Some couples want an over-the-top wedding, while others want something more low-key like a backyard wedding. Then there are those couples who elope or obtain a marriage license and have a small celebration with family and friends afterward.
Every couple has their own idea of what they want for their wedding day, just like the couple in the following story did. But after they received backlash from the Internet on their wedding, Detroit came together to throw them another one.
Janae and LaQuint Rhodes of Detroit went back and forth on what kind of wedding they wanted to have. While discussing the idea of a big wedding, they settled on waiting until June 2019 for something bigger. But after waking up and feeling spontaneous one morning, the Rhodes decided they wanted to do it right away.
“Everything we got for that day was between him and me and my dad – and Facebook Marketplace to be honest,” Janae told Yahoo Lifestyle about their wedding. It took place on September 22, 2018, on the front lawn of their home with about 50 guests.
They prepared the whole thing in just two weeks and stayed up until 4 a.m. the night before their wedding making decorations and preparing the food themselves. When guests arrived that afternoon, they assigned jobs to anyone who volunteered. Janae and LaQuint didn’t rehearse anything and the wrong song played when they walked down the aisle.
To make matters even worse, Janae lost her voice the day of her wedding and she could barely manage to say her vows. “But it was all worth it,” Janae said, despite the unplanned events of the day. “It was happy, it was joyous, and it was memorable. It was intimate and personal.” But some on the Internet didn’t agree …
Someone driving by the wedding snapped a photo of the setup and shared it on social media writing, “What in the Detroit hood wedding is this?” The photo showed the reception chairs set up on their lawn and the post went viral, even before the celebration was over. Strangers made horrible comments criticizing their choice of wedding venue.
Janae and LaQuint didn’t even know the post went viral went since they were battling a much more serious problem. On the way downtown to take photos after reception, the couple got a phone call that LaQuint’s 6-year-old daughter, Donnae, had been in a swimming pool accident and almost drowned.
The couple rushed to the hospital and spent the night there in their wedding clothes. “It was immediate parent mode,” Janae said. Donnae remained in the hospital the night of the wedding and was reportedly on life support. Meanwhile, a local radio personality and life coach Randi Rossario saw the viral post and felt sympathetic for the newlyweds.
She posted their wedding photos on Instagram and wrote, “Earlier, a friend of mine sent me photos of people making fun of a wedding and suggested we put together a reception for her. After speaking with the bride, I learned more details that their flower girl/daughter (groom’s biological) was on life support. She’s been hospitalized since the night of their wedding.”
Rossario then decided to put her Internet radio station, Oh So Radio, and her social media reach to good use. “The life coach in me was like, ‘Let me help these people and let me see what I can do, because I know how I would feel in that situation,” Rossario told Yahoo. “It wasn’t that they needed another wedding. I thought that they deserved another wedding.”
Detroit Reception Challenge
She immediately posted what she called the #DetroitReceptionChallenge on social media, asking for listeners, followers, wedding vendors, and Detroit locals, to step in and do something for the couple. The Rhodes only wound up finding out about their unwanted fame at the same time that Rossario issued her challenge.
“We were shocked and appalled,” LaQuint said of the backlash. “Seriously? It was just unbelievable. Where do you get negativity when we were embracing love and happiness? That’s what we thought that mattered the most.” After a few days, Donnae was out of the hospital and improving and the couple had a chance to talk to Rossario.
Vendors In Detroit
Despite being traumatized by the cruelty of the internet, they decided to go along with her plan. Vendors all over Detroit stepped in to provide everything from dresses, hair, and makeup, to the venue and music for the big day. Rossario, being the coordinator of it all, became the Rhodes’ personal wedding planner.
She even raised over $1,300 for the couple on GoFundMe. “Myself, along with other metro-Detroit business owners would like to take their minds off of their troubles for just one day and give them a star-studded reception,” Rossario wrote. The vendors that donated their time and services “wanted to be a part of something good.”
“They said they’re constantly hearing negative things about Detroit, and to see something positive being done, they wanted to do their part,” said Rossario. This was the main reason why the Rhodes decided to have their wedding all over again, even though they were personally satisfied with their first one.
Second Time Around
“Detroit already has such a bad name because of different crimes or situations and all of that, so to have some light shine through the city was phenomenal to us,” Janae said. “It was definitely a chance to relive a special day from beginning to end and actually have our hair down about it. I had butterflies this time – I think we both had butterflies this time.”
For their second wedding at the El Club, more of the Rhodes’ family and friends were able to attend. Jannae said that this time around they were on “cloud infinity.” They almost didn’t realize that their other gift, was an all-expense-paid honeymoon to Jamaica, which they will take next year.
Janae shared her joy on Facebook writing, “HUGE shout-out to the epic and phenomenal Boss Queen Randi Rossario Hardy for creating the dopest ever #DetroitReceptionChallenge for us and putting together a whole ceremony and reception in less than 3 weeks. … People normally WISH things like this happened or used to them being something you’ll see on a movie or on freaking Oprah and to be witness of it all is nothing short of a blessing and feelings of nothing but PURE JOY.”
Friend For Life
Janae shared wise words saying, “A good friend of mine reminded me, [you] can’t have the flower without the dirt … How else would we appreciate the good without the bad or the light without the darkness.” She even said of Rossario, “We’ve gained a sister … Donnae was asking today, ‘When can I go visit auntie Randi?’” Rossario replied in the comments that Donnae can see her whenever she wants and said “You definitely have a sister for life.”
Planning Their Future
With their wedding behind them and Donnae on the mend, Janae and LaQuint are planning how to use this experience for their future together. They may even write a book about it. “We both have a passion for just encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting others,” Jannae told Yahoo.
Rossario hopes that others can take away a valuable lesson from this story. “Be nicer on social media. Social media is not just social media; it’s real life too, and you’re hurting someone’s feelings in real life.” We couldn’t agree more, this was well said.
Detroit Couple Mocked On Social Media For Drab Wedding Gets Redo After Radio Host Offers Help is an article from: LifeDaily