WEST MICHIGAN -- They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For Jeff and Shay Dally, finally seeing photos from their July 2016 wedding day was priceless.
"We had this [photo] gallery up on our big smart TV. We were watching it on a big screen, and it was just like reliving the day," Shay Dally said.
It was a moment nine months in the making. All of that time, the couple waited on photographer Monique Goch to send them their precious memories. The Dallys had already paid her $3,000 before the wedding. Despite being told they'd receive them in 6 to 10 weeks, they said Goch ignored them for months upon months.
Both of the Dallys are in the military and are stationed in Hawaii. They decided to reach out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. We left messages for Goch and went knocking in Mid-Michigan. She didn't return our calls. But after the story went public, Shay said she got a call from Goch the next morning.
"She was full of apologies," Dally said.
She added that Goch stated she "wanted to make everything right. She was so sorry. She gave me this big long story about everything that had happened in the last 6 months of her life."
To make things right, she said Goch posted the photos on her website so the couple could download them.
"The gallery was online. The entire 1,200 pictures that she had taken of the wedding which was all there all of a sudden. They looked amazing which is what we expected," Dally said.
Chris Dally, Jeff's mom said, "The emotions that Shay went through... it was so frustrating. She was stressed. Jeff was stressed and one of the first comments that I got on text was "I'm so happy! I have my pictures and they're wonderful" and so we're just, we're thrilled."
Chris added,"I really believe that we were still going to be waiting for pictures today if you hadn't decided to get involved."
Shay said of viewing the gallery, "I don't think without you guys we would have been able to do that."
"I'm thankful. So thank you," she said.
In addition to sending the couple their pictures, Shay said Goch offered them a full refund. However, the Dallys declined the refund.
Goch finally picked up FOX 17's call and emailed the following statement:
The last year has been very difficult for me as I've been dealing with some serious health issues and caring for a family member. I've had to close my business to focus on my own health and during the transition, I made some mistakes that have caused concern and inconvenience for my clients.
As of today [Thursday], I've been able to make arrangements with almost all of my clients to finalize any outstanding projects. I'm deeply grateful to my family, friends and the incredible community of independent photographers who have come forward to help me during this time.
Like far too many small business owners in Michigan, I've had to close the doors on the American dream. And like far too many Americans without access to affordable healthcare, I was one serious illness away from financial ruin. Being a statistic isn't what I aspired to be when I started my photography business but it's the reality so many of us face.
For now, I'm focusing on finishing up the remaining work, maintaining my health and supporting my family. Thank you for your concern.
- Monique Goch