NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A shuttered catering hall in Medford, L.I. has left a lot of brides panicked. Vina de Villa closed its doors without notifying customers or vendors.
Invitations were sent out, responses were received, and place card were written, but now Mary Ellen Antinozzi’s big day is turning into a big headache.
Calls to Vina de Villa, where she had booked a Thanksgiving weekend wedding, have gone unanswered and Antinozzi fears that she may not see her deposit again.
“Two-thousand dollars may not sound like a lot to other people but for us it was everything we had,” she told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff.
The ball room has been cleared out, everything was sold off, and even the liquidator had no answer for the tearful brides.
“There are other people trying to help them in the business,” Restaurant Equipment Liquidator, Sal Cataldo said.
For Antinozzi and her groom their wedding was supposed to be a happy ending after a near fatal car crash.
“We waited four years to get married. The last two waiting for him to be well enough to be married. It was every penny we had,” Antinozzi said.
Groom-to-be Goerge Kohler told CBS 2′s Gusoff that it comes down to doing the right thing.
“Be human. You wouldn’t like it if this happened to you. Do the right thing,” he said.
Some of the brides left scrambling for new venues are the same ones who recently lost deposits at Manor East, a Massepequa catering hall that closed its doors some four months ago. Vendors say it was under the same ownership as Vina de Villa.
Consumer advocates said that recouping a deposit can be tricky because customers would have to prove that the catering hall’s owners knew they were going out of business when the deposit was paid. Antinozzi made her payment last week.
The owner of Vina de Villa did not respond to a request for a comment.
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