Bride-to-be: ‘Music Midtown ruined my wedding'

Emily Robertson and Aaron Weil will never forget the day their wedding was crashed by Coldplay.

The couple, set to marry at the Greystone in Piedmont Park Sept. 24, had their nuptials foiled when it was announced Wednesday that Music Midtown, a famous Atlanta music festival that ended in 2005, would return on their wedding day -- and in the same park.

Headlined by English rock band Coldplay and blues rock duo The Black Keys, Music Midtown is expected to draw thousands to Piedmont Park from noon to 11 p.m., just steps away from the couple's wedding and reception.

"This is an absolute calamity brought upon by a music festival that Atlantans thought was long gone," the couple wrote on a Facebook page they created after the announcement. "Thanks a lot Music Midtown. You ruined my wedding."

Robertson sent a formal letter to Mayor Kasim Reed and said Piedmont Park Conservancy had been "gracious and understanding" through the planning process.

"There was just no escaping it,"  Weil said. "We just went into combat mode to see what we could do about it."

They aren't alone. The couple received an outpouring of support via social media. Hundreds of ‘likes,' comments and posts came through their Facebook page, a few from other brides who got caught up in similar situations.

Robertson and Weil got engaged in December 2010 and decided on the Greystone as a location in January. The decision to bring back Music Midtown was made last fall, and promoter Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta who co-founded the event in 1994, started booking acts in April. Weil said Piedmont Park contacted him in May to tell him that Coldplay would be playing in the park. But he didn't think much of it then.

"We thought ‘OK, they'll be on the other side of the park, it won't really be an issue," he said.

"At first I thought, ‘Well, we can just listen to Coldplay in the background at our reception,'" Robertson said. "Maybe they would even come by and say hello. Who knows?"

Yvette Bowden, president and CEO of Piedmont Park Conservancy, said this isn't the first time events have clashed in the park. She said her office puts effort into making sure people are refunded or given help to find alternative locations when city event planning and personal outings go head to head for space.

"It's definitely a balancing act," she said. "We had two weddings going on when Paul McCartney played in 2009 and they had a great time. They made a conscious choice to have their wedding go on that day. My aim is to honor my clients and thank them for knowing they can trust us. Piedmont is a place where Atlanta is absolutely alive. That means we do a lot of planning and juggling."

But like most weddings, planning can be a nightmare. And if Robertson and Weil want to keep their special day intact, they have just two months to get it all under wraps.

The couple said they have no concrete plans to change the venue of their wedding. Based off figures from the conservancy's website, a day rental of the property would have cost the couple about $5,000.

If they decide to go with the wedding as planned, one thing is certain -- the two can expect an eclectic bunch of extended wedding guests.

"I've been to Music Midtown before and I know how those festivals can get," Robertson said. "I can just picture people all over the lawns. We'd probably get photo-bombed during our wedding pictures. And who knows where the Porta-Potties are going to be."