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Milwaukee couple begs for the return of their wedding photos

Posted at 6:47 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 16:45:07-04

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee couple's wedding photographs were allegedly stolen from the car of their wedding photographer on Friday.

Alex and Chelsy Holat got married at the IVY House last Friday. The two said it was a picture-perfect wedding. They had waited almost 10 years for their big day.

"It was everything we dreamed of and more. We were floating on cloud 9. Obviously, the happiest day of our lives. All the people we loved under one roof," said Chelsy.

Sadly, the next morning their wedding photographer Erika Diaz informed them her gear was stolen from the trunk of her rental vehicle in Madison. Erika contacted the police and the rental company, but with no luck. Alex and Chelsy were devastated and heartbroken because it's a day that can never be replaced.

"It was all of our closest friends that flew in from all over the country. It’s hard to get memories like that back," said Alex.

"We are just holding out so much hope that we will get those photos back. It would just mean everything to us." — new bride Chelsy Holat

The stolen equipment included two Canon Mark 4Ds along with five lenses, batteries, a fractional prism and multiple memory cards. The total amount is more than $15,000 in gear, but Diaz said getting back the memory cards is most important.

"The equipment at some point I will figure things out, and I will get that, but you can't get those memories back," said Diaz.

Diaz is a Madison-based wedding photographer and has been in the industry for seven years. She has been awarded as one of The Knot's Best Wedding Photographers. Diaz said nothing like this has happened to her before.

"This is the first for me. This has never happened to me, and I want to make sure my clients get what they need. My priority is now to get them what they need apart from what I need," said Diaz.

Diaz said she is heartbroken about the loss of the pictures. She said the gear could be replaced, but the memories from the photos are irreplaceable.

"It's family. It's heirlooms. I just want to make sure they get it back," said Diaz.

Diaz said she does not want to press charges; all she wants are the cards back. Chelsy and Alex hope whoever stole the photos will have heart and return the memory cards.

"I don’t think I have a single picture of me with my mom and dad on my wedding day. It just breaks my heart. We are just holding out so much hope that we will get those photos back. It would just mean everything to us," said Chelsy.

A P.O. Box has been set up to send the cards anonymously: P.O. Box 044105, Racine, WI 53404.