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Fri, Feb 05, 2010
The Straits Times
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Celebrity planner's no-show at wedding
by Lim Wei Chean

A COUPLE left high and dry at the altar by their celebrity wedding planner is taking him to court in New York for being a no-show at their estimated US$300,000 (S$423,000) dream celebration in Singapore last year.

Singaporean Melissa Chin and her South Korean husband Steve Choi were left scrambling to find a bridal bouquet, a dance floor, a white carpet and even the VIP table just 10 days before their nuptials, reported the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

The couple is suing Manhattan-based party planner David Tutera for fraud and 'severe emotional distress', the US papers reported. Mr Tutera, whose previous clients included entertainers Jennifer Lopez and Elton John, stars in Discovery Channel's reality TV series The Party Planner and WE TV's My Fair Wedding.

New York Daily News reported that the couple gave Mr Tutera a US$100,000 deposit and four round-trip business-class tickets from New York to Singapore. It also said they would foot the bill for six nights at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore for him and his staff.

The suit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday is seeking more than US$200,000 in damages from Mr Tutera, the New York Post reported.

When contacted yesterday by The Straits Times, the couple's lawyer Barak Vaughn would say only that 'the contract between Melissa Chin and David Tutera speaks for itself'.

Mr Tutera's spokesman Eda Kalkay did not respond to e-mail queries by press time. However, Ms Kalkay has disputed the allegations and was cited in New York Post as saying that the pair had missed a final payment.

She added that Ms Chin's father had told Mr Tutera not to get on the plane and that there was 'no more money'.

Ms Chin, who was a biology student at Boston University's Gilmore Laboratory, met her husband, an information technology consultant, at summer school in Harvard University according to their wedding blog.

Ms Chin, a molecular biologist, is the older of two daughters of a civil servant here.

Despite the setback, they tied the knot as planned on Aug 22 at Shangri-La's Island Ballroom with more than 100 guests.

Guests said the couple did not show any sign that anything was amiss, even though her father was a little upset at the celebrity's no-show.

But the wedding was nonetheless spectacular, with a guest describing the ballroom as a 'white-rose wonderland'.

readers' comments
Daughter of a Civil Servant can afford a US$300,000 dollar wedding at the peak of recession. OMG... while the rest of singaporean are trying to find $$ to feed the family..
Posted by AncientOne on Sat, 6 Feb 2010 at 13:54 PM

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