- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
This Saturday was the best day of my life. I married the woman of my dreams. And it came inches from becoming a total nightmare.
Our contracted wedding caterer, a noted, upscale food truck in Los Angeles, did not show up to our 6:30 wedding. When he hadn’t arrived by 3 pm, I called him, and discovered he was at ANOTHER wedding. His wife, who handles the calendar, accidentally double-booked them. We had been talking to them all week long via email about final guest count, and I had paid him more than the 50% mandated deposit exactly 14 days in advance of the event, as mandated. In fact, I had paid $70% in advance, out of graciousness.
Without going into the drama, let’s say it was… dramatic. With my unflappable bride in uncommon hysterics, my sister and I tag-teamed to call every restauant in the area. We managed to get food to arrive in time. The food was edible, surprisingly, though we had to overpay to make this happen. The caterer was also responsible for the servers, and sent their family to help. They did what they could, but my wedding guests and family ended up moving a lot of the plates, they served the cake, etc.
At the end of the day, the caterer didn’t show up, and we had to do a massive fire drill to rescue the situation. My wife didn’t get to do her makeup or hair, and the three hours before our wedding turned from excited, happy contemplation to absolute panic and crisis. If my family wasn’t so amazing, it wouldn’t have worked.
The caterer is apologetic, of course. They refunded our deposit, of course. I have demanded they pay for the food we had to order. This was not the wedding we intended, and we didn’t expect to be eating pasta when we had ordererd tri-tip. They say that since the food was cheaper than the caterer, we should be satisfied, and that they worked hard to help us rescue the situation and sent family to help. Which of COURSE they should have. And at the end of the day, the cost savings – which isn’t remotely important or relevant – amounted to a couple of hundred dollars.
They argue they are a small mom and pop business and can’t afford a $2000 bill. I can understand that they don’t have excessive cash flow, but how can they not remedy the situation? Because WE remedied it, that should be sufficient? If my sister, who is connected to the service industry, hadn’t gotten us a bartender on 2 hours notice, and took the reins on a restaurant, there would likely have been no food. She ended up coordinating throughout the night, because the family sent to help, well-intentioned though they may have been, were certainly not service-staff quality.
What do you think the appropriate remedy for the situation is? I could destroy their reputation online, I could sue them, or I could forget about it. But they came inches from ruining the most important day of my life, and as far as they’re concerned, they are just going on their merry way.