Wedding planner goes missing with couple's $10,000 marriage fund

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Planning a wedding can be stressful, but even more so when the wedding planner stops returning the couple's calls and runs off with the wedding funds. 

"I think this has been the worst experience of our life to be completely honest," said the 24-year-old soon-to-be-bride as she held on to her fiance's hand. 

India and her fiancé Michael met three years ago and they plan to get married on the anniversary of their meeting, which is in just over two weeks May 27.

"I work days, he works nights, we both work full-time jobs to pay for our bills and also to pay for our dream wedding,” India Cudd said.

So they hired a wedding planner, but the couple said their dream wedding has turned into a nightmare.

"When she came home, she calmed me down and told me what happened and to tell you the truth, I just flipped,” Michael Morrill said.

The couple hired Hand in Hand Wedding and Events to plan the big day, but they can't find the wedding planner or $10,000 they've given the company to pay vendors.

The couple said the wedding planner has not returned phone calls, and emails and the company's website no longer exists.

"I think it makes us upset and angry  because this was supposed to be our dream wedding,"said Cudd. "We're young, we wanted to take our time and really kind of plan it out to be what we really wanted and we feel like our dreams have just been completely crushed."

KPRC Channel 2 went to Hand in Hand's north Houston office at 525 N. Sam Houston Parkway E. Suite 210 location, but the door was locked and the mail was laying outside.

“They're not answering our phone calls, any of our emails, our vendors are calling us basically saying we haven't been paid for your event in two weeks,” Cudd said. 

The couple said the venue that is hosting their wedding ceremony was who referred them to the wedding planner. 

The venue said it has since taken Hand and Hand off their preferred vendor list and released the following statement: 

"We recommend vendors in good faith to our couples, but they operate 100% independent of us.  It’s unfair when a vendor disappears and weddings are on the line.  We are doing everything we can to help and are so grateful for our vendor friends and community who are helping us pull this together.  It’s unfair and we couldn’t be sorrier that this has happened.  Couples deserve better."

Leaving Cudd scrambling to find a caterer, baker, linens and day-of coordinator.

“Think this has been the worst experience of our life, to be completely honest,” Cudd said.

This couple said they don't have ill feelings toward the wedding planner, but if she's listening they have one request.

“We want them to do the right thing, give us our money back I mean, you can keep for whatever services you have going up to this point, but we want the rest of it back,” Cudd said.