All they wanted was a record of their moment of nuptial bliss. But dozens of couples say they were cheated out of their wedding videos by a Millbury company.
Now, Attorney General Martha Coakley has stepped in, suing the company to get the couples’ money back — and the images of vows, cake-cutting, toasts, and first dances captured by the cameramen.
SureShot, based in Millbury, never delivered the videos it promised to as many as 84 different customers after receiving payments in advance totaling $75,000, a statement from Coakley’s office said.
Coakley said at a news conference that SureShot’s owner, Jesse J. Clark, had been served with a lawsuit demanding restitution and the recovery of all existing footage of the weddings. The attorney general’s office is also seeking an injunction to prevent Clark from taking any more deposits for any type of video business in Massachusetts.
Coakley said videographers were contracted by SureShot and filmed the weddings, but the couples never saw the footage.
In most cases, the company failed to give them the DVDs and videos they had promised, Coakley said. In some cases, no videographer even showed up at all, even though the couples had paid deposits of anywhere from $800 to $2,000, Coakley said.
“We all know that a wedding day should be the happiest day of any couple’s life,” she said. SureShot not only scammed the couples out of thousands of dollars, but cheated them of “priceless memories,” Coakley said.
One of the couples stood alongside Coakley today at her offices in Boston.
Ryan and Lauren Baldner, a young couple from Waltham, were married at the Pembroke Country Club in May. A videographer contracted by SureShot came to their wedding, but when they emailed Clark to ask for the video in the following weeks, Clark ignored their pleas.
Soon after, they saw on television news that he was being investigated by Millbury police for allegedly putting other couples through a similar ordeal.
Finally, in July, he sent them a profanity-laced reply telling them he was too overwhelmed by reporters to edit their footage. “Why don’t you go on the [expletive] news and tell them to leave us along [sic] so we can do our job,” he wrote. “Until then, I am in no mood for your emails or to edit your video.”
The couple, who paid $1000, said they just want the raw footage back. “We would like to show our future children our first dance,” said Ryan Baldner, a 26-year-old employee of Fidelity Bank. “I want to see my wife walk down that aisle again.”