What is the most important part of a wedding? Next to the bride and groom, most people would say the photos top the list.  One local couple is now scrambling to find a photographer because the person they paid to take their pictures suddenly stopped responding.

The young couple says the deal seemed too good to be true. Kaitlyn Brunner and Austin Harriss are high school sweethearts and they are getting married in 2.5 weeks. The say they found a deal posted on a local “mom swap” Facebook page, someone claiming to be a photographer giving away a wedding session at a lower price.

Brunner says, “She said she was just moving here from Texas, so I was like cool, maybe she’s just trying to build up her business here.”

The post made it seem like Kaitlyn was entering a contest and only three couples would win. The offer claimed to be for an eight hour wedding photo session, with two photographers, for only $450.

Brunner says, “I was like cool and jumped on it, let’s try to get a photographer that’s cheaper than spending $1500 for a photographer.”

So, Kaitlyn and Austin signed a contract and put down a deposit with Emily Thompson of “Get Photography”. Then, they started seeing red flags.

Brunner says, “Every time she would message me it would never be like, we need to sit down and talk about what pictures you want. It would be, you need to pay now, do you want to pay in full? You can get this awesome deal if you pay now.”

Emily Thompson continuously turned down Kaitlyn’s requests to meet in person, and started creating different aliases on Facebook.

Brunner says, “She changed it to Emmy Thompson, that’s when she started messaging me. And a couple days after that, she changed it to Jean Thompson. That didn’t make any sense to me.”

Then, she shut down the photography website.

Brunner says, “It disappeared out of nowhere, and I was like, okay this isn’t right.”

Kaitlyn started to get suspicious. When she researched Emily Thompson and her business, she found a news article out of Texas telling the story of a bride who hired the same photographer, who never showed up.

Brunner says, “I was like, we are screwed. We just gave this lady $250, which I know isn’t a huge deal, but to us it is when we are planning for the wedding ourselves.”

She kept looking and found more brides with the same story on the Better Business Bureau and Rip-Off Report.

Brunner says, “I don’t want this lady anywhere near the wedding.”

Kaitlyn messaged Emily, confronting her about what she found, but never got a response. Now, they are trying to scramble to find a replacement just 17 days before the wedding.

Brunner says, “It’s the most important part of the day so you can keep the memories”.

Kaitlyn and Austin say if they could do it over, they would insist on meeting the photographer in person before putting down a deposit, and doing more research, only choosing someone with great reviews.