Wedding Disaster worsened by Balanlay Catering Services

By: jayleen in Travel

December 21, 2013, the day me and my gorgeous wife had been waiting for. After all the stressful nights of preparation, we were finally facing the altar to show our commitment and love to each other. Just like any other lovers, this day is supposed to be the most memorable day in your whole life, and the day you are feeling all the excitement in the world. Your heart is filled with happiness but as of the same time you still feel your blood rushing fast into your head because you are yet to find out the final outcome of your most special day.

Our wedding should have started at 3p.m, followed by a photobooth session at 430p.m, and the wedding program at 530p.m. Our wedding ceremony was held in Our Victory Chapel in Potrero, Malabon and the reception was at Victoria Place, just a few steps away from the church, catered by Balanlay Catering Services( We were expecting 100 guests. And we expected that everything will turn smooth too. Unfortunately, ours didn't happen that way. It turned out to be a wedding disaster.

At the hotel, I was already uncomfortable and a bit worried on what will happen at the wedding ceremony. I kept on calling my coordinator and asked him if the reception area was already set. Of course, even at the very last few minutes I was also calling my wedding entourage if they can make it on time. I was really uneasy of the situation because it was Saturday and also it was Christmas season. Heavy traffic would be a challenge to all my visitors, in addition to dark skies which at any moment it would just pour instantly.

So at exactly 1:30p.m I asked my entourage to proceed directly to the Church to avoid delays. We got their around 2p.m. I immediately checked the set up of the reception area. Right on the spot, I noticed a very big problem. Things were not set up the way it supposed to be done. Victoria Place has two halls you can choose from, the first one can accommodate 100 heads and the other for 150 pax. WE RENTED BOTH.


This is the official photo of Victoria Place, the two halls we rented for the reception.

The contract agreement with the caterer secretary (Dang) was to set up the main building which can accommodate 150 people. But instead of doing that, they did the other way around. They set up the other hall which can only accommodate 100 people!!! Just try to imagine my feeling that very moment. I was totally frustrated and ready to explode!!!

So I called Dang to inform her why the set up was wrong. She got surprised, she was not aware of it. She spoke to the chef if they can still move everything to the other side. She said they might run out of time. I told them the reception will commence at 530p.m and the current hall will be used for photobooth session in an hour. Following the argument, the master chef agreed, so I thought everything would be okay.

A few minutes later, the one I feared earlier happened, heavy rain occurred. Some of my guests arrived early and some of them were running late.

At 2:45p.m, my wedding choir was not yet at the premise. I decided to call their leader, she was stuck in heavy traffic and she thought the wedding would start at 3:30p.m. One of my groomsmen wasn't able to make it as well. Good thing we were able to find one who can replace him.

The mass started.

I walked along the aisle without my choir. None of the songs we chose was played. I realized as well that the flower decorations we paid for were not set up and several flowers were missing too.

My lovely bride walked with her parents. She was stunning and beautiful. She quickly noticed that I was completely pre-occupied. The Priest also told me to relax. The wedding mass went on. I kissed the bride and posed for the cameras. I was happy for a moment.

The wedding mass was too short.

My coordinator grabbed my attention and told me that it's time for the photo booth session but the support for the photo booth were running late too. My coordinator also told me that the tables were not set up as it should at the dining hall. The food were not ready yet! God, almost two hours from the time we arrived at the place and still our caterer failed to prepare what were needed at the dining area. The waiters were not properly dressed either.

There should have been a presidential table for parents, ninong and ninang. But there was none. Instead, regular tables were set up which were good for ten people each. The sad thing about this incident, Balanlay catering services hosted an event in this place before. So they should have an idea already that the presidential table will not fit in the place. And why they did not inform us early?

Having all kinds of trouble, I told my coordinator to leave it that way since everyone were running late. During the wedding program I was still pre-occupied. I was not able to eat. I simply could not understand what was going on!

I grabbed my wife, went to the buffet area, and checked the food servings. I noticed two menus were MISSING. I called Dang and told her why there were missing food. Dang was surprised, again.! She said she will coordinate with her boss. Now to avoid further frustrations, I went back and focused on our wedding program.

After a couple of minutes, my phone rang. It was Dang, she said the two (2) menus were not served because it were not even cooked at all!!! Her boss, who happened to be the owner and who cooked the food too, failed to work it out!

Dang offered to cook the remaining food and have it delivered. I interrupted her and said, I was on the middle of the wedding program, and that I should not be discussing too much things on the phone. We continued the wedding program and I thought the nightmare was over but it was not!!!

The sister of my wife informed us that the dessert, buko pandan, was full of molds. Most of our guest noticed it too and some accidentally ate it. My sister-in-law, took every dessert on the table and informed the chef about it. I called Dang again for the nth time and informed her about the worst service I ever encountered in my whole life!

She was embarrassed. She said there will be a refund for the food that were not cooked and for the spoiled dessert, she was sorry and that was it! She then asked me to proceed to their office to talk about it. I didn't bother to ruin the remaining hours of our wedding so I didn't go to their office.

At last the wedding program was over.

I remained quite. I thought everything will be perfect. So, me and my wife went straight to the hotel and enjoyed the rest of the night. The next day, after breakfast I called Dang and asked her to explain why the reception didn't go well. She was professional enough to say sorry, but sorry won't correct the big mistake they did on my wedding. I decided to cancel our plans/honeymoon that day. We visited our ninong, ninang and friends to apologize to them.

Most of them were surprised when they saw us. They said we should be spending our honeymoon together. I told them that we have to cancel it to apologize to them and to other guests for all the troubles.

Next thing I did was to ask their feedback about the caterer. Almost all of them said it was hell! They even asked me why we chose to get Balanlay Catering Services. ALL OF THE BLAME WAS ON ME! I was completely EMBARRASSED!

I went to Balanlay's office and spoke to Dang. All I got was sorry. I met the owner but I did not hear any apology from him. We exchanged words about what happened. I gave my feedback to the master chef and the waiters, Dang acknowledged it. She was sorry for the menus that were not cooked and again, sorry for the spoiled dessert. Dang explained that most likely it was not placed in the fridge. (Nice! why they didn't do it?!!)

Balanlay on-call waiters (not permanent employees)

We found out that the waiters of Balanlay catering services are not really permanent employees. These are just on-call waiters, who lend their services when Balanlay will have clients to serve.

Now, honestly I went into their office looking for a better settlement. However, all I got was a refund equivalent to the amount of the food that were not cooked and the price of the spoiled dessert. WTF! That was it?

I mean for all the troubles Balanlay has caused me, the only thing I would get is a refund of those food? Come on! So is this how Balanlay deals with a dissatisfied costumer?

I was really surprised how they handled the case. This blog post is not meant to destroy the reputation of Balanlay but I just want to share my own experience with the poor customer service I got from them. Dang, you are aware of this. I hope your boss will change for the better.

Contributor: Paul




Posted by on 29 Jan 2014

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