Brides Accuse Wedding Planner of Scamming Them
A FOX 4 Problem Solver from 2010:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — He’s the wedding planner from hell. Brides say they nearly had the biggest day of their lives destroyed by a guy who promised everything and delivered nothing.
Courtney and James Pace say they will never forget their wedding day, though at times they’d like to. An hour before their wedding, bride Courtney got a call from her fiancée saying the limousine had never arrived at the hotel to take him and his groomsmen to the church.
That was the first disaster. The second came minutes before Courtney walked down the aisle. That’s when she said she realized neither the photographer or the videographer were there.
Courtney’s mother-in-law started desperately calling photographers to see if they could rush to the church. Amazingly she found one, but what happened to the photographer, videographer and limousine the young couple had already paid for?
Those services were all the responsibility of Mario Antoine. He’s a Kansas City photographer and wedding planner who sold Courtney what turned out to be a bogus wedding package for $1800.
They weren’t the only couple who Mario is accused of taking money from but never provided services.
The day before Brian and Ahn’s wedding on Labor Day weekend, no one could reach Mario. When Brian called the limousine service that Mario had supposedly already ordered and paid for, the owner was unaware of the wedding.
However, Horizon Limousine quickly went to work to help the couple get the wedding they’d paid for. Horizon owner Taylor Hill said he was outraged that brides were being left in the lurch by a no-show wedding planner.
“The first thing that goes through my mind is how horrible of a thing to do,” said Hill. “It’s the biggest day of your life and he’s advertising a complete wedding package.”
So who is Mario Antoine? He’s not easy to track down. He’s moved three times in the past year.
We finally located him living and operating his wedding business out of a downtown Kansas City apartment.
He told us he never showed up for Courtney and Jake’s wedding because he feared for his life after Courtney left him an angry voicemail minutes before she was to walk down the aisle.
He said he never showed up for Brian and Ahn’s wedding because they violated their contract by hiring a second photographer to shoot the Vietnamese portion of their wedding.
Both couples say Mario’s excuses are ridiculous. Courtney admits she left an angry voicemail, but she said Mario should have already been at the church by then. And Ahn and Brian said Mario knew about the second photographer prior to their wedding day and had approved it.
As far as the non-existent limousine that Mario had promised the couples, he blamed the limousine company. We asked him to show us proof that he’d ever ordered a limousine, but he never did.
Mario dismissed the complaints against him as just two unhappy clients out of the many to whom he says he has provided services.
But Fox 4 Problem Solvers found even more brides upset with Mario Antoine.
Bride Kaela Roach also never got the limousine she paid for and she says the video Mario shot for her has no audio.
Bride Elizabeth Ramirez tells us Mario was a no-show on her wedding day. According to a lawsuit she filed, Mario sent another photographer in his place to her wedding but never paid that photographer.
In her lawsuit, Ramirez accuses Mario of lying to her about live streaming her wedding on the internet so that her husband’s family could see it in Mexico.
“Everybody was at the computer just waiting,” said Ramirez with tears in her eyes. “But nothing was ever put on the computer.”
Ramirez said Mario told her he couldn’t make her wedding because he had broken his arm. A story she believed until she saw photos he posted on Facebook from a rock concert he attended that same day. He shot photos of the concert.
“He’s the worst person I ever met,” said Ramirez. “I regret meeting him.”