RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — Annie Luyen-Yu gets emotional watching the video of her wedding day and seeing herself walk down the aisle.
“It was the happiest day of my life,” Annie said.
Annie and her husband William were married on September 1t, 2013. They hired photographer Catherine Sackett, paying her nearly $3,000 dollars for her most expensive wedding package.
While they have received a CD of photographs and their wedding video, a year and a half later Annie and William are still missing two albums and a framed photograph.
“That’s what’s promised, that’s what I should receive,” Annie said.
She said they have not heard from Catherine in months.
We found that Catherine’s Elk Grove studio was empty; a new business moving into the space. Annie said they haven’t heard from her in months.
“It’s pretty rare that we just have someone disappear,” said Kate Whelan, a Sacramento wedding planner.
She said one way you can protect yourself is to not pay all the money up front. Instead, offer a third of the money when you sign the contract, and another third right before the wedding. Whelan recommended paying out the remaining money only when the wedding vendor delivers all the promised goods.
We reached out to Catherine Sackett. In response, she sent our producer a text message that said “I’ve been in hiding” over a domestic issue.
Furthermore Catherine told us that Annie’s “wedding book is ready to be viewed.”
However, even after we reached out to Catherine, Annie still hasn’t received her album.
Catherine stopped responding to us.
“It’s not fair,” Annie said. “That day is not meant to be remembered like this.”
Kate recommends all wedding vendor contracts include a cancellation clause, explaining what happens to your money if a vendor doesn’t show on the wedding day.
The couple doesn’t own their wedding photographs; the photographer has the usage rights. That means Annie and William would have to get permission from Catherine to have another photographer make an album.
Annie said she will pursue this issue in small claims court, if Catherine doesn’t deliver the wedding albums and framed photograph.
However, Annie will need to locate a home or business address for Catherine in order to serve the claim and pursue a small claims lawsuit.