Thursday, June 30, 2011
Three different Wichita couples say they were scammed on what was supposed to be one of the biggest days of their lives.
They planned for months for the big day,and they say they put their trust in a Wichita wedding planner who promised to make that day unforgettable.
Brandon and Megan Pratt can still smile when they look at their wedding pictures, but when the remember the stress they felt as they were about to take their vows, those smiles fade.
"I was very, very angry," said Brandon Pratt.
"It was really disappointing to know she probably scammed us from the very beginning," said Megan Pratt.
She was their wedding planner. Caitlin Hershberger of Live, Love and Be Married Wedding Consultants. The Pratt's wedding was in Peabody, the reception was in Wichita.
"She was going to run the reception," said Megan Pratt. "with a team of people."
But two days before the wedding, their wedding planner was m-i-a.
"I was panicked, stressed," said Megan Pratt. "We didn't know what we were going to do."
Hershberger was a no show. That's because Hershberger was at another wedding she had planned on the same day. That of Chester and Juliana Drum. Here is a picture of her at the reception.
In an email to KAKE News, Chester says they hired Hershberger to handle everything. She demanded all checks be written to her personally. After discovering, most of the venders, the band, the tux store, the fireworks company, had not been paid, the Drums wrote more checks to ensure their wedding went off without a hitch for a total of nearly $6,000.
And yet another story. Derek and Sarah Purchell won an all expenses paid dream wedding through Live Love and be Married. That free wedding cost them $12,000 in all. Now all three couples want answers and their money back.
"The main thing is that we don't want to have anyone else to go through this again," said Brandon Pratt.
Caitlin Hershberger returned our calls this afternoon and said she couldn't comment until she talked to her attorney. She never called back.