Wedding reception canceled, hall kept money

Seven On Your Side
April 6, 2012 8:23:23 PM PDT
7 On Your Side has turned the tide on some Hurricane Irene wedding disasters, getting back more than $50,000 for brides and grooms for wedding halls.

This time a Queens couple saw our report and they sent out an invitation for help to Nina Pineda and 7 on your side.

The small statue is the Hindu God of hope. The intricate wedding favors were never given out and gone to waste.

"So sad we couldn't use them," said Yogeeta Singh, bride.

A lavish Hindu wedding dress and suit was custom made and imported from India and never made it out of plastic.

David Shiwdin and his bride Yogeeta were supposed to have their wedding overlooking the water at Lombardi's on the Bay.

Their August wedding, paid for by themselves, was scheduled for last August 28th, the day after Hurricane Irene.

Before the storm hit, the couple says Lombardi's switched the party to their inland sister catering hall, Villa Lombardi.

But the day of the wedding it was a different story.

"On my wedding day at 11 o'clock, Ann Marie called and told me that the wedding was canceled, the reception was canceled," Singh said.

The couple says Lombardi's manager made them a take it or leave it offer, re-schedule the wedding or lose their whole payment.

Because the couple's families came from as far away as Guyana, Canada, and England, they said had their party in her parents backyard and friends cooked food instead of dancing the night away at Villa Lombardi's.

"A little less than 15,000," Singh said.

Since the hurricane 7 On Your Side has helped three other couples get more than $50,000 from wedding halls after their weddings were washed away by Irene.

The Queens couple says they've appealed to Lombardi's and even had a lawyer intervene but they wouldn't take their phone calls.

After Eyewitness News' calls went unanswered 7 On Your Side visited Lombardi's.

"She wants you guys to leave, it's personal property and she'll sue for harassment," the receptionist at Lombardi's said.

"Okay, you can't really sue for harassment it's the first time I've been here," Pineda said.

"Are you the catering manager?" Pineda asked another employee.

"I am but there's nothing to talk about this is private property," the catering manager said.

"It's private property but this couple owed $15,000," Pineda said.

"I understand but you guys have to leave," the catering manager said.

After we left the couple says they were presented with an offer from Lombardi's to split the difference, a refund of half their payment for more than $7,000.

But, the couple rejected the offer and says they'll proceed in court.



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