A Labor Day weekend wedding ceremony between a Silicon Valley bigwig and a former Miss Ireland has residents of a rural Utah town up in arms, after the area was left trashed, and the couple allegedly misrepresented their event when applying for a permit.
The Labor Day weekend wedding of Andreessen Horowitz partner Andrew Chen and one-time Miss Ireland 2010 Emma Waldron seemed a lovely affair at the base of Castleton Tower, a magnificent Utah rock formation. According to a now-deleted tweet published in Ireland’s Sunday World, the happy groom Chen tweeted, “Big news! @EmmaBWaldron and I are married 😍 We did it in Moab UT (next to castleton tower) next to the red rocks and with our immediate family. The ceremony had us giving some longish vows, we had a beautiful dinner (vid below), then some dancing!”
Andrew Chen (Partner, Andreessen Horowitz + Twitter influencer) and Emma Waldron (former Miss Ireland) lied to illegally obtain a permit to get married on protected land, trashed the place, destroyed vegetation, and suffered 0 consequences.
Deleted video + evidence below: pic.twitter.com/SufkAZWWqr
— Christina Qi (@christinaqi) November 2, 2023
Wait, why is the tweet now deleted? Well, it may have something to do with the Moab Times-Independent’s report a few weeks later that the site was left trashed. The aftermath was observed by Castle Valley town councilor Pamela Gibson, whose post-ceremony photos are seen throughout this post. And the Times-Independent describes the scene left behind as “littered with tables, chairs, catering equipment, trash and food scraps, much of it pushed off the road into vegetation. Glass candles, some of which had shattered, lined the road alongside tire tracks that had veered into delicate cryptobiotic soil. Trash cans lay on their sides.”
SFGate just tracked Gibson down for an interview, and while the event was eventually cleaned up after, she says she’s still finding broken glass from the affair. “It was effectively four days where the public could not enjoy what it should be able to enjoy because of these people that have no qualms about misrepresenting something just so they can have their pretty little wedding.”
And there are allegations the couple misrepresented the scale of the event they’d be having. Per the Times-Independent, their application to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that oversees the park area said there would be 12 guests, no amplified sound, no third-party businesses providing services, and the only structure being used would be a “small shade tent.”
Though it sure seems other structures were used. Plus, according to the Times-Independent, the event was professionally catered, used a professional florist, and had a 24-foot cabana plus 150 feet worth of glass candles marking the path to the event.
For their part, the BLM simply said in an email to Gibson that they would be following up with the couple “in partnership with BLM Law Enforcement.”
Images via Pamela Gibson