Wedding Caterers Served My Muslim In-Laws Not-So-Stealth Pork

Reader S. wrote in with a complaint about the food at the country club where she held her wedding. It would be easy to write her off as a hysterical Bridezilla, but the problem goes deeper than just “crappy food.” Both S. and her husband told the venue during the ten-month planning process that his husband’s family are Muslims who don’t eat pork. The caterers served up rice with pork sausage, potatoes with ham, salad with bacon, and ham sandwiches for the cocktail hour. When called on their error, their response was to take some of the offending dishes away and not replace them. Management has offered S. a $3,000 refund on her $17,000 tab for the event. Is that enough compensation for a mishap that makes S. look this bad to her new in-laws?

We just held our wedding here two weeks ago. While all the hype about the beauty of this place is true and warranted, the service was the worst I have ever experienced in my life. Not only were we shuffled around to three different coordinators throughout the 10 months we were dealing with them leading up to our big day, they often took anywhere from a week to 6 weeks to respond to simple emails.

But all of that is nothing compared to the worst most horrific aspect of [redacted]’s service that utterly ruined not only our wedding, but my relationship with my new husband’s entire family: we had both said that there could be NO PORK at the buffet as my husband’s family’s religion is opposed to that (they are Muslim).

Not only was there pork in the buffet, but when we saw the bacon on the salad and the pork sausage in the rice, and called the coordinator over to deal with the issue, she actually disputed against our word, saying she didn’t recall hearing us say “no pork.” It was only after my husband told her to go check her notes, that upon her return from her office she admitted she “just didn’t double check,” and apologized for having served pork to all of our guests.

We tried our best to brush off the issue, insisting that all pork dishes be removed, and attempted to enjoy our once-in-a-lifetime big day, but we were met again the next morning with the nightmare of what this place’s oversight has really caused. Family called and emailed all day, furious and upset that they were served a food against their religion. We were horrified to also learn that not all pork dishes were removed even after we confronted the coordinator – a potato dish with pork was left out for the entire dinner service. The coordinator didn’t even care to double check what exactly should have been removed once she received our initial complaint!

Furthermore, we also found out the next day that the sandwiches we ordered for the cocktail hour that had immediately followed after our ceremony included ham sandwiches, which were also eaten by our guests. From the buffet, only one dish was remade without pork (the spinach salad); the rice, something essential to any Indian function, was not replaced and left our guests without the most basic of all foods in their eyes; the deli platter was also removed without being replaced; and as I have already mentioned, the potatoes that contained pork weren’t even removed.

The only reparation offered to us upon confronting [redacted] at a meeting we had with their General Manager, [redacted], last week was $3000 (our total venue bill was over $17,000, with just the food cost even before the tax and 15% gratuity coming to nearly $10,000). This seemed like a slap in the face, especially since he qualified his offer and apology with attempting to claim that the coordinator, [redacted], reneged on her initial apology and now claims again that she never had any notes of “no pork.” Since their story keeps changing, and all staff we talk to seems unsympathetic and unwilling to refund us for a wedding day that was less than memorable, we have filed with the Better Business Bureau (although we are told this often results in nothing happening), have emailed several news channels, and have also lawyered-up. But it’s not enough.


Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Coffee says:

    Um…if you’re not gonna eat that bacon, can I have it?

  2. Dallas_shopper says:

    No way would I accept a mere $3k refund. Full refund or nothing.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Pardon me, I should have said “full refund or I’ll see you in court.”

      They also may have been able to avoid the problem by using a halal caterer, if one exists in their area. But still, you’d think caterers could accommodate such a simple request.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Sounds like the catering came with the venue.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          When I got married my caterer also came with the venue. Over 50% of our guests were vegetarians or vegans, so the entire buffet was vegetarian with about 50% of it being vegan as well. We had no problems whatsoever, but we also didn’t get everything in writing in triplicate in blood with lawyers present on both sides. We simply stated our requirements and our requirements were met. Then again, this was in the UK. ;-)

          • Firethorn says:

            Then again, this was in the UK. ;-)

            I think this matters less than what people think – Horror stories happen around the world, the USA just talks about them more. Plus, you’d have to look at incidents over something like 2/3rds the EU to get a similar amount of population.

            MOST caterers will handle ‘vegetarian’, ‘no port’, ‘no shellfish’, and such just fine. Want Kosher? Should be easy in most areas.

            • Dallas_shopper says:

              The “UK” remark was referring to the fact that a much larger percentage of adults in the UK are vegetarian than here in the US, so awareness of vegetarianism, veganism, and the associated dietary requirements is higher and those choices are respected much more so than here in the US.

              I didn’t intend to imply that customer service in the UK is better overall. It isn’t. But you also don’t have to lawyer up for every little thing either.

            • bee8boo8bop8 says:

              Kosher is actually hard. Strict kosher food can only be prepared in a kosher kitchen, with a Sabbath observant Jew supervising every step of the process. Vegetables have to be inspectec a certain way meat has to be slaughtered a certain way and so on. Kosher style, on the other hand, where meat and dairy are never served together and no pork or shellfish is on offer is something many caterers can manage.

              • lchen says:

                Depends on the level of kosher, basic kosher you just need a kitchen kept kosher with separate refrigeration and stoves for dairy and someone jewish to turn on the stove but a non jewish person can prepare and cook the food.

          • tooluser says:

            You don’t know the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        You would think if nothing else then they might have catered a Bar Mitzvah before.

        This whole “not eating pork” thing is not a new or strange issue.

      • nugatory says:

        thats the way I went. To be honest, it had nothing to do with worrying if our guests would be served pork, but the Halal caterers we’re less than 1/3 the price.

        One word of caution: they will arrive late no matter what time you tell them to arrive.

        Even know they’ll be late I’ve used them several times since then. The food is fantastically delicious, and did I mention they were really cost effective?

    • StarKillerX says:

      I’m curious as to what the OP wants, I mean she says $3K isn’t enough but doesn’t say what is.

      • kc2idf says:

        True, she doesn’t

        Personally, if I found myself in her shoes, I’d be asking for a full refund, at the very least. I’d like to say that my guests would be deserving of some sort of compensation (in the form of a do-over make-up event), which I would have to provide as the host, for which I would want compensation from the caterer, also, but it’s hard to say what or how much.

        But most importantly, I would not consent to keeping silent on it. All my single friends would know the name of the caterer and coordinator who fucked up my wedding. A wedding is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, and it has to be given that level of attention to detail.

    • Oh_Noes! says:

      All the food = $10,000.
      They refund for an estimate of what was unedible like this:
      1/4 = $2,500 refund
      1/2 = $5,000 refund
      3/4 = $7,500 refund

      Then because they were all shitty about the food and lied you get 100% of the gratuity back.
      Problem solved.

    • Oh_Noes! says:

      wll d tht th fml ws stpd t cr bt prk, bt ts wht th rqstd s th dsrv rfnd fr whtvr hd prk n t nd fll rfnd f grtt. Th mslm rlgn s hrrbl rlgn. hv frnds tht sd t b mslm bck n thr ld cntrs lk rn. T knw f y rll wnt t fllw nythng n th mslm rlgn g t plcs lk rn nd s wht rghts wmn gt, s hw th trt hmn bngs fr hvng vgns. Whn y s tht fr yrslf n cntrs rn b th mslm rlgn y wld qckl rlz n mslm rls lk nt t prk r rl nd d nt mttr t ll. Fr ths fml t s th r mslm nd s th rls mttr lk nt tng prk r jst drvng th knvs nt vctms n mslm cntrs lk rn.

      • maztec says:

        I . . wow. Uhm. Troll much? Seriously, distinguish politics from religion and the acts of a minority from the beliefs of the majority. I’m not Muslim, but I work almost exclusively with Muslims. Everything from Muslims in countries where 99% of women are raped by the age of 13, to countries that put the U.S. and U.K. to shame for individual rights and privileges for both women and men.

        A few bad apples does not spoil the basket.

      • consumeristjohnny says:

        I will add that your cpomment is stupid.

        1. Their religion is not relevant to the issue.
        2. Would the opinion change of it were peanut oil product to somebody highly alleergic to the product and could have caused death at the wedding
        3. As a vegetarian and health conscious person I CHOOSE what goes in my body. If I go to a third party and tell them to prepare something a specific way, I damn well better get it that way ESPECIALLY if I paid them $17k.
        4. Outside of being racist, the reason behind not wanting pork is really NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. EVERY religion has enough bullshit rules in them. I happen to believe every person is allowed to believe anything they want no matter how stupid. I guess you prefer one and only one belief system

        • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

          Exactly. Except for the part about the couple being racist. They should be more worried about their “friends and family” calling and e-mailing all day long to complain. That is a shit load of calls and e-mails.

          Good luck dealing with those inbreds the rest of your lives together.

      • Slaughterhouse5 says:

        Fuck you. But then since you’re trolling, still fuck you. You deserve to eat a bullet.

        • Oh_Noes! says:

          ws nt trllng. ws tllng t lk t s frm ppl wh sd t b strct mslms rsd n cntrs tht wr rld b th lws f th krn. S fck y s trst m frnds wh wr brn nd rsd s strct mslms vr th wtrd dwn mslms y fnd hr tht dnt fllw vrythng. S thr ws prk, n bg dl jst t t nywys. t wld nt hv klld nyn. nlss th fllw ll th rls tng prk ds nt mttr. t s mr f sn t lt gd fd g t wst.

    • Schmoozer says:

      Isn’t pretty standard practice to discuss what the caterer will be catering before the event? ie “Your guest will have the option of chicken nuggets and rice, a hamburger patty and gravy, or fish stick and potato chips.”

  3. dolemite says:

    Wow, that doesn’t seem like a family I’d want to get in on. “I’m so sorry, the caterer made an error… I told them no pork and they mixed it up and served it anyhow. I apologize…I know how offensive this is…”

    “No! No apology! No, no, no! You are no daughter-in-law of mine!”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, she’s very specific to say “my husband’s family” so I’m guessing that she’s not Muslim and it’s possible he isn’t, either. I can only imagine the crap they are getting because they don’t share the same religion as the family, and maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew people who were a bit upset that we weren’t having our wedding in a church.

    • FatLynn says:

      It’s one thing to have food that they can’t eat, it’s another thing to NOT have any food that they CAN eat.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Also, shouldn’t the husband have been at least half-responsible for the planning, especially if there are special arrangements to be made for his side of the family? Do guys still just play video games/watch football while their fiancees do all the planning, even today? I thought that was an old, sexist joke.

      • SabreDC says:

        Where does it say that he wasn’t involved? Maybe the wife’s half included the catering? Isn’t that a little presumptuous to assume that just because the husband-to-be wasn’t involved in the catering, he wasn’t involved?

      • crispyduck13 says:

        LOL, hell no! When in-laws get pissed about wedding details it is ALWAYS the bride’s fault*.

        *In their heads anyway, it’s bullshit nonetheless.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Yeah, pretty much. The whole wedding-industrial complex is tilted towards the wishes and desires of the bride and the women involved in the wedding–most guys couldn’t care less, as long as they have clothing to wear on the appointed day, and know when and where to show up.

        • racermd says:

          Speaking from my own experience… The rules (from the bride) these days is pretty much: Show up, sober, and dressed in your tux. Say “I do” at the appropriate time. Do that and nobody gets hurt.

          Much of the planning work falls to brides as they tend to have more interest in making every detail perfect. Most grooms just want to get through it unscathed.

    • qwickone says:

      This is like giving the finger to a Muslim person, particularly if they are religious. It is SERIOUSLY offensive. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being seriously angry when they were seriously offended.

      • George4478 says:

        Person giving the finger (caterer) is different from the person they’re angry at( daughter-in-law).

        She did not ask for pork and specifically tried to have none served. She tried to get the situation rectified.

        So, yeah — that family is bad news if they’re holding her responsible to the point where is “ruined her relationship”. I get the sense that there will be more bad events in her dealing with the family over the years, based on their reportedly calm and rational handling of this situation.

      • Ben says:

        But getting mad at the daughter-in-law over it would be like being offended that someone gave you the finger after their index, ring, and pinky fingets were chopped off. It wasn’t their fault!

    • TasteyCat says:

      If someone’s that deeply religious that I can ruin my entire relationship with them over one meal, I’m staying far away from them. I get that people like to pray and go to church and yada yada, but in a casual get together, get over yourself.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you!

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      Where exactly are you getting that they were mad at the daughter-in-law? The only thing I see is that they called the newly married couple and were mad. It doesn’t say at who. Maybe they just called to express their anger that the venue disrespected them so blatantly, and were calling to see what the daughter-in-law was going to do about it.

      Either way, congrats on jumping on the hate train with no evidence one way or the other.

      • longfeltwant says:

        It’s from the primary question posed in the article, quoth:

        “Is that enough compensation for a mishap that makes S. look this bad to her new in-laws?”

        • Eyeheartpie says:

          That’s from the author of the Consumerist article. It has no bearing on the actual situation, and the words of the OP don’t make it clear who her in-laws were mad at. I’m not saying they weren’t mad at her. I’m just saying it’s not clear, and yet dolemite immediately jumped straight to the conclusion that they must be mad at the woman, without even considering they might be mad at the venue and just calling the bride to maybe ask for contact info for the venue or to vent to the bride that the venue ruined what was otherwise a good ceremony.

      • andsowouldi says:

        “service that utterly ruined not only our wedding, but my relationship with my new husband’s entire family”

        Sounds pretty straightforward to me. Stupid dolemite reading the article and then using information contained in it to make judgements!

        • Eyeheartpie says:

          Again, it could just mean the bride is embarrassed/mortified about serving forbidden food to her in-laws, and her worrying that it might be taken as an insult. The article really does not say anything about who her in-laws were actually mad at. Stupid dolemite for making assumptions and inferences based on her own biases.

          I’m not saying the in-laws are not mad at her. It’s entirely possible. There’s just not enough clear info in the article to make that judgment one way or the other.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Then there’s this: ” Family called and emailed all day, furious and upset that they were served a food against their religion.” Even if they’re mad at both of them, they’re still mad at someone.

    • wellfleet says:

      I don’t think you understand what it’s like to have deeply religious family members. My grandmother is a very religious jew and her heart would break into a million pieces if she ate pork. Whether or not this is rational is not up to me to decide. It’s rational to her. She would believe she has deeply offended her God.
      I have vegan friends who would be really sad (and also really sick) if they were served animal products.
      This is a HUGE deal.

  4. daggio says:

    If you’re spending $10K in food for a wedding, shouldn’t the menu be discussed in advance?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t get this, either. The couple should have had, in writing, the entire menu they had ordered down to their specifications of “no pork.” When I was planning my wedding, trying the catered food was the best part! I had entire afternoons of eating wedding cake samples.

      • Coffee says:

        Yeah…I don’t get this either…we spent about what this couple did, and part of that process was sitting down at the venue and sampling all of their dishes and wines, then selecting which ones we wanted. I would never pay that kind of money not knowing about the food.

        • Straspey says:

          My fiancee was discussing the menu with the caterer, while I stood there trying read the menu of options.

          While they were in the middle of a serious conversation, I blurted out – “What are ‘croodites’ (crudites) ?”

          Suddenly there was this very awkward silence, as my wife’s face turned beet red.

          The caterer, who thankfully had a good sense of humor, simply looked at her and said, with a smile on his face, “I’m not talking to him anymore. Next time leave him home.”

          After that, she did.

          • Robert Nagel says:

            I’m 62 and a college graduate. I have never heard the term “crudites”. I had to look it up. I can’t imagine and caterer taking offense unless they were particularly snobbish. Get a new caterer anytime they take the time to insult you.

            • StarfishDiva says:

              It’s okay, we can be un-classy together. I’m college-educated (not that it particularly matters) We had finger food and crap like that at my wedding, professionally catered by a Belgian friend of ours. I didn’t even ask what food we were doing. Honestly, I’m that lazy biatch happy with some Pringles and beer. When I saw meat and thing rolled up with other various things on nice plates I was all like “Coo.”

              I thought I crudite was like a Jewish refugee or something. Whatevs. It’s got electrolytes in it, amirite?

              • Straspey says:

                Hmmm…

                Perhaps I was remiss in how I explained the story.

                Even though my wife was blushing (she has experiencing handling VIP meetings at her company, and often speaks with caterers), she also began to laugh – as did the caterer and myself.

                Nobody was embarrassed, shamed or insulted. Like some people mentioned above – I had never seen the word in print before, so it was kind of funny.

                The caterer was a really great guy, and we used him again, as well as referring some friends. I’m sorry if the manner in which I told the story was unclear.

                Interestingly enough though, one of my wife’s sisters was married to a Muslim man at one time, and their home was a total “pork-fee zone”. However, they have no restrictions on eating beef, poultry or fish – so this is a mistake which should have never happened.

            • Misha says:

              Wow, I agree. If my caterer cannot take the time to answer a simple and honest question ABOUT THEIR OWN WARES – the things they want me to pay them for – without insulting me, that’s the end of that.

            • Murph1908 says:

              Agreed. It’s not uncommon to know a word, but not recognize it in print, especially when the word has a foreign origin.

              It’s also not uncommon to make a simple mistake that you would have known better if you’d thought about it for a moment. My example is when I saw a Les Mis character’s name outside of context and said “Ja-vert” with the T. I had 2 years of college French! I know how it is pronounced, and just made a mental flub. A mental flub that made me look like a rube.

              Any professional that would take the time to humiliate you for something like this would not get my business. Good-natured ribbing from my friends, ya, I deserve that.

            • Slaughterhouse5 says:

              Maybe you should get out more. But maybe Tallahassee JuCo didn’t have the best cotillion classes.

          • OutPastPluto says:

            What an idiot. That’s no way to treat a customer.

            Interestingly enough, this just happened to be a simple primitive thing that just sounds nicer and more pretentious (and perhaps more expensive) in French.

            “Julia” would have given a good answer with politeness and enthusiasm.

            • ChuckECheese says:

              I thought the french called them “amuse-gueule.”

            • Carlee says:

              Those types of reactions, however good-natured, are the reason why I’d be too embarrassed to even ask what it was.

              I was looking at menus for a work event and I saw the word “crudites” (cost $100, for serving 100 people). I thought it was some kind of plastic display thing and couldn’t figure out why someone would need that. :)

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            That’s awfully rude…I’ve had friends and family do the same, just blurt out “what’s ____” and usually I know or I google it if i don’t know, either.

            • Coffee says:

              Agreed…why the fuck would you assume someone knows what something like a crudite or an amuse-bouche is? Unless you’re a foodie or watch a lot of cooking shows, that’s not something you’ll know.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                That reminds me of a funny story. We were at dinner with family one time and there was an amuse bouche menu. Half the table is very confused and the other half is wondering (after I explained) why you would want to order one bite of something. These are not people who would understand the concept of tapas, either.

                • Coffee says:

                  Heh…”The food here is so cheap! I ordered two things and it was only $7! :D”

                  “Yeah…you just ordered three bites of food.”

                • caradrake says:

                  Maybe it’s different down here, but my husband and I order a combo of 3 tapas, and split them, and are completely full at the end? It’s in a Columbian restaurant, and each dish comes with 5-10 pieces of meat. Plus the restaurant serves really great cuban bread.

              • nugatory says:

                I’m a big fan of the Food Network and I love to cook. I still had to look up both terms.

          • Jane_Gage says:

            /googles Oh, carrot sticks. How sophisticated. :p

          • Clonies says:

            Just like that one time when I was 10-11, held up a tampon in front of about 30 people in Germany, and asked, “What’s this?”

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Likely, the original contract was just for the guarantee of providing food from their venue, with specific foods to be outlined later. They also mentioned going through 4 coordinators during the process.

        But I do agree, at some point the specific food should have been determined.

        It’s possible the menu had pork in it, and they said those dishes are fine as long as you remove the pork, and that information was forgotten.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I can see them approving, say, “spinach salad, scalloped potatoes, rice pilaf, finger sandwiches” and not knowing that the standard recipes for these things include pig meat.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Oooh, good point, Laura. I was wondering why the OP would not know what would be served. Still, if there were allergies or real dietary restrictions in our family, I might ask for an ingredients list or to taste them first (assuming I’m not the one with the allergies or restrictions). Not blaming the OP, though; IMO they should get a full refund.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        ++1

      • azgirl says:

        Agreed- I wouldn’t assume there was meat in the tater salad.. that isn’t how I make it.. but I might now.. lol.

        And hearing “sandwiches” does not automatically lend itself to ham.. especially if you said no pork… although- I can maybe see how someone might think pork is only pork loin type meat.. vs ham, which is different in some people’s minds…

        My ex MIL thought chicken was ok for vegetarians…so I guess people are dumb all over.

    • HSVhockey says:

      My entire wedding only cost $4k (well we only invited about 20 people) and you better believe every ingredient in the menu of the 7 course meal was scrutinized.

    • Overstim says:

      Some people pay more to a wedding planner so they DONT have to micromanage everything. Personally, if I was spending that much, I’d expect a planner to follow simple instructions like “No pork”.

    • heysuburban says:

      They did, right? Isn’t that part of the point of this story, that the caterer “didn’t double check” her own menu notes?

      • PunditGuy says:

        It’s more than just saying “no” to a particular ingredient. I knew everything that was going to be served at my reception because they tell you in advance what they’re going to serve. You’re paying for it, after all.

        • Dalsnsetters says:

          No one told me what was going to be served at my wedding.

          I told them.

          • PunditGuy says:

            Pedantic much? The caterer came with the venue, and we selected the “hot zone buffet” as the basis of the menu. We knew precisely what each item in the buffet was, and we supplemented it with a la carte items to match the dietary restrictions of some of our guests — ensuring that everyone would be able to have something to eat.

            • Dalsnsetters says:

              Pfffft, nice generalization. I’m paying for the food, I’m damn well going to be the one to determine exactly what I am paying for. My caterer came with the venue as well but that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. We had a buffet style wherein we were able to choose from several different entrees (we chose four), as well as some a la carte fill in items. But under no circumstance was food on that table that was not approved by me.

              If this had been my caterer, wedding gown or no wedding gown, we would have had a little “meeting.” And I don’t mean let’s sit down and talk about this. I mean a WTH do you think you are doing meeting. Actually, my father would have been the one to have that meeting and my dad is a huge man. Any pork dish would have been gone before it hit the table.

  5. Magical Pig says:

    ALWAYS GET PORK IN WRITING!

  6. ThunderRoad says:

    At minimum, I’d go with small claims for the maximum amount you can. Go bigger if you can afford it. Go to the press, go to yelp, go public and go loud and they will step up.

  7. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    Didn’t double check? So people who don’t want pork usually order pork sausage? Why would something with the word pork even be on the menu?

  8. Stickdude says:

    $10,000 on food and they had no idea until they arrived what food was going to be served?

    Not to blame the OP, but if you were spending that much on a single meal, wouldn’t you plan out every single dish beforehand – especially if there were major restrictions (no pork) that needed to be observed?

    • Fumanchu says:

      part of the point of these caterers is that they do that stuff for you so you don’t spend hours deciding on the food for the wedding. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to say to the caterers I want you to cater my wedding and use whatever food you think is best as long as that food doesn’t contain x,y or z.

      Its an easy enough request and if it wan’t the caterer should have turned them down or withdrawn from the agreement before the wedding. I say the caterer should offer a full refund, but if they can’t because its so much money they refund to the point where they still cover costs and offer both a written and verbal apology to the couple and at least an email or letter to the whole guest list.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But why wouldn’t you want to pick your own meals? You don’t go to a restaurant and say “nothing with pork, and I don’t like beans” and hope you get something you like, right?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Perhaps they liked all the menu items, sans pork.

        • maztec says:

          I do . . . Quite often I go to restaurants and say, “Chef’s Choice” or “I’m in the mood for XYZ, but let the chef surprise me.” or “I don’t eat ABC or don’t want MNO, let the Chef make whatever s/he wants.” I’ve even done this at cheap diners to utterly devastatingly delicious surprises. I admit though, once in a while, it totally backfires.

      • Stickdude says:

        If it were me dropping $10k on the food alone, I’d have no problem spending a few hours tasting and deciding on the menu. It’s just odd that the OP had no idea what was going to be served until the actual event.

        That said, I do agree with you that OP deserves a full refund of what they paid for the food, if not more.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      This. Very, Very much this. I understand that weddings are stressful and it is difficult to keep track of every detail, but one of the most important aspect of any wedding, to the guests, is the quality of food that is served.

      An oversight of this magnitude on the caterer’s behalf is inexcusable, true, but it SHOULD have been caught well in advance, if not by the planner, then by the people helping the bride and groom organize the wedding, if not the bride and groom themselves.

    • c_c says:

      Yea we spent a lot less on food at our wedding and tasted and picked out every dish beforehand. Seems strange you’d just trust their judgement without even doing a tasting…

    • HeatherLynn30 says:

      I don’t understand this, either. They were wrong to serve pork when it was specifically requested that they not do so, but on the other hand, wedding food usually goes through a few rounds of tasting before it’s ever served to the guests. In fact, the tasting is often part of the wooing of the bride’s business to book the venue. Did they not get a tasting beforehand?

  9. Jane_Gage says:

    Since you’ve lawyered up and alerted the media, I guess there is nothing left save this: jihad.

  10. Melchiour says:

    Something strange here, I got married this year, our food was much less (around 5k) and we had a full tasting and dish preview. We got to see and eat everything that was going to be at the reception. I can’t imagine that this company for 17k did not offer something similar.

    • FatLynn says:

      I agree, but then I thought it was possible that this was an out-of-town venue. I’m still surprised they wouldn’t have seen the full menu in advance, though, even if they didn’t taste everything.

      “No pork” seems like such a common request, though, that if you told them that, they should have gotten it right.

      • Dr. Eirik says:

        It could be something like this. I was married at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas and wasn’t able to do a tasting before the wedding. We picked off a menu that had a pretty good description of the dishes and trusted the hotel (the food ended up good, though not stellar).

        I could also see if they were given a menu to choose from, even with a detailed description, and told them something like “We’ll take these items, but no pork products on any of it.” Seems like the kind of detail someone should have double-checked a couple days before the wedding. Though, perhaps is was and the venue still dropped the ball.

      • orion70 says:

        They should have, but surprisingly there are a good few people in the food service business who have incredibly limited knowledge of what this actually means (plus stuff like vegetarian dishes, or medical issues).

        Someone possibly interpreted pork as no pork chops, or pork loin, large cuts of meat etc. It sounds stupid, but I’ve had restaurants look at me like I have ten heads when I tell them that the bacon bits on the salad are, in fact, meat. Chopping them into tiny bits doesn’t render them meatless (and no I’m not talking about the soy bits). I’ve also had people tell me a dish was meatless at a potluck or whatever, when it contained little bits of meat. Also ran into stuff like this at a large scale catering venue that really should have known better.

    • zippy says:

      My general observation after having been at lots of weddings over my lifetime is that the more posh and expensive the place, the worse the food and service. Probably the best food at a wedding I’ve had was at a local neighborhood restaurant, where the old school Italian owner just made massive quantities of stuff he would usually have on the menu. Bride and groom got a discount for quantity and the food was absolutely superb. Worst was at a very posh place, seven course meal, the salad course was a few leaves of wilted lettuce with some shavings of carrot and cabbage, and just downhill from there.

  11. blogger X says:

    *eating a pulled pork sammich* Damn! This place didn’t have any poultry and seafood options?

  12. Eyeheartpie says:

    I’ve been to quite a few weddings, and I’ve never been to one where EVERYTHING had pork in it except for one dish. Does this sort of thing happen often? There are always vegetarian options and non-pork meat options.

    That being said, if you’re paying for food where you specifically request no pork, and it’s not provided, you deserve the entire food cost to be refunded. If I go to a restaurant, and I order a pizza, and they give me a ham sandwich, and refuse to replace it with a pizza, I’d demand a full refund. $3000 is a slap in the face.

    Also, I’d demand some of the cost of the planning be refunded as well, since the coordinator did not do her job, and thus should not be paid. Total cost was $17000, with $10000 of that being food cost, I’d demand something closer to an $11000 refund, with an apology form the venue to all the guests to show that the error was not the bride’s fault.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      I’m a bit skeptical about the “everything had pork” comment too. Was the wedding cake filled with prosciutto, sprinkled with bacon bits, and set in a wreath of pig ears? They have a legitimate complaint, there’s no need to exaggerate, as Judge Judy says that only wrecks your credibility.

      • BrownLeopard says:

        Thanks, now I have to make bacon. Mmm pork.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Stop it, your making me hungry!

      • Firethorn says:

        The wedding cake might have been catered seperately from an actual bakery.

        ‘Everything had pork’ was probably an exageration, but also makes me wonder if somebody in the catering found out the family was muslim and deliberately decided to be offensive.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Now I want to have a recommitment ceremony just so I can have that cake!!! Thanks, Jane_Gage…. :p

      • Slaughterhouse5 says:

        Yeah, great way to quote that great legal mind. You’re already colored yourself a bigot. Stop digging.

    • Thalia says:

      I went to a German restaurant, and I don’t eat pork. I was told the butter, the bread, the salad, and every entree included either bacon, bacon grease, or pork. I ate a bare baked potato, separately baked because they were usually boiled in water that was flavored with bacon salts. So it’s possible to include bacon in everything. Lard = cooking ingredient = pork.

    • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

      It reads as three dishes on the BUFFET had pork plus the sandwiches served after the ritual.

  13. BobOki says:

    If this was held here in the states, I think perhaps this entire thing happened because they were Muslim. I am ashamed to say it but America has made huge strides backwards as of late in our tolerance to other peoples, and due to 9/11 and GWBs neverending terrorist crap Muslims more so hated them most.
    I would be willing to bet they did this purposely and I can honestly say that is the avenue I would take this with. Not very often I scream racism/bigot… but thats pretty in-your-face.

    • kataisa says:

      You’ve fallen for the usual mainstream media propaganda that America is this awful racist country that needs lots of “teaching moments”. If the US is as awful and backwards as the media says it is then answer this: how many muslims have been killed by racist Americans since 9/11 and how many Americans have been killed by muslims since then?

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Only some items had pork – and this was noticed right away. The bride isn’t complaining that guests went hungry. More likely an oversight than vindictive racist caterers.

      Would you be as upset if meat was served at a vegetarian’s wedding – esp. when it appears that a detailed menu plan was not discussed?

    • CubeRat says:

      I disagree. I’ve worked for a caterer in the past, and I occasionally help a friend with his catering business.

      I’ve never seen ANY event that did not have a menu that was OK’d by the customer. Even if they did not OK the final menu, it’s very common that people ask for very specific menu option, like Vegan, or no peanuts, up to and including Halal or Kosher. I worked on day on three events; one was a Bat-Mitzvah w/ Kosher food only, a wedding which one side was Mormon (no alcohol) and a party that requested Halal and Vegan options. All the events had different decor request, colors, extras – this is par for the course for a caterer. (and these events were in a small city, not a major metro area)

    • Darury says:

      Really? You do realize that “muslim hate crimes” aren’t even a blip on the radar based on percentage of populations compared to almost any other group.

      • maztec says:

        You realize that most of these crimes don’t get reported? And the ones that do get recorded as “race crimes”, generally against Africans, and not recorded as religious animosity?

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      I thought the same thing too. Shenanigans by the caterers.

      • kataisa says:

        I thought the same thing too. Shenanigans by the caterers.
        Why would the catering company risk their reputation and business with such shenanigans, knowing full well that the media comes running once a claim of bias is made?

        • MrEvil says:

          Because there’s enough inbred hillbillies in this country with that kind of money that’d PREFER to do business with a caterer that hates muslims. I know more than a few that would call the caterers patriots for doing it.

        • Kuri says:

          A few years ago when visiting some relatives we ate at a restaurant. My dad was sporting long hair at the time and is almost obviously native by descent

          The staff kept shooting us dirty looks over it.

          The company reputation doesn’t matter to some employees.

    • rmorin says:

      You have no idea about anti-islam perception in the world. The United States is much more tolerant then “liberal” countries in Europe.

      Just look at France:
      http://www.npr.org/2011/04/11/135305409/frances-burqa-ban-adds-to-anti-muslim-climate

      http://blogs.cbn.com/hurdontheweb/archive/2011/09/16/france-bans-muslim-street-prayer-dutch-draft-burqa-law.aspx

      Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden all have laws prohibiting various displays of muslim behavior (praying in public, wearing burquas)

      Once again, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    • soj4life says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised, especially with all of the pork added dishes that were served. There is a large sect of out country that likes to claim they are the ones protecting the Constitution yet don’t understand it and or have it applied to everyone.

  14. kataisa says:

    “The caterers served up rice with pork sausage, potatoes with ham, salad with bacon, and ham sandwiches for the cocktail hour.”

    This doesn’t make any sense to me. In my experience, caterers do not serve food that is not explicitly requested by the bride/groom. They have a whole checklist of foods that you check off. If the food isn’t checked off, it’s not served. The only explanation I can think of is that their catering list got mixed up with somebody else’s.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Either that or the dishes the couple OK’d were not something you would think contained pork. Maybe the menu said “assorted small sandwiches for cocktail hour.” The couple checked this and told the person “this will be fine but no pork products please.” Then that someone dropped the ball on the request.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Someone else mentioned this in a comment above, but I think what likely could have happened is they were given a list of thing foods that may not obviously have had pork in it without knowing this place puts pork products in that recipe. For the sandwiches maybe they just said finger sandwiches or something and the couple assumed, given their mandate of no pork, that it would not include ham. A mix up with another party’s catering needs also sounds plausible to me.

    • Sian says:

      The only explanation I can think of is that their catering list got mixed up with somebody else’s

      Yeah. Somebody else who REALLY LOVES PORK.

    • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

      It was a buffet. Can you imagine the train wreck if they allowed the customer to pick the foods? It got messed up when they requested no pork.

  15. cottercutie says:

    Wow. That is more than a mere inconvenience. What about if it had been an item that the couple was allergic to that the catering company had been informed not to serve? I have a shellfish allergy, if I tell my catering company “do not serve any items with shellfish ingredients” I expect that they will not serve items containing offending ingredients. For me, that could have been a deadly “mistake”. Full refund or court.

  16. Zelgadis says:

    Oh, I’d love to see this one on Judge Judy. Shame she only handles small claims cases.

  17. thomwithanh says:

    I think a full refund is in order – this is a fuck up of a magnificent degree

    • doctordan says:

      why a full refund? I’m assuming some of the food was eaten and I’m assuming some of the guests that weren’t Muslim happily ate the food with pork products. I’m not disputing if they had in writing ‘no pork’ and there was some pork then they shouldn’t pay for items they specifically did not ask for. But why should they get all the food that was eaten for free?

      • Luckie says:

        Say you went to Your Favorite Burger Place and you got a burger, and it has a bug on it. You don’t see the bug until you’ve already eaten half the burger. Do you go back and ask for half your money back, because you got to eat half of your burger?

        • maztec says:

          I just flick the bug off and eat the rest of the burger . . . Course, that’s what I expect from my favorite burger place. Now, take me to a fancy restaurant, and I find something wrong in it, I usually tactfully lay it on the side of my plate and either stop eating if it is extremely disgusting or keep eating if it is no bother. Most of the time the server notices it, freaks out more than me, and comps the meal. If they don’t, I usually shrug it off, unless it was a bloody finger stub (only happened once!) on my salad and they ask “Are you done with your salad?” and I point at the finger and say, “I couldn’t really eat it” and they don’t quite get it until I ask “Did the chef cut his finger earlier today while prepping the greens?” But hey, flexibility counts for something.

  18. Agozyen says:

    How is this even possible? Did they not pick out menu items ahead of time?

  19. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Total bill was $17,000 including the venue. Food was $10,000. The caterer is offering 30% off the food because some items, not the main items, had pork. Caterer problems happen and brides get prorated not 100% free receptions.

    My first reading was that everything but one item had pork. Re-reading shows this isn’t so. Of the items that had pork only one was remade without pork- the others were removed.

  20. crispyduck13 says:

    That is really an inexcusable mistake on the caterer’s part. Allowing for allergies, religions, and vegetarians is like catering 101, it’s an extremely basic concept that every caterer is familiar with. Sounds like this girl is getting screwed due to the high turnover rate and poor management of the club’s catering team. For everyone asking why she didn’t plan out her menu, some places don’t really do that. They list the stuff they’ll offer on a buffet at this price point, then a different line-up for other price points. The menu she read probably just said “scalloped potatoes” (or whatever), “tossed salad”, etc but didn’t spell out every ingredient.

    Pork in the salad? Pork in the potatoes?? Ham sandwiches??? It almost sounds like the caterer read her note backwards, as in “Lots of pork!” instead of “No pork!”. But really nothing the country club did at this point is going to get the OP back in her new fam’s good graces, money can’t fix that. For the record I would not take a refund offer of less than $5k, maybe 50% loss will teach the club a lesson.

  21. jenolen2161 says:

    For people who are wondering why they wouldn’t have realized there would be pork ingredients in the food, when we sat down to pick out our menu, we were offered descriptions of food that weren’t exactly in 5-star detail. Then again, we didn’t have any food allergies or other considerations. I feel bad for this poor girl. I hope her husband’s family is forgiving once they find out it wasn’t some plot to get them to renege on their religious vows.

  22. dilbert69 says:

    The clear subtext here is that Muslim’s arent’ welcome. So not cool. I’d sue for far more than I paid.

    • SecretAgentWoman says:

      Yeah, I don’t like to play the racism card, but…honestly, this smacks of anti-Muslim sentiment.

      • DariusC says:

        I used to watch Fox all the time and even I agree this is blatent racism. They said no ham, the caterers gave them everything ham. I hate the ACLU for their petty lawsuits, but sue away to these assholes for being spiteful and bigotted (s/p?)!

        • kataisa says:

          I’m amazed how many people assume that the catering company supposedly did this stunt out of spite all because the in-laws were muslim. Seriously?

          I’ll ask again: Why would a catering company put its entire reputation and business on the line by deliberating performing an act of bias that was bound to gain negative media attention?

          • Sian says:

            How can they accidentally serve a wedding menu consisting almost entirely of ham?

          • Eyeheartpie says:

            Did you even read the article? The venue was a country club, and the caterers were from the venue, i.e. from the country club. Parties would hardly be their main source of income. Membership fees to the country club would far outweigh the money they make for catering. Also, depending on where this was, I think some members of the country club would think what the venue did (on purpose or on accident) hilarious, and they’d hardly see a downswing in clientele. There may not be many violent hate crimes against Muslims in the US, but there is still more than enough bigotry and hate speech directed towards them. If you don’t think so, I shake my head at you.

        • Darury says:

          “Blatenent racism”? Really? When did a religious choice become a race? Last I checked, there were white, black, brown and yellow muslims.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      Being a PRIVATE club, Wouldn’t they have that choice?

      • dilbert69 says:

        Perhaps, but to be non-transparent about it is inexcusable. It’s one thing to say, “Sorry, no Muslims.” It’s another thing to welcome Muslims and then serve them pork against their wishes.

      • Slaughterhouse5 says:

        Umm, no. They don’t turdeater. Its called the law. Suck a sewer pipe.

  23. lupis42 says:

    I honestly don’t think a full refund would cut it – I would be after the catering company for the full cost of a wedding+honeymoon redo.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      What if some meat dishes were served at a vegetarian’s wedding? Full refund – and pay for the honeymoon? What he was so distressed he couldn’t perform?

      • Eyeheartpie says:

        What he was so distressed he couldn’t perform?

        Is something like that so hard to believe? If you’re so worried about having delivered a huge insult to your family, you think you’d be in the sexy-time mood?

        • RayanneGraff says:

          Goodness, people are so delicate nowadays! If a food fuck-up ruins their ENTIRE HONEYMOON, then frankly, they should just kill themselves because they’re simply too fragile for this world.

          Good grief.

  24. tchann says:

    While I really don’t think $3000 is fair compensation for having a inadequate feast being pulled away without replacement, I’m also completely baffled. My entire wedding cost less than their food bill alone, and I still knew every single item that was on the menu weeks ahead of time, even without any sort of dietary restrictions.

    Someone at that place had no idea how to cater a wedding reception, and it seems like the couple were pretty clueless as well…a disastrous combination.

  25. gglockner says:

    Sorry to hear it ruined your wedding. But if something is that critical, it should be written into the contract, with terms in case of breach-of-contract. Plain and simple.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Captain Hindsight strikes again.

      Actually that is very good advice.

      • gglockner says:

        Sorry, but no individual should be spending that kind of money without a written contract. It should protect both sides. Too great of an opportunity for missed expectations.

  26. remusrm says:

    whatever… its food… and this is just stupid

    • Firevine says:

      Honestly. I love the one way tolerance street in the comments too. We have to tolerate their religion, while they can’t even tolerate food, or the woman their son is marrying.

    • kobresia says:

      Yeah, this.

      FFS, it’s not the CATERERS who ruined the wedding, it’s the idiotic superstitious people who hold steadfastly to ancient, primitive nonsense and then throw a screaming tantrum over any perceived slight.

      This goes for Hindu, Jewish, Christian, vegetarian, Muslim, and anyone else who has dietary preferences based on ideology– Stop the self-righteous whining and get over the miscommunication or mistakes. Sometimes it seems that all religious ideology (and this includes most vegans) does is turn people into raging pricks.

      I’d really, really like to think that if there are gods, that this sort of over-the-top behavior would reflect worse on the people throwing the sanctimonious tantrums in the eyes of those gods, and it’s definitely worse karma to be an asshole to other people (making a newlywed feel bad over something dumb like this) than to just stop eating whatever offends and move on gracefully.

      But, whatever.

      • Eyeheartpie says:

        Yeah, because if you order something, the people you order from should just be able to give you whatever you want, and you should feel bad for wanting what you actually paid for.

        Ignore the religious aspect of it. This couple paid humongous amounts of money for a catered meal. The meal provided was not what they ordered at all, and even after they requested that the stuff they didn’t order be removed, it still wasn’t removed. I don’t care what the reasoning is, but if you order something, you better get what you ordered. For example, you saying they should just suck it up is like if you went to a dealer, ordered a Chevy Camaro, and then you were delivered a Ford Mustang instead, would you be happy or OK with it? Sure they’re ostensibly of equal value, but you didn’t get what you ordered. Who cares why you’re not OK with not getting what you received, the fact is you ordered something that you didn’t get.

        • kobresia says:

          I agree solely on the consumer angle, but I really don’t think it’s fair to say that the entire wedding was ruined by the miscommunication or oversight or whatever it was. These folks definitely deserve some apologies and a partial refund, but the epic freak-out is unwarranted and out-of-proportion. This really is more a story about personal offense going over the top. Refund the price of the meal that was done incorrectly; that’s about what was appropriate for the Hindu folks who were ritually soiled by negligently being served beef. Suing for the price of tickets to India to take a swim in the filthiest river on the planet to purify themselves, and emotional distress was way too much in that case too.

          • RayanneGraff says:

            I agree completely. I remember that story too, those people were so obviously just looking for a free vacation it wasn’t even funny.

            Apology, partial refund. That is ALL these people should get. It was an innocent mistake by a probably rushed & harried caterer, and there was no reason for them to throw such a fit about it especially since they ATE the damn ham sandwiches. What kind of meat did they think it was, chicken? Pork has a very distinctive flavor, its pretty much impossible to confuse it for another meat!

            • Eyeheartpie says:

              Which these people wouldn’t have known, since they’ve never had pork before. Maybe they thought it was just seasoned turkey or something.

              Besides, this goes beyond an honest mistake. They had notes saying “no pork” which were ignored, and yet even after the bride and groom requested all pork products be removed, some still remained on the tables. This is more than just a simple mistake. Also, do you not agree that they didn’t get what they ordered? How would you feel about paying for something so expensive that you didn’t order? I used this example in another post, but imagine you tried to buy a Chevy Camaro and you were delivered a Ford Mustang. Sure they’re worth about the same, but it’s not what you ordered.

              This couple payed for a meal with no pork, and a coordinator who could take care of their concerns. They did not receive the meal they ordered, and the coordinator did not do her job. This deserves more than only a refund on the food. This deserves almost a full refund on the food (the spinach salad was remade without pork), and a partial refund for the cost of the coordinator, since she didn’t do her job.

              • RayanneGraff says:

                And mistakes happen! It’s not a life & death situation, and the family seriously overreacted.

                • Eyeheartpie says:

                  Yes, mistakes happen, and a large series of mistakes that resulted in the above situation should be compensated for. It was not a single mistake. Coordinator ignored or forgot specific requests for the food (1,2), ignored requests to remove all pork products from the service (3), only remade 1 item without pork (4), and then came back and is now lying that she never received any “no pork” requests (5). 5 pretty major mistakes in a single event, when you’re paying over $17k, is unacceptable.

              • kobresia says:

                There’s no question they *should’ve* received what they ordered, but one must wonder…if it was so important, why didn’t they speak directly with the caterers? Sounds like there’s an awful lot of hearsay and notes that may or may not have been jotted-down, and awfully few actual contracts that specify what they wanted. When you get down to it, the caterers just did what they were asked to do, and it must’ve been some gathering to come to such a high price tag. That amount of food is not easily re-prepared or all discovered and removed.

                A few dishes (salad with bacon, potatoes with pork, and rice with sausage) and some hors d’oeuvres that may have had ham luncheon meat do not warrant a full refund or additional compensation. They do deserve a refund on the part of the overall order that was botched, and it sounds like $3,000 would probably be reasonable if that is the extent of the error. I honestly can’t imagine a buffet anywhere, except maybe a German-cuisine one, where there would even be pork in more than 10-15% of the dishes.

                • Eyeheartpie says:

                  …if it was so important, why didn’t they speak directly with the caterers?

                  Because they paid a coordinator who represented the venue, which included the caterer, whose job it was to make sure the wedding went without hitch.

                  When you get down to it, the caterers just did what they were asked to do…

                  No the didn’t. They asked for no pork, caterers put out pork. They asked for pork to be removed, caterers removed only some of the pork. No matter how you cut it, the caterers did not do what was asked of them.

                  That amount of food is not easily re-prepared or all discovered and removed.

                  I agree that enough food for a wedding is not easily re-prepared on the spot, but it is trivial to remove it all. If they asked for all pork containing dishes to be removed, it should be simple to go and round up all the pork dishes put out and pull them. It’s not hard at all. Walk around looking at the food service tables, and pull everything with pork products. Done.

                  A few dishes (salad with bacon, potatoes with pork, and rice with sausage) and some hors d’oeuvres that may have had ham luncheon meat do not warrant a full refund or additional compensation.

                  Those are just the examples called out in the article. The salad was pointed out as “even the salad had bacon”, the potatoes were pointed out as a dish with pork that was not removed when they asked, the rice was pointed out as a dish not replaced even though a rice dish is essential to any Indian function and is easily replaced, and the ham sandwiches (not hors d’oevres that MAY have had ham, they were straight up ham sandwiches) were pointed out as something that was served after they specifically told the caterers how much they didn’t want pork products served. From the phrasing of the article, those don’t seem like the only offending dishes, just the ones that warranted special mention.

                  Why do you keep insisting that they don’t deserve a refund of at least the food portion even though you agree they didn’t receive what they ordered? Any other product or service where you don’t receive what you ordered, you get a refund. Why is this any different? Because you don’t agree with the reasoning of why they didn’t want pork served?

                  • kobresia says:

                    Yeah, so the caterers just did what they were asked to do; the coordinator didn’t tell them “no pork”. It’s entirely unreasonable to expect them to fix-up the coordinator’s alleged mistake on short notice when they were not planning on doing so & probably didn’t have the ingredients or manpower to take care of it all.

                    Why do you insist that they deserve a full refund on all the food, when it’s not even clear how much contained pork? It’s hard to tell where the wedding angst hysterics end and the truth begins. If 30% of the food they paid for was inedible due to the groom’s family’s superstitions, then a 30% refund is in order.This isn’t like comping someone a meal because it had mayo when it was ordered with no mayo, it was thousands of dollars of perfectly edible food, much of it was edible for them, and they ate it.

  27. Firevine says:

    No pork ice cream?

  28. sumocat says:

    I don’t understand why they didn’t get to pick the menu. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a catered event where the host didn’t at least choose from a selection of dishes.

  29. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Don’t know if it’s been answered yet: what’s the Quranic position regarding someone accidentally violating a dietary edict (e.g., accidentally getting fed pork/pork-derived products)?

    • NatalieErin says:

      It’s generally considered fine, from a religious standpoint, to eat haram foods if you are unaware or would be risking death by avoiding them. I believe that is true for Jewish people and trayf food also.

    • Libertas says:

      Off with their heads, obviously,

  30. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Don’t know if it’s been answered yet: what’s the Quranic position regarding someone accidentally violating a dietary edict (e.g., accidentally getting fed pork/pork-derived products)?

  31. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Don’t know if it’s been answered yet: what’s the Quranic position regarding someone accidentally violating a dietary edict (e.g., accidentally getting fed pork/pork-derived products)?

  32. Overstim says:

    Pork in the salad, pork in the potatoes, pork in the sandwiches.. mmmh, what’s this caterer’s number? :)

    Seriously though, I’d write a certified letter restating the situation and a statement to this effect:
    “As I’m sure you’re aware, wedding planning web sites are extremely popular in this day and age. I’m prepared to post on every single wedding, catering, event planning, Muslim and Jewish community message board I can find, and tell them you admitted your mistake and turned it around, or you screwed us and showed no remorse. You have the opportunity here to turn a bad situation into a good one, or into a worse one. The choice is yours.”

  33. alliebeth says:

    It sounds almost as if the “NO pork” got interpreted backwards as “pork”..as in pork in everything. This is so weird that it would be in every dish. I hope they get a 100% refund and a written apology.

  34. lexibear10 says:

    What is the name of the company? Nothing says “you mess with me… i mess with your business” like calling your local the news…Not only will a vast amount of consumers hear what happened, the company most likely will reach out after the story airs to fix the problem to avoid further bad press. USE NAMES!!!!!!

  35. El_Fez says:

    Man, any religion that bans sweet, sweet Bacon is just WRONG! Your invisible man in the sky is an affront and my invisible man in the sky (who permits the love of bacon) will smote yours!

  36. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    On the bright side, if you aren’t smote by your god, then it means that it doesn’t really care (or exist)!

  37. milty45654 says:

    So 2 people couldn’t eat and 3k isn’t enough to compensate?
    It took TEN months of planning?
    You blew 17K on a wedding?
    And 3K isn’t enough?
    …psshhh…prolly a banker

    • elangomatt says:

      Where do you see that only 2 people couldn’t eat the yummy porky food? I see that the husband’s entire family is muslim and can’t eat pork.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      No self-respecting banker would get married for $17k. That won’t even cover flowers and a decent band in NYC.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      http://troll.me/images/futurama-fry/not-sure-if-trolling-or-just-really-stupid.jpg

      The entire groom’s family couldn’t eat most of the dishes served, and some of what remained out turned out to contain pork. This goes beyond your stupid breakdown.

      • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

        It read lie three dishes off the buffet and the sandwiches at the cocktail party. Any buffet I’ve been to has at least a dozen selections plus salads and other crap. It didn’t seem to me that it was “most”.

        • orion70 says:

          I don’t know, if it were me and I discovered that three or four dishes already accidentally contained whatever it was I was trying to avoid, I’d be exceptionally wary of the remaining dishes.

  38. RedOryx says:

    For those who have said maybe the bride & groom just saw a basic, not specific, menu and signed off on that, that’s all well and good and I realize that might be common. But if you KNOW there are food allergies or dietary considerations, it is on YOU to make sure the caterer is made aware. How are they supposed to know to not serve pork unless you tell them? You know what they say about what happens when you assume.

  39. HammRadio says:

    I understand your issue…but the menu restrictions (even in buffet form should have been in the contract as an addendum or whatever)…

    Secondly… my God lets me eat whatever I want. And that menu sounded delicious.

  40. daemonaquila says:

    I don’t think that all can be ascribed to an error. If the OP made an effort to ensure no pork, and somehow a very large number of dishes showed up that were pork-centric, I’m going to suspect someone on the catering staff who doesn’t like Islam.

    For the money they were paying, the very least the caterers should have done was get to work and replace the offending food. I’d say a $3k refund is an insult in this situation. Even if it wasn’t intentional, it was a terrible experience for the people who ate it, and a horrible way for a new family relationship to start.

  41. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Question to the OP: I understand that pork is not Halal for Muslims. Also, it’s your wedding, and you can run it any way you wish.

    Understanding that, is there a particular reason there could be absolutely NO pork products AT ALL for the buffet (as opposed to predominantly non-pork products)? Were there no non-Muslims that might enjoy pork?

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I’m sure, but their dietary preferences apparently didn’t matter. Everybody always has to cater(no pun intended) to the demands of the religious.

      • NatalieErin says:

        How do you know that? Perhaps the bride and groom don’t really care about pork and decided to leave it out so there would be no mix ups, or so every guest could eat any item they wished.

    • tailspin says:

      I think it’s more that some of the pork-included items were not obvious. The salad and potatoes could have had turkey bacon in them, the rice could have contained beef sausage. If you’re a guest at a wedding and you know the bride and groom have specifically requested halal food, then there’s an expectation that everything that’s set out is cool for you to eat. The bride says in her post that many of the guests didn’t realize they had already eaten pork, not that they saw all this pork laid out and were concerned they had nothing to eat…

    • FMulder says:

      Who goes to a wedding at once one or two Muslim people are marrying, expecting to have pork to eat? Who goes to any wedding with a specific ‘demand’ of a certain kind of food. I know that people who eat pork also eat other kinds of foods, just as people who don’t eat pork, also eat other kinds of foods. Therefore, the non-pork eaters and the pork eaters, can share a meal of most of the same foods, without the existence of a pork product being a dealbreak.

      The issue in the original story seems to be that at a wedding where one of the marrying folk is Muslim, that there were no suitable no-pork options for the Muslim family and other guests, and that there was just an over abundance of pork meals, to the opposite of the couple’s requests.

      So while the marrying couple certainly accommodated that pork-lovers, it would be extremely rude for a guest to attend this kind of wedding and be upset that they aren’t being provided with pork. If you must have pork at every meal, every invited to which you are invited, I suggest you pack a bag of pork rinds or something, just in case of emergency pork deprivation.

  42. geopapa says:

    How ’bout pigs in a blanket? Maybe a pulled pork sandwich? That’s it… pork rinds!

  43. Tim says:

    I thought the standard procedure for wedding catering was that the bride and groom work out exactly what is going to be served beforehand. Did that not happen here?

    Anyway, whatever the case, no, I don’t think $3,000 was enough, especially considering the caterers only re-made one of the dishes, and didn’t even remove all of the errant dishes.

  44. heysuburban says:

    FULL REFUND or lawyer the shit out of them.

  45. Jen123 says:

    I tasted and chose every item served on the menu at my wedding. We aren’t getting the entire story here. How can the bride and groom have been served food they did not request??

    • eeelaine says:

      Um, it happens. Some people don’t need to agonize over ever detail of a wedding. Still, picking “spinach salad, rice, etc.” even at a high level and specifying “no pork” should have been sufficient to not have pork in any of the dishes, much less something that is the main staple of the meal (rice).

      • kataisa says:

        If you’re paying $17,000 for a catered wedding meal then you damn well better “agonize over every detail”. For that kind of money she should have had a meal preview and tasting and had the “no pork” clause written in the contract but she didn’t do any of those things, and now she’s claiming the catering company was deliberately being ‘anti-muslim’? Sorry, but I’m not taking the OP’s story at face value.

        • NatalieErin says:

          “now she’s claiming the catering company was deliberately being ‘anti-muslim’?”

          Where did the OP say that?

  46. r-nice says:

    I love thow they took away some of the dishes and didn’t even replace them. Probably went in the back and had a feast themselves.

  47. Rachacha says:

    Having worked at a catering company when I was in High School and College, I have to wonder if the OP picked out a menu? Every party that I worked, including probably close to 500 weddings, the hosts of the party were able to pick from a variety of menu items. I can understand how the kitchen staff, if they were not used to a “no pork” request might forget that a ham sandwich or bacon topping for a salad might be included on the buffet, but that would be about all I would expect.

    Was there a signed contract that included the menu choices or a mention of the “No pork” requirement? Without that, it is the OP’s word against the caterer.

    • stevoisonfire says:

      Clearly the caterer had poor handwriting.

      A smudged “No Pork” quickly turned into “Mo’ Pork!”

  48. AldisCabango says:

    color me stupid but dont you review the actual menu and aprove all menu items. If you contract for certain menu items and they dont deliver those menu they you dont pay.

  49. Not Given says:

    mmm, bacon. But still, no way is $3000 enough. If it had been an allergy that was prevalent in the family, they could have killed someone. A lot of people feel their religious needs are just as important. The compensation should include the cost of whatever was needed to make each Muslim person clean again plus some extra for their spiritual suffering, plus compensation for the unreplaced or unusable food and embarrassment for the couple. (and I say this as an agnostic)

    This underscores the need to put everything in writing and not rely on anyone’s notes. After a meeting, you send a letter or email spelling out exactly what was agreed to, the persons present, the time and date, keeping a copy. Something like this should be extremely detailed, as in specifing that no pork products be used in the dishes, including lard, and that no ready made product containing pork be used as an ingredient.

  50. Hollasa says:

    I’m curious to know if the bride and groom think that this was carelessness by the staff, or if this was intentional and anti-Muslim.

    I’m also curious – is it normal for caterers to have pork in this many dishes? I’d think that it was excessively bacon-oriented, but I’m not sure if this could be a regional tradition, or something like that.

    • Not Given says:

      Only in the south and did anyone else notice the venue was a country club?

    • Thalia says:

      That was my first thought too. That this was not an oversight, but a deliberate insult. It sure seems that way. Rice, at an Indian mean, with bacon bits?

    • misslisa says:

      My thought was this must’ve taken place in either the south or in an area with a largely German heritage. Pig in every food item at a banquet would have seemed pretty common in Kentucky (where I’m originally from).

  51. krom says:

    The only thing that is likely to be effective is telling people what company it was.

    Which…. you didn’t do.

  52. Saltpork says:

    I’ve catered my friend’s wedding. 180 people, 14 different food allergies/preferences including pork, beef, wheat, nuts, and vegetarian.

    I’m not a professional by any stretch. I’m a food nerd who spends his free time in the kitchen.
    If I can manage with no professional training and 1 assisstant, I see no reason why a professional catering service can’t do the same.

    I also had 6 months to prepare the menu. We went through multiple revisions as people’s allergies became known. The facility also had a professional kitchen we used.

    The menu ended up being:
    Smoked beef
    Smoked chicken(both of these were handled by a buddy who is a professional smoker)
    Salad bar
    Baked potatoes
    Baked beans w/o meat
    Coleslaw – 2 types
    Rolls – Regular and gluten-free
    Iced tea
    Sweet tea

    While this was in no way a fancy meal per se, it did go off quite well and no one got either sick or had allergic reactions. Since we knew going in, we included little names underneath in front of each serving tray to let the folks there know what contained what allergen. It just made life easier for everyone.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      Damn…you owe me a new slobber-free shirt, now.

      Your screenname is full of goodness.

  53. scottydog says:

    At my wedding we had a tasting beforehand and new/selected what would be served?How was this not done?

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      Believe it or not, not everyone plans a wedding the same way. Just because you personally did what you did does not mean it’s the standard. If you can’t think of any possible reason why a couple might not want to decide on every aspect of a meal, I’d advise you to try harder.

  54. dush says:

    Was it in the contract to have no pork or get all your money back?

  55. fearuncertaintydoubt says:

    ham, pork, bacon? Sounds like they got the catering mixed up with Homer Simpson’s wedding…

    How dare Muslims try to impose sharia law at their wedding so close to ground zero (anything within 3000 miles counts)! The people who prepared the food are true americans, oppressed by muslim extremists who just want to be “catered” to. If we “cater” to every muslim who wants his food this way or that, the terrorists have won. God bless those food-making-and-selling folks, whatever you call them.

  56. RayanneGraff says:

    Boo hoo. If your extreme, archaic religious views prevent you from coming in contact with extremely common things, then expect to have *a lot* of problems in life. If they’re so averse to pork, why did they EAT THE HAM SANDWICHES? And if her in-laws would really consider the OP a bad daughter in law because of a mistake on the caterer’s part, then I’d seriously rethink spending my life with such a hard, unforgiving family if I were her.

    I dunno, this whole thing seems fishy to me. Diehard pork-hating religious freaks wouldn’t eat pork, and they’d KNOW if they were eating it.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      Maybe because they didn’t know they were ham? If they truly had never eaten pork before, they wouldn’t know the meat was ham. It could have looked like beef or turkey or something. So many idiots in this thread are bringing up the same thing, but forget that, as evidenced by how mad they were that they were served pork, they’ve obviously never had ham before and couldn’t differentiate it from another meat.

      Also, I don’t know where you’re getting the “bad daughter-in-law” part because no where does it say they were mad at her. It says they were mad that they were served pork. Maybe they called her to tell her how mad they were at the venue for doing what they did. But of course, this is an article about religion (and Muslims in particular) so irrational and unfounded hatred abounds.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        Taken directly from the article:

        “But all of that is nothing compared to the worst most horrific aspect of [redacted]’s service that utterly ruined not only our wedding, but my relationship with my new husband’s entire family”

        “Family called and emailed all day, furious and upset that they were served a food against their religion”

        They’re assholes, and they’re blaming HER.

    • FMulder says:

      Actually Muslims are ‘allowed’ to eat pork if there is no other food and they are in a starvation, survival, situation, or if the only other option is to offend a kind host then there is no grievous violation to eat a token amount of pork. Just because some people project extremist views, doesn’t mean that actual religious texts aren’t far more moderate. The family could have eaten a bit to be polite and understanding, or they could have simply understood that because of a terrible caterer, not because of the bride, they weren’t going to eat.

      Tolerance is clearly stated with regard to many Muslim ‘rules’ but tolerance isn’t a quality that every Muslim has – just like it isn’t a quality held by every person of any religion.

      Or, if it were my family, both pork-eaters and non-pork eaters would have raised up in righteous fury and the caterer would have had to run out and buy suitable food, and/or deal out the refund agreement right there – ’cause that’s how we roll.

      The Quran actually has a section focused on a woman disputing (Prophet) Muhammad’s initial viewpoint on a situation presented to him with regard to her and her husband. Not only does he change his view admitting he was wrong and accepting that the woman is right and has corrected him, but it is an actual lesson on that the fact that a woman has the God-given right to disagree with her husband and the Muhammad, to freely speak her side, and to be accepted as right when she is indeed right. This is a direct religious admonishment to cultures that had cultural views that demeaned a woman’s right to disagree, be heard and be right, and if folk claimed to be Muslim they were supposed to follow the Quran, and not their cultural issue – but yeah, see how that works. “She Who Disputes (Argues/Pleads)” isn’t an opinion, that actually is the title/name of the section in the Quran, so some may choose to ignore it, but they can’t deny it is as much official text and rule as anything else in Islam.

      Now compare that to what some Muslim communities and organizations claim to be acceptable with regard to women in Islam.

      For that matter, compare it to what the bible says about women being obedient and submissive – and to what some Christian communities and organizations say are “Christian tenets.”

      As to archaic rules/views, almost every one lives by at least one ‘rule’ whether it is familial, cultural, religious, community-promoted, or just something they made up themselves, that causes a problem or requires some additional ‘management issue’ with very common-things they come in contact with in daily life. Sometime it is just a belief or preference, and without harm to themselves or others, why shouldn’t they be free to maintain it? Everyone has a food they don’t like the taste of, or just don’t even want to try to eat for whatever the reason, that’s their rule and they manage with it. Just because for someone the reason may be religion, doesn’t make it wrong.

      Far worse is when someone has a rule, of any kind, that hurts other people. For example, a racial and/or religious bigot who turns every mention and interaction with someone of a different race or religion into an opportunity to vent their totally ignorant mentality – and make a point of insulting, hurting others just because they don’t like their race and/or religion. Doesn’t matter the source of their belief, it is just wrong.

      That said, I tolerated my college roommates love of mayonnaise and cheese sandwiches (heated in the oven) despite my complete disgust. I even still have her as a good friend, but there is no mayonnaise and cheese sandwich making in my home, and it isn’t ever going to be on the menu when she visits. I leave the kitchen, she makes it if she wants, and she accepts that I don’t ever want to see or smell it. At her house, I am the one that makes the most effort to stay out of the way of that food-perversion. If it is served at her wedding, and there is nothing else, I am going to drink a lot and/or possibly make a quick food run.

  57. The Brad says:

    I disagree with the OP, this wedding sounds very memorable, just not for the right reasons.

    IMHO it sounds like the wedding coordinator or someone was being very discriminate toward her husband’s family’s religion and should be sued for discrimination.

  58. DonnieZ says:

    When we got married, not only did we have an introductory tasting where we got to taste a wide selection of what foods were available, we got to have a final tasting where we were seved eveyrthing that was to be served at our wedding. We actually sat down with the chef at both tastings and got to discuss everything from where they get their meat, what was in the dishes, to presentation.

    This was in nowhere Illinois, and my reception for 120 people cost well under $7K. For what the OP paid, they should have been extended the same courtesies and known exactly what was going to be served at their party.

    Shame on the OP for not going over the menu and getting confirmation from the reception venue. There’s a far cry from saying “No Pork” to not knowing exactly what’s going to be served at your wedding.

    However, being that they are offering any type of refund is admitting some kind of responsibility. They wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t at least have some kind of documentation (even a handwriteen scribble) that specified a sans-swine service.

    Being that weddings are supposed to be a once in a lifetime event and this one was pretty much ruined, I’d be shooting for a larger refund.

  59. FMulder says:

    Overall, the real ‘tell’ is that they were shuffled around to different coordinators and didn’t get proper response to their emails, etc. even before the actual event. That shows they were being insulted from the start and they should have dropped the country club and found a location that treated them correctly. But they stayed on to accept it at all, even though spending that amount of money for an event as important as a wedding, and that’s why the General Manager is disregarded their complaints now.

    What they got is way too much pork, when a client has specified no pork, for it to be an accident. Unless you’ve ask for the “Pork Feast” who has that much pork at an event? The couple should have written contracts specifying advance meal preferences, but I can see how if they allowed all that poor treatment early on that they may also have not handle the written documentation properly. If they do have the documentation, that is enough for a hard legal smack down of the refusal to properly compensate them. Not just the amount spent on food should be refunded, but really the caterer caused damage to the quality of the wedding with their unwanted pork festival, and it really is hard to believe it was just an honest accident. At best it was just truly crappy management. You can bet they wouldn’t have accidentally served Kobe beef and caviar if the couple only ordered and paid for chicken.

    My biological family is mixed, Muslim and Christian, so among us the no pork eating vs. port eating is an already managed, friendly situation, but I do understand how when you marry into that situation there’d be the anger – because one or both sides are wondering who is going to change who, who is going to accomodate and when, and they still aren’t sure over the issues of mutual understanding and respect. Her in-laws likely already had their ‘worries’ and the wedding meal seemed to be too much an avoidable situation for them to fully believe it wasn’t the new bride’s deliberate disregard or just ignorant neglect. They seem to have taken the situation as ‘proof’ that they were going to be the second-class side of the family for this couple. It seems like the bride just got her first experience of bigotry as part of a Muslim family, and terrible that it was at her wedding.

    Dealing with my insurance company and medical billers all year (more than $40k in ‘errors’ rectified), has just enhanced my natural “Kill Bill” tendencies, and sometimes you just need to approach such situations by letting folk know that B.S. is not an option for them to use.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      It seems like the bride just got her first experience of bigotry as part of a Muslim family, and terrible that it was at her wedding.

      You make it sound as if bigotry in a Muslim family is expected. Pot, meet kettle.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        It’s people like you that enable the continued pulling of the race/ethnicity/religion card whenever non-whites act like total assholes. Can’t criticize their shitty behavior or else you’re a bigot!

      • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

        Most major religions specifically state whether interfaith marriages are allowed or not… So bigotry is ingrained in the religion itself. If she isn’t a “Person of the Book”, it’s even worse.

      • FMulder says:

        Actually that is absolutely NOT what I am saying. When I wrote this:

        “It seems like the bride just got her first experience of bigotry as part of a Muslim family, and terrible that it was at her wedding.”

        What I meant was that perhaps before she hadn’t experienced such bigotry, but now that she was part of a Muslim family, she was for the first time experiencing some bigotry that Muslims often encounter.

        As a person who is part of a Muslim and Christian “mixed” family, I actually haven’t experienced, or seen anyone experience, bigotry from either side to either side. As to that pot meet kettle comment, you might want to examine its origins in how it makes ‘black’ a flaw, an insult. See, the point of the comment is that someone/thing is commenting on the flaw another has, while they actually have that flaw themselves. It is a comment that most people (like you) probably don’t examine before using it over and over again, because you are just repeating what you’ve learned to say.

        So note, I knew what I was saying – you just misinterpreted it, and when responding to chastise me, used a phrase that you probably haven’t really examined for its offensive origin.

        My family is familiar with being on the receiving end of both racial and religious bigotry, and at no point would we excuse such treatment of others, even if it was done by a member of our own family.

  60. benminer says:

    What a horrible group of people to bitch to the bride after what should have been the happiest day of her life, and all over what amounted to nothing more than going hungrry for a few hours. You don’t think she feels bad enough already? Neither eating a little pork accidently nor getting something else to eat on the way home will kill you.

  61. DragonThermo says:

    I LOL’ed at the absurdity that a “no pork” request would result in pork products in EVERY course. What was the cocktail, bacon martinis?

    Yes, $3K refund is NOT enough compensation for such an egregious error.

  62. MickeyMoo says:

    I hate that Consumerist often redacts business names (I understand why they do it, but I hate it none the less) public shaming/negative publicity goes a long way as the internet has taught us. It also affords the opportunity of possibly letting other people who have had issues with the same venue know that their bad experience was not in fact an isolated incident, but a repeated pattern of poor customer service. Lawyer up, decide how much you want (keeping in mind that the venue did have expenses/overhead, and contact as much press as you possibly can. Also, unfortunately, keep in mind that we live in interesting times, and not everyone will be as incensed when they hear the “M” word.

  63. q`Tzal says:

    This sound a lot like racist rednecks caterers taking out their anti Muslim frustrations on a wedding.
    The catering company should be required to fully refund the contract.
    Since the written contract was violated I suggest dragging the caterer fully through the judicial court system to recoup every cent (and legal costs) while ensuring they are abused in the court of public opinion.

  64. SmokeyBacon says:

    I am very confused on this – who doesn’t know what they are serving at their own wedding – don’t you set it up with the caterer so you are getting specific items? Who says “no pork” but doesn’t get the exact menu for the evening? Am I missing something – seriously I am just lost. I feel bad but who gets married and plans a wedding not knowing everything on the menu – I have never heard of such a thing before.

  65. sadie kate says:

    It is possible to have a wedding menu and not do a tasting, FWIW. When I got married, a friend of the family who owns a restaurant catered the wedding. He has a great palate, and knew better than I did what could be gotten at a reasonable price from his suppliers that would fit our budget. He was a guest, so I knew he’d make sure delicious things were served. He even just charged me his cost so I could have things like prime rib and bacon-wrapped scallops. But damn straight I wouldn’t be shelling out $10k on food I hadn’t previewed if I didn’t know the caterers. Regardless, I think the caterers should make it right.

  66. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I’m confused? Were they not allowed to pick out their own menu? when we went to wedding venues, they had very specific choices with the ingredients listed. For them to just put pork in everything without those items being chosen for the menu seems really weird to me.

  67. vivalakellye says:

    You’d be surprised at what talking to the BBB does. I once got a McDonald’s franchise to start accepting credit and debit cards just by complaining.

  68. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    It’s Bush’s fault.

  69. Chuchundra says:

    There’s an old saying. Once is happenstance. Twice in coincidence. Three times is enemy action.

    Given all of the indignities that the OP suffered at the hand of the country club stuff, from being shunted from coordinator to coordinator to almost every dish from appetizers to salad to rice having some kind of pork to a total failure to rectify the situation once it was brought to their attention, it’s hard not to conclude that her and her family were the victims of anti-Muslim bigotry.

    The thing to do now is to go back and have another meeting with the manager and demand a full refund of all fees paid plus an additional amount for your trouble and inconvenience as well as a written apology. Explain that you’re not only going to file a lawsuit against them for religious discrimination, you’re going to go the the press and tell everyone who listens exactly what happened.

  70. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    No way is that enough. I got that much for the venue screwing up less. I married a Finnish girl and asked for the venue to bring in a specific number of bottles of Koskenkorva that I would pay for. They not only didn’t get them, but then tried to weasel out of it. No warning. Fortunately our relatives had brought some we had the next day.

    Of course the venue wasn’t too happy with the plate on the bride’s head tradition, even though my in-laws swooped in to clean it up (after counting the pieces), and no it wasn’t their plate.

  71. maztec says:

    Seriously, tell them your family is Jewish, not Muslim. I hate to say it, but there is a massive anti-Muslim streak going around now. The result is that there is no respect, but instead outright intolerance and maliciousness. While, in contrast, if you had said, “My family is Jewish, the food needs to be kosher, there can be no pork at all.” You would have got it.

    And, I normally hate to say “SUE!” But, this is one of those situations were you likely have a handful of major torts and contract violations to boot. Thus, you may want to at least talk to a lawyer before agreeing to anything. If nothing else, a lawyer may be able to spell it out for them and get you a much more adequate and fair form of compensation.

  72. shthar says:

    You’re never gonna look good to your inlaws, so don’t bother.

  73. msmith6044 says:

    Makes me wonder if the same thing would have happened if the new in-laws were Orthodox Jews (no pork) instead of muslims.

  74. OnePumpChump says:

    That much pork isn’t just “oops, sorry, our mistake.” That’s “haha, they’re muslins you say? I’ll show those ragheads! It’s just like kryptonite for terrists!”

  75. dicobalt says:

    Never understood the whole not eating pork custom. Pigs farmed today are not allowed to be the omnivorous scavengers they were 2000 years ago spreading parasites. The point is that pork is no longer “unclean”. It’s no more dangerous than eating other types of meats. Get over it guys.

  76. Duke of URL says:

    She should sue the bacongrease out of those catering swine.

  77. RWeaver says:

    Getting food restrictions right is one of the basic jobs of a caterer, so I have to wonder if this was intentional. It’s a safe bet they’d’ve gotten a food allergy right (or refused the contract), knowing the legal & publicity consequences, so showing them there are similar consequences here seems pretty reasonable.

  78. shinazzle23 says:

    Bacon in almost everything?

    Boy I sure hope they didn’t do that on purpose.

  79. P_Smith says:

    If this had been thirty years ago and catholics were served beef on a Friday after ordering fish, people would have been up in arms and tried to close down the company.

    You needed a fourth option: $3000 was insufficient compensation. You don’t have to be muslim or a hypersensitive PC type to think it was inappropriate.

    .

  80. MECmouse says:

    The menu should have been in writing and an actual contract for that amount of money and esp if this is a RELIGIOUS deal. For the caterer to not eat more than 3K of the price of your once in a lifetime meal is in severely bad taste.

    On a personal note, I find spending 17K for food ridiculous. Esp in light of the fact that most brides want their day to be ‘perfect.’ This is a large and costly mistake which will take a long time to resolve and the bride/groom/family probably will never be totally satisfied with the outcome because it ruined such an important day.

    Hope others can learn from this.

  81. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    Not so long ago, weren’t American country clubs notorious for excluding people of the “wrong” religion or race?

  82. Harpalyce says:

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but it sounds like the caterer went out of their way to make everything full of ham and pork. Most caterers would not consider that a really balanced menu with everything so heavy on one variety of meat, or at least I’d think most caterers would take a more balanced approach. This stinks to me like someone in the catering company decided to accidentally on purpose reverse that ‘no pork’ order into ‘all pork’ because they knew them durn mooslims would be at the event. If I were the OP I’d demand a full refund – or start saying that the catering company is racist.

  83. Ilovegnomes says:

    Since the coordinators were directly employed by that a specific venue, they had the detail in their notes of what not to serve, they did not follow their own notes, and since attention to detail is part of their job description, they did not do their job properly, I think that the venue should eat the cost of that event as compensation.

    It would be one thing if it was just an, “Ooops, we didn’t read our notes,” but the bride and groom tried to be reasonable and find a middle ground of just removing those pork dishes to save face at the event and the coordinator couldn’t even get that right. That is over the top incompetence.

  84. Suze says:

    Reading this post reminds me why I don’t bother throwing big parties anymore. Catering to everyone’s religious, vegan, gluten, and other issues is just too exhausting! LOL

  85. Optimistic Prime says:

    It seems to be one of two things happened here- 1. the planner misunderstood and thought they wanted everything pork 2. the planner doesn’t like muslims and it was purposeful (because they must be terrorists).

    The first seems so highly unlikely, but so does two. That said, it’s hard to tell which is worse.

  86. Luckie says:

    I absolutely think they should get 100% of their money back and a written apology, for starters.

    I’m not a religious person by any means, but I do have some respect for the dietary laws of others. I grew up in a Seventh Day Adventist household, so I didn’t grow up eating pork and things. For anyone who says “A little bit of pork won’t kill them,” that is true, but for someone whose digestive tract is not used to pork, it CAN make them sick. It’s not generally dangerous, but it’s certainly just as unpleasant as a non life-threatening allergy.

  87. technoreaper says:

    Funny thing, I remember when Osama was killed, the administration and others in DC were SOOOO afraid of releasing pictures of his body. They said the Muslim community would get offended and it would create a new wave of terrorism.

    Then Qaddafi was killed by the rebels in Libya. Immediately after he was killed, images were everywhere of the actual capture and his body after his execution. I think there’s video on Youtube. Willingly provided by Muslim militant cameramen, not Western ones.

    Something tells me these people are hypocrites. They ate pork? Who cares, deal with it. Worst things could happen.

  88. sunfall says:

    To those comparing food prices, in fairness, we have no idea how many people were at the wedding, nor where it was. Some places charge per plate, and include the venue, music, cake, coordinator, and all. Some people have weddings with 500 guests. I can all too easily imagine where these numbers come from, despite spending less than 10K myself.

    I think $3K is not nearly enough. I also think they should have recognized far earlier that they were having problems, and switched venues. We had to do this with two months to go- just after the invitations went out for much the same sort of reason. Our wedding coordinator changed three times in four months, and there’d be weeks between emails while they found someone new. After the third one, we told them we had no more faith that there would be a coordinator, food, chairs, etc., on our big day, and we would like a full refund, thank you. They agreed and gave it to us. If it were me dealing with this, I would demand a full refund on the food, and settle for nothing less. If their apology was nice, sincere, and fully acknowledged their mistake, then and only then, I’d agree not to spread my horror story as far and wide as possible.

  89. farker says:

    While the EXACT food being prepared should have been discussed in advance, the message here clearly seems to be “Muslims aren’t welcome”. I would sue for the entire cost of the food plus damages.

  90. Razor512 says:

    17K for food?

    Wholesale thats well over a years worth of relatively high end food

    They would have been better off ordering finding a hood halal food stand nearby and contacting them in advanced to see if they can make some food at the event, This will knock the cost for food down to around $5 per person + the cost of drinks.

  91. spla08 says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am the bride in question, and I’d like to clear a few things up:

    - I would love to say the name of the venue, as I had initially done in the email I sent to The Consumerist, however, it seems they have taken it out, and I’m not sure if giving the name out now will result in something like the removal of this article, or what have you. If a mod could give me approval, I will give the name of the venue.

    - We live in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This was not a function held anywhere in the states, and with a rather large Muslim population in the surrounding areas here, I personally doubt the request of “no pork” was a novel concept to the venue (and of course, this isn’t even taking into account all other groups that would also request “no pork,” or any other special food request that I’m sure happens often).

    - The venue specified in their contract that only plated meals are given a tasting in advance, they strictly do not offer tastings for buffets. This actually seems to be standard practice here, as most venues we researched also said something similar. Furthermore, the sandwiches listed in the menu are stated only as being “assorted varieties.” When saying to the coordinator that we require “no pork” in any dish, this should not have been a difficult task to execute properly. We did not assume not having a tasting would be an issue for several reasons: the coordinator assured us our requests would be no issue to fulfill (a coordinator who was assigned to deal with every issue directly on our behalf and was responsible for the execution of food and beverage as per the contract); we were guests to another wedding at the same venue last year and tasted their buffet food and it was fine; this venue has won awards for being the best wedding venue in the lower mainland in recent years.

    - Not that it’s relevant, but just because several people have asked it: neither my husband or I are Muslim. We merely chose to omit pork as a matter of keeping the food accessible for everyone. It was out of respect for the guests at our wedding who don’t eat it, especially since they made up over 60% of our guest list (more than 120 people at our wedding were Muslim). We were only trying to be considerate.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      Ignore the haters and the venom here, but there is some excellent advice.

      Much upthread (around the 100 mark, I think), someone suggested that you contact the venue, and tell them the opportunity here:

      You can tell people they made a huge mistake, and owned up to it …

      Or you can tell people they made a huge mistake and did not own up.

      Assure them that you will be sharing this widely on websites for brides, grooms, and especially affinity websites for Muslims, Jews, and vegetarians. Contact the media too (well, maybe not the Sun).

      I would seriously consider filing the equivalent of a small claims suit if they don’t respond to your concerns. Personally, if this happened to me, I would assume that it was deliberate rather than an oversight (which I might do if it happened in the American South; I don’t eat meat and find that people are pretty dumb about it even after I mention it, i.e. serving me something with bacon bits, made with broth, etc.)

      I honestly think the catering crew did it deliberately.

      To anyone else, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan place with many vegetarians and Muslims, and has a large pan-Asian/pan-Pacific population beyond that. It is tremendously easy to get healthy food from different cultures there. A caterer should have had no issues making a non-pork menu.

      My sympathies on the tough path ahead with your in-laws.

  92. soj4life says:

    With the amount of dishes and ways that they used pork, someone in this catering company did this on purpose. Deliberately serving food that was mentioned as against one’s religion should void the entire bill instead of just the one course.

  93. technoreaper says:

    Another thing, for ethnic people to hold their wedding at a country club displays unwise judgment. Country clubs are notorious “good ole boy” hangouts. The caterers and managers of that club won’t care if they offend some Muslims or Indian people. They have an established base of very rich people and probably found something like this very humorous. Go to a professional banquet hall or event center, they’ll be glad to have your business!

  94. ecuador says:

    This would make some sense if it was in a country other than the US. Half the people I meed in the US have special dietary needs (vegeterians, halal, kosher etc), and everywhere they go they are accommodated pretty well, because, you know, that is expected…
    Apart from that, how can you arrange a wedding reception without having approved and, more importantly, tasted the entire menu??? I am talking from experience, having had my wedding a month ago – everything was hand-picked and taste-approved by myself and the bride.

  95. mediaseth says:

    Restaurants and caterers not capable of meeting certain dietary requirements should not offer to accommodate them. I think that’s a plain and simple solution. The problem is that too often, they say “Yes” to get the gig and then fail to follow through.

    Furthermore, I’m astonished, from stories such as this and from personal experience, how many people in the food service industry, even in diverse areas, remain ignorant about what it means to be halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, celiac/gluten intolerant., etc. Again, if they don’t actually know what those things mean, they should simply not claim to be able to accommodate them. But they still do.

    I’m celiac, my girlfriend is vegan. Even in the Boston area, we have issues. It’s almost funny. Out come the vegan pancakes from some earthy-crunchy joint and on the plate is real butter, and the waitress is clueless. I know it’s not a high paying job.. just asking for a little common sense.

    Or, when you ask if something is vegetarian and it is not – I used to be sympathetic with restaurants and caterers on that. I no longer am. Vegetarian means no meat based broth, no bacon in the salad, etc.

    It’s a tough job to be a food server and I wouldn’t want to be in their position, but knowing what they hell you’re serving ought to be a requirement. What if it was a life or death allergy?

  96. JGKojak says:

    1) Probably racism on the country club’s part.

    2) If your in-laws can’t accept that and be mad at the caterers and not you, that’s not a good sign. I’d steer clear of those people.

    3) If you had paid half that you could have had it catered by an indian food restaurant and you would have had wonderful food.

  97. amuro98 says:

    It’s one thing to slip up and have 1 or 2 items with pork products in them, but from reading the letter, I got the impression that this place really went out of their way to turn the buffet into a giant middle finger salute aimed at Muslims.

    Salad with bacon – sure. But potato salad with pork? I know German potato salad is made with bacon and bacon fat, but I don’t think that’s what this was. Then rice…with pork sausage? That seems a bit odd (or was a Jambalaya with shellfish as well?) Finally, ham sandwiches? At a wedding?

    Did they frost the wedding cake with lard too?

    Seriously, it sounds like this place has a huge vendetta against Muslims.