WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dreams of a beautiful, flower-filled wedding may be quickly withering for more than two-dozen brides after a local floral shop closed suddenly.
Customers handed over money to The Plaid Petunia and are now realizing they may not receive the flowers they paid for – or a possibly even a refund.
Shortly after attending the Buffalo Bridal Expo six weeks ago, bride-to-be Katie DiLeo got a call saying she won the bridal package from The Plaid Petunia flower shop in West Seneca.
“It was a free bridal bouquet as well as 25 percent off the rest of my flowers,” she said.
Her total cost for flowers was $287.65 – a great deal.
DiLeo said, “My fiance and I are spending everything on this wedding on our own. We don’t have credit cards; we are not getting help from anybody. So when we found a deal like that, we jumped on it.”
The man who called from The Plaid Petunia also hooked her up with a deal on pictures with a local photographer. She gave him $700 to give to the photographer.
But the flower shop abruptly closed its doors, and now DiLeo doesn’t know if she’ll have flowers for her wedding – or a photographer.
“The $700 was for the photographer, who had never heard of me. He never agreed to anything,” she said.
Meanwhile, Arianna Ravenell started working at Plaid Petunia three weeks ago.
She said, “We were told that on Friday that he would come down at 6:00 to pay all of us and he never showed.”
News 4 tried calling The Plaid Petunia. Our messages were not returned.
Michael Fantaske, Director of the Buffalo Bridal Association was able to talk with Sean Tober, who’s listed as an owner on The Plaid Petunia’s website. He says they didn’t discuss refunds.
“Money was never mentioned at all. He just seemed to want to distance himself from the gentleman who’s been talking with these brides for the past six week,” Fantaske said.
Ravenell says Tober told employees that man was hired to run the shop for four weeks.
“I think that he preys on what people want the most. I wanted a beautiful wedding with all these gorgeous flowers and a great photographer,” DiLeo said.
Fantaske said, “The brides are suffering right now and we want to make sure they’re taken care of.”
He says this was The Plaid Petunia’s first time at expo and the store had passed its screening process. Fantaske estimates there will be between 30 and 40 victims who the Buffalo Bridal Association will help put in touch with other florists.
Anyone who put down a deposit with The Plaid Petunia can file a complaint with the New York Attorney General at 853-8404.