Media frenzy from Alex Murdaugh double homicide trial is disrupting weddings at event hall across the street from the courthouse, bride says
- The Alex Murdaugh murder trial is underway at a South Carolina courthouse across the street from a wedding venue.
- Three events were set to take place during the trial, and another wedding was held on Thursday.
A South Carolina bride said she fears her wedding day will be interrupted by the swarm of journalists covering what some have called the trial of the century in the state.
Last January, 28-year-old Ashlyn DeLong and 33-year-old her fiancé Josh booked a space in the Walterboro Wildlife Center for their 205-person wedding. Last week, she discovered the Colleton County Courthouse — located across the street from the venue— would be holding the highly publicized double homicide trial of former lawyer Alex Murdaugh, The Daily Beast reported.
"I did know about the courthouse being across the street but we have never had a trial like this before," DeLong told The Daily Beast. "It's been a mess trying to figure out what to do."
DeLong said she later found out the venue for her upcoming romantic day is also being used by journalists from across country as a media center while covering the high-profile trial, per The Daily Beast.
"It was one of my top choices. It was more convenient due to the weather and location in town," she told The Daily Beast.
Murdaugh is accused of brutally murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul at their South Carolina residence in June 2021. Prosecutors have also charged the 54-year-old with 99 counts of fraud.
DeLong isn't the only one who's had her big day disrupted by the media frenzy. The trial kicked off Wednesday, and its coverage overlapped with another couple's wedding at the event hall on Thursday. One reporter captured the moment the bride and groom walked into their makeshift media room.
—Avery G. Wilks (@AveryGWilks) January 26, 2023
City of Walterboro Tourism Director Scott Grooms told the The Daily Beast that the three events scheduled at the center during the trial wouldn't be impacted by the press.
Grooms further added that "nobody attending any of these events should see reporters at all." The journalists were reportedly moved to a separate part of the building with a different entrance than the event hall spaces.
According to a local photojournalist, the newlyweds gave the leftovers from their Thursday ceremony to reporters at the center.
DeLong told The Daily Beast she felt additional stress after seeing a Facebook post asking for food trucks for media and trial attendees to park outside the Colleton County Courthouse — the parking lot she expects her guests to use.
"I had been super excited and now I am pretty stressed out," DeLong said, according to The Daily Beast. "Everything has been surprisingly smooth planning-wise until this. This has been my trying moment throughout the entire process."
Grooms said the Colleton County Parks and Recreation Department should have the area clean prior to DeLong's wedding rehearsal on February 3, noting there is no court on the day of her ceremony on February 4.
"We are trying to make this as nice for her as possible under the bad situation that we are under," Grooms told The Daily Beast.
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