This caterer came highly recommended so I was excited to check them out for my wedding. My initial phone call was pleasantly handled and I explained my desire to have a dairy brunch wedding during the summer. I was told this would not be a problem so I made an appointment to check out the hall. I received a phone call that the owner had a family emergency and that we would be meeting with the catering manager.
The hall itself is stunning. There is attention to detail everywhere. In the room traditionally used for the cocktail hour they have comfy chairs and shelves to place family photos so you can really personalize the space. The ballroom is spacious and had beautiful lighting along with a large screen that descends from the ceiling so you can show photos or even old movies that have been put onto DVD. The sanctuary is warm and cozy and perfect for a traditional family wedding.
My meeting with the catering manager was wonderful. We discussed several options to make my dream come true. I understood that he could not give me an exact quote, as we wanted to plan something less traditional than they normally offered. As promised he called me back with numbers later in the day. He told me to let them know when I would like to come back during an affair.
I made plans as quickly as possible to return with my fiancé. Upon our arrival I saw the catering manager who I had met with previously and he warmly greeted us. Unfortunately, this is where it all began to fall apart.
We were introduced to the owner. He had no recollection of our appointment to meet with him or to see the hall “made up” for an event. While I understand he was busy ensuring that the affair that evening was taken care of we felt hurried and rushed. He talked about traditional meat dishes and I reminded him of my desire to have a dairy brunch. At this point he began to tell us why this would be a mistake . . . Among the several reasons he offered, he informed us that our parents friends would be writing us checks and would leave feeling gypped if more traditional choices were not offered. I explained that my desire to have a dairy brunch had been discussed during the very first phone call and that we had been quoted a price range for each plate. When I mentioned the number – $10 less than the normal plate range there was a long silent pause. We were told that yes . . . it could be done and that we were told that we would get a contract in the mail during the week. We needed to make our decision, sign it and send it in. The owner then explained that it was time to go as that evening’s affair was due to begin shortly.
I had brought my checkbook and was prepared to leave a substantial deposit. My dream wedding had been trivialized. Needless to say we had decided NOT to book with this caterer. A week later I was shocked to receive a contract in the mail. Handwritten on the bottom was the notation that if it were not signed and returned within 10 days it was null and void. I felt that by not returning the contract I was making my intentions very clear and yet I received a voice mail from the business manager asking us to let them know if we were booking the date. I left a very clear message on their answering machine on a Sunday evening letting them know that we had decided to go with a caterer who felt more comfortable assisting us with the type of wedding we envisioned. Alas someone didn’t get the message and the business manager continued to call. I finally reached her by phone and told her of the handwritten note on the bottom of the contract. It seems her copy did not have this. I told her of my phone message and reiterated that no – we would not be utilizing their services.
Perhaps this is a once in a lifetime occurrence. As many have shared with me the wonderful times they have spent at this hall at previous affairs I am sure they throw a wonderful party. During our visit we did have an opportunity to taste a few of the dishes. They were adequate. Perhaps if I did not have a bad taste in my mouth from the level of service we were offered they would have tasted better.