Ducey: Some good news comes in wedding video debacle - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

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Ducey: Some good news comes in wedding video debacle

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 7:12 am

In my last column, I wrote about a wedding video business that went out of business.

Hundreds of brides from the Valley and across the country hired a Phoenix-based business to make sure their wedding memories were captured on video.

But months after their weddings, the videos are nowhere to be found.

Well, a lot has changed in the last two weeks.

Stefanie Kostewa is one bride who has been desperately searching for the business, Urbane Wedding Company.

Kostewa calls her wedding a “phenomenally special day” and something she “will only do once.”

She made sure she hired a photographer to take pictures. And she hired Urbane to take video of every moment of her wedding.

Soon after her big day, she received her pictures from a different business.

But five months later, Urbane — and the wedding video itself — were nowhere to be found.

Kostewa cries as she tells me how devastating it is to think she’ll never have those video memories.

“It’s very upsetting. I can’t remember a lot of stuff, because I knew I could go back to the video,” she said.

Our investigation found Urbane Wedding Companies’ website and phone were down. The office is now abandoned.

There’s just a sign on the door for the former owner, Chad Koerber. We found Koerber sold the business in mid-June.

But many brides we talked with were married months before that. They say they tried repeatedly to get their videos, but could not.

And despite numerous attempts, we can’t find Koerber.

Earlier this month, we aired a story about all of the complaints that now involve hundreds of brides from across the country.

At that time, I made an on-air plea to anyone connected to Urbane Wedding Company: “Just bring any raw video you have here, to ABC15, drop it off at the front, no questions asked.”

Two former Urbane freelance workers showed up.

One said he took over ownership of the business for a short period of time. Both say they were told to do what they want with the video.

They dropped off three full hard drives and a pile of DVDs. They are massive files full of hundreds of hours of family and friends, couples exchanging vows and dancing and celebrating after the ceremony.

We counted at least 170 weddings.

They are memories that need to be in the bride and groom’s hands.

But it’s not an easy task. The video is listed by last name only. That means no phone, no email, no location in most cases.

Some of the DVDs have states written on them like Michigan, Florida and California. And a lot of the video came from Valley weddings.

One of the DVDs even had a last name written on it. We found it was actually a maiden name.

The married name is Kostewa. Yes, Stefanie Kostewa.

We found Kostewa’s video and surprised her and husband, Rick, at her Valley home last week.

It was an incredible moment.

As Kostewa realized she was watching her own wedding, she put her hands to her mouth and began crying.

This time, they were tears of joy.

Now, we do not have everyone’s video.

But we do want to get what we have in the right hands.

And we need your help.

If you paid Urbane Wedding Company to shoot your wedding video, and haven’t received it, go to our website, www.abc15.com/letjoeknow.

We have a form you need to fill out, send it and I hope we can help you.

• Joe Ducey is now helping people like you everyday on ABC15 News at 6 p.m. If you’ve got a consumer issue you can’t solve, “Let Joe Know.” Contact him at joe@abc15.com or (855) 323-1515.

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