FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The owner of a Hardin County wedding venue is being sued for allegedly taking money from couples then canceling weeks before their weddings or not providing contracted services.
Gabriella Farm LLC and owner Nicolle Thompson are being sued in Hardin Circuit Court by The Office of the Attorney General of Kentucky for deceptive business practices under Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act.
Attorney General Andy Beshear says Thompson owes at least seven couples from Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson and Meade counties nearly $30,000 after taking vendor payments from them, and either canceled their wedding or provided subpar services throughout the wedding planning process or during the ceremony and reception.
The lawsuit alleges that on September 6 and 7, Thompson, or someone working for her, called at least three couples with weddings scheduled in September and October and canceled their weddings, claiming that Gabriella Farm had been sold but, as of that date, Gabriella Farm had not been sold, and was not under contract to be sold.
According to the complaint, the caller threatened the couples with legal action for defamation if they posted negative reviews on social media.
Beshear’s office says a Jefferson County groom, whose affidavit appears in the lawsuit, was forced to end his contract with Thompson less than a month before his wedding.
According to the groom’s affidavit, a month before the wedding, the groom read a bad online review about the Hardin County wedding venue that caused him to contact his vendors who were supposed to be booked by Thompson. He discovered only one vendor, a videographer, had received a deposit. The cake designer, photographer, DJ and bartender all said they were unaware of his wedding.
While the couple did marry, they have not received a refund for the more than $11,000 they paid Thompson for the wedding and vendors.
According to the lawsuit, the sudden cancellation of these all-inclusive weddings forced the majority of the couples to either quickly come up with thousands of dollars more to secure a new venue and vendors, or to postpone their wedding because all of their available funds had been paid to Thompson.
Beshear says his office is also seeking partial or full refunds for three couples who had their weddings at Gabriella Farm, but did not receive contracted services.
He says some of the couples received notice via text message from Thompson of a wire transfer scheduled to refund their money, but to date none of these couples has received any money.
Beshear is asking others who have paid Thompson or Gabriella Farm for wedding planning or other wedding services that were not provided to contact the AG’s Office of Consumer Protection at (502)696-5389.