KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Wedding videography packages can range in price from a thousand dollars to more than $15 thousand. Two young women hired a Knoxville-based video company to video their weddings. One bride paid her bill a year ago and the other two years ago.
According to the contract, the video would take three to six months at most.
Carmen and Jake Grissom's wedding pictures captured the big day perfectly, both big and small moments. The pictures of the wedding taken October 29, 2016, will always be cherished.
"You want those memories of the special day and the special people that are there for you," said Carmen Grissom.
The young couple also paid wedding videographer Matthew Burkhart to make a mini-movie of the event. They paid Burkhart's B & H VideoCraft $1,000 more than 13 months ago, but still don't have their movie.
Sarah Brooks hired Burkhart more than two years ago to shoot video of her wedding. Brooks's contract shows she paid Burkhart more than $2,500, including taxes, two years ago.
"I don't have a video and I don't have any money," Brooks said. "He told me he's had a lot of issues of trying to get the video together."
Brooks said she was told to expect the video within four to six months after she was married, and she's been given countless promises that it would be finished soon.
After waiting for 13 months, about two weeks ago Burkhart finally told Carmen Grissom she could pick up the completed project at his office. WATE 6 On Your Side was there as she recorded her conversation with him.
"Here is the USB drive with your video on it," said Burkhart.
Once outside, she inserted the flash drive Burkhart had given her and watched the mini-movie of her wedding.
"I finally got it. It's awesome that I have it, but I would have loved it six weeks after my wedding," she said.
Wondering why Carmen Grissom had to wait a year for her wedding video and curious why Brooks has never received her video, WATE 6 On Your Side went to Matthew Burkhart for an explanation.
At first he was reluctant to speak with us as we asked about the long delay in getting Grissom her video.
"Please leave. This is not my business," he said.
He then escorted us out of the lot. He said he was dealing with Brooks, but his deal is not that sweet.
"He said he would pay me money back. But it would only be $600 out of the $2,500," Brooks said.
Burkhart claimed he was broke.
"Sixty-six dollars, that's how much I have," he said.
Yet he's collected thousands of dollars over the last few years with his wedding video business. Even though he had never delivered Brooks's video, she said Burkhart was going to keep 75 percent of her $2,500 bill if she agreed to the deal.
"What have you done with Mrs. Brooks money?" we asked.
"Trying to live and survive and run a business. I didn't go to business school so I don't have a degree. I suck at running businesses," said Burkhart.
Burkhart said he was trying to right the wrongs. He says he's taking full responsibility and will return his customers' money, but being so short on cash makes that hard.
"So, imagine how hard that's been for me when people are asking for their money back and I don't have it," he said.
Grissom says Burkhart broke any trust he had established with her.
"Families, aunts, uncles, grandparents, they all trust you. Trust what you are doing and are going to get us the video on time," said Grissom.
Burkhart said he is no longer shooting wedding videos. The Grissoms say they were fortunate to get the mini-movie of their wedding.
There are many excellent services in East Tennessee that specialize in shooting and producing wedding videos. In WATE 6 On Your Side's research, we discovered the average time it takes most wedding services to get your DVD back is two months, not three to six as spelled out in Burkhart's contract.
WATE was also told the sooner you choose your music selections, the faster your video is finished.
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