Woman posing as wedding planner accused of swindling brides

- Police have a warrant for the arrest of local wedding planner after they say they she conned at least five brides-to-be out of thousands of dollars.

Katie Lemnar of Ocala told FOX 35 that when she met Chantelle Deane she thought she’d found the wedding planner of her dreams.

“All I had to do was show up with a dress on basically,” she said.

After touring a venue called Southern Bells, Lemnar said she wrote Deane a check for $2,000.
 
Lemnar said months went by without word from Deane and when she finally heard from the wedding planner, Deane explained that the booking at Southern Bells had fallen through.

Lemnar said Deane promised the wedding could be held at a venue in Ocala called Grand Pointe.

Lemnar said she decided that she would ask for a refund, instead she never heard from Deane again. 

According to Ocala Police Detective Robert Brown, Deane promised at least five other brides a dream wedding, but after collecting thousands of dollars, Deane allegedly disappeared on them, too.
 
Lemnar said she wanted to give up.
    
“I was ready to just go to the courthouse,” she said.

Instead, she and her fiancé pushed back the wedding a few months and they’re planning the big day they always wanted. 

“I believe that we’re going to do a better job than she is,” Lemnar said.

Brown said detectives have no leads on Deane’s whereabouts at this time, but the warrant for her arrest is statewide.

He said he hopes media reports and word of mouth will help them find Deane.

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