Friday, November 21, 2008

The Rachael Ray Wedding!

You may have heard about this--the Houston couples who were planning weddings at local venues that ended up shutting down without warning in mid-September after filing bankruptcy. The whole situation was terrible and many brides lost thousands of dollars--but more importantly were left with wedding plans in shambles. Thankfully, there was an outpouring of love from wedding vendors across the country--many offering their services for free. And then there was FOOD Network star Rachel Ray who hosted a gorgeous mass wedding for more than 30 of the affected couples.

The Rachel Ray wedding airs today on CBS. For show times in your area go here.

If you weren’t on the guest list for the fairy-tale wedding that Rachael Ray hosted for 33 Houston couples at Minute Maid Park earlier this month, don’t despair.

The ceremony was televised and will be featured Friday on Ray’s syndicated cooking show.

“I had a pretty great wedding,” Ray gushed this week by phone. “But that wedding (in Houston) was the best one I’ve ever been to. It was really overwhelming. It was kind of beyond words.”

The Houston couples never intended for a mass wedding. All had planned to celebrate their nuptials at either Bella Terraza near the Galleria or the Tuscany in Garden Oaks. But those plans died when the venues shut down without warning in mid-September. Parent company Titus Inc. filed for bankruptcy Oct. 8, according to the Better Business Bureau, which has received 150 complaints to date.

Many of the brides lost thousands of dollars in deposits; one woman had paid part of hers with life insurance money from her mother’s 2005 death from pancreatic cancer. Several interviewed by the Chronicle reported they had been offered discounts for paying in advance and in full.

Neither the company owners nor their attorney responded to requests for comment.

“It was a tragic, awful story,” Ray said. “We tried to replace a bad experience with a really beautiful memory.”

Read the full story here.

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