” your apology is not accepted, you fucked up our wedding day. my husband does not want to see you near this house until you repay us for the crap food and serves you gave our guest today. So pray about that and please, don’t ever offer people catering, cuz you are NOT good at what you do.”
Above message sent to me 12h57 am Sunday morning from an angry client.
No matter how much it took, how much time, effort, stress,money, electricity, labour, it is meaningless when your client is left unsatisfied, angry, embarrassed.
(In a nut shell )So we took on a big catering job. It was set up between the bride to be & myself. I got paid a deposit to pay for immediate ingredients, with a note to get further funds when I needed them. I purchased, prepared & made the list of things necessary to make the party sufficiently sourced. A picnic reception.
I spent from the 20th up to 24th shopping, making savouries, Éclair’ cases, cream horn cases, cupcakes, sweet treats for the occasion. I was told bride’s family would supply snacks, sweets & fruit to treat guests while they were having photos taken. This is the journey most couples & guests take after a wedding, they go to a beautiful garden and take many photos as a keepsake of their wedding day. Then after, they head to the reception, where a banquet awaits them. I, being the nut I am, agreed when asked to find out about flowers, etc. The bride’s soon to be mother in law sorted that out a few days before the wedding. The bride was running all the errands relating to their special day, she wanted everything to be perfect.
So did I……..
Then reality struck…..dismally claiming all my effort & wrung the life out of everything. I wanted my working schedule to work out perfectly, so all might be a success….
I made lists, worked out plan, bought requirements, checked wedding related sites. So nothing would go wrong! Measured, prepped, tired my team out & still felf positive it was going to be awesome. I met with client 2 days before the wedding to “iron out any creases”, as I wanted to be sure we had our ducks in the same row……We agreed I would collect further funds per our agreement to purchase what I still needed the Friday. This only took place Friday afternoon after 2pm as she was busy sorting out other things relating to wedding day.
Was I mistaken? Yes it seems so…
I plotted a road of destruction it seems. My client is angry. I ruined her wedding.
This is how it went: my team were not readily available, as they have their own lives. Jade, despite her efforts, has a 2 month old baby to see to. She has the added stress of being a single mother who is unemployed. Christina, her volunteering is paramount.She wants to create a solid future for herself. This is important, I support her efforts. So is her personal life. This too is vital, the stability of her relationships with others must be given a platform, so she may flourish as a woman, and be ready one day to take care of her own family & home. She lives with us & it is a blessing. I can’t fault Josh, for despite checking if I’m OK all the time, he is a workhorse. He lives with my folks and always comes to help when we need him. He studied hospitality & has a gift with food. I trust his judgement. I, shop, cook, supervise, take care of my 3 year old, whom I placed in daycare, so I may be free to work hard. This was a bit difficult, as he demands attention at times when home. We together have been using our hands to make this small business work. For we are reminded daily, we have to pay our way & not rely on one breadwinner’s paycheque!
So everything was made, ready for me to finish: warm, blend in dressing, fill with cream, fry, bake, frost, etc…….on the day…..
Sounded easy enough after all the slogging.
Well this transpired: 25th March. The day of the wedding. Lunch was to be ready to serve up 2pm for 2:30pm. One of my team members went volunteering, as it would help her C.V fill up. Coincidently, she would also be on hand to meet wedding party to help setup Marquee, decorate guests benches, etc. Aparently the brides sister, knew nothing of us providing a helping hand to setup venue. After numerous requests from bride to be up to Saturday, this seemed strange. At 12h40 I freaked out & called her back as we were losing grip. Jade, Josh & I were battling to aayvyhe least. My partner decided to go to work & come back by 12pm to cart us to layout & prep serving table, set up juice, etc. He wouldn’t even answer he’s phone when I called, so a lot wasn’t said to mend my dire situation. And it was getting worse…..
My folks called to ask how it was going & I broke down. They decided to come & see what they could do.
Before they arrived, the sister & family of couple came to collect savouries to feed their guests. I was stumped. This was 13h30. I had no idea they’d need from our savouries to feed guests while couple was posing for photos, this wasn’t communicated at all…..No one was aware commitment was for lunch to be served at 14h30. They kept on asking for an exact time we would be ready, I couldn’t give acdefinate answer. I gave what we had ready as they said guests wanted to eat, and lots of people would want to leave after they’d eaten as plan was derailed somehow. The wind was up. There was nothing to serve guests, etc.
At this point, I wanted the ground to swallow me.
My dad & brother arrived after they left to try and help calm me. They fixed, packed what we could to get it to Westridge Garden’s, the site of reception. Just before leaving, the family came back with a bakkie, and food in borrowed chafing dishes, pots, etc was loaded into their transport. My two sons went with to help. My brother helped finish mini milk tarts to take down and collect the boys…..
It was an unfruitful day.
There was so much left undone……
I now have to seek legal help to mediate between us to sort out the details…… She wants to be reimbursed and has borrowed items which do not belong to me…….
No food was returned ……
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