ATLANTA — Couples say an Atlanta wedding photographer has been a no-show for weddings all over the country.
Brides and grooms continue to reach out to Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray to complain about an Atlanta-based wedding photography business, Lace & Vine Photography, after we first reported about the issue back in October.
Now, we are also hearing from photographers and editors hired by Lace & Vine who say they were never paid for their work.
Melissa von Sternberg was getting dressed for her Maine rehearsal dinner when the text message came.
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Lace & Vine photography was canceling for her September wedding day.
“When you’re already stressed for one of the most important days of your life, it’s heartbreaking when something like this happens,” von Sternberg said.
Channel 2 Action news continues to hear from not just brides and grooms, but also Lace & Vine vendors.
“When you commit to a wedding photographer, it’s more than just a business agreement. They’re trusting you to capture lifelong memories,” photographer Matt Riedl said.
Riedl says Lace & Vine reached out to him by Instagram just two days before a spring wedding in Washington DC.
He shot the wedding, but never received the $600 he was owed.
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“Payment was supposed to come 36 hours after that being uploaded to Dropbox. Now it’s been 131 days since then,” Riedl said.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray talked to Mimi Phan in October, who only has photos of her September New England wedding because a guest stepped in at the last minute to take pictures.
She received a text from the owner of Lace & Vine at 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of the wedding saying he was not coming and would not be providing a replacement.
“We had tried to give them outs multiple times like, ‘If you can’t make this wedding, we can get another photographer instead.’ But they told the coordinator they were going to show up,” Phan said.
She says the photographer told the wedding planner the morning of the big day that he would be there, before bailing with a text message just hours before the ceremony.
Phan still has not gotten her money back.
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“The day of the wedding we were very angry. We’re more frustrated at this point because we just want it to be over,” Phan said.
Jasmine Murphy hired Lace & Vine to shoot and edit a video of her April wedding.
Nearly six months later, she still did not have the video that was supposed to be provided within 90 days.
Channel 2 Action News has talked with several other brides with similar stories.
There is even a “Victims of Lace & Vine” Facebook group.
A bride who wanted to remain anonymous as she fights to get a refund wrote us: “They completely no-showed my wedding. No communication at all after I sent them the final payment.”
“Do you want the truth, or you want me to validate what your concerns and your feelings are?” Lace & Vine’s co-owner Anthony Brown told Gray by phone back in October.
Brown would not respond to Gray when we reached out to him after these new customers and vendors came forward.
Brown did post a long message on the company’s website reading in part that the company “experienced a shift in management in the past few months that has unfortunately impacted the quality of service and communication.”
Brown also writes in the website message that “there are always two sides to every story. Some reviews that have been posted online are entirely fraudulent in nature.”
But as a wedding photographer himself, Matt Riedl is skeptical of the excuses.
“When it’s repeated and there are so many people in this same boat, other photographers, other videographers, it makes you wonder if they ever intended to honor the contract that was signed,” Riedl said.
Amazingly, von Sternberg’s wedding planner was able to find a last-minute replacement, but she’s still not received a refund for the more than $4,000 she paid Lace & Vine.
Von Sternberg is a part-time wedding planner herself.
“I know the business really well, which is why I’m a little annoyed at myself that I didn’t see this coming,” von Sternberg said.
Anthony Brown told Gray Lace & Vine is no longer accepting new jobs.
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