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Runaway bride may forgo $250 ice bucket
Wilbanks' 600-guest wedding estimated at $100,000; registry includes $230 platter.
May 2, 2005: 5:32 PM EDT
By David Ellis, CNN/Money staff writer
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - After a three-day flight that included faking her own kidnapping, runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks now has to face several hundred jilted guests, many of whom had already bought gifts, according to several gift registries.

Wilbanks, 32 was scheduled to celebrate her nuptials with fiancee John Mason, 32, on Saturday, April 30. With 600 guests, 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen, a reception at the ritzy Atlanta Athletic Club and a bridal registry that included a $250 Waterford ice bucket, some experts figure the wedding tab would have run into the six figures.

"Typically speaking, we're probably talking about around $100,000 for everything," said Kyle Brown, the membership director of the Wedding and Bridal Association of America.

As for the spoils of ceremony, Wilbanks and Mason were registered at retailers Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Macy's and Target.

According to her bridal registry at Macy's.com, the couple could have expected to receive a 16-inch Lenox "Solitaire" Oval Platter, which normally sells for $237 but is on sale for $189.99; the Kate Spade "Union Street" line 5-piece place setting ($55), and the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Qt. Stand Mixer (on sale for $249.99).

The unpurchased items on the registry include the All-Clad Stainless steel lasagna pan ($99.98) and Cuisinart Extra Large Electric Skillet ($130).

A spokesperson from Macy's was unable to comment on individuals within their bridal registry, although the company will allow returns of most registry merchandise for up to one year along with a receipt.

According to the registry at Target.com, Wilbanks and Mason could have expected Pyrex mixing bowls (set of 3) valued at $9.99. Still not purchased for them at the site is the Panasonic cordless electric steam iron, which goes for $59.99.

Wilbanks returned to Georgia late Saturday evening after being the center of a nationwide missing person search and after her family offered a $100,000 reward for details about her disappearance. A statement released by the Wilbanks family indicated that the wedding would still happen.

"She has spoken to her fiance. He cannot wait to see her. She says the wedding is not called off, just postponed," it read.

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Money magazine: The rising cost of saying 'I do'  Top of page

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