Couple out thousands, reception hall after venue abruptly closes

Channel 2's Carl Willis reports

DULUTH, Ga. — A couple say they have been left without a place to hold their wedding reception after a Duluth venue abruptly closed.

Mark Dacosta and his high school sweetheart had their wedding planned down to the decorations, the flowers and the venue: Elaborate Events in Duluth.%

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"It made us feel nice, like royalty," Dacosta told Channel 2’s Carl Willis. "We were having our dream wedding. It was such a nice place and to find out it's not going to happen the way we thought it was going to happen is a real heartbreaker."

They're heartbroken because when they visited the venue they found padlocked doors and caution tape.

And online, they found even more evidence that their big day was in serious jeopardy.

"We noticed the website says permanently closed on Google. The website is down. The telephone number doesn't work,” Dacosta said.

The couple had made about 16 monthly payments of $500.

"I’m out $8,000. There's other people as well," Dacosta told Willis. %

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Neighboring business owner Kali Sterling can vouch for that. She told Willis she's seen at least four brides-to-be come into her salon for answers after finding the locked doors.

"As soon as we told her we didn't know anything and that they're closed, she ran out crying and someone had to console her and that's happened a couple of times," Sterling said.

Willis stopped by the business owner's home. The person who answered the door claimed the owner wasn't there.

Dacosta said he's not sure where to turn with his wedding just days away.

"We contacted the Gwinnett Police Department and they stated that they cannot help us and we need to file a civil lawsuit,” Dacosta said. “Things like that take time."

Time, Dacosta told Willis, he doesn’t have.

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