in Vermont and Connecticut. My groom to be suggested we look at some New York weddings too. With a tiny budget in mind, I did some looking around. I crunched numbers after getting quotes from highly rated venues.
The one thing I wanted was a stress free wedding. When I found ReBar, I fell in love. The exposed brick, wrought iron fences, eclectic tastes and tons of local art and upcycled décor sold me. I found tons of GORGEOUS wedding photos from reputable photographers and when they replied to my email asking me to come in and see the space, I knew the way I knew when I fell in love with Brent.
I was going to be married here!
The food was incredible. The vibe was so relaxed. Everything about it was so different. And after tasting the food, seeing the space and even meeting the staff, we decided this was the place. We returned two weeks later to sign our contract securing our date for February 2015 and left a 50% deposit.
Brent and I proceeded to put our monies aside so that when 2015 comes, we could put the final balance down in cash. We were celebrating our fantastic achievement. Our wedding venue was throwing it all in. Open Bar, DJ, Floral arrangements, Appetizers, buffet dinner and even cupcakes. Essentially, all we had to do was show up! We told few people about it until two weeks ago when we were officially engaged.
We told everyone! ReBar! We are getting married at ReBar!
We even set up a few friends with meetings with the event coordinator to have their own ReBar wedding!
Last Friday, on May 9th, I was out celebrating my engagement with two of my closest friends. I received a text from another friend who knew I was getting Married at ReBar.
“Dude, have you heard from ReBar recently? Big article in Gothamist and it’s not good news…”
What happened next sent everything into disarray.
I thought ReBar got a bad review or something… but this was far far worse.
(courtesy of Ben Yakas via Gothamist)
I immediately called Brent. Then my mother. And the story was still fresh so we all thought ReBar just went bankrupt. I tried to shake it off. But the idea of starting over with my wedding planning was nauseating. The thought of losing the 50% deposit I had just given them 2 months ago made me sick.
I tried to be optimistic and after so many phone calls with my photographer and a few recently married friends, I found out more bad news.
And aside from the shit storm of so many couples giving ReBar THOUSANDS of dollars in cash for weddings happening this month, all the way through 2016, there are some really hardworking people- former rebar employees- who are now jobless. Employees who love their clients so much have been working tirelessly to help all of us displaced by reBar to find new places to get married! h
The community of local businesses have been amazing. The support from other couples screwed over by Jason Stevens has been a tremendous help.
I am spending the first few weeks of my engagement, panicking over finding a venue we can afford now that our already small budget has been slashed. I considered changing the date but with my photographer already paid for and his business being in the wedding industry, there is a good chance I can lose him- and he’s been amazing during this tough time!
If anyone here is reading this and looking to get married, please take away from this experience knowing the importance of INSURANCE! A very small number of brides in this big disaster purchased wedding insurance and will get back every cent they ever gave this douche-nozzle.
I am spending a lot of time researching and visiting venues and praying by some miracle I get the deposit back.
Thank you all so much for reading and for your support. I hope to have good news soon! And insurance on whatever route Brent and I decide to go!