LULING, Texas (KXAN) — At least four couples are fighting to get thousands of dollars back from a wedding planner in Luling. They say she, and all the stuff they ordered, never showed up for their big day.
“You don’t have food to feed your guests, you don’t have drinks for them, I mean, if the venue didn’t have chairs I wouldn’t [have] had chairs to sit in,” said newlywed Lyndsie Ward.
Ward booked her venue at Zedler Mill in Luling a year in advance and started searching for vendors soon after. That’s when she found Branding Iron Events who promised to do it all.
“She was even on WeddingWire, the Knot.com, everything a bride would check, I checked before I paid her anything,” said Ward.
Ward was charged almost $8,500 from Branding Iron Events.
“She promised you your perfect wedding, your dream wedding, everything you could imagine… ’Sure, no problem we can do that!’” said Ward. “Then it all just disappeared into literally a flash.”
With help from friends and family, Ward was still able to pull off a beautiful wedding, but it didn’t come without some added stress.
“The worst part is that she’s done this to so many people,” said Ward.
In total, four couples have filed in small claims court demanding they get their money back from Branding Iron Events.
“I hate that this happened to them,” said Luling City Manager Mark Mayo.
Branding Iron Events was suggested to the couples by the venue, which happens to be run by the city of Luling.
“For several years she did very well, but she let her business drop and at that point when she started having issues and problems, we removed her from our list,” said Mayo.
It’s a step the now-married couples hope will save engaged couples in the future.
In all, small claims court ordered Branding Iron Events to pay more than $20,000 to the four couples. Of that, Ward says she’s owed almost $10,000 and hasn’t received a penny. KXAN has reached out to Branding Iron Events for a comment, but haven’t heard back.
As of now, it doesn’t look like there will be criminal charges. In an email, the Caldwell County district attorney told the couples that based on the facts he has, he can’t make it a criminal case since it involves a breach of contract, which is civil in nature.