A young couple have been forced to shell out $12,500 to a wedding venue that they didn't use after they were less than impressed with the quality of food.
Tarryn Sohn and Jason Conway signed a booking agreement with their intended reception venue Maison Melbourne in February last year.
After a disastrous tasting in December, just three months before their wedding, the couple decided to cancel the venue.
They said they were served "cold" food, cheap cocktails and no-name soft drinks, the Herald Sun reports.
While the couple were fortunate enough to find another venue for their dream wedding, Maison Melbourne took the pair to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeal Tribunal (VCAT), claiming they didn't leave the venue with enough time to find another booking.
They were ordered to pay 75 per cent of the planned $16,000 reception fee, amounting to $12,500.
The pair had responded with a counter claim demanding their deposit of $4,219 back as Maison had made an anticipatory breach of the contract.
It's understood one of the main reasons the couple had booked the venue was due to the head chef Jason Peynenborg.
When they went for the tasting, they learnt he no longer worked there.
The couple claimed the quality of food and presentation lacked what was shown on the company's Facebook page, that the food was cold, there no vegetarian main course option and the desserts were chocolate based.
The pair are borth allergic or intolerant to chocolate.
Court documents show the pair felt it unfair to still pay for the venue as the company "didn't incur any of the costs" associated with holding the function.
“Ms Sohn argues that as the function did not take place, Maison did not suffer any real loss.
"Maison did not incur any of the costs that are associated with catering and hosting a function such as wait staff, bar staff, cleaning up costs, chef, food ingredients and preparation costs, wedding co-ordinator costs, security costs, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) costs, setting up costs, hire of items, electricity costs, water and sewage costs and bookkeeping costs.”
VCAT member Tania Petranis found that although Maison used Jason Peyenborg's name in adveristing and promotions there was no promise he would be there on the night.
She found the contract ended when Ms Sohn’s lawyers formally “reconfirmed that the contract was at an end” in an email sent to Maison on January 27.
The couple were found to have had no legitimate reason to abandon the contract and were therefore liable to pay Maison a further $8,298.50.
The couple married at another venue on the same date they originally had and now live in Western Australia.