Monday, December 20, 2010

Did She Prefer a Hostage?

A guy decided he'd rather not get married to a certain woman rather than end up being divorced from her. She responds by suing, giving us a clearer picture of why he called off the wedding in the first place. Susanna Kim has the ABC News story.

In a suburb of Chicago, fury has overtaken a jilted bride who is suing her former fiancé for the wedding costs. Dominique Buttitta, dumped four days before the wedding was to take place, is seeking damages of $95,942 from Vito Salerno to cover wedding expenses and the cost of the lawsuit.
That could be an excellent deal for him in the long run. Actually getting married and then divorced could have easily been much more expensive.

Buttitta and Salerno began dating in March 2007, were engaged in December 2007 and the wedding was set for October 2 of this year in Barrington, Illinois.
There's something wrong when the dating period is nine months long but the engagement is almost three years.

The suit's itemized list of expenses included over $30,000 for the banquet hall, $11,000 on lighting and flowers, $10,000 for an orchestra, $7,550 for a photographer, $5,000 for a wedding dress and accessories, and $1,700 for wedding favors. The expenses include other non-refundable purchases, including a bridesmaid luncheon, bridal shower and a deposit for a wedding planner.
And whose idea were most of these expenses? $30,000 for the banquet hall? I'm sure they could have found a great place for a lot less. The facility should already have lighting, and flowers wither in days. Who needs an orchestra? Photographers overcharge for weddings. $5,000 for a dress that will be worn once? I know for a fact that you can get beautiful dresses for under $1,000.

The suit also claims that one month before the wedding date, the groom attended a bachelor party at an adult entertainment business called the Pink Monkey. He allegedly engaged in lewd acts, including lap dances with strippers, of which the bride was unaware.
If that is actionable, then there are a lot of wives who are in big trouble!

Some states, including Illinois and Georgia, have "breach of promise" to marry laws.
I actually think such laws can be a good thing, but only as part of a comprehensive set of laws that would punish people for breaking their marital vows, which include much more than promising not to have sex with other people. Breach of promise usually means "I only had sex with you because you promised me marriage." Is she claiming that?

This is not the first time a heartbroken bride sued her former groom. In July 2008, a jury in Georgia ordered Wayne Gibbs to pay RoseMary Shell $150,000 for breaking off their engagement three days before their wedding.
So, guys, the earlier you DTB (dump the bride), the better. However, it isn't too late until the marriage license is signed and filed. You can even go through a ceremony and still not have the marriage legally validated.

What's the alternative, really? A guy should go ahead and get married to as to not ruin her special day, then get divorced later? Shouldn't she have to demonstrate that he knew many months prior that he wasn't going to marry her, but that he deliberately kept the wedding planning going in order to upset her?

I think the wedding budget and expenses should be part of a comprehensive pre-nuptial agreement that is finalized and in effect before a wedding date is set. Terms should include who will pay what under what circumstances.

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