I signed a contract for catering services with Emerald Coast Catering on 2/21/2007 and sent a deposit in the amount of $1300.00. The contract stated on the bottom that I was not contracting them for rentals or decorating but I can do so if I wish! I told them I needed some sort of estimate in writing on the decorations etc.before I could commit to letting them do this service. I spoke many times with the company employee regarding my wedding and the decorations. I even drove 10 hours to meet with him in April to discuss the design. He spoke with me about his ideas and assured me that he would get an estimate out within the next few weeks.
The end of may I contacted the company quite concerned that I had no estimate yet. The owners wife Jan spoke with me and informed me that the employee that I had been dealing with had left the company. She stated that she would be happy to get me a quote. She asked for a few more weeks due to their employee leaving, and she was now in charge of all his accounts.
On June 7, 2007 I received a proposal with price quotes regarding the decorations. I called the company and told them that was over my budget and I would have to make other arrangements regarding the design and decorations. However, I still wished to use them for the catering since I had already contracted that service with them. On 8/14/2007 I received a invoice with a fee in the amount of $695.00 for cancelling the design of my event (which I had never agreed to let them do).
I called the company and after much deliberation they agreed to drop the charge to $350.00. I still did not agree to the charge, but sent my credit card information giving them permisson to make the charges via certified letter so I could just move on with the plans for my wedding. The company then sent me a new contract that was completely different with three pages of new provisions and the additional cancellation charge. I refused to sign the new one since we already had a perfectly legitimate contract on file. The company sent an e mail stating that unless I signed the new contract we could not move ahead.
I made multiple attempts to call the owner, Gary Serafin, by his cell phone and at his office. I left several messages. He would no longer speak to me in person...Only via e mail. He took longer than 24 hours to respond to my e mails. I spent a month talking through e mails where I stated that I would not sign a new contract but was perfectly willing to honor my existing one.
I finally left a message one week before my wedding stating that if I did not receive a phone call from him by that evening I was going to consider the contract breached on his part and make other arrangements for my guests. He never returned my call. I requested my deposit of 1300.00 back since they did not honor the contract. I still have never heard back from any one at Emerald Coast Catering. I had to find a new caterer one week before my wedding.
Concord, North Carolina