Lawsuit: Wedding plans sink

"From spring break to Spring Lake." That's what Gabe and Emily (Taylor) Bailey wanted printed on the announcement for their September 2011 wedding.
Becky Vargo
Jul 3, 2012


But a glitch in scheduling, discovered just 30 days before the wedding, put the couple’s plans in a tailspin.

It also put Emily’s parents, Tom and Mary Jo Taylor, in a panic, according to a lawsuit they recently filed against the facility where the wedding was supposed to take place. The Taylors filed the civil suit against the Spring Lake Yacht Club in Ottawa County Circuit Court on June 26.

Emily Taylor of Owosso met Gabe Bailey on an oceanside beach during spring break 2010. Once they became engaged, the couple said they wanted to “rekindle” their first meeting by having their wedding on a body of water somewhere in Michigan.

The Taylors had discovered the Spring Lake Yacht Club through a family member who lived in the area. They contacted Jennifer Garrett, who was in charge of booking events for the Ferrysburg facility, after looking at the yacht club’s website, the lawsuit said. Garrett is also targeted in the lawsuit.

After a series of e-mails, the couple determined that Sept. 10, 2011, would be the wedding date, according to the lawsuit. A rehearsal dinner was to be held at the sailing club the night before.

The series of e-mails continued. They resulted in the Taylors signing a contract and sending it with a $250 security deposit to the club. That check was cashed on Dec. 10, 2011, according to the lawsuit.

The Taylors also sent a check for $750, half of the rental fee, in March. It was not cashed until July 27.

The Taylors said they also discovered the rental fee was cheaper for club members, so they paid $250 for Tom Taylor’s brother, who was a Tri-Cities resident, to become a member.

The money, with the exception of the membership fee, was refunded to the Taylors, said their attorney, Wade McConnell of Grand Rapids.

Prior to sending out "Save the Date" cards, Maryjo Taylor e-mailed Garrett again to confirm the wedding date. She then requested use of the facility on Friday night for the rehearsal dinner and wedding preparations, and was given an affirmative answer on both, the lawsuit said.

In early August, a conflict was revealed when one of Emily’s friends was having lunch with another person in the New York City area, the lawsuit said. The two people were talking about fall weddings they were planning to attend and discovered they were both at the same place, but involving different couples.

Once they learned of the conflict, Emily’s parents contacted the Spring Lake Yacht Club and were assured by Garrett that there was no double booking, the lawsuit stated.

But a short time later, the Taylors were informed by the Yacht Club that there was a double booking after all, and they would not be able to use the club on that date.

Club officials then broke off all communications with the Taylors at that time, the lawsuit said.

This sent the Taylors into "an emotional hell,” the lawsuit noted. "The couple were in complete shock and panic,” according to the lawsuit.

The Taylors said they suffered anxiety, stress and embarrassment while working to secure a new site for the wedding. They found a new venue at Grand Haven Golf Club in Grand Haven Township — "which, of course, is nowhere near any water,” according to the lawsuit.

McConnell said there was conversation between the Taylors and Spring Lake Yacht Club officials during the months after the wedding, but nothing was settled.

Among the issues the Taylors claim against the Yacht Club and Jennifer Garrett are: promissory estoppel (prevents one party from withdrawing a promise made to a second party if the latter has reasonably relied on that promise), implied contract, negligent infliction of emotional stress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of Michigan Consumer Protection Act, misrepresentation, silent fraud and breach of contract.

The Taylors are asking for a judgment of more than $25,000 to compensate them for economic damages, costs, and any relief “consistent with equity and good conscience."

As of Friday, Spring Lake Yacht Club officials had not been served the lawsuit, McConnell said.

Calls to Yacht Club board members and to the facility were not returned as of press time.



Spring Lake Resident

This is an Un-Newsworthy article. The Spring Lake Yacht Club would not intentionally inflict emotional distress on anyone.


Its too bad we live in a world where everyone sues everyone for the dumbest stuff (yes this is dumb) its also too bad that the Tribune would support such childish behavior by publishing this story. I hope the judge tosses them out of court. (and no I am not a member of the SLYC)


I agree with you. this lawsuit is ridiculous. It is however, pathetic that the club didnt catch the "mistake" until a month beforehand. doesnt mean they should have to pay $25,000 to these people.
Im confused about this article though, it states they didnt cash a check until december 10th, why did the couple not stop payment on the check then since it was MONTHS after the wedding & when they were told they couldnt have the place? or did the trib make a mistake?


I agree with this, I agree with this


I don't think it was intentional but it was a big and costly mistake. They should pay the 25 grand and consider themselves lucky.


I agree Willie, I agree. They didnt mean to make this mistake, but the management at the SLYC should have a better organized individual organizing these events.


"Management"? It is a volunteer club. They just need to appoint a new rental agent!


Well, I geuss like they need to hire someone who cares enough to not double book events :)


But a glitch in scheduling, discovered just 30 days before the wedding, put the couple’s plans in a tailspin. Really? 30 days is more than enough time to find another place to get married. Grand Haven Golf Club????? what a way to spend a a Golf course..haha.....hahahahaha......hahahahahahaha Fore! you may now kiss the bride LMFAO!!!!!!


This is the dumbest lawsuit I think I have ever heard of....well not the dumbest but it ranks up there. Jennifer Garrett did not intentionally try to ruin this couple's wedding. SLYC did not intentionally try to ruin this couple's wedding. We had our limo break down between our wedding and reception and were an hour late. We arrived in a cab (with our entire wedding party) and to this day it is a great memory. If anything about your wedding caused you 25K of pain and suffering, you might want to reconsider being married.

I do agree that a business that is handling things of this nature shouldn't make a mistake like that and catch it so late. It would have been great of the club to help them find a new location and maybe cover the difference in cost if GHGC was more expensive, but 25K...JOKE! The statements in the lawsuit does make you chuckle though...

"This sent the Taylors into "an emotional hell,” the lawsuit noted. "The couple were in complete shock and panic,” according to the lawsuit.

The Taylors said they suffered anxiety, stress and embarrassment while working to secure a new site for the wedding. They found a new venue at Grand Haven Golf Club in Grand Haven Township — "which, of course, is nowhere near any water,” according to the lawsuit."

I would never wish any ill will on these folks or anyone else all kidding aside, but come on, this is quite the dramatic number.


You have got to be kidding me, WA WA poor people ! And shame on you tribune on printing this ! You can't tell me there is nothing out there about maybe people who give up time, money to help out people or who do things for no reason at all ? I agree with everyone who commented and i hope the throw this case out and charge them for wasting court time ...


YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME !!! WA WA and shame on you tribune for printing such a stupid story do you expect people to feel sorry for these people ? NOT agree with all comments above lets try to print more deserving stories i hope this case gets laugh out of court and they have to pay the court costs..

Tri-cities realist

Note to Becky Vargo, and the editor of the Tribune: nice one sided story. Couldn't you have waited for the SLYC to actually have been served with the lawsuit, prior to writing this article? The lawsuit was filed June 26 and you waited until July 3 to publish the story? Could you not have waited another week, to get the other half of the story? Anyway, hopefully this will get tossed out of court and the plaintiffs will be ordered to pay SLYC's attorney's fees. SLYC could countersue the plaintiffs for fraud, since to get the member rates, one must be a member in good standing, for I believe one year prior to reserving the use of the facility. That bylaw is in place to prevent someone from joining for one year just to get the member rates. The Taylor's should be ashamed of themselves, besides they were able to find another venue for the same date, so nobody had to reschedule flights or hotel rooms. And while planning a wedding can be somewhat stressful, no event goes off without a hitch, but to sue for this? Come on, how rediculous. Full disclosure, I am a member of SLYC, but my opinions are mine only, and do not represent the board or members of SLYC.

Spring Lake Resident

I am not a member of the yacht club but agree with the comments. Really Tribune... I know many people involved with the club and this is RIDICULOUS. Take your drama elsewhere and get a life.



No One Special

Here is my advice for what it's worth. For this couple: You need to have some real problems to see how ridiculous this lawsuit is. For SLYC members: You need to quit being victims. This article was not slanted. As a matter of fact, after reading it I viewed the couple as overindulged, spoiled brats. I viewed the SLYC as making a bad mistake. However, after reading the comments from SLYC members, I now also view you as overindulged, whiny brats. For the Tribune: Please print the name of the attorneys filing these frivolous lawsuits in your articles so responsible citizens can avoid these leeches when we need to hire someone to perform legitimate legal work.

explained by...

Filed by Douglas W. McConnell of Schnelker Rassi & McConnell, PLC (a Grand Rapids firm)


1. The couple has over reacted. 2. The club royally screwed up, and ought to be embarrassed 3. It will settle out of court for less than what they are asking for, but probably more than they deserve.


A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader. -Dan Sciscente


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