With wedding day approaching, bride fears caterer stole from her

For years, online reviews warn of Hialeah caterer

HIALEAH, Fla. – With her wedding day approaching, a South Florida bride is still looking for the caterer she entrusted with $3,200. 

Yvette Vidal is planning her wedding as she deals with the pain of multiple sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system.

The 32-year-old former teacher is on a tight budget, so when Richard Pereyra promised he would cater her wedding at a low price if she paid in full, she believed him. 

Pereyra took her $3,200 and vanished. 

"I have been trying to get a hold of him for three weeks now," Vidal's wedding planner, Annya Holston, told Local 10 News.

Vidal and Holston didn't know Pereyra had already been accused of ruining other weddings. 

Amelia & Carmen Catering used to operate out of Hialeah, but the two women sold their business to Pereyra. He owns Miami Event Services and Richard Special Events, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporation records. 

Vidal missed The Knot's and Yelp users' reviews on Amelia & Carmen Catering. Most described nightmarish scenarios. 

In 2015, two users of the popular Knot.com website urged brides to stay away from Pereyra.

"They brought extremely dirty and stained linens, chair covers ... I called him immediately and he never picked up my call," one said.

Another user said Pereyra "personally failed to deliver for services not rendered but paid for."

A bride said Pereyra promised her the world, "was a wonder to work with" and was "charming and kind." But on the day of the wedding, he allegedly sent "rude servers" with warm drinks "placed in a BBQ cooler" and the cake "was cut and never passed."

The list of mishaps blamed on Pereyra was long online. Yelp users echoed The Knot users' complaints.

Lady M. said in 2014 that "Richard single-handily ruined my wedding day" in Coral Gables. 

While a The Knot user claimed in 2015 that Pereyra's staff left 150 chairs behind, a Yelp user said in 2014 that "they left in such hurry that all the table linens and chair covers for 18 tables and their chairs were all left behind."

A Yelp user also warned that Pereyra "will also talk to you about using your deposit money in some type of pyramid scheme that he puts together and telling you that in six months he can get you five to eight hundred dollars back that you can use to pay off your event."

Other Yelp users said they reported him to police for making the same proposal. 

All of the complaints said Pereyra was hard to get a hold of, especially after he promised refunds. Vidal's wedding is coming up and she is $3,200 short. With her wedding day approaching, Pereyra is not answering calls. 

"The fact that he was so easily able to steal from us, that's sad," Vidal said.

Like many users on both The Knot and Yelp, Vidal's hope is that "no one else ever books with him, because this is crazy."

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.