ST. PETERS, Mo. — Nearly ten women have joined a Facebook group to share their stories about losing their money and memories -- all to the same local wedding photographer.
The brides-to-be said their wedding troubles started after they hired the photographer and paid him hundreds of dollars for engagement photos.
After the payment, all of them describe being ignored and often blocked on social media.
"He just seemed like a really good affordable option," Lindsey Newberry said.
In April 2018, Newberry said it was love at first sight.
"I knew it was going to go further than let's be friends ordeal," she said. After several months together, she and her boyfriend Scott got engaged. "I was just excited to start planning the wedding because what girl doesn't dream of their wedding?"
Last year, Newberry started searching online for a wedding photographer and found a good bargain.
"I got into contact with Christian Mayberry photography because he posted on one of my wedding websites that I was following and he had this deal for $500," she said.
But she said that deal turned out too good to be true. Soon after paying the money and signing a contract with Mayberry, Newberry said he failed to deliver on his promise and never showed up to take her engagement photos. Instead, she claims he ghosted her.
"It's just kind of one thing after another and just the lying is so hard," she said.
She's not the only with a similar experience. While Ronnisha Goddrich said she did take her engagement photos with him, she has never received them.
“He just kept putting me off over and over and over again. I didn’t get my pictures and haven’t gotten any money," Goddrich said.
Goddrich is now out the money and left with tainted memories. And while both brides-to-be said they're frustrated with Mayberry, they hope he is one day held accountable.
"You have this person who you think is there for your biggest day and all really they're just trying to get money out of you," Newberry said.
Mayberry's company has an 'F' rating with the Better Business Bureau.
5 On Your Side reached out to Mayberry about the allegations against him. He did not want to comment on the cases under the advice of his attorney, but he did tell 5 On Your Side that he plans to give the women a full refund next month.
There's a lot you can do when dealing with a photographer. The Better Business Bureau recommends:
- Read online reviews and complaints.
- Ask the business to provide recommendations from past clients.
- Interview the candidate.
- Make sure the business is accredited.