Couple Forced To Move Fall Wedding To Make Way For Oktoberfest

Posted at 5:22 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 20:44:43-04

A couple booked their wedding at Nashville's Bicentennial Mall, but after almost a year of planning they were forced to move the date because of Nashville's Oktoberfest.

When Ariel and Ben met through mutual friends, you could say it was love at first sight. Soon after meeting, they were married at the courthouse. The Hortmans are planning a wedding for their entire family and picked the perfect place to do it, Bicentennial Mall State Park. 

"We came here when we first started dating to ride our bikes together, we love the view out here," Ariel said. 

With help from their wedding planner, their wedding day began to take shape, a fall evening surrounded by Bicentennial Mall's natural beauty.

"We love the park, and that view, that view at night especially is stunning," explained Ariel. 

They booked the park for October 6 and 7, a week before one of Nashville's biggest and beloved festivals, Oktoberfest.

Wedding planning has been time since July, with about 95 percent of the vendors booked, that was until this week when Ariel got a call from the folks with Oktoberfest.

"They told us that they're booking our weekend, they knew there was a wedding out here, the park had told them please try to figure out other arrangements and they didn't do so," said Ariel. 

They were not told to leave since they did book the park but they were informed about who'd be joining them, around 150,000 un-invited guests and lots of beer.

"This event was going on no matter what. It was business not emotion. That's exactly what they told us," said Ariel. 

The Hortman's did make the decision to change their wedding date, losing nearly $5,000 and half their vendors in the process.

After learning what happened, Bicentennial Mall has allowed the Hortmans to host their event in the park free of charge the weekend after Ocktoberfest. However, they're still looking for willing vendors.

Officials with Oktoberfest told NewsChannel 5 it was the festival's success that forced them to move the dates and the location. They expect a record breaking 300,000 people to attend this year's festival, and the move was made to to accommodate the larger crowd. It will be held about three blocks from where it was, adjacent to Germantown and Bicentennial Mall.

They said it has become the second largest Oktoberfest in the country. It was set for Thurs., Oct. 5 - Sun. Oct. 8.

While Oktoberfest did not reserve Bicentennial Mall they do expect a large overflow there. 

Officials said they could not hold the festival during the second weekend of October because of Tennessee State University's Homecoming.