In 2003, things were going pretty well for Todd J. Remis. Great, even. The equity research analyst had left Warburg Pincus Asset Management to found Hygrove Partners LLC, he was living the good life in New York City and he’d recently married Latvia native Milena Grzibovska. The wedding was an intimate affair that included less than 40 guests and took place at Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown. A proud husband, Remis sent a photo of the happy couple to his alma mater for inclusion in its newsletter, for all his former Bowdoin College classmates to see.
Fast forward six years, and things were going less swimmingly for Todd. For starters, the Chicago Booth grad’s marriage had hit the skids, with a separation in 2008 and an official divorce by 2010. Additionally, he was unemployed, having been laid off or fired from his job at Legg Mason’s ClearBridge Advisors. And with that kind of loss and time on his hands, Todd wanted nothing more than to sit around looking at photos of memories past, specifically of the day he married Milena. Only Todd couldn’t do that, could he? At least not in the way he wanted to, which was by going through the photos chronologically, very beginning to very end, from Milena getting dressed to the bouquet toss to the last dance, laughing, crying, wiping his tears with each shot, laying down naked on a pile of them scattered on the bathroom floor and remembering how he felt that day. The reason he couldn’t do that? Because someone FUCKED Todd, good and hard. And the more Todd thought about it, the more he decided that he had to make that person pay.
…a month after the wedding, when Mr. Remis returned to the studio 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. He noted in a deposition last July that the employees at H & H did not respond in a courtly fashion. Mr. Remis is suing H & H Photographers, a 65-year-old studio known fondly among thousands of former and current Bronx residents because it chronicled their weddings, bar mitzvahs and communions….The couple separated around 2008 and their divorce, which Mr. Remis contends was amicable, was finalized in 2010. Mr. Remis sued in 2009, just before the statute of limitation was about to expire, according to Mr. Fried. Mr. Remis testified that he wanted photographs of the wedding, even if it ended in divorce and even if Mr. Fried contended he already had them. And not only has Mr. Remis demanded to be repaid the $4,100 cost of the photography, he also wants $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding and fly the principals to New York so the celebration can be re-shot by another photographer. “I need to have the wedding recreated exactly as it was so that the remaining 15 percent of the wedding that was not shot can be shot,” he testified.
For those quick to label the suit “absurd” or “bat shit insane,” like the photographers being sued, or question why Todd is demanding a redo: he has his reasons. “[The divorce] unfortunate in its circumstances,” he says, “but we are very much happy with the wedding event and we would like to have it documented for eternity.” As for the matter of how Remis plans to convince his ex-wife to take part in the second wedding, never you mind that. Milena, who is “believed to have moved back to her native Latvia” will be there.
And if all this seems unfair to H & H Photographers, who say the suit is hurting their bottom line, they’re just the first of many to be on the receiving end of Remis’s wrath. Next up: the flower girl, AKA “the snot-nosed brat” who “haphazardly dumped the petals down the aisle,” the bartender who watered down the drinks, the valet who Remis knows got high in his car, the best man whose toast included a line about Milena being a mail order bride, and his mother-in-law, just for being a bitch. All your days of reckoning are coming.
Years Later, Lawsuit Seeks to Recreate a Wedding [NYT]
Todd Remis [LinkedIn]