This was hardly a picture perfect wedding.
A New Jersey dad was forced to replace the photographer for his daughter’s lavish nuptials at the last minute — and wants his $76,000 payment back.
Dr. Amit Patel, 59, scrambled and found another pro to take pictures as daughter Anisha, 28, married Arjun Mehta in a four-day celebration in Turkey that took a year of planning and included 250 guests, 13 custom outfits for the bride, and a feature in Vogue.
The festivities included saxophonists playing music on the beach, a Turkish themed-night which mimicked a local bazaar and included traditional music, decor and dancers, various custom made necklaces for the bride, and fireworks.
It was the first wedding for the family “in a long time,” said Patel, a vascular surgeon who said the total cost of the affair was “a good six figure number.”
But it was almost a disaster. Patel claims in a lawsuit that the celebrated shutterbug he originally hired began making 11th-hour demands.
Patel fired noted photographer Clane Gessel just days before the affair in Bodrum, Turkey, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s panic. You can imagine telling your daughter a few days before her wedding that the photog she selected, he’s not coming,” Patel said of the clash with Gessel.
Gessel and his namesake studio agreed in writing that the shutterbug would be the “main photographer” at each of the gathering’s multiple events, and that he and his team would stay at the Doubletree by Hilton, instead of the luxury, five-star Mandarin Hotel, where the wedding took place, Patel claimed in his Manhattan Federal Court filing.
Gessel allegedly emailed Patel as the dad was waiting to board a plane to Turkey for the wedding, to say he would “decide who is shooting what and when,” and demanded to be booked into the Mandarin, Patel claims.
Gessel declined comment.