(Closed) Caterer Forgot About Wedding – Found Out 3 Hours Before Ceremony

posted 8 years ago in Food
  • poll: How should we handle this situation?

    Small claims court/sue

    Attack via social media

    Move on and be deliriously happy post-wedding

  • Post # 17
    1130 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    First, I’m sorry you had to go through this, that sucks. I’m not a lawyer, but I do work in a law firm. Probably more trouble than it’s worth to go to small claims, (and I don’t mean to lessen how horrible this was, this is just in the eyes of the law) since you have no damages (you actually paid less, and they probably won’t grant you any punative damages like pain and suffering) you won’t get anything out of it. I would just make sure to leave reviews all over the internet about your experience so no one else has to deal with this.

    Post # 18
    1068 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    What would make you feel better about this situation?

    Is destroying this small business, either monetarily or through social media, what you want? Is that going to make you feel better about what they did?

    I understand that you want them to be held accountable, I would too. Try to figure out what, for you personally, would make you feel better about the situation. You don’t want to drag them, and yourself through a court battle, only to feel like a jerk at the end. Is the check going to make you feel better? An “Out of Business” sign hanging from their door? Or is there something else that will truly make you feel vindicated?

    Post # 20
    3768 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

    I don’t know anything about sueing or small claims court etc., but I definitely think that you should review them wherever you can, weddingwire, yelp, urban spoon, google and yahoo reviews, your local review websites, etc. 

    Post # 21
    570 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    It would be more damaging for this “mom and pop” to have terrible feedback posted all over the internet/wedding sites/their google site than to have to pay you for the food you ordered last minute. I’d go to small claims, and if they don’t agree to refund every penny you needed to put out, start the reviews one by one. I bet they will start to change their tune when they see how the word of mouth travels.

    Post # 22
    11266 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2012

    no wedding is perfect.

    it’s unfortunate that it happened but they gave you your deposit back and you paid less for other food.  small claims court may not be worth the hassel and you may not win.  is it really worth it??  it sucks but why continue to feed the negative memories?

    This Saturday was the best day of my life. I married the woman of my dreams.  

    why don’t you just focus on that.  this was the sole purpose of the day and enjoy your honeymoon bliss.


    Post # 23
    1357 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    What a nightmare, and I’m really sorry you had to scramble to fix all of this on your wedding day. However, I agree with PP’s that taking them to court would take a lot of your time, money, and energy with probably no results, and it would only drag out and magnify your grief over this incident and allow it to overshadow the happy memories from your wedding day. They returned your deposit, so it’s not like you lost any money over it, and I really don’t think you’re entitled to any more than the money you had put down for their services. I understand your desire for payback for what you feel is very personal, but threatening to sue someone because things didn’t go the way you planned is, frankly, a little childish.

    I would leave negative reviews online, though. Oversights like this are pretty major, especially since you confirmed with them and had plenty of communication. A mistake of that scale has consequences for reputation, and websites for vendor reviews exist mainly because of bad experiences like these. You need to make sure other couples are aware of how little care this business puts into taking care of their clients, and perhaps they will realize that they need to get organized and improve their customer service if they’re going to stay afloat.

    Post # 24
    3885 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I would stay OFF of social media sites until you are absolutely sure that you will not be going to court. Anything you post in a public forum can be used against your claim, and theoretically weaken your position, even if what you post is 100% true.

    I would also speak to a lawyer in your jurisdiction about what exactly you can and can’t sue for. You want to be compensated for your troubles and while you can’t sue for stress/emotional damage per se, your city might have a compensatiion standard where a certain monetary value is attached to the claim even though your out-of-pocket cash losses are limited. Also be sure to reflect any related expenses: if you had to pay short-notice delivery fees from the restaurants who saved your reception, those are totally claim-worthy (even though you were going to have to buy food anyway for the guests, you would not have had to pay extra for rush service) plus whatever percentage of the makeup artist, photographer and other vendors’ time went wasted while you scurried around making last-minute plans.

    Post # 25
    11231 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Wow, that is awful. I didn’t really like any of your options, although I voted small claims court…however, if you aren’t going to win as pps have said, I wouldn’t go that route. I would review them anywhere you can (here, Wedding Wire, the Knot, Yelp, Google, etc.), but be honest and factual, don’t attack them. They did screw up your wedding–I don’t care if no wedding is perfect, no one should have to scramble on their wedding day to find food for their guests (or anything else as big as that) when they’d signed a contract/given a deposit. I also agree that reporting them to the BBB might bring some recourse.

    Post # 26
    2889 posts
    Sugar bee

    I agree with the others that ymall claims court seems like it will be more hassel than it’s worth for $2000. Since you are not out any money, I’m not sure there is anything you could sue them for, emotional distress? It sounds like your family came through and helped you pull off a meal in time. I know it’s not what you wanted and it is unfortunate they let you dow n like that but I don’t think dwellingo n it will make anything better. I also don’t think putting a small business out of business is going to help anything either. As far as reviews, I agree you have every right to leave factual reviews anywhere you want. However, I think your situation could have been much worse in that they admitted their error and tried to remedy it by sending over staff free of charge and they gave you your full deposit without an argument. It sounds like they did their best to handle a terrible mistake in a professional manner. Therefore, I would not want to hurt the company so bad that they go out of business over this mistake.

    Post # 27
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    View original reply
    @slicey19:   I disagree. If the OP posts factual reviews and the business suffers, it’s the businesses fault for screwing up the wedding in the first place. This wasn’t a small oversight, they should have known that the date was overbooked when they went to order food or write the staff schedule. I doubt anyone would want to trust a vendor that could make so many crucial mistakes.

    Post # 28
    11735 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I’d try small claims court but it could be more hassle (and money) then it is worth. They definitely tried to rectify the situation as best they could (not good enough I know) but for such a small amount of $ it just may not be worth it.  In that case, blast them all over the internet with bad reviews.

    Post # 29
    3107 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    i think that we’re all human and make mistakes and it seems as though they did everything in their power to make it better. that said, i think they should pay for your meal. i would consult an attorney and just see if there’s a case there. your concern is not whether $2000 will ruin their business, but that these errors permanently marred this event for you.

    i’m so sorry this happened- i can not even imagine how stressful it was.

    Post # 30
    1274 posts
    Bumble bee

    I am so sorry! I cannot imagine how stressful that would’ve been. 🙁

    I would sit down with all your bills, and total up the cost of the food you had to pay to replace the food and also any deposits you lost to hair/makeup etc, or any other costs you incurred. If it’s less than a grand…I’d probably bring this to the caterer and just say, “hey this is all the stuff that cost me money. Though I appreciate you giving my deposit back to me, I really would like some compensation for this.” And see what they say. If they refuse to even talk any more about it, I would post a few reviews, honest ones only, but it doesn’t look good on them at all.  

    Besides that, I guess you could see what the costs are to file a claim. 

    Post # 31
    7899 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    I would let it go, but if you insist on writing bad reviews, make sure you are levelheaded and fair. Don’t just blast them the whole time. Explain the full situation and what they did to mkae it right and how you feel that they should’ve done more even if they weren’t obligated to (just like you did here). Most sites will filter out your review anyway though, just so you are prepared.

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