Investigation returns lost wedding videos to brides, stores nearly 200 more to be returned
Joe Ducey, ABC15 , Lauren Gilger, ABC15
5:00 PM, Aug 27, 2013
10:08 PM, Aug 27, 2013
PHOENIX - The following is a report from KNXV/ABC15, 10News' Scripps sister station in Phoenix.
You want to remember every moment of your wedding day.
That's why hundreds of brides from the Valley and across the country hired a Phoenix-based business to make sure those memories were captured on video.
But, months after their weddings, many of those videos are nowhere to be found. And many of those brides, like Stefanie Kostewa of Ahwatukee, are desperately searching for the business responsible -- Urbane Wedding Company.
"It's a phenomenally special day to me," Stefanie said about her wedding day. "You know, I only do this once."
That's why she made sure she hired a photographer and a videographer from Urbane Wedding Company to capture every moment of her March wedding day on film.
Soon after her wedding, Stefani said she received her pictures. But, five months later, the business hired to take her video – and the wedding video itself – were nowhere to be found.
Stefanie cried as she told me how devastating it was to think she would never be able to watch her big day again.
"It's very upsetting," she said. "I can't remember a lot of stuff, because I knew I could go back to the video."
A BUSINESS DISAPPEARS
Our investigation found Urbane Wedding Company's website and phone are down. The office is abandoned. The landlord says they left suddenly without paying rent.
There's just a note on the door directed to the owner of Urbane Wedding Group, Chad Koerber. "Notice: Premises security has been breached. Chad Koerber, DBA Urbane Media Group," and asks for him to call the management company. It's dated June 29.
Koerber served in the Air Force, but the brides we've talked to say what he did to them was anything but honorable.
The company also did business as Urbane Media Group, AZ Weddings Guys, CA Wedding Guys, among other business names.
At that time, I made an on-air plea to Koerber or anyone connected to Urbane Wedding Company: "Just bring any raw video you have here, to ABC15, drop it off at the front, no questions asked," I said.
10 TERABYTES OF VIDEO
Koerber did not show up. But two former freelance editors did.
One said he took over ownership of the business when Koerber left, but asked that we didn't use his name. And both say they were told to do what they want with the video.
They dropped off three full hard drives and a pile of DVDs. They include a massive amount of files full of hundreds of hours of family and friends, couples exchanging vows and dancing and celebrating after the ceremony.
We've tallied at least 170 weddings. They are memories that need to be in the bride and groom's hands.
But, it's not an easy task. The videos are organized by last name only, some with dates of the wedding and a few with locations.
That means no full names, no phone numbers, no email addresses, and no location, in most cases.
Some of the DVDs have states written on them like Michigan, Florida and California. And a lot of the video came from Valley weddings.
TEARS OF JOY
One of the DVDs had the last name "Hadland" written on it. It turns out, that's actually a maiden name. The bride's married name is Kostewa – Stefanie Kostewa.
We found Stefanie's video and surprised her and husband Rick at her Valley home.
It was an incredible moment.
As Stefanie realized she was watching her own wedding, she put her hands to her mouth and began crying. This time, they were tears of joy.
GETTING YOU YOUR VIDEO
Now, we do not have everyone's video. But, we do want to get the video we have in the right hands.
We need your help.
If you hired a videographer or photographer from Urbane Wedding Company, Urbane Media Group, AZ Weddings Guys, CA Wedding Guys or any other business associated with Chad Koerber to shoot your wedding video, and haven't received it, let me know by sending us your information.