PHILADELPHIA, PA (KTRK) -- You've heard of wedding crashers. Joey DiJulio is a bachelor party crasher, of sorts.
For weeks, the suburban Seattle man found himself getting emails from people he didn't know about a bachelor party in Philadelphia and a groom he didn't know. It turns out he had been mistaken for a friend of the groom with a similar last name.
"I had no idea what any of these places are," said DiJulio, 31, who's never been to the Northeast. "After Googling them, everything was pointing to Philadelphia."
It turns out DiJulio, an information technology worker and a married father of one in Burien, Washington, had been mistaken for a friend of the groom with a similar last name. He sat as a "fly on the wall" for much of the email chain until Monday, when he broke the news after the groom's brother wanted a headcount of people attending the party.
So, I have no idea who any of you guys are, but I have been enjoying being a fly on the wall hearing about the plans for this bachelor party over the last few months.
I'm assuming my E-Mail address was added to the list by mistake (perhaps a typo of someone else?).
I live out in Seattle, WA and although for a moment I thought it might be funny to just show up and be that guy nobody knows but everyone wonders "who is that guy?", buying a plane ticket for a cross-country flight just to crash a bachelor's party might be a bit over the top (although it would be epic!).
Nonetheless, I do hope you guys have a great time and I'd like to take a moment to wish the best of luck in life to the groom!
But it didn't end there. Groom Jeff Minetti, 34, figured: Why not still invite him? The Philadelphia real estate agent asked him to attend both the bachelor party March 28 and his wedding May 2 in New Jersey.
"This is the city of brotherly love," Minetti went on to say. "Any and all are welcome."
"I thought, they say in life you regret the things you don't do, not the things you do," DiJulio told KCPQ Seattle. "All I was hearing from Jeff's friends and my own friends was 'You need to go.'"
So DiJulio went online to tell his story and quickly raised money to cover his travel expenses. He set up a GoFundMe page titled "Bachelor Party 4 Guy I've Never Met" and raised the $1,740 he needed in less than 24 hours.
Photo courtesy Joey Minetti
He's since raised the goal to $10,000 to help cover Minetti's honeymoon costs to Italy. Eighty donors have contributed over two days.
"I want to turn this fun story into something that's meaningful for them," Joey told KCPQ Seattle.
The groom promises the bachelor party will be a low-key affair at some bars, maybe a casino, to watch March Madness unfold. And while he won't actually get to be the best man - that's reserved for Minetti's 11-year-old cousin - DiJulio has his plane ticket ready to go for next weekend to see a city he's never been to and hang out with a group of guys he's never met.
"I got about 17 beers coming my way," he said. "After I told the email group I was coming, everyone was pretty excited."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.