FOX 29 Investigates: Wedding Nightmare

FOX 29 Investigates: Wedding Nightmare

Posted: Updated:
The cheap decorations Rivera was given. The cheap decorations Rivera was given.
Cepeda, the owner of the store that Rivera says almost ruined her wedding Cepeda, the owner of the store that Rivera says almost ruined her wedding
PHILADELPHIA -

It's the heart-breaking story of a city woman who wanted a dream-come-true wedding, but claims the woman she hired to make it happen never did her job and almost ruined her special day.

"They just left it, just left it, they never set anything up for me..."

In the front room of Mandelene Rivera's small, North Philly apartment sit the remnants of the beautiful wedding she longed for, but claims she never got.

"It's not what I expected. A dream come true wedding. I'd never been married, I didn't expect that, I expected something beautiful" says Rivera.

The 44-year-old mother of five had planned an early evening, June 1st wedding at a local banquet hall.

She'd dreamed of a celebration of her love for her fiancée. One that would include her family and friends all set against an Arabian Theme.

"I am upset, yes, angry and disappointed," says Rivera.

Rivera, unemployed and struggling with a heart ailment, scrapped together just over one thousand bucks and paid a woman, Evelyn Cepeda, owner of the Party Place on North 5th., to provide decorations and put them up in the hall.

But when the afternoon of the special day came, Cepeda and her workers were no-where to be found.

"They didn't show at 2," says Rivera. "Not at all, no phone call nothing."

They finally showed up around 4:45. That was about an hour before the wedding, says Rivera, and only after a series of frantic calls and a visit to the Party Place. And even then, she says, all they did was dump it and run.

"They just threw it on the floor and left it there," recalls Rivera.

Rivera says she and her family took the decorations they did get, combined them with their own, and pulled off something close to the special day she'd hoped for. But angry Rivera returned to the store a few days later and recorded this bitter encounter with a worker on her own camera.

"I was embarrassed and humiliated you know I came here crying to you and begging you to help me. I gave you a lot of money and I want my money back," says Rivera.

Rivera also claims she and her husband were attacked as they left the store by Cepeda's friends. She says pictures show the scrapes and bruises they suffered.

"They just started attacking us they just started beating on us for no apparent reason..." she says.

Rivera has filed a private criminal complaint against her two alleged attackers in Philadelphia's municipal court. A hearing is scheduled for Monday.

As for Evelyn Cepeda?

When we showed up at her store to ask questions, it was locked-up, empty, and there was no one around.

We tried to reach Evelyn Cepeda through her company's Facebook page but she's not contacted us.

Meanwhile, Mandelene Rivera says she's left with the cheap decorations the Party Place left behind and deep disappointment.

She's sued Cepeda in civil court.

"I want justice to be served. I want to her to pay me my money back. It's inhumane. You don't do this to us," she says. "It's not right that take my money and you don't do your job. It's not right !!!"

After attempting to contact Cepeda and the Party Place through Facebook yesterday, the page appears to have been pulled down. And a phone number to the Party Place is no longer active. A hearing in Rivera's lawsuit against Cepeda is set for Friday.

A word of caution: Mandelene Rivera says she wishes she'd never paid Cepeda the entire fee before the wedding day.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:06:41 GMT
    Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
  • Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:05:34 GMT
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices