Call Kurtis: My Fiancé Died And Wedding Venue Owner Refuses To Refund My Wedding Deposit
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She had found her perfect wedding dress, but Amanda-Rose Smith won’t get a chance to wear it now.
“[It] was meant be for mine and Bryson’s wedding,” she said.
In January, Amanda’s fiancé, Bryson, was killed trying to cross I-80 after his car broke down. CBS13 was on scene the day of the tragic accident.
“It didn’t feel real.” Amanda said. “It still feels like a nightmare.”
She now wears her wedding band. The ceremony was supposed to happen on Aug. 16.
“We had almost the whole wedding planned,” she said.
That included signing a non-refundable contract with Power’s Mansion Inn in Auburn, paying the full $5,999.
Just a week after Bryson’s death, Amanda said she called owner, Alfred Lee, to cancel.
“Alfred had said that the money had already been spent that he had already ordered the food for the wedding.” She said.
That was eight months before the wedding. Amanda said Alfred told her he would work to give her money back – only if he could rebook her date.
But as August approached, Amanda said couldn’t get ahold of Alfred.
“I’ve been trying to contact him and contact him,” she said.
We brought the case to wedding planner Kate Whelan.
“I think anyone with a bit of integrity would do their best in this situation for their client.” Whelan said.
We reached out to Alfred, who told us over the phone, he is “…trying to survive himself” and “… (has) mortgages…” and …”could die too.”
After he admitted he hasn’t bought food yet for the wedding, he abruptly ended the call.
So we decided to pay him a visit, but we were told he didn’t want to talk to us.
Remember Carolynn Steiner?
Back in 2012, we followed Carolynn and her mom to small claims court.
They sued Power’s Mansion Inn, after Alfred refused to refund them – even though they canceled the wedding 10 months out and he rebooked the venue for that same date. A judge ordered a partial refund.
And now Amanda too is taking her fight to small claims court, suing Alfred for all of her money back.
We were there the day she filed and that’s where we oddly ran into — guess who? Alfred lee.
“Why won’t you talk to us?” A CBS13 producer asked Alfred.
After initially running away, he agreed to talk with our producer.
“I’m not lacking compassion,” he said.
He admits he’s having major money trouble, which is why he was at court this day. He said he intends to return Amanda’s money, if he doesn’t go bankrupt.
“The whole refund, that’s the absolute goal.” Alfred said.
Amanda misses Bryson, who wouldn’t want her to go through this alone.
“To make sure no one treats me the way they’ve been treating me,” she said.
Hear more from our interview with Alfred Lee: