It's no secret that planning a wedding is stressful because every couple wants their special day to be perfect. Every detail from the date to the dress is carefully planned to ensure a fun and smooth event that'll yield memories to last a lifetime.
So when Ohio resident Katie Liepold started planning her nuptials, she knew hiring a good photographer to capture the details of her wedding had to be at the top of her list.
She posted a note on Facebook seeking recommendations for a wedding photographer, and that's how she came across Linda Silvestri from Tower Photography.
Liepold and her fiance, Jon Kistler, hired Silvestri, who offered them a $600 package that included an engagement photo session.
"We didn't really need the engagement session, but it was in the package so we did it," said Liepold to News5 Cleveland.
The bride-to-be felt that she and her future husband had a great rapport with Silvestri, so they never expected things to turn out the way they did.
"We laughed, we talked, we joked, we shared stories," recalled Liepold. However, the couple was left with a sour taste in their mouth once they got the photos back.
Liepold took one look at the photos from their session with Silvestri and immediately knew something was off.
At first, the images looked slightly blurry with weird angles, but then, Liepold noticed that in two of the photos, she and her fiance did not look like themselves.
Turns out, Silvestri used Photoshop to make the couple look thinner. According to Liepold, the photographer "probably took like 30 pounds off each of us."
Hurt by the doctored images, Liepold got in touch with Silvestri to voice her concerns, saying, "That wasn't asked for, and I just felt like that was really hurtful and my pictures weren't good enough to be left alone."
Instead of taking steps to correct the issue, Silvestri suggested that the couple cancel the contract, but she would be keeping the $150 deposit to make up for the time she spent taking the photos.
Just when Liepold and Kistler thought the ordeal was over, they found a post written by Silvestri on the Northeast Ohio Wedding Professionals Only Facebook page. In a long rant, which has since been deleted, Silvestri fat-shamed the couple, writing, "it is extremely difficult to get Pinterest worthy lovey dovey pictures when people can't even get their heads together."
Liepold was ready to look the other way, and not turn this experience into a bigger problem, but after reading Silvestri's harsh note, she decided to not only get her deposit back, but to also "warn other brides about Tower Photography and potential other vendors like her."
"I feel I was able to tell my story but I felt like the focus was more on my weight and fat shaming and not on the whole story," Liepold added. "I would just like to say that even though I feel she is unprofessional and not a nice person...nobody deserves to be bullied. Not even her."
As for Silvestri, she still refuses to reimburse the couple, but she told News5 that she has since apologized for altering the photos.