PNW bartender serves false promises, allegedly scams two brides at the altar

Weddings in America can be quite an investment which is why many couples do what they can to make their dollars count. However, a bartender serving couples across the Pacific Northwest is allegedly scamming brides in Washington and Oregon out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

‘PNW Weddings Cocktails With Kari’ is a licensed business out of the state of Washington and according to a handful of brides KIRO 7′s Frankie Katafias has spoken to, it’s a business that served up empty promises and not the cocktails it was hired to do.

“It’s just surprising and shocking because we met with her in person. She was really quick to communicate when I had any questions or anything with her,” said Seattle bride Olivia Hermann.

Hermann also told us that the business owner Kari Kelley was, “very responsive the entire time basically until our wedding day.”

Hermann signed a vendor agreement contract with Kari Kelley back in January 2023. A copy of this contract was obtained by KIRO 7 and after reviewing it we confirmed that Hermann secured Kelley as her bartender for her October 28 wedding in Seattle. We also learned that Hermann paid Kelley an $800 deposit.

In February 2023, Kailee Castillo, another bride down in Troutdale, Oregon also signed a vendor agreement contract with Kari Kelley. KIRO 7 also obtained a copy of her contract, and we learned that Castillo also secured Kelley as her bartender in Oregon. The wedding? Also on October 28, the same day, but in a different state than Olivia Hermann.

Kailee Castillo told KIRO 7 that, unlike Olivia Hermann, Kari Kelley, “was paid in full the $1,500 for the entire package and the contract she signed on her end and I asked her if I needed to sign it on my end and she said well no because I signed it on my end that’s the sign of trust basically.”

On October 28, both brides were expecting their bartender at their wedding venues, but to everyone’s shock, Kari never showed.

“We were out signing our marriage certificate and I got a tap on my shoulder from my wedding planner and she said I am so sorry to bother you, but the bartender is not here several of us tried to call but her number is disconnected,” said Castillo.

KIRO 7 decided to contact Kari by calling her directly. Using the number these brides were given and the number found on the vendor agreement contract we called Kari nine times. Her phone disconnected and is no longer in use.

When we couldn’t get ahold of Kari, we figured we’d try to visit her business and looked up her business license registered with the state. We found that the address was linked to a Public Storage Unit in Olympia. Her other form of communication is a business page for clients and customers to connect with her but according to Facebook, the page has been “paused” since October 25.

Since this story has aired neither Olivia Hermann nor Kailee Castillo have heard from Kari Kelley despite contacting her via phone, email, and Facebook. Both have already started the processes necessary to file charges and complaints against Kelley and her business.

KIRO 7 on the other hand received an email from Kari Kelley shortly after this story aired in our 5 p.m. news. Kelley told us, “I am not a scammer and would really like my side said.

We’ll have more from Kelley on Thursday on KIRO 7 News.