Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When planning a wedding, you have plenty of crazy-beautiful locations in the city to choose from. Any style, any price point— San Francisco has your back. But if you're looking to turn a profit off of your wedding, some of the city's picturesque venues might become a tad more expensive.
Take the Palace of Fine Arts, for example. Reality personality Michaele Salahi and her Journey guitarist beau Neal Schon booked the waterside location for their 2013 wedding. The rental fee —$58,000— was pretty steep, but the city raised the price to $240,000 after learning that the couple was broadcasting their nuptials as a Pay-Per-View event. That amount included a "premium reservation fee" of $100,000 and a "park regeneration fee" of $50,000, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
The Schons are suing the city, claiming that the rate hike amounted to extortion because they didn't have time to secure another venue, SFGate reports. Their lawsuit also alleges that the city infringed on the couple's First Amendment rights by banning photography with the Palace of Fine Arts in the background and refusing to allow the couple to use one of the old Exploratorium rooms for their reception after they renamed it the "Sexy" room, the website reports.
Matt Dorsey of the City Attorney's office says the price increase was based on the couple's decision to charge for the broadcast. "The only thing unusual about the Schons' wedding was that it evolved from small and secret to a live commercial broadcast, and the city's fees evolved accordingly," Dorsey tells UCR. "There are no hard feelings on our part, and nothing about their lawsuit will diminish San Francisco's affection for Journey."
Even if they don't win their lawsuit, at least the Schons know that San Francisco will be forever theirs…faithfully.