For couples, one of the important things that make up a wedding is photographs.
Photos endure. They stir memories and provide vivid proof that the day of one's dreams took place, unlike the cake that goes stale or the bouquet that wilts.
One groom decided to sue, disappointed with his wedding pictures.
Todd J. Remis of Manhattan said the photographers missed the last dance and the bouquet toss.
However according to the studio, Mr. Remis's wedding happened in 2003 and he waited six years to sue them.
Mr. Remis demands $48,000 to recreate the whole wedding and fly the principals to New York so the ceremony can be re-shot by another photographer. In addition, he wants to be repaid the $4,100 cost of photography.
The studio pointed out that re-enacting the wedding may be challenging simply because the couples already divorce and the bride has apparently moved back to her native Latvia.
Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of State Supreme Court in Manhattan has allowed the case to proceed to know whether there was indeed a breach of contract, although she dismissed most of the grounds for the lawsuit, like the infliction of emotional distress.
In an opinion in January, the justice was amused about the lawsuit's purpose. She wrote that the memories and the pictures were more important than the real thing.
The plaintiff fury over the quality of the photographs and video continued on, although the marriage did not last.
Mr. Remis is suing a 65-year-old studio, H & H Photographers, known among thousands of former and current Bronx residents because it chronicled their weddings, bar mitzvahs and communions.
Curt Fried, one of the two founders, met with Mr. Remis, an equity research analyst, and his fiancée, Milena Grzibovska, and signed a contract to have photographs and videotape taken of their wedding the following month - December 28 – for $4,100.
The pictures showed a groom surrounded by relatives and a cheerful bride. Irina, Grzibovska’s mother, and her sister Alina, were also present at the wedding.
When Mr. Remis returned to the studio a month after the wedding to look over the proofs, he complained that the three-person crew had missed the last 15 minutes. The last dance and the bouquet toss.
Last July, Mr. Remis noted that the employees at H & H did not respond respectfully and he remembers being yelled at. He also complained that the video was only two hours long, instead of six hours.
Mr. Remis needs the wedding recreated.
According to Fried, Mr. Remis wants his ex-wife to fly back to the US and he doesn't even know where she lives. Ms. Grzibovska did not respond to a message left through her Facebook page.
Mr. Remis has not been employed since 2008. The next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
In 2004, Mr. Remis left the studio with 400 proofs, according to Mr. Fried. Mr. Remis claims H & H kept everything. However in 2004, a photograph of the bride and groom was featured in a magazine published by Mr. Remis's alma mater, Bowdoin College, which is also online. It was a photograph that Mr. Fried's firm took.
Mr. Remis and his wife separated in 2008 and the divorce was finalized in 2010.
According to Mr. Fried, Remis sued in 2009, just before the statute of limitation was about to expire.
Even if it ended in divorce, Mr. Remis still wants photographs of the wedding. He wants to have his wedding documented for eternity, even if it was unfortunate in its circumstances.
Dan, Fried's son, now operates the studio together with Lawrence Gillet, son of the other founder.
The costs of defending the lawsuit was already hurting the business and it had already matched the amount sought by Mr. Remis, Dan said.
The case was an abuse of the legal system, Dan added.