(Closed) Caterer F'ed Our Food Up On Our Wedding…What To Do? (long)

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
4495 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

You didn’t have to pay in advance for the services? Then I would totally fight it and talk to the highest supervisor possible. That is totally unacceptable. Did you complain during the reception so that it was at least ‘documented’ at the moment?

If you are unhappy with the $400 you might have to come up with a number yourself and throw it out there to them. The last time I complained to a supervisor about unacceptable service he just kept saying, “well what do you want me to do?” He never once offered a refund or discount. I had to come out and say that I wanted all of my money back, to which he responded, “I can do that.” I think he was just hoping that if he didn’t bring it up then I wouldn’t either.

Post # 5
Member
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

It’s kind of strange that you didn’t have to pay the full amount before your actual date.

So… your wedding was in your mom’s back yard? Did they cook it in her kitchen?

I’m just trying to understand the situation. If they didn’t have a kitchen big enough to cater in, some people’s food may have gotten cold while they were preparing the rest of the guests’ meals. If they cooked the food at another location and transported it to the reception, that could explain how it got cold, too.

Post # 6
Member
540 posts
Busy bee

I would call them back soon so you’re not the one avoiding the issue too. I would tell them that the offer is not acceptable and that you are looking into legal options at this time. And leave it at that. See what the reply is to that. I would check around, in Florida,  since that’s where it took place, to see if there is some type of legal aid advice hotline or website that can give you some insight on contracts and wedding/hospitality related legal conflicts.

Post # 8
Member
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

@alaskin17:  Ahhh gotcha.

Well if they were using their own equipment, they should be professional and they’re supposed to know how to get meals out in a timely manner- they definitely shouldn’t be cold!

Post # 9
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Don’t pay.

I have a Bridesmaid or Best Man who works in event planning for a large university and she has given me lots of advice when dealing with vendors. Anyway, she recently told me a story about an event where the food arrived cold. She contacted the caterer and he offered a 1/3 discount. She firmly told him that she couldn’t serve cold food at a fancy event and 1/3 was not a fair discount. He budged and comped the food. Lots of places would rather do this than have an angry customer blabbing all over the internet. Respond back that given the quality and quantity of the errors you don’t believe you owe them anything else. I would even ask for part of the deposit refunded! It is crazy to think that you paid $1800 for some apps (b/c, essentially, that is all that turned out right).

Also, remember that just because someone has contractual rights, doesn’t mean they will enforce them. So even if they have a right to the rest based on your contract, you can push them until they have an attorney contact you or file a claim. For a lot of people, the risk and cost of fighting is not worth $1800. 

Post # 10
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Eh, I disagree with PP about threatening legal action. It is really heavy handed and would totally rub me the wrong way.

Maybe if this continues? But still, what are your damages? What would legal action do right now? They will know you are bluffing right now since you’d likely pay more than $1800 to bring a lawyer in at this stage and who pays more in attorney’s fees than the original dispute? 

Post # 11
Member
5886 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

@alaskin17:  After (not before) you get everything worked out, make sure you go to Wedding Wire, Google, Yelp, etc to write a review. Be as fair as possible, but be truthful.

Post # 12
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Here is my two cents. First get a lawyer, he will most likely tell you to pay the caterer to cover yourself legally. (Technically without you paying them neither party has upheld their side of the contract.) Then you sue them for their breaches. Otherwise you will have to hope they don’t sue you for unpaid dues. Sorry you are in such a crappy situation! 

Post # 13
Member
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@alaskin17:  I would get with Dh and determine what amount want to pay. Send them a letter stating you were unhappy and are paying x for their final balance for their service, even better if you can get letters from your unhappy guests, and send it registered mail  with a check (bank issued) with in the memo “final payment wedding date sally and joe”

if they cash it I’d consider the matter closed. If they don’t I’d wait for them to sue me, then I’d let the judge determine what is owed.

Edit: also if they cash your check for the lower amount I wouldn’t post any reviews on any websites.

Post # 15
Member
6745 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

This is not legal advice. 

I think that they breached the contract and therefore, you don’t have to pay.  I don’t agree w/ a PP that said that since you didn’t pay, you’re also in breach.  You tried to pay, they couldn’t accept payment, they still came to your location to provide the services.  They could have said they weren’t coming until you paid and that would have been YOUR breach, not theirs.  IMO, they waived their right to argue your breach when they still came and provided the services. 

I would ask for a breakdown.  Just for purposes of settling, I would pay for things that came out right.  The appetizers.  The dinner came out cold, the sides were wrong, the lemonade wasn’t purple like you asked.  If the lemonade was at least tasty, maybe I would consider paying for half of that lol.  Did they make dessert?  Was that right at least?  If so, pay for that.

I think that you can resolve this in a manner that is agreeable to both parties, but if not.. Do you have any lawyer friends?  Someone who could write them a letter?

Another solution is to send one more check, in any amount and write on the memo part of it “Paid in Full” – if they cash it, then they’ve accepted that as the settlement and you won’t owe them any more.  Even if you just send $1.  They might know this rule though and not cash it – or they might not or might not care and cash it anyway. 

Again – not legal advice.  🙂

Post # 16
Member
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m a little confused. Were they trying to credit $400 back to your card? Or were they trying to charge an additional $1600 to it?

I personally wouldn’t pay them another penny. Lemonade the wrong colour is a minor glitch; cold, disappearing food is not. Caterers who know what they’re doing should never serve food that’s not the proper temperature; it’s completely unprofessional.

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