Wedding Guru David Tutera Sued for $200K

wedding planning

David Tutera

Wedding planner David Tutera, current host of the TV show My Fair Wedding on WeTV, is apparently being sued for $200,000 by a very angry couple.  Couple Melissa Chin and Steve Choi got married in Singapore and agreed to pay David $200,000 to appear at their wedding and make their day at the super extravagant Shangri-La Hotel as memorable as possible.

The couple not only agreed to pay him $200K to appear,  but also gave David $100,000 as a deposit, four round trip tickets from New York to Paris, paid for 6 nights at the Shangri-La, and even pledged to commission an orchid in Singapore and name it after him.

Tutera is a party and wedding planner whose clients have included Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and many more.  Tutera tried to reach the bride regarding the final payment deadlines and wasn’t able to contact the bride and decided to contact the father of the bride.  He was then instructed by the father not to come.  Representatives say that the father scoffed at the skyrocketing price of the affair and told Tutera not to bother getting on the plane because there was no more money to pay for the wedding.  So Tutera did as he was instructed.

Things got even uglier when Tutera reportedly began “sabotaging” their wedding and not only failed to appear, but also instructed sub-contractors in Singapore not to show up either.   See, the way this works is that you pay Tutera and then Tutera pays the subcontractors.  But if you don’t pay Tutera, then he can’t pay the subcontractors and therefore it’s his obligation to contact the subcontractors and tell them not to come because he won’t be able to pay them.  Isn’t that funny how that works?

Any-who, before the fiasco, Tutera had told the couple “This is your wedding, not mine, and I promise to make it about you and Steve – that is very important to me.”  Tutera was to provide the bride’s bouquet, the dance floor, the decor of the floor, decorate the VIP table, provide linens, and a white roll out carpet for their arrival.  None of which happened.

Regardless, the suit was filed in Manhattan and is seeking damages for the couple’s “severe emotional distress,” because of his “blatant and malicious actions”. It also claims that they had to go through their wedding trying to figure out what to do about dance floors, bouquets, and make a host of last minute arrangements. Wedding photos show the couple with bouquet, dance floor and insanely huge, extravagant table centerpieces.

While I’m not clear as to what Tutera commands for an appearance, if you had an all expense paid trip for 6 days to Singapore and were paid $100,000, would you not go?  Even if it was $100K short of what was discussed? Trust me. This is at least $100K worth of bad press.

As for the couple, what exactly were you thinking? 90% of people have no idea who David Tutera even is and you were planning on paying him almost a quarter of a million dollars, paying expenses for his entire visit and commissioning to have an orhcid named after him?

Assuming that all of the details are accurate, whose side are you on?

Vince Vaughn To Get Married

Say it ain’t so.  One thing us married guys have had is the ability to live vicariously through Vince Vaughn.  He’s a man’s man.  A hot dog munching, beer drinking, football watchin’ man’s man.  We’ve watched as he dated women that have haunted our psyche and smiled knowing that he was part of our secret team.  Apparently, no more.

vince-vaughn-kyla-weberVince Vaughn is planning on getting married to a Canadian real estate agent named Kyla Weber.  He proposed on Valentines Day, so he kept it under wraps pretty well.  Vaughn joked that she’s using him for a green card. But when did all of this happen?  Wasn’t he just dating Jennifer not even a year ago?

But it does beg to question about what happened between him and Jennifer Aniston. Some say that they only hooked up to push the movie they were in together and that it was all a set up.  But this one is obviously real, although in every interview, it moves to the topic of his new movie Couples Retreat and never continues to talk about the relationship between him and Kyla. Another setup?

Needless to say that we can’t seem to find any info on when the wedding is planned, or any details at all for that matter. She’s very pretty and unfettered by Hollywood (for now) and they like shopping.  Oh well, at least we still have  George Clooney whose acting chops are actually pretty brilliant (O Brother Where Art Thou), good looking guy, dates beautiful women that wouldn’t grant guys like us a second glance.  So, ok, we’ll live through Clooney now.  Oh yeah, there’s also Matthew McConaughey, but his acting is painful to watch.  Big box office draw though.  Nah, we’d rather have George as our wingman.

God bless you George Clooney.

9 Major Wedding Scams

mad-brideWeddings should be a big day, but people fall prey to some of these very popular wedding scams.  Here are the ones that are the most popular scams and that are infuriating brides all over the world.

1.) Hear What I Say, Not What I Play

The wedding band switcheroo is unfortunately very common.  A band will hire studio musicians to record a quick demo or get a demo from another band.  You listen, you like them, you hire them.  And then the next thing you know, the band that plays at your wedding reception sounds just awful and not what you bought into.  Be sure where wedding bands are concerned that you get not only references, but if possible, an opportunity to see them play live at a local venue where you can go check them out for yourself and not just rely on studio magic.

2.) Bridal Registry Fiasco

registry-scan-gunIt seems easy. Grab a price gun, zap what you want and walk away.  The store documents what you scanned, tells your wedding guests and they buy it and as they buy it, it gets marked off the list as purchased.  Seems easy enough.  But in some cases, the store will quote the bride one price and then charge their guests and family something else.  This is a very common trick that bridal registries and stores will scam your guests with because there typically isn’t anyone watching them or keeping track of what prices they quoted.  Ask the store for a written policy, go to well known stores like Target or Outlet centers, or just ask for gift certificates and do it yourself.

3.) Something Used

Some bridal shops have decided that selling used dresses is a good idea.  While some brides nowadays are actually looking for used wedding dresses to save money, these shops are selling used dresses at a new dress cost and claiming that they are new.    While some dead giveaways are dirty trains, lipstick, hair, etc, the best way to avoid this scam is the same for most.  Get it in writing as to who the designer is, the model of the dress, size of the dress and especially what alterations are guaranteed and included.  When you pick up your dress, cross check it.

4.) Chauffeured Stretch Limo Lie

ghetto-caddyThe scam is really surprisingly prevalent in the tons of various limo agencies that are out there.  They use limo photos of vehicles that they don’t even own.  You request a stretch limo and you get a Black Cadillac or worse that they don’t show.  The fix?  Make sure that the contract specifically says what you’re getting.  If you want a 20 seat Hummer limo, make sure that it says “20 seat Hummer limo” and not just “large limo”.    Make sure the contract also reflects the date the service is to be provided, the time frame you’ll be using the service, arrival time, address of both the church and the bride, the reception and anything else that you can think of.   As for the vehicle switch, physically go and inspect the vehicle on a weekday around lunch time when the vehicle will actually be there and inspect it.  Is it nasty and smelly? Does it have torn and stained seats?   The most important thing is to verify that it’s even there at all.  If there’s a specific one you want, that would also be a good time to snag that license plate number.  As for the no-show limo, check their references and your local Better Business Bureau for any lodged complaints.

5.) Wedding Planner Flim Flam

This one is specifically for wedding vendors to watch out for.  Here’s an example of how this works with someone like a wedding planner.  A supposed bride will call from abroad (Europe, France, etc.) and call a legitimate wedding planner to set up their wedding in the states.  She sends a cashiers check to pay for the services, but it’s for $3000 more than what was agreed on.  The check clears the bank with no problem.   The wedding planner is told to then transfer the $3000 to a wedding band or caterer that they want to use.   No red flags yet because a wedding planner paying another vendor on behalf of the bride is common for the industry.  The money gets forwarded to the band and then the bank realizes a couple of weeks later that the check is a fraud.  Guess where the money gets taken back from?  The wedding planners bank account.  So if you’re a wedding planner or any wedding vendor that practices this, watch out for this one.  Check out more details on this scam here.

film-canister6.) You’re Not Ansel Adams!

Wedding photography is unfortunately a huge industry plagued with scammers.  You hire that big name photographer that you’ve always wanted to shoot your wedding and they send out someone else.  Sometimes it’s even a nightmare to get the photos from them after multiple calls and emails, which is outrageous when you pay them up front.  Again, it’s all about what you get in writing.  Make sure the contract indicates items such as who is going to be shooting the wedding, how many photos you get, how many albums you get, if you retain the negatives, etc..  Don’t mess around with this because you can’t re-enact this moment of your life.   Well, you can, but it probably won’t be the same.

7.) It Must Not Have Bloomed Yet

You hire a wedding florist to do the bouquet, centerpieces, etc.  and the expensive imported flowers are replaced with not-so-expensive flowers and 12 flowers per centerpiece mysteriously becomes 10.  The solution?  Are you seeing a trend here lovely Bride?  Get it in writing.  What exactly you get from type of flowers, how many centerpieces, how many flowers are in that centerpiece, what exactly is included in the centerpiece down to the little plastic plastic fork placecard holder.

8.) Diamonds Are Us

diamond-closeup-80-karatThe bride takes the diamond ring in to be cleaned and when she gets it back, it just doesn’t look the same. It has flaws or cracks in it and is obviously not the same diamond.  When she goes back, what do you think she hears?  Everything short of “you’re crazy” and “you’re mistaken, but that IS your diamond. ”  How do you protect yourself?  Believe it or not, the original jeweler can etch a serial number into the diamond girdle.  You can then have the jeweler doing the cleaning write down the serial number onto the invoice.  That way they have documented what they received and can’t switch it out.  Alternately, you can also bring your diamond grading certificate so that you can match the flaws originally documented with what you’re getting back.

9.) Hide and Seek

Anyone paying for a wedding should understand that there could be some unforeseen expenses that happen.  They always do.  But don’t get bamboozled with ridiculous fees that you get blindsided by such as one report from a bride on Blogger Brides that documented being charged a whopping $35 per gallon for fruit punch!  I’m sorry, excuse me?!  You can avoid things like this by keeping what the venue supplies to a minimum and taking away those opportunities to be gorged.  And be sure to watch out for cake cutting fees, cork fees, plate splitting fees and other nonsense fees that they figure out a way to rob you for.  Make sure that it’s clear between you, the wedding planner, your family, and anyone that may ask the venue staff for anything to try and do it themselves first that is  outside of what you’ve already discussed beforehand with the venue.


bride-and-groomAs you can see, there is a common thread in avoiding these scams and most all of them are “get it in writing”.  Everything down the dirtiest detail needs to be documented and signed off on.  This is your big wedding day.  It’s not enough to just choose a wedding professional from a wedding vendor directory.

You must do your homework and make sure they’re licensed, don’t have any complaints against them in the BBB, and that you get everything that you’re asking for.  It’s well known that the wedding industry is littered with overpriced expenses, scammers, and wedding vendors waiting to pray on your wallet like a vampire bat at a blood drive.  But it’s your day, not theirs, so watch your purse strings and protect yourself at every corner.

The Knot’s Big Problems

bride-noose

Photo by Graham Minchkin and obtained via Flickr

I’m pretty sure that we’re all familiar with TheKnot.com and its many branches of government. However, it appears that The Knot has been on a downward spiral with brides and now wedding vendors.  Their release of “The Knot’s Best of Wedding Guide 2009” had some major issues and it became glaringly obvious that it wasn’t based on feedback, but greenbacks.  The Knot’s Editors Pick of DJ companies was a company that had 50 complaints on Ripoff.com, multiple complaints filed against them from the Better Business Bureau who also graded them with an F, and additionally had a few negative news stories on them on television including Inside Edition.  Great advice, Knottie.  Just wow.

Then to make matters worse, posts ordained by The Knot informed people to not choose local bakers over the venue’s in-house bakers to avoid cake cutting costs.  Really?  This along with other suggestions that kick the local vendors to the curb entirely. Not to mention their wealth of bad advice that people seem to be getting downright agitated about.

Truth be told, it appears as The Knot has become a victim of themselves and appear to have lost focus.  Either that or they don’t have time to properly manage their resources which has been consistently sending out bad advice pretty much all of 2009.  And with the presence of competitors on the horizon like Get Married at GetMarried.com that just announced a wedding magazine to further compliment their online presence and their already popular daily television show on Lifetime, The Knot may be a little too comfortable with their lead.

stockxpertcom_id26013461_jpg_1422eacbdf7fb8203dc02c53b1e553b8Brides are a fickle bunch and once you give them bad information, you’re hard pressed to get a second chance with the amount of resources available to them online.  I’ll be very curious to see how GetMarried’s offerings align with The Knot’s efforts once the Get Married magazine launches in September and especially since there are major changes that are sure to come with it.  Maybe The Knot should start looking for a good moat digger.

Top 20 Worst Wedding Photos

It’s amazing how many weddings are held in a year.  And among those weddings are some pretty awful wedding moments.  Luckily, people post them on the web for all to see.  These are easily some of the worst wedding photos we could find.

The 20 Worst Wedding Photos


#20 – The Arranged Marriage
Nothing says, ‘This is not the person I want to marry.” quicker than the scowl of a groom and an arranged marriage between two unhappy adults.

arranged-mariage-2


#19 – The Bride’s Number One
Believe it or not, brides have to go potty too.  However, there normally isn’t documentation of the event.

bride-bathroom


#18 – Disdain
Not sure what happened previous to this shot, but we’re guessing the groom simply isn’t happy about something.  Considering that he’s carrying her, maybe it’s a cry for help?

disgusted-groom


#17 – Destination Wedding
Destination wedding on nudist beaches aren’t complete without the innocent glimpses of beach combers passing by.  Hey, at least his eyes aren’t wandering.

nudist-wedding


#16 -Wedding of Death
While it’s understood that this photo is intentional, it doesn’t make it right.  The bride’s father must be thrilled about signing a check to pay for fake blood and dry cleaning.  Just awesome.

goth-wedding


#15 – The Knife Lick
It’s just a elbow jerk away from being a hospital stay.

knife-lick


14 – You Still Love Me, Right?
Either he just got done sharing what he did at the Bachelor party last night or he’s trying to cover up saying something stupid with a kiss. Either way, she’s ticked.

what-happened-bachleor-night


#13 – Arranged Marriage #2

One common thread with arranged marriages is that the couple will never be featured in any beauty magazines.

arranged-marriage


#12 – Death of a Prankster
I love these photos.  A brief moment captured on film where a brides glance says it all.  Whatever he did, he probably will never get the chance to do it again.

if-you-mess-this-up


#11 -You What?
I’m not sure who forgot to do what, but I’m glad I’m not that person.

you-what





Yes folks, it’s the top 10. The worst of the worst. Proceed.


#10 – The Wahhh-ding photo

Not sure if this was an intentional pose for his buddies, but his bride is not amused.

groom-crying


# 9 – The College Bride

The photo that spawned a million punchlines. I’ll let you create your own, because mine will get me fired.

wedding-kegstand


#8 – Yikes
This dress won the Top 10 Sluttiest Wedding Dress award, but also is very fitting for one of the worst photos thanks to her, “They have booze in the limo” pose. Limo – $1000, Champagne – $100,  look on her new mother in law’s face when she gets out of the limo – priceless.

boobed-wedding-dress


#7 – Lesbian Nudist Wedding
The photo that set equal rights back an entire decade.

lesbian-nudist-wedding


#6 – MINE!
If this doesn’t set off red flags for the groom, nothing will.

hold-that-bottle


#5 – Opposites Attract
Sometimes a couple is so perfectly matched that it’s impossible to tell who the lucky one is.  While these two may not be perfectly matched, the latter still holds true.

the-couple


#4 – The Clown Wedding
If you didn’t have an unnatural fear of clowns, you do now.

wedding-clowns


#3 – I Can’t Quit You
The bride wasn’t concerned about infidelity, until….

groom-kisses


#2 – Ghetto Fabulous
She didn’t like the bridesmaid outfits at first, but it grew on her.  And she worked it.

ghetto-fabulous


And here we are folks!

The winner of the worst wedding photo award.

#1 – Duck, Duck, Goose

This picture is still by far my all time favorite because it says so much.  Just, oh my.

groom-butt-pinch

And there you have it. The 20 worst wedding photos I could find.  Hopefully when you go to hire your wedding photographers or other wedding vendors, you’ll make sure that you look at each photo before they end up on my list.  Do you have ones to share that I didn’t post here?  Post them!

Want More Awful photos? Yes, we made a Part 2!! View it here!

One Day, 25,000 Weddings

mass-weddingIf you thought planning a wedding is tough, could you imagine 25,000 weddings happening in one city on the same day?  Well according to Express India, that’s exactly what’s happening in the small city of Chhatarpur near Delhi on Thursday May 7th, 2009.

The largest amount of weddings held in a day was set by China on 08/08/08 where 314,224 couples got hitched on the opening day of the Olympics.  Beijing reported 15,000 of those weddings which is 23 times the average which should help to put the 25,000 in perspective.  But why May 7th?

According to the Hindu calender, May 7th (and also may 8th) are traditionally the best days to marry because they are believed to have a better chance of succeeding if they occur on these days.  But boy do they pick their days!  May 7th is also the big voting day in Delhi and it’s feared that people will be doing their wedding planning during the day instead of heading to the voting booths.  Politicians fear that over 250,000 people will shirk their voting duties in order to attend weddings instead and that has caused quite a stir.   To make matters worse, temperatures are expected to hit over 100 degrees making everyone hot and bothered.  Sorry, had to say it.

Politicians are begging voters to go to the polls in the morning since most weddings will be in the evening hours.  And while some wedding attendees may do just that, others won’t. “I know it is my responsibility to vote but my sister’s wedding is a bigger occasion,” a Gurgaon resident said. “It will come only once in my lifetime so I have to make a choice.”

indian-djAs expected, the big wedding day has also caused venues and farmhouses to be packed to the rims with visitors, banquets, and receptions including 50 or so farmhouses in Gurgaon alone.  Is it a silly superstition?  Well, in a country like the U.S. where 50-60% of marriages end in divorce, we have no right to say.  But it’s a good day to be an Indian DJ.

Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

wedding-ring-setLet’s not go into planning a wedding just yet, but let’s at least by hypothetical. When your significant other presents you with your engagement ring, it should represent you and your relationship perfectly, something you couldn’t have done a better job had you picked it out yourself.  In an ideal world that is exactly the scenario that would take place, but how to do you know that you will get the ring that you want?  To ensure that when you open up that little square box you will find a ring you are truly excited about, take the time to lay a little bit of groundwork – chances are he’ll appreciate the help.

Your personal style should be reflected in the ring end up with, so if you’re a sleek, chic businesswoman perhaps a simple solitaire is for you, or if you are spontaneous and fun, then maybe a colored stone is your thing.  Keep in mind your lifestyle as well as your personal style while you ponder over your options.  If you are very active or work with your hands, make sure you subtly hint for a ring that won’t get in the way of your daily activity.

Since your ring should be a reflection of who you are, you need to make it clear who you are not.  Try to be a bit more coy than leaving out a wedding magazine with pictures of engagement rings circled and crossed out.  Instead, drop hints about rings you’ve seen and what your friends are wearing.  Though this can be a tricky situation, so consider aiming for more straightforward ways of going about getting the ring you want.

Some couples couple talk openly about an engagement even before an official proposal; thus making the ring conversation a natural progression.  If you are this kind of couple, then picking out rings together alleviates any potential disaster and ensures a happy outcome.  If you still want some element of surprise you can always walk up to jewelry windows wherever you are and point to ones you like or sketch out ideas for him in order to point him in the right direction.

Many women, in an attempt to foolproof their perfect plan, enlist the help of a trustworthy friend or family member. Tell them exactly what you want and let them tastefully reiterate your likings or shop with your almost-betrothed.  He may ask for the help from your friend without you even knowing, so be prepared and share your dream ring with a few close loved ones to keep all your bases covered.

If all of this fails, and you still end up with a ring you are less than crazy about, don’t be afraid to talk about it.  Though it might be a sensitive situation, he will want you to have a ring that you love instead of something you are unhappy with.  After all, you don’t want to start your marriage off on the wrong foot (or ring!).

Familiarize yourself with the variety of shapes, sizes, cuts and colors out there.  Explore the process together if he’s willing.  Perhaps suggest in conversation that should you be wed, you love the idea of designing a ring together, something special that really is an expression of each of you (while your hidden agenda is carefully secured).

If you find yourself happily engaged but unhappily decorated, approach the idea of an exchange. Smart shoppers are always clear on exchange or refund policies. If return or exchange is not an option, for example you find yourself being presented with a family ring that just doesn’t suit your taste, consider reworking the jewels into a varied setting. Oftentimes couples collaborate on a custom design, so it can be equal parts of both of them and have a unified outcome. Keep in mind that custom work can take a few months to complete. But something so unique is well worth the wait.

However you decide to symbolize your love and devotion to one another, make it special. Whether that means having the perfect stone or including a simple engraving in a ring he selected for you – make it you and make it personal.

Now all you have left to do is pick out the wedding favors and bridesmaid gifts, right? yeahhh…..

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