Couple says wedding photographer a no-show on big day
BATON ROUGE - She had the dress, he had the tux, and all their friends and family were in town for their big day. Only problem? The photographer didn't show.
Kellie King and Johnathan Harris met a few years ago at work. They got engaged in December 2017, and got married on St. Patrick's Day this year.
"We really didn't want a big wedding," said Harris.
For the most part, the couple says they handed over the wedding planning duties to their families and were married by the Justice of the Peace at the VFW Hall in Addis, La. Harris says a coworker recommended they look into hiring Jay Simmz Photography for their wedding. After looking at his previous work online, the couple hired Jay Simmz, or Jordan Simoneaux, for their wedding date and paid a $250 deposit and paid him another $250 a week before the wedding.
But on March 17, eight minutes before the ceremony, the photographer was nowhere to be found. Harris called and sent Simoneaux a text message asking him where he was. Simoneaux texted back that he was lost but was four minutes away.
The couple waited as long as they could but had to go on with the wedding ceremony without the photographer being there. After the ceremony, Harris tried to reach Simoneaux again, but there was no response.
A few days later, King contacted Simoneaux for a refund since the contract was not honored. A screenshot sent to Harris shows Simoneaux was going through the process of refunding the money, but the payment never went through.
Wednesday, 2 On Your Side called Simoneaux and left voicemails. Simoneaux did respond to emails from WBRZ, but once he learned what they were in reference to, the email response stopped.
King tells WBRZ she's found others on Facebook who have had a similar experience with Simoneaux. They reached out to 2 On Your Side to spread awareness to people looking to hire a photographer.
"I've talked to at least four different people he's done this to," said King.
Thankfully, friends and family captured the wedding on their cell phones, which King and Harris say they'll cherish forever.
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