Newlyweds pay $12,000 for reception they never had

Newlyweds 12000 1                Tarryn Sohn and Jason Conway at the Langham Hotel. Picture – CK Photography

A newlywed couple has been ordered to pay $12,000 for a reception they never had in what’s possibly this year’s most cautionary wedding planning tale.

Tarryn Sohn and Jason Conway decided to end their business with Maison Melbourne three months before their big day after the company’s wedding tasting failed to impress them.

The pair claims the food they were served was ‘cold’ and the cocktails, unbranded soft drinks, and disregard of dietary needs was left them disappointed.

They also took issue with the promotional photographs used to convince them to purchase, alleging the images were not a fair representation of what they received. They accused Maison Melbourne of further false claims after learning that the reception would not be catered by executive chef Jason Peynenborg as he no longer worked at the venue.

Newlyweds 12000 3                                   Maison Melbourne. Picture – Maison Melbourne Facebook

The unhappy couple cancelled their booking with the Maison and settled on the Langham Hotel in Southbank instead. Following the cancellation, Maison Melbourne took legal action again the pair, citing not enough time had been given for the venue to fill the now empty booking, and demanded Sohn and Conway pay 75 percent of the $16,000 reception.

The couple, who now live in Perth, responded with a counter-claim, asking Maison to return their deposit of $4,219 because they’d made an anticipatory breach of the contract and engaged in deceptive conduct.

Mark Facey, Director of Australis Investing Pty Ltd, trading as Maison Melbourne, denied contradicting the contract and said he informed the couple of the cancellation cost. He also rejected all claims made by Ms. Sohn and Mr. Conway and urged them both not to cancel their booking.

Newlyweds 12000 2
Maison Melbourne. Picture – Maison Melbourne Facebook

He claimed the offer price covered champagne based cocktails rather than ‘elaborate’ mixes, and there was no obligation to provide specific soft drink brands. He also denied promising Chef Peynenborg would cater the wedding and asserted that his replacements were more skilled.

VCAT Member Tania Petranis handed down the final decision, ruling the venue’s representations were not misleading or deceptive and therefore it was not in breach of consumer law.

‘Maison may have used the word “cocktails” loosely, but under the circumstances, I find that there was no misrepresentation on the part of Maison,’ she stated in court documents.

‘That Maison used the name of their chef, Jason Peyenborg in their advertising and promotional material there is no doubt. But I find that it did not give any assurances or guarantees as to his presence on the function night.

Newlyweds 12000 4                    Tarryn Sohn and Jason Conway at the Langham Hotel. Picture – CK Photography

‘Maison did not misrepresent what would be served on the night of Ms. Sohn’s function as she would get to choose her menu.

‘Ms. Sohn has provided the Tribunal with printed photographs of the food offered by Maison…Having looked at the photos I find it very difficult to tell the quality of the food or see a huge difference between the photos.

‘I find Maison was entitled to the payment at the time the contract was cancelled. Clause 2.2 (b) states: “The cancelled fee as set out above is due and payable on the date that the customer notifies Maison of its intention to cancel the function”.’

The newlyweds were ordered to pay the Maison Melbourne an outstanding amount of $8,298.50 and their counterclaim was dismissed.


Article written by Alison Donnellan

Posted in Uncategorized by wedded wonderland

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