My Wedding

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I’ve been married for 5 and a half years. When we were planning our wedding it was very important for me to be able to actually eat at it. Since we had a Kosher wedding, our selection of caterers was small to begin with. We chose to hire the caterer that did my sister’s wedding 3 years earlier. At the time of my sisters wedding he seemed to be very well versed on peanut/nut allergies. I was aware that he had 2 kitchens, one for cooking, the other for pastries. When we met to discuss my wedding, he told us in advance that the main kitchen was peanut/nut free but that the dessert kitchen did have risk of tree nuts, though he guaranteed he would not use any for our desserts. A wedding cake was something that was not of tremendous importance to me, so it was no big deal that dessert was off limits. We signed a contract that stated no nuts/peanuts in several places, gave a hefty deposit and I crossed caterer off my list.

2 ½ months before the wedding I personally went to the caterers store front to book a tasting, and reminded him of the allergies. When we went for the tasting with my now husband, mother in law and mother we sat down and before touching anything I half-jokingly, half-seriously said ‘no nuts in anything right’. The caterers response was, ‘Oh don’t eat those’ while pointing to one of the Hors Doeuves samples. I said “what”, he said “there are almonds in that”… I nearly lost it.

That night we made a unanimous decision that we were not going to use this caterer for the wedding. Despite his excellent reputation in the community, he could have killed me. The next morning, my husband went to the store front with the unopened bottles of wine we were given to sample and gave them back. He told him that we cannot trust him, nor his food, and that we were not going to be using his services for the wedding. My husband asked him to send us the deposit back at his earliest convenience and even offered to pay for the cost of the sample meal. The caterer minimized the nut/peanut issue, and refused to give the deposit back.

At this point my wedding was 2 ½ months away and I did not have a caterer. The venue was a synagogue so it had to be kosher. I was freaking out! We called around and discovered that one of the other caterers in the community suffers from personal allergies of his own and guarantees the food would be nut/peanut free. He explained that he has used nuts/peanuts in his kitchen in the past but that he sterilizes everything before starting. Given he has allergies of his own, and he appeared to understand the gravity of the situation, we chose to go ahead and hire him.

As far as the other guy was concerned, we sued him in small claims court for the amount of our deposit and won! He even had to pay the court fees.

I am sharing this story because it is so important for people to be comfortable at their own events. This was a close call for me. I can’t even imagine what may have happened.

:)

J.

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