Left standing without the altar

first_imgAt a time when most brides would be putting final touches on wedding favors, Fernandez, who attended high school in Pico Rivera, is busy trying to find a lawyer to help recover more than $15,000 spent on booking the Ivy House Gardens in Inglewood. She and her fiance, Nathan Lopez, 27, don’t know where, how or even if they’re getting married on the date they planned. They said they’ve cancelled their honeymoon due to the uncertain circumstances. Fernandez said she was at work when one of her bridesmaids called to tell her that she’d heard the news on the radio. “I was just in shock,” she said. “I didn’t know what to think at that time.” Fernandez is not alone. SOUTH EL MONTE – Kimberly Fernandez was all set to get married to her high school sweetheart on Sept. 29. With more than 200 invitations out, she’d be the first in her family to have a traditional, fairy tale wedding. Her plans came crashing down Wednesday when she learned that the venue she’d booked had suddenly shut down. With just two weeks to go until the big day, she had nowhere to get married. As the 26-year-old hair stylist from South El Monte ran her fingers along the lace of her couture wedding gown, her eyes welled with tears. “It’s just sad that somebody could take it away,” she said, her voice choking. John Crawford, former owner of the Ivy House and manager until it closed, said there are about 80 couples who had wedding plans cancelled. He said things had been “tenuous” for months, but owner Christel Reyna announced her decision to close and abruptly halt events Tuesday. Reyna did not return calls Thursday or Friday. “She didn’t discuss it with (employees), it was just like, boom,” he said. “She could have closed it in an orderly manner.” Authorities said they began reviewing the matter after receiving calls Tuesday from people alleging they had been defrauded by the Ivy House and its owners. Inglewood police Lt. Mike McBride said the department is looking into the issue to determine whether it is a civil or criminal case. Crawford said the Ivy House lost its operating permit when it changed ownership, but would have closed anyway for financial reasons. Inglewood city spokesman Ed Maddox said the situation was “very complex,” and that facts were not yet clear. But for Fernandez and Lopez, who made their final payment, the clock continues to tick. “Everyone was really looking forward to my wedding,” said the bride-to-be, holding the tulle veil she had made. “It would have been beautiful.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2236160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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