Self-confessed “organised bride” Natalie De Roberto thought she had her wedding plans well in hand when she booked a videographer more than 18 months in advance of her special day.
But that all turned to dust when popular Perth-based outfit Launch Film Productions abruptly closed its doors and was placed into liquidation on Tuesday.
She and upwards of 200 other newlyweds and grooms and brides-to-be have been left in the cold, after the business deleted their website, disconnected their phone number and axed their staff.
Ms De Roberto said she was unlikely to see the $1500 deposit she had paid for Launch to take videos and photos at her October wedding, but she considers herself one of the lucky ones.
The business had initially wanted her to pay the full $5000 cost up front but she was reluctant and managed to negotiate a smaller deposit. Many others, though, did pay in full and now find themselves without a videographer, or their money.
“I’m one of the lucky ones, mine is in October so I’ve got time, but there are people that have been left in the lurch for this weekend,” Ms De Roberto said.
“A lot of people have entrusted them with their money, why do we have to be paying a 50 per cent deposit or the full amount of money upfront? Is it lawful, is it even right paying that amount of money, that far in advance?”
“I heard from them a week ago when I let them know about a couple of songs I wanted on my video and they replied and acted as if that’s fine…as if they didn’t know (they were in financial trouble).
“It is highly unlikely people will get their money back and we can’t afford to be spending that on another photographer.”
Ms De Roberto is seeking to have herself registered as a creditor.
Jaye-Leane Cole is devastated. Her January 5 wedding was “unplugged” so the only photos and video from the ceremony are those taken by Launch.
The problem is, she hasn’t received all the photos, video or drone footage she paid $6000 for, just a small selection of images.
“It makes me really sad because I had such a wonderful day and I can’t get that day back,” she said.
“The photos that I do have are all labelled so I can’t have them printed I can’t have them copied. My day is gone.”
“For us ladies that have had our wedding days and our photos and our memories are locked up in a computer, just put them on a stick and give them back to us,” she pleaded.
“I don’t care about the album, I don’t care about canvas, just put those memories on a stick so I have got them and I can then hand them to my family and my kids when they get older.”
Wedding photographer Jesse Chance is among a number of businesses offering to cover the weddings of any couples caught out by the Launch collapse.
He said he would take photos for free in exchange for unwanted wedding presents.
Mr Chance has already locked in three couples and is liaising with others. So far he has been offered steak knives, a carton of beer and a trip to Margaret River in exchange for his services.