On November 4 2019, a Reddit user shared the following thread to r/ChoosingBeggars, asserting they were a Facebook friend to a bride (engaged woman) who had raised $30,000 for a wedding — only to cancel it at the last minute and disclose that she planned to spend the sum on a lavish and expensive pre-wedding “honeymoon” instead:
The woman described as “Bride” in most of the story was an engaged woman who had not yet married her partner as planned. In the screenshot, “Bride” wrote:
Hi invitees to the [redacted] wedding,
After much reflection and tear filled conversation with our closest family members, we have decided to cancel our upcoming winter wedding. We will further notify this group when we are in a better place to reschedule.
We thank each and every one of you for your generous early donations to our money fund. Can you believe we have raised over $30,000??? Unbelievable!! Don’t worry, the money you donated will not be spent in vain but rather spent on a honeymoon in the coming months. After we regain financial stability and hold calm in our hearts after a honeymoon we will announce a new wedding date and re open our money fund for any further gifts. Weddings are expensive! We are blessed to have generous family members who gave us these large donations. It will help to offset honeymoon costs and to scale to an even better future wedding. We really couldn’t have made it this far without you!
Please stay tuned! In the meantime, I’ll be updating our gift fund registry on Amazon if anyone would like to gift us something to take on a honeymoon. If you have any ideas on where we can go please PM me or Edward!
As mentioned, we will keep you updated on when we are re opening our money fund and have a new wedding date in the works. Don’t be too sad, the new wedding is gonna be a HIT.
Commenters in the screenshots were angry not only at how she had repurposed money raised for a wedding, but also because as intended guests, they had made travel arrangements and arranged to use vacation or personal days at work, and could not easily undo the arrangements.
Below are the eleven total screenshots circulating as a purported part of the ensuing comments on Pam’s “money fund” update:
New comments unfolding. Absolute chaos in the comment section: think huge family drama aired publicly. It’s going to take a while to censor everything, so new update post coming tomorrow.
In another comment, they added:
Oh it’s getting worse. It’s basically family drama gold. I’ll have an updated post tomorrow, but it’s gonna be like 5 pages of comments
It is unclear if the original poster planned to post further updates; the thread seems to be one of the most popular “bridezilla” stories on Reddit in 2019.
However, we are so far unable to find out whether the story of “Bride” absconding with a $30,000 “money fund” after deciding to repurpose it for a honeymoon is true or an elaborate hoax. It is possible the user concocted it for karma, but — given the internet — it is also possible they stumbled on “drama gold” with a Facebook friend’s wedding. To our knowledge, neither the betrothed couple (Pam and Edward) nor any wedding attendees have yet spoken up about the viral controversy.
Update, November 6 2019, 1:45 PM: After the r/choosingbeggars post above went viral, a since-deleted website (capturedit.club) surfaced, with a blog post about the Reddit content and no additional posts.
As of 1:17 PM on November 6 2019, original poster u/joyeuxanniversaire1 had deleted original their post, although the thread remained. As far as we know, no other real-life friends of “Pam” or “Edward” stepped forward to validate they saw the post or whether they had been invited to the December 1 2019 wedding.
On November 5 2019 at around 5PM, a separate post to r/choosingbeggars appeared (also since deleted), alleging that the claims made in the first were falsified. In that removed post (archived here), a separate poster shared their suspicions about the “Bride steals $30,00 of wedding donations and then asks for more” post:
Before the post was removed, that second person linked to an archived version of the capturedit.club post, and listed their own objections with the original viral post, explaining:
- Both the “original” Facebook screenshots as well as all additional “comments” displayed not one “like” or other reaction, despite what was supposed to be a significant amount of engagement on the post by the purported bride’s friends, family members, bridesmaids, and so on;
- Capturedit.club featured one post, just the r/choosingbeggars post above (which the user believed was “viral marketing” using Reddit to inflate the site’s ranking and traffic);
- That site’s “watermark and OP’s name redactions” featured the same font (before capturedit.club was taken down);
- The domain capturedit.club was purportedly purchased and created on the same day the r/choosingbeggars post went viral;
- The poster, u/joyeuxanniversaire1, made several previous, since-deleted post to the r/choosingbeggars subreddit, possibly in attempts to “strike gold” with a viral but fabricated Reddit post
BuzzFeed covered the initial viral post at 8:07PM EST and cited the 5PM post calling the viral post “false.” That page’s URL indicated the outlet initially suggested the posts were a possible stunt, based on Reddit users’ digging into the appearance of capturedit.club and their above-mentioned findings.
BuzzFeed also pointed out that the since-deleted capturedit.club post included one particularly notable claim — that the original poster was “bombarded” with requests for more information:
Immediately after the post’s popularity, the Redditor was bombarded with notifications, mostly from people dying to get an update, like this guy. We feel you, Mr. Soup-yCup!
In that instance, the message was sent privately and was accessible only to u/joyeuxanniversaire1. Although it is possible that they shared screenshots of their inbox messages with a third party, that explanation seemed far less likely after the user deleted their viral post.
In an update posted at 9:48AM on November 6 2019, BuzzFeed noted that its queries to capturedit.club went unanswered, and that an unusual update to that site appeared before it disappeared entirely:
BuzzFeed News reached out for comment and clarification to the CapturedIt website’s submissions email Tuesday morning. Soon after the request was sent, the CapturedIt website was drastically updated with a sleeker look, revamped submissions page, and a new blog post soliciting “groomzilla” stories….
….Following the publication of this story, the Reddit account that made the original post was deleted and everything on the Captured It website was taken down — except the homepage, which now features a grinning emoji and the caption, “BEN HOBBS PRANKSTERS.”
Ben Hobbs is not the name of the individual BuzzFeed News identified as the person running capturedit.club.
To recap, u/joyeuxanniversaire1, a Redditor with a sparse comment and posting history, shared a purported November 4 2019 post titled “Bride steals $30,000 of wedding donations and then asks for more” to r/choosingbeggars. Additional screenshots were shared to a newly-created site, capturedit.club, but not to Reddit by that poster. Capturedit.club, which has since been scrubbed of its content (consisting only of a post about the original r/choosingbeggars thread), updated its post with private messages accessible only to u/joyeuxanniversaire1.
After Redditors did some digging, BuzzFeed published a post that included allegations the story was fabricated; subsequently, both the blog post and the original r/choosingbeggars post were deleted. Although no one came clean directly, no one involved in the purported wedding ever validated the story either — despite its virality.
As such, we have changed our rating from Unknown to Not True.
Update, November 6 2019, 1:45 PM: Changed rating from “unknown” to “not true,” added significant update about Reddit users uncovering hoax aspects, included link to BuzzFeed, added sources. Original is archived here. -KL