Flowers and cake, but no place to wed

September 22, 2008 9:16:14 PM PDT
As if the hurricane wasn't stressful enough on many Southeast Texans, some Houstonians are dealing with more stress. They're supposed to get married in the coming weeks, and now they are not only out a place but a whole lot of money, as well. Brides have been coming to their supposed wedding site on Chimney Rock and the other location in The Heights all day trying to get some answers, but there hasn't been anyone around to give answers.

Several brides we talked with have paid $1,800 to $13,000, now they don't know if they will ever see that money again or where they will celebrate their big day.

But moving trucks were loading the last of what's left inside the Tuscany at Garden Oaks on West 34th Street bringing Rhonda Lotter's perfect wedding dream to a screeching halt.

"The place was the most important to me so I'm still upset about it," said Lotter.

The most upsetting, after paying several thousand dollars, no one from the facility ever contacted Lotter or her fiancé telling them about the problems. Instead they found out through a third party.

"Now we have nothing, we have flowers and cake, no place to celebrate," said fiancé Nathan Rhodes.

Mairim Carbonell was notified via email from a sales coordinator that her wedding at the Bella Terrazza on Chimney Rock is cancelled. She said she was just as shocked as the other brides and expressed sympathy. Though it wasn't much comfort to this couple who just paid $5,000 after the company offered a discount if they paid in full with cash.

Wedding event owners were also there, offering to help after a flood of calls from desperate brides.

"One of the main things I've always worried about by some accident is you might book weddings on the same day and two brides show up at the same time," said Bert Truxillo of the Magnolia Ballroom. "That's bad enough, but this..."

Some are trying to still give these brides, who have spent everything without much possibility of recouping their losses, that fairy tale ending.

Event coordinators we talked to today said the brides from the story should try holding their weddings on off days like Friday or Sunday so they can still reserve a space at this late date.

We tried to contact the owners of the two wedding sites and were unsuccessful.

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