Vendors Offer Aid to Jilted Couples

More than a dozen weddings were sidelined last week with the abrupt closure of Montefiori's, a popular venue in Lemont

By Anthony Ponce
|  Friday, Dec 9, 2011  |  Updated 10:11 PM CDT
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Wedding Venue Closes, Leaves Brides Stranded

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Wedding Venue Closes, Leaves Brides Stranded

It's one of the happiest times of a young woman's life, but the sudden closing of Lemont's Montefiori has turned those dreams into nightmares for more than a dozen brides.
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As they say in show business, the show must go on.

And so, too, may more than a dozen weddings that were sidelined last week with the abrupt closure of Montefiori's, a popular venue in Lemont.

Jessica Schaeffer and her fiancé, Robert Zimmermann, were among those hoping to get married at Montefiori when they, along with some 30 other couples, got a letter last week stating all 2012 events at the venue were cancelled.

"No email, no phone call, no 'we're sorry,' no nothing," said Schaeffer.

"Every time that we went there, [they] assured us that our wedding day would be perfect, and we believed her," Zimmermann added.

They're out the $2,500 deposit they'd put down.

"I'm more just disappointed in their lack of response," Schaeffer said. "I feel like it's really bad business."

But as news of Montefiori's abrubt closing spread, other wedding vendors have come forward with a little help.

"I was like, 'We have to do something to help these people out,'" said Nick Halikias, who runs Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park.

Odyssey can host wedding receptions for up to 1,000 guests. It's now offering to honor the displaced brides' deposits.

"Depending on their dollar amount, we can take some of that off their bill here for them," Halikias said.

Wedding DJ Victor Huerta of Baticua Entertainment also heard of the couples' plight.

"It made me feel that I wanted to give back to the community and that I would like to offer them something," he said.

Huerta is now offering free DJ service to the first three displaced Montefiori brides who contact him, and a discounted rate to all the others.

"That includes a DJ and emcee and any music that they request," Huerta said.

The turn of events is a silver lining to a tough week.

"All of us have lost thousands of dollars in this, so our budgets are tighter than they would've been, so I think it's awesome that people are willing to do that," said Schaeffer.

Discounted Venue:
The Odyssey Country Club

Free/Discounted DJ Service:
Baticua Entertainment

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