Newlyweds struggle to get deposit back from Thomas Estates

Newlyweds struggle to get deposit back from Thomas Estates
April 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two Bay Area couples have wedding memories to last a lifetime, but there was a major wrinkle that followed their special day. Fortunately, they had 7 On Your Side to turn to for help.

Brittany and Greg Green of Brentwood celebrated their nuptials at the Thomas Estates in Danville back in August. Their wedding went so well it was voted "best wedding" on the TLC reality show "Four Weddings."

"The venue is beautiful. It's perfect. It's exactly what I would ever imagine," said Brittany Green.

David and Elaine Captain of Moraga also got married at the Thomas Estates in July.

"It was magical. Everything that we had planned came through," said David.

But something they didn't have planned happened months later. The refunds promised from the security deposits both couples put down kept getting delayed.

"After back and forth with the proprietor, she told us she was sending us our money back," said David.

"Right after the event ended that night, we kind of lost communications with her," said Greg.

"We just wouldn't get a response from emails, phone calls, nobody would answer us," said Brittany.

"Followed up again, it was silence," said David.

Frustration began to set in. No one quite knew what to think. The venue's owner who had been so helpful during the wedding had seemingly disappeared.

"We paid for everything and we were married, you know, happily married, except for this one thing kind of hanging out there. And you know it was $1,000 which is not an insignificant amount of money," said David.

Then they heard Thomas Estates had been put up for sale and that made them really nervous. They knew they needed to do something.

"We contacted 7 On Your Side because we found out that we weren't the only people involved in this situation. There was other brides, other families that were involved," said Greg.

The owner Joannie Thomas promptly got back to 7 On Your Side when we reached out to her. She blamed the delay on personal family issues.

"Basically, I dropped the ball. There was no scamming in any way. I would never take anyone's deposit and not give it back to someone," said Thomas.

At least one of the contracts did not specify when the deposits had to be returned, but each of the couples that contacted us has now gotten their deposits back. The Greens are ready to turn the page, because Brittany is six months pregnant.

"I'm glad. It was a little stressful with especially having a baby on the way. Just wanted to close that chapter and now we're starting a new one," said Brittany.

All the couples we talked to wished venue owner the best.

TLC's "Four Weddings" can be seen Friday at 8 p.m.


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