Runaway wedding planner leaves couple in the lurch

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Ashley Wagner was busy planning the wedding of her dreams, and she'd selected what she thought would be the perfect venue.

"It's every little girl's dream to get married," she said.

Bonne Terre Country Inn and Cafe, a luxury bed and breakfast, helped make Nesbit, Mississippi, one of the best places to elope. Back in 2006, Tango Magazine rated the town number seven and said Bonne Terre was perfect for a Southern girl at heart.

But bride-to-be Wagner says her dreams of the perfect wedding turned into a nightmare when she heard that Bonne Terre had gone bankrupt. "I just felt my heart drop into my stomach. I said 'you've got to be kidding. I can't believe this.'"

Wagner and her fiance, Michael Lemay, drove to Bonne Terre to find the 150-acre property empty.

"We put a deposit of about $6,000 down, and the guy just declared bankruptcy and ran off with our money," said Lemay.

The couple have had no success contacting Bonne Terre Innkeeper Charles Orr. They say Orr's attorney told them the money is gone.

"This man, Charles Orr, did not call us and let us know that this was going to happen," said Wagner.

Wagner says she sympathizes with other brides whose wedding dreams might now be shattered because of Bonne Terre's bankruptcy. "To know that all that money is gone and your dream day is not going to happen the way envisioned it in your's's wrong."

Lemay says he and his fiance are talking to lawyers to figure out how they can get their wedding money back.

Calls to Orr and his attorney on Saturday went unanswered.

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