Chicago couples say wedding photographer Chris Seibel disappeared after taking thousands of dollars

CHICAGO (WLS) – Local bride and groom are scrambling after claiming to pay wedding photographer Chris Seibel thousands of dollars, before he goes missing.

Alyssa and Kurt Becker have stated that Seibel completely ghosts them.

“When they (people) ask about marriage, it’s not ‘Oh, I’m so excited!’ it tells this horrible story about what happened to us, ”Alyssa explained. “We have no contact with this guy. I have no idea how we’re going to get our money back.”

The couple said they booked with Seibel, who is also called Chris Frost of Frost Studios International, and paid him $ 3,500 to take photos and record a video of their wedding.

In May, they said Seibel assured them everything was on track for their big day.

“Two weeks later we get an email saying yes we’ve gone bankrupt and we’re not able to live up to the deals we had, so good luck,” Kurt said.

The couple said they called and emailed the photographer dozens of times to try to get their money back, but all lines of communication were cut.

“If we could just have a conversation and find out more about what’s going on, but the fact that he’s just sending this email and he’s gone off the grid and not responding to anything, it’s incredibly frustrating. “said Alyssa.

The couples who contacted the I-Team all said they received an email from the photographer, which read: “Please note that the photography / cinematography business is no longer operational, in large part due to the crisis. of COVID-19. Frost is unable to provide these services, and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. If Frost has already filmed part of your wedding in 2020, allow some time for delivery of the images because our publishers have also gone out of business. “

Brittany and Matthew Martens said they paid Seibel $ 7,000.

“We tried texting Chris and it was unsuccessful,” Brittany said. “Lots of frustration. Lots of screaming, crying, tears, panic attacks. After postponing the wedding of your dreams for a year and your photographer is no longer in business and has not given you a answers, it’s very frustrating. “

Jessica and Frank Rooks said Seibel showed up at their wedding in 2020. They said he sent them their photos, but nine months later they still haven’t received any video footage for which they have. paid.

“I feel like we got bamboozled,” Frank said.

They said they paid Seibel $ 5,350 because it offers discounts to those who pay up front.

“It hurts to know that someone can actually do this to people,” Jessica said. “If we don’t get the video, then it’s like part of our marriage is gone.”

And then there are the Carvays, who said Seibel took their engagement photos and was hired to film their wedding.

They said they also received the email saying it was going to shut down, with no mention of a refund or what they are supposed to do on the wedding day.

“It sounds like a scam to me. I don’t know if that’s what he wanted at first, but that’s what it has become,” Heather Carvey said.

The ABC 7 I-Team called and texted Seibel but did not receive a response.

The I-Team emailed him and even sent him a certified letter, but still nothing.

The couples said they were devastated to lose so much money, but now they just hope to warn other bride and groom.

“It’s so hard. You want to be excited, but I keep coming back to it. We shouldn’t start our marriage at $ 3,500,” Alyssa said.

The Illinois attorney general’s office said it will contact the company as part of its routine mediation process and encourage affected consumers to file a complaint with their office.

The attorney general’s office said, “When looking for a wedding photographer, we encourage consumers, like all businesses, to check references from friends, request digital copies of your photos before paying in full, and have many initial communications with your photographer before the wedding to see how the photographer is interacting with the consumer, as this may be a sign of a problem. “

These couples said they felt like they had done a lot of research but still ended up getting ripped off and didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

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