Brides say wedding planner took off with their money - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South brides say wedding planner took off with their money

(WMC-TV) - Two Mid-South brides say they're out thousands of dollars given to a local wedding planner who they now say was only planning her escape.

It's supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, but Mid-South brides Levette Little and Mary Smith say planning their respective weddings has turned into a nightmare.

"I just want to throw my hands up and say, 'I quit.'" Smith said.

"It makes you not want to trust anyone no more," Little added.

The two brides say wedding planner Jennice Collier broke her vow, turning their dreams into nightmares by running off with their money.

"What's the purpose of a wedding planner if she's just going to screw me over?" Smith asked.

Little and her fiance, Rico Stone, gave Events of Vision owner Jennice Collier $10,000 to plan their wedding at the Memphis Botanic Garden while they were serving their country in Afghanistan and Qatar.

"She had everything lined up," Little said. "She was great."

Great...until a couple of months before the big day.

"She just fell off the face of the earth," Little said. "We couldn't find her. She wouldn't answer her phone. She wasn't returning email replies or anything."

That's when Collier's elaborate wedding web began to unravel. 

"We got a email from our venue saying, 'We're releasing your date because you have not paid your deposit,'" Little said.

Bride-to-be Mary Smith and her mother-in-law, Kathy Sachs, also trusted Collier.  

"My biggest goal is to make sure that Mary gets the wedding of her dreams," Sachs said.

Their nightmare began with a call to their caterer.

"They were like, Who are you? We don't have a deposit for you,'" Smith said.

Action News 5 confirmed with both brides' caterers and venue organizers that documents Collier provided to the brides confirming their rentals were phony, forged, or manipulated.

No one answered the door at Collier's home office in Cordova when Action News 5's Anna Marie Hartman visited. All calls to Collier went to voicemail, an email sent to her was returned, and Events of Vision's website was taken offline.

"It makes you not want to trust anyone no more anymore, and being in the military that's hard to do," Little said.

In an email Little, Collier finally broke her silence - just one week before Little's wedding date. Collier said she had run into financial troubles, the money was gone, she is relocating and she hopes to refund Little's entire balance.

It was little comfort for two brides who are now paying twice the weddings of their dreams.  

"I want my money back and her shut down because no bride should have to go through this, ever," Smith said.

"She can't run around ripping people off, and I'm curious as to how many people has she done this to and they don't know it yet," Little added.

Jennice Collier's Events of Vision is listed with the Better Business Bureau, but not a member. The company's A-minus rating is based on the short time it's been in business and absence of customer complaints.

Smith and Little say those complaints are coming - they've already filed police reports.

Meanwhile, Levette Little took out a wedding insurance policy, but she can only collect on the claim if she cancels her wedding this Wednesday. That's not an option, because she and the groom are on a short military leave to get married, and their wedding guests are flying into Memphis from around the world.

Mary Smith's wedding is scheduled for September.

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