Venue problem leaves bride-to-be scrambling days before wedding

TOLEDO (WTVG) - A bride-to-be is scrambling just five days before her wedding after she was told her venue and other items she already paid for were no longer available.

Diadria Woods already sent out the invitations for her May 18th wedding. A day she has planned for more than a year to celebrate her first marriage to fiancé Christopher Baringer.

"I pictured the hall being beautiful," Wood's said. "The white linen on the tables and the gold sash around the chairs."

Wood's dream wedding is looking more like a nightmare.

"I paid $1,500 dollars for Garden Lake Hall, only to find out that the previous owner took our money and ran," Wood's said.

The reception was all set to be held at Garden Lake Hall off of Dorr Street in Toledo. As of May 1st, the venue was under new ownership.

"We had an agreement to not take any more bookings or any money, but the opposite things happened," said Alicia Owens.

Owens said she took over the venue, now called Over the Top Occasions, from Michael Huggins, not knowing that Huggins was still booking events and taking payments.

"There's about $20,000 on the books that I am not paid for," Owens said.

Owens said she had no idea about those events, ranging from weddings to graduations. She is now trying to contact those who booked the events, but claims Huggins did not leave contact information for each person.

"The couple that I could reach out to, I am giving them those dates only, not the other things promised, " Owens said. "There were photobooths, DJ's, and other things people are missing. I can't take losses like that."

Woods said she signed a contract promising her those items.

"We were supposed to have the hall, linens for the tables, chairs, and we even paid to use the stove," Woods said.

Another issue, Wood's said, is trying to get her money back.

"I have to go into this hall and make it work somehow, some way, and I'm tapped out."

Woods and her fiancé have guests flying in from out of state and said she doesn't know what to do to somehow save their special day.

"I am shaking. I don't know what to do. I just want everything to fall back in place."

Woods said she plans to file a police report.

13abc reached out to Huggins, but all phone call attempts went unanswered.

The current owner of the venue is asking anyone who booked an event at the former Garden Lake Hall to contact the venue to make sure the date is still available.