Tulsa Wedding Chapel Closes Abruptly, Leaving Couples Scrambling

Friday, October 5th 2012, 5:36 pm
By: News On 6

A popular Tulsa wedding chapel has closed, leaving brides-and-grooms-to-be without an altar.

Bella Gardens has shut its doors and one couple is now scrambling to find a place to hold their wedding.

Lindsay Woodard and Kris Oberdick have been planning their dream wedding for 18 months.

Their invitations had been sent, asking friends and family to come to Bella Gardens on November 3.

Reporter Dan Bewley: "So when you look at this invitation what do you see?"
Lindsay Woodard: "Trash."

That's because Bella Gardens has closed and Woodard only found out this past week, one month before her wedding.

"I'm okay. I mean, I'm over the anger part. I'm not really angry anymore, because that's not going to get me a new venue. My friends are angry," Woodard said.

Woodard learned Bella Gardens was closed only after her father made an in-person visit to the chapel, after leaving several unreturned messages.

"A heads up, maybe, would have been nice," Woodard said.

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When we stopped by Bella Gardens to learn why it was closing, we found a woman who identified herself as the owner. The woman later called News On 6 and said the bank had pulled Bella Gardens' note, that all deposits have been returned, and that she's working with couples to find a new venue.

Woodard and Oberdick said their deposit was returned, but they're out nearly $300 they spent on the invitations.

They also said Bella Gardens only gave them the names of a few venues and hasn't done much of anything else to help them find a new place for their wedding.

"If they knew they were having financial problems, they still have a responsibility to the people that paid them to let them know that they're having these problems, so they can find other places," Oberdick said.

The couple spent Friday looking for a new venue, but they're worried about getting everything in place with only a month to go.

"It's nuts. It's terrible," Woodard said, laughing.

Woodard said Bella Gardens was also taking care of her centerpieces, linens, and dishes for her reception, so now she has to figure out how to replace those, as well.