On August 7 2020, the publication ran the announcement for the wedding of Robert Palmer, 30, and Lauren Maillian, 35, who met at a New York Sports Club gym back in January 2017. The two then tied the knot in front of a small ceremony of 25 guests.
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However, according to Moreno, she was still married to Palmer in January 2017 when the article stated his relationship with his new wife began.
“It was a New York Times wedding announcement detailing the love story of a fitness entrepreneur and his new wife. According to the article, the couple, Rob and Lauren, started their relationship in January 2017. It also said that he had never been married.
“That was news to me – because I was his wife in January 2017.”
Moreno said she officially divorced Palmer in January 2018, but she “never exactly understood why” – that was until she “read about it in The Times”.
Moreno and Palmer had also met at a gym in the summer of 2013, moved in together a few months later and got married in December 2015.
However, Palmer quickly became distant while their wedding preparations were underway.
“Three months later, things abruptly changed. We went to Texas for his friend’s wedding and to finalise our own wedding details,” Moreno recalled. “I could sense something was wrong. When we returned, he said he needed space. Worried that he was stressed about wedding planning or work, I said I would leave for a week to stay with a friend.
“When I came back, he said he wanted a divorce. It was like a light switch turned off. He stopped communicating with me and refused to go to therapy. I wondered if he had a medical issue that had changed his personality.”
According to Moreno, her friends have since contacted The New York Times, which issued a correction on August 11 stating Palmer had previously been married,
“An earlier version of this article misstated the previous marital status of the groom, Robert Palmer. Mr Palmer had previously been married,” the correction read.
However, Moreno still felt “completely erased”.
“[Palmer] was publicly admitting that he dated this woman while we were married – the details of his infidelity laid out on the page,” she told The Post. “When I put their presentation next to the truth, it was like one of those reality-versus-Instagram memes come to life.”
But in a statement to The Post, Palmer said: “Nikyta and I were separated and both consented to a mutual and amicable divorce. This is all very surprising to me and I was unaware that there was ever an issue. I’m happy with my family and I wish Nikyta the best.”
While Moreno does wish Palmer and his new wife are happy together, she said she “simply wishes” he had told the truth.
Authorities in New York quashed plans for a wedding that could have seen over 10,000 people gather in violation of COVID-19 measures, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
The Rockland County Sheriff”s Office made authorities aware of the huge wedding, which was scheduled for Monday in Williamsburg.
“We were told it was going to take place. We investigated and found that it might be true. There was a big wedding planned that would have violated the rules on gatherings,” Cuomo said at a press conference.
New York’s rules for stemming the spread of COVID-19 limit social gatherings to no more than 50 people. For religious events inside a church or temple, the limit is 33 per cent of its capacity.
Elizabeth Garvey, an adviser to Cuomo, told reporters that “more than 10,000 people planned to attend” the wedding.
“You can get married. You just can’t get a thousand people at your wedding. You get the same results at the end of the day. It’s also cheaper!” Cuomo said.
Local media reported the event was an Orthodox Jewish wedding.
New York was the epicentre of the US coronavirus outbreak back in spring, and the city has seen more than 23,800 related deaths.
It managed to bring the crisis under control through lockdowns, but in recent weeks the number of reported COVID-19 cases has risen.
Last week Cuomo ordered the closure of non-essential businesses in the worst-hit areas and limited the number of people who can be in places of worship to 10. Schools were also closed.
The governor said Saturday that these measures were already yielding results.
Health officials in New York City announced the ban a few days before the planned wedding, which is expected to draw 10,000 guests in Brooklyn, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Ducker signed a Section 16 order banning a wedding scheduled for Monday in Williamsburg, which violates restrictions on meetings.
Although the wedding venue was planned to take place outside the red, orange, and yellow zones of the COVID-19 cluster under close supervision by city and state officials, the estimated size of the event prompted action by state officials in line with current gathering restrictions, which is limited to 50 people in New York.
According to officials, the closure order was served on Friday by the New York City Sheriff’s Department.
“We received a suggestion that that was happening. We did an investigation and found that it was likely true,” Cuomo said. “Look, you can get married, you just can’t have 1,000 people at your wedding.”
Cuomo on Saturday also declared a new strategy for combating COVID-19 into the fall and winter by targeting documented cases “block by block”, adding that coronavirus ‘hot spots’ in the city appeared to be decreasing in intensity and stated that cinemas across the state would reopen, but not in New York City itself.
“For fall, we are going to deploy a microcluster strategy. We have been targeting all our actions either … statewide … or we reopened on a regional level. We are now going to analyze it block by block,” Cuomo stated. “We have data so specific that we can’t show it because it could violate privacy conditions. We know exactly where the new cases are coming from.”
AS COVID-19 continues to decimate the wedding plans of countless brides and grooms-to-be, one Tweed Coast venue together with a handful of local suppliers wants to give back.
Ancora, owned by Tweed hospitality business PLB group, is putting the call out to couples whose wedding plans may have been impacted by the global pandemic.
The business has launched a competition to give a couple the opportunity to win an all-inclusive waterfront wedding valued at more than $30,000.
The package includes a Mediterranean-inspired “Beach Club” wedding on the water, a full beach club menu and a four-hour beverage package for up to 60 guests.
The prize is also complete with photography, videography, flowers, decor, cake, dessert and entertainment.
These services have also been donated by local wedding vendors The Celebrant Circle, Ivy & Bleu Events, Figtree Wedding Photography, JANDA Events, The One Day House, Wheel and Spoon, Cakes by Baked and Anchored Cinema.
PBL Group’s general manager Mark Wilson explained although Ancora had been hit hard by the pandemic, the business was motivated to give back to the community after watching the emotional impact of COVID-19.
“(This year) has been such a tough time for the entire wedding industry as a whole – venues and suppliers included – but we know it’s been just as tough for couples planning their weddings,” he said.
“This is our way of giving back to one of the couples who may be facing hardships due to the current crisis, and hopefully offer some positivity among what has been an incredibly challenging year.”
As event restrictions make it difficult for couples to plan a traditional celebration, Mr Wilson said the giveaway was designed around the concept of a long lunch to showcase “a new way of doing weddings” amid the pandemic.
“We’ve all been conditioned to think weddings should be traditional evening events, but the current restrictions – particularly when it comes to the rules around dance floors – are making that tricky,” he said.
Entries close on October 31 and to enter the giveaway, couples will need to submit their details via the Ancora website and outline why they would love to win a Beach Club wedding in 25 words or less.
Visit www.ancoraweddings.com.au/wedding-competition for more.
A pub in Erdington, a suburb of Birmingham, England, has been fined £1,000 for breaching COVID-19 restrictions by hosting a wedding party involving an estimated 60 to 70 people, according to police. West Midlands Police said officers on a coronavirus patrol entered The Greyhound pub at midnight “to find a wedding party with drinks still being served, a DJ set up and a gazebo in the garden.” Bodycam footage released of the incident gives the date as September 26. On September 24, all pubs, bars, and restaurants in England were ordered to close at 10 pm by the government. Police said they had received a complaint from a member of the public. When police arrived, they found between 60 and 70 people, with no social distancing being observed. Sergeant Nick Giess, licensing lead for Birmingham, said in a statement: “This was a double whammy of breaches. Not only were they hosting a wedding party of around 60, which was twice the number allowed at the time, but they were still open at midnight with no signs of shutting down. “No officer wants to barge in on someone’s wedding day – but we’ve got a duty to enforce these new rules to protect not only the guests, but their loved ones and the people they’ll come into contact with.” Police said they had chosen not to fine the guests, but that those running licensed premises “should know better.” Credit: West Midlands Police via Storyful
WEDDINGS has been one of the main industries curtailed by coronavirus restrictions but two Tweed residents are helping couples be able to plan their wedding in COVID-19 times.
Judi Watts and Kristy Mason created Aisle Wedding Market, an online market platform which is designed to connect wedding suppliers with couples looking to plan their wedding from their living room.
Ms Mason said that the pair wanted to create something positive for the wedding industry which has faced some tough months recently.
“The pandemic has really affected us and the entire wedding community,” she said.
“We hated seeing colleagues and fellow business owners struggling and closing down around us.
“We saw an opportunity to create something positive that would allow the wedding industry to ride out the pandemic and generate additional revenue by selling new inventory and preloved goods direct to the bridal market.”
The platform has grown immensely since it began earlier this year, with nearly 800 items listed on the online platform.
Ms Watts said they were overwhelmed by the positive reaction from the community to their new business venture.
“We’ve had so many amazing businesses right across the country jumping on board to list their products on Aisle, from stationery to bridal accessories and preloved furniture,” Ms Watts said.
“The response from both sellers and couples alike has been incredible – we’re finding business owners have really welcomed the direct exposure offered by the platform, while couples appreciate being able to source all of the products they need for their wedding online in one place.”
To see more about the new start-up, visit www.aisleweddingmarket.com
A British man who is getting married in the Czech Republic on Saturday says 30 guests have had to leave before the wedding in order to beat the UK’s quarantine changes.
Oliver, who did not give his surname, says many of his friends and family – including his sister – have had to fly home before the nuptials take place in the capital, Prague, as they cannot self-isolate due to work constraints.
“I’m down about 30 guests and my little sister, who is a bridesmaid, is distraught at having to fly home tonight before the wedding (she is a teacher),” the 38-year-old, who is originally from Kent, told the Press Association news agency.
After saying a “tearful goodbye” to family who had to fly home early, he says he and fiancée Andrea, 33, have hardly slept and been left “exhausted emotionally” ahead of their wedding.
Oliver and Andrea, who is from the Czech city of Pardubice, have already cancelled their wedding twice due to pregnancy after first becoming engaged four years ago.
The couple had booked their third attempt down the aisle for August before lockdown, and told guests the ceremony would go ahead after the Czech Republic was put on the UK’s safe travel corridors list in July.
Several of Oliver’s family members had pulled out of the newly-planned wedding recently due to age and ill-health, which he says “was a shame but understandable”.
Oliver, who has lived in the Czech Republic for 11 years, says the UK government’s “arbitrary” decision-making has left the couple and their family “in tears before what is supposed to be the best day of their lives”.
He says he and Andrea went ahead with their wedding as they believed the Czech government had “done very well” controlling the virus and relaxing restrictions, so the rule change came as a shock.
After an “incredibly stressful” week, Oliver believes the government “should do more to communicate to people in advance”.
But for now, he’s thankful that some friends and his immediate family – minus his sister – are accepting quarantine to attend his wedding.
The Czech Republic was removed from the UK’s safe travel corridors list after the government cited data saying the country had seen weekly cases per 100,000 rise from 16.2 on 20 August to 20.2 on Thursday.
The country sees more than 300,000 British tourists every year, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The capital Prague is a popular destination for city breaks and stag parties.
“I cried for about an hour when we officially decided to change the date, but then I went into re-planning mode and felt a sense of relief. Now, I had a concrete plan, even if it was different than the original one,” Stanis explained. “Third time’s a charm, right?”
Each time she communicated with guests, she says, they were extremely understanding. Some texted to say they were impressed with the decision. Others shared their excitement via email. All that worry about how her loved ones would feel was met with understanding and acceptance––and the same would be true, she says, if roles were reversed.
Couples are aware of just how hard it is to attend weddings during the pandemic, no matter how much guests want to be there for the big day. Wedding etiquette right now comes down to how couples can prioritize not only their health, but also the health and safety of their loved ones. That means honoring guests’ concerns about their health.
Still, it’s not easy for wedding guests to RSVP no. Tell help you find the words, Fortune spoke to wedding experts like Stanis for ways to let couples know you won’t be able to make it.
Short and sweet
In addition to being a part of the strange club of 2020 brides, Stanis knows what it’s like to be on both sides of the bridal party––after all, she’s a professional wedding vow and speechwriter. She recommends still sending a wedding gift and a thoughtfully written card that explains why you’re RSVP’ing no.
Here’s an example: “Congratulations Nick and Alex! We are so happy for you both. Unfortunately, our family does not feel comfortable attending an event during these unprecedented times. Sending our love and best wishes to you both as you start your new life together.”
“No need to go into any further detail,” she says. “The majority of people understand that what’s happening in the world will affect our decisions in new ways. Both guests and the couple need to remember this isn’t personal, it’s a pandemic.”
Lead with honesty
Etiquette expert Lizzie Post says guests don’t have to choose between being a supportive friend and respecting their comfort levels right now.
Here’s how she would deliver the news: “I love you so much. And I’m so excited about your wedding. But I need to admit to you that I am not feeling comfortable about going. I would love to support you in other ways.”
Guests can ask the couple what they need and how they can support them, she says. Whatever guests choose to do, Post says the most important thing guests need to remember is to be honest.
Elaine Swann, the founder of The Swann School of Protocol, says guests should utilize RSVP opportunities provided by the couple.
“If someone sends you an invitation in the mail, and they provide an RSVP card, fill that card out accordingly. Do the same with an electronic invitation and wish the couple well––very simple. I do not recommend giving explanations,” Swann says.
Because the couple is already deep in the process of planning a wedding and dealing with everyone from their own family members to vendors, Swann says guests shouldn’t give them anything else to think about.
“When you come in and you bring your explanation and your details and so forth, there’s a bit of an overload of information that the couple will experience,” she says. “In this instance, it’s more thoughtful to withhold details.”
Post says no matter your relationship to the couple getting married, the best thing guest can do is to be considerate. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, she says, and the pandemic makes it that much worse.
“Along with the fact that we are all living under extremely stressful conditions right now, if someone seems a little out of sorts over their wedding, it’s because that’s going on and the pandemic,” Post says. “Just take it with a big, big grain of salt.”
Chelsea Venettacci and Peter Beis just want to get married but it’s been a moving feast, thanks to coronavirus restrictions.
So far this year they’ve had three different dates set for their big day, which is getting smaller by the week, as the COVID-19 pandemic waxes and wanes.
“I just can’t wait to marry him, I just can’t wait to start that chapter in our lives … it is such a special time in my life that I’ve always dreamt of, so the fact that we’ve had to postpone it is quite heartbreaking,” said Ms Venettacci.
“We come from a pretty big family on both sides and I know that it’s such an exciting ceremony for both parents and relatives,” she said.
“They’ve watched our love grow and to have to postpone it was quite challenging for them,” she said.
Initially, the couple had planned to tie the knot in March with 150 guests — 40 from interstate — but, as coronavirus infections and public health restrictions increased, they decided to wait until November.
“We thought surely coronavirus would be gone by then, everyone was saying the same thing, and then it got to a couple of months ago and I thought, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be over,’ and then Melbourne had their outbreak,” she said.
“We said, ‘You know what, we just want to marry each other, at the end of the day it’s about us and what we want to do,’ and we just want to start that chapter of our lives together, so we’ve brought it forward to September 20.”
It means their plans have had to be modified, while also including family from interstate.
“Pete’s grandparents were going to be there and that would be so special to have them there to see us get married so, yeah, we’re going to have the livestreaming, ensuring they can still be a part of it,” Ms Venettacci said.
“Next year we are going to do a celebration with the relatives that couldn’t come — which is annoying because it’s extra time and money but we just want them to have a nice celebration with us.”
The COVID-19 restrictions at venues have also been disappointing.
“That’s probably the biggest bummer with this wedding — all we want to do is dance and celebrate and forget about everything that’s happened this year, and we just find it quite controversial that dancing is not allowed,” she said.
“We’re hoping that by September 20 it’s a bit lenient and we’re able to.”
‘Elopement’ weddings taking off
Smaller, more intimate weddings were a trend Kate Tuleja saw coming.
The wedding photographer and owner of Wilderness Weddings Tasmania said her elopement and micro-wedding business is going from strength to strength.
“We’re all about taking people out into the wilderness and sharing the Tasmanian outdoors with people in a really beautiful, simple ceremony,” she said.
“This is a relatively new business anyway, it’s all developing through the pandemic, but in the last few months we’ve had an influx of local people who’ve either cancelled bigger weddings or have decided not to go down that route and instead decided to take the elopement pathway instead.
“[Also] a lot of interstate inquiries, that are tentative inquiries only while the border situation keeps changing.
“We initially set up to attract people who didn’t necessarily feel like a big, traditional wedding was their style, they were looking for something different.
“Now, as it turns out, there are a lot more people looking in that direction, either because they don’t have a choice and they just want to get married right now, or they’ve had their eyes opened to a few different possibilities and thought, ‘actually, that sounds more like me.'”
Ms Tuleja says despite the trying times, people in the industry are supporting each other.
“One of my celebrants has had something along the lines of 25 cancellations this year and early next year and so, with people moving to elopements, I’ve actually been able to go back to her and give her some work to make up for what she’s losing.
“We are able to share the love around and people in the industry are able to still do what they love, so it’s been really nice to share with everybody when everybody’s been really struggling with their own businesses.”
Hits felt industry-wide
Sally Van Dyken has run a bridal boutique in Hobart for 42 years and believes the pandemic is affecting every part of the bridal industry.
“Being in the industry that long, I’ve seen recessions, I’ve seen a lot of different things, and I’ve never — you couldn’t compare this year with anything else and every business would be the same, I feel,” she said.
“I would say that the reception centres would be finding it difficult. For example, we had a wedding that was going to be this November — 150 guests, DJ, the whole thing — at a very big venue.
“Now, [the department of public health] has said they can’t dance, so they’ve decided to put it off to next year for that reason, they said, ‘We’ve paid a lot of money for the reception and we would like to at least be able to have a dance at our wedding.'”
Shelly Bickerstaff from Frogmore Creek vineyard and restaurant said they would normally do one or two weddings a weekend through their “season” from October to April, but many marriages have been postponed.
She said they’ve had to adapt their business model.
“Because of the COVID restrictions that are in place, we do need to adapt the way that we facilitate it, particularly dancing, so that’s a big consideration for people who are preparing to spend money on their dream wedding but not be able to have the dream experience,” she said.
“The way that service needs to happen now is everyone needs to have a seat, we need to do individual plates of canapes rather than serve off a canape tray, so we’re looking at how we can deliver that casual glass of sparkling experience without [breaching restrictions], so that’s been a challenge.
“I think that we can still create a great experience but it certainly does change the vibe and until the rules are that you can stand around with your friends and have a drink and a dance, it does change the experience.”
Ms Venettacci agreed that current weddings won’t be the same as those in past years.
“Weddings that we’ve been to, we’ve just had fun, let our hair down, danced, no such thing as social distancing.
“But now, with canapes and stuff we do have to be seated now, which I think really does change the dynamic of everything.
“My cousin was meant to get married a week after me but she had to pull the pin and get married earlier, only had five people invited, and I have a few other people I know who have said, ‘Let’s just have a small wedding.’
“It’s funny how something like coronavirus makes you realise what’s important and what the wedding is all about.”
Casey couldn’t wait to marry Alex – until an anonymous text hours before her wedding changed everything.
I stood at the front of the room in my wedding dress and looked out at the excited faces of our friends and family. My hands were shaking, but not nearly as much as my insides quivered.
This was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, instead, I knew it was the end of my dream relationship and everyone was going to witness it.
Alex* and I had been together for six years. I felt he was The One instantly. Our families became friends, our lives were entwined, and I believed we’d live happily ever after.
The text message that changed everything
On the last night of my unwed life, I was with hanging out my best friends in a glitzy hotel room. My phone buzzed from across the room and I did a silly sashay with my glass in my hand to go and retrieve it.
“Phone is running hot tonight,” commented one of my bridesmaids.
But this text wasn’t like the other wishes of luck and love. This text took us all by surprise and changed everything in the heartbeat.
The message was a series of screenshots from a number I didn’t recognise. The accompanying message simply said, “I wouldn’t marry him. Will you?”
The screenshots were of conversations between my husband-to-be and another woman. Loads of them, including selfies of the pair. She was the opposite of me. I’m blonde and fair, and this unknown woman had dark hair and olive skin.
The texts were dated from months to only days before. My brain simply could not compute WTF was going on. There was no questioning the legitimacy of these messages. I just knew.
Suddenly, little moments added up and I realised I was a fool
“This weekend. You and I. It is on, hot stuff. Bring your A game.”
“Your body is fucking incredible. And shit do you know how to use it. I wish my GF had half the skills you do.”
“I miss you so much. I can’t stop thinking about L, S, F’ing you. I’ve never had this kind of connection before.”
Every word like a dagger in my heart and my wedding was only hours away. How could I cancel when everyone had already travelled to be there and everything was paid for?
How could he do this to me?
I burst into shamed and broken tears. My girls were threatening all manner of violence against him. They insisted I call him immediately and call the wedding off.
But I loved Alex. I wanted to marry Alex tomorrow. I was too shocked and sad to be angry. I didn’t call him.
Eventually, we tried to go to bed. I didn’t sleep a wink and when dawn finally broke I awoke the girls and told them my decision – I was going to go ahead with the wedding as expected, and ‘out’ him in front of our friends and family.
I walked down the aisle with leaden feet, my dream dress now just a costume. As he saw my face he knew this was not an ecstatic woman on her big day, but he had no idea what was coming. I arrived at the front of the room, took a big breath and I faced our friends, our parents and I told them the truth about Alex.
“There will be no wedding today,” I announced
“It seems Alex is not who I thought he was.”
A ripple of shock went through the crowd and Alex tried to grab my hands but I put down my flowers to reveal my phone in my hand. I read every single message she sent me. With each word, more colour left Alex’s face.
I let my weeping eyes rise and meet his, and he had not one thing to say.
He stalked out of the church with his best man trailing behind him. His family looked on, horrified.
I faced our guests once more
“I love all of you and as horrible as this is I’m glad you all are here. There will not be a wedding reception today, but instead, there will be a celebration of honesty, finding true love and following your heart even when it hurts.”
There was a smattering of awkward applause and a little cheering. What was the correct response to this news? It was certainly not the wedding day I had planned but to our credit, it was one hell of a party.