Dominique Buttitta, a lawyer in Chicago, is taking her ice-footed former fiancé to court for bailing on their big day just four days before the ceremony was supposed to go down. The jilted bride claims that by calling it quits, the groom “intentionally inflicted emotional distress” on her. She’s reportedly seeking more than $95,000 from her ex — money, she says, that she’d already spent on the wedding.
I think she may have a case, and not just because people sue for less than this every day. I’ve had neighbors sue other neighbors when their dog crapped on the lawn. Buttitta’s fiance crapped on her life. Not only is she now being portrayed as a bitter, spurned woman, she’s in the hole for a whole lot of zeros.
Planning a wedding is a big, long, intricate process. I know; I’m in the middle of planning mine. Pick up any issue of “The Knot” and they’ll tell you: planning a wedding takes about nine months to a year. And those are a packed nine to 12 months of making lists, touring venues, tasting cakes and spending thousands of dollars in nonrefundable deposits. There’s the dress, the rings, flowers — Buttitta says she spent over $12,500 on those — invitations, escort cards and a ton of other things that take up a whole lot of time and even more of your money. It’s ridiculous.
Now let’s get one thing straight. Is this guy allowed to break off the engagement? Absolutely. Acceptance of an engagement ring is not a binding contract to marry, because in America, we don’t allow contracts for selling people (see the 13th Amendment). Also, in retrospect, Buttitta ended up SUING HIM FOR $100 GRAND. I don’t think I would want to marry anyone who would sue me for anything, let alone 10 times my net worth. So yeah, bro, you have the right to change your mind. Granted.
But during all that planning, all the list-making, cake-tasting and tuxedo-renting, Buttitta’s fiance had plenty of time to put a hand up and say, “Hey, maybe this isn’t the best idea.” When he finally did, it was at the 11th hour. That’s after the dress is paid for in full, the venue is paid in full, the florist has received the shipments of flowers, the baker has molded the gum-paste flowers, the guests have booked their hotel rooms — the point at which the absolute most amount of money that could be spent was spent without hope of recovery. And that, in this recessed economy, is an even bigger humiliation than being abandoned by a guy with cold feet.
Just ask Bonni Fierstein, 36, a former bride whose groom-to-be called off their wedding with just four months to go. After the nuptials got nixed, Fierstein’s parents asked her ex to pony up for half of the canceled venue’s deposit, a total of about $7,000, that the family never saw again.
“He sent them a letter and said that he refused to,” Fierstein explains. “He said he loved us all, but I lived with him for a year and a half, and that was his payment for the wedding.”
For Fierstein, the missing cash was a bigger blow than the end of her six-year relationship.
“In time you get over it and as much as it hurts when it happens, in the end, it’s a better decision than marrying someone who isn’t in love with you,” she says. “To this day, the thing I feel the worst about is that I cost my parents as much money as I did.”
The point is, Buttitta’s fiance lied. He tricked her into believing that spending that money was not for nothing.
Just think about it. Had they pulled the trigger and walked down the aisle, their assets would have been combined, so it didn’t matter which of them fronted the costs. Just as their lives were to be joined, so were their debts. And unless the bride was baller like that and paid for everything in cash, there would have been residual costs that the couple, together, would’ve been paying off for some time. I say, he’s on the hook for his share. Go get ’em, girl.