Bride learns lesson after bartending company stiffs her

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PHOENIX -- Getting married is a big event. It takes time and money.

But one Valley woman had to plan her big day with a little less cash after she got scammed.

For a lot couples, every dollar counts in their wedding. For Julie Lazarra, every dollar mattered, but it was her wedding and she wanted it to be perfect.

But the last thing she expected was to be taken by the bartending company that she hired for her reception.

"It is a big day and it only happens once so it's important!" Lazarra said.

Lazzara had big plans for her big day.

"It's a very big deal," she said. "I've been with my fiance for a very long time so it's a date that's been coming for a while."

And she wanted her wedding day to be perfect.

"I hired someone to do the bartending, to provide all the drinks, the sodas, the beverages, the wine all of it," she said.

So, back in March she hired a company called Black Tie Affair Events reportedly run by a woman named Krista Blackburn.

"She just seemed very personable and very nice," Lazarra said.

So when Blackburn and Black Tie Affair Events asked for a $400 deposit, Lazarra agreed and handed over that check.

"I thought everything was great so I was shocked," Lazarra said.

Shocked because Lazarra says when she tried making contact with Blackburn and Black Tie Affair Events, they were nowhere to be found.

"When I went to contact them over the summer, the phone number I had was no longer in service and she didn't respond to e-mails," Lazarra said.

Lazarra says she frantically had to find someone else.

Blackburn and Black Tie Affair Events eventually got back with Lazarra and said she would return that $400, but that money never came.

3 On Your Side got involved and we went to the address listed on the invoice. But no one ever came to the door and no one ever returned our calls either. What a shocker!

As for Lazarra she did find another bartending service and she did have her big day, but she says this experience has also taught her a big lesson

"With this economy you really have to be careful especially when making deposits," Lazarra said. "Get something in writing and use credit cards."

Lazarra actually did get something in writing, but it's not doing much good right now. She is right though about putting things on a credit card.

Also, for a wedding, I'd recommend dealing with a company that's been around awhile and can give you references from other weddings they've done.