A Folsom couple had planned to tie the knot this spring. But when the wedding venue shut down and refused to refund their deposit, they called Kurtis.
Five months before their big day, they got an email from The Victorian in Roseville, saying it’s closing its doors. And now, they’re out their money.
“I am so devastated,” said Elle Franz.
Elle couldn’t believe The Victorian was shutting down. Invitations were already sent out, and flights and hotels were booked for out-of-town guests for her May wedding.
“I didn’t know what to do. This has to be a mistake. You can’t just do that,” said Elle.
Elle and her fiancé, who we can’t identify because of his work, put down a deposit of $1,750 last April.
In early January, they got an email saying The Victorian was closing due to “vandalisms, cancellations and environmental repairs.”
And their deposit?
“He spent the money,” said Elle.
The owner offered his DJ services, but Elle and her fiancé didn’t feel comfortable and would still have to fork over more money for a new venue.
“How could you trust him at this point?” asked Elle.
“Unfortunately, people often look at the legal system as a cure-all,” said Chad Tapp, an attorney with Porter Scott.
Tapp says even if Elle took The Victorian to court, she could have trouble collecting on a judgment.
“If there’s no money there, then there’s no recovery, and that’s something that’s common in this economy,” said Tapp.
We went to The Victorian but no one was there. We then called the owner, Robert Caudle.
He told us he was forced to shut down because of “mold in the basement” and that he was using his “personal money to keep afloat.”
He added “there is no scandal here” and says he’s working with all the brides and grooms to find other venues.
Elle and her fiancé say they’re now forced to postpone their wedding for another year.
“I feel like an idiot in the end. I feel like… wish something I would’ve known sooner so I could have taken different steps,” said Elle.
To avoid something like this, you can buy wedding insurance. It can cover cancellations from extreme weather, illness, military leave or bankrupt vendors, like in this case.