Rocky start to marriage when newlyweds fall victim to fraudulent wedding photographer

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- His name may still be on the window of his Independence photography studio, but neighbors say they haven't seen Phillip Flores in more than a month.

A peek through the glass shows a stack of unopened mail. Slipped under the locked door is a note from a groom demanding to know where his wedding album is and why his phone calls aren't being returned. That groom isn't the only one upset with Phillip Flores Photography.

"He needs to be upfront with clients, not taking their cash and not showing up on the most important day of these couples' lives," said wedding planner Miranda Ritter who owns Belle Journee.

Ritter said one of her clients was left stranded on her wedding day by Flores.

"[He] texted them and said he had a family emergency," Ritter said.

Flores sent another photographer to shoot the wedding, but there were supposed to be two photographers. The one who did come had no information about the couple or their shot list.

Even though Flores was paid $2,000 for the wedding months earlier, the other photographer told FOX 4 Problem Solvers that Flores never paid him.

After learning Flores would be a no show at the wedding, Ritter immediately contacted another couple who had hired Flores to shoot their wedding the following week. That bride told Ritter she was not surprised. She said she'd been having trouble getting Flores to return her calls even though her wedding was only a week away.

That bride decided to fire Flores. Ritter helped her find another photographer.

Days later, Flores acknowledged in text messages that he was at fault and agreed to refund both couples their money. That never happened.

Besides the money, Ritter is concerned that Flores may still be booking weddings.

"I just don't want more people to rely on a vendor to be there and then he's not," she said.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called Flores to get his side of this controversy. He said his photography business is closed and he's only shooting weddings that he had booked months ago.

He admitted to us that he didn't fulfill some contracts. He said he had overbooked himself and been overwhelmed running his own business.

He promised FOX 4 Problem Solvers that he would repay the two couples -- a total of about $4,000 -- whose weddings he never shot.

He said he'd have the money by the end of the year. Problem Solvers will check back and see whether Flores keeps that promise.