SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Dozens of Mid-South couples want answers after they say they paid for engagement, wedding and family photos they never got.
One newlywed tells WREG she doesn’t even care about the money anymore – she just wants the lost memories from what should have been the best day of her life.
“The majority of those that have their weddings, they have an album to look back on. I don’t have that. Mine’s nothing but a memory now, unfortunately,” Jenna Severino-Arnold said.
A shaky cell phone video and some photos taken by her 7-year-old cousin are all she and her husband, Herrick, have to remember their wedding day.
Severino-Arnold says they booked Southaven photographer Haily Humphreys in September of 2018 to shoot their special day in April.
“Her pictures are, I mean, are breathtaking,” she said. “And she seemed really sweet, bubbly, very eager to want to take on and take people’s pictures, so I figured why not?”
Severino-Arnold says she and her soon-to-be groom signed a contract and paid the full $900 fee in advance. But after the wedding, she says those photos never came, even though text messages show Humphreys promising for months that they would.
“Excuse after excuse,” Severino-Arnold said. “I would wait a few weeks, message her, ‘Hey, you know, what’s going on?’ Things like that. And half the time, it would take her a couple weeks to even reply back.”
Severino-Arnold posted a warning to Facebook Friday, including some of those text messages with Humphreys, and says she immediately started hearing from other couples claiming it happened to them, too.
“It was like wildfire, and I was very shocked,” she said. “I was not expecting that. I’m getting text messages, emails.”
Other couples said they scheduled sessions with Humphreys and paid deposits, but she never showed up.
The next day, someone else created the closed Facebook group, ‘Victims of Haily Marie Photography.’ And by Sunday night, more than 70 people had joined to share their experience.
“I can not take that day back. I can not re-enact it. I can’t do nothing. It’s gone. It’s gone in the blink of an eye,” Severino-Arnold said. “And so now, every anniversary, is this what I’m supposed to remember? The day that she got to take off with my memories?”
WREG called Humphreys Sunday morning to give her a chance to tell her side, but as soon as reporter Nina Harrelson identified herself, Humphreys hung up.
Severino-arnold says she has given up fighting for a refund.
“I hope that I can save someone doing this – that I can protect them,” she said. “And then, to teach future brides, be so cautious who you choose.”
She only wants the precious memories she says she can’t ever get back.
“I don’t care if it was just on Facebook the rest of my life, if I could just see mean and him – see us on our happy day. And it’s gone,” she said.
WREG also spoke to at least a dozen other people who say they were victimized. One couple, who claims they’ve been waiting more than a year for their photos or a refund, tell us they’re considering filing a class action lawsuit.