STOW, OH (WOIO) - Out nearly $6,000 two months from their wedding date, a local couple is scrambling to find a new videographer, photographer, D.J. and more.
Josh Taylor and Kayla Sielski planned their dream wedding, but now the 21-year-old couple is panicking.
"He was just so friendly and his prices were definitely a lot easier on our budget. Basically, start over from square one and no money to replace the money he took," says Sielski.
The Stow couple says on Wednesday morning, they learned they were scammed after police confirmed the owner of Simply Elegant Weddings in Richfield was arrested. Cory Friedman, 31, faces at least one count of theft for a similar incident.
Investigators believe there are more than a dozen other victims.
The couple says Friedman told them he sold his business several months ago, but assured them everything would be taken care of.
"I was in disbelief and the more I sat there and contemplated, the more I realized it was true. I was just crying 'cause I was just so upset about it," says Sielski.
"How we're going to find the money to do this all over again? 'Cause once we saved it, we saved it, and we gave him everything," says Taylor.
Sielski says she's learned a valuable lesson while planning her wedding, a lesson she hopes others can learn from.
"You can't trust everyone just because you think they're a nice person. You definitely need to do some more research. Even though I did do some research and nothing seemed wrong with him, obviously I didn't look for enough," she explains.
Detectives are reviewing at least two dozen calls from alleged victims. A Summit County jury will hear victim testimony in the next few days.
Investigators say potential losses currently total at least $25,000 and more charges could follow. Anyone victimized by Simply Elegant Weddings who has not yet come forward should contact the Detective Bureau of the Richfield Police Department at (330) 659-9500.
In the meantime, Taylor and Sielski have set up a GoFundMe account to help recover costs and replan their dream wedding.