Couple, heartbroken, says their marriage wasn’t legal


AGAWAM, Mass. (WPRI) — About a month ago, a Massachusetts couple had the wedding ceremony and reception of their dreams. But now they’ve learned they may not be married after all and said a wedding officiant, already accused of crimes at another wedding, may be to blame.

Ashley Veilleux said when she called the town clerk last week about a marriage certificate, she found out she and her fiance are not even legally married.

“After speaking with the town clerk, she informed me that he never handed in our marriage license,” Veilleux said, referring to her wedding officiant. “You work so hard to plan this perfect day and to be told that you’re not married now is difficult.”

Veilleux contacted Eyewitness News after seeing recent stories about James Stern, the man she said she hired for a photo booth, uplighting and to officiate her wedding.

According to police, Stern – who is currently being held as a bail violator – is accused of stealing a guest’s purse at a Newport wedding earlier this year and using the credit card inside.

Veilleux said she believes something similar happened at her own wedding, saying two of her bridesmaids’ credit cards were fraudulently used the night of the wedding.

Veilleux said venue staff told her Stern had gotten access to the bridal suite when others weren’t around. She said she has filed a police report.

“I know we’ll be ok. We’ll get through it I think the hard thing is he’s now in my photos, my videos and he’s going to be part of that one day that you get,” Veilleux said.

Stern is also accused of using credit cards stolen from YMCA locations in Newport County and Westerly.

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