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Caterer who canceled day before wedding offers refund following public outcry

Caterer who canceled day before wedding offers refund following public outcry (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — As Get Gephardt reported last week, a wedding caterer cancelled the day before a wedding and then held onto the nearly $2,000 advance payment the couple had made.

It's a story that made a lot of people hot under the collar but, now, the caterer is changing his tune.

“I know that I made some bad decisions," said Tim Smith, owner of Orem-based Dude's BBQ. "We love what we do. I love what I do.”

But a Springville couple wasn't in love with the experience they had with Dude's BBQ. Gary and Mary Carter found themselves without a caterer the day before their wedding.

Smith says that a miscommunication had him believing that Mary and Gary had cancelled the event.

"I never said I was cancelling, never gave any indication other than we had to change address," Mary Carter said.

And worse, when Gary Carter demanded a refund of the $1,750 he had been convinced to pay-in-full, up front, he was told, no.

"He says, 'Oh no, you don't get your money back,'" Gary Carter said. "We got zilch. Nothing from him. Absolutely nothing. He has our money and he did nothing for us."

That was the story as Get Gephardt reported it last week. The story got hundreds of people commenting on social media, many suggesting Dude’s BBQ give the couple their money back.

Smith says he read the comments and agreed a full refund was the right thing to do.

"Unfortunately, they didn't get the services that they had requested from us, so, I felt at this point, it was the appropriate thing to do," Smith said.

Smith said this situation has taught him a lesson about how he will run his young business going forward. He said that nothing like what happened with the Carters will ever happen again.

“We're going to make mistakes," Smith said. "And, ultimately, we have to be responsible enough and mature enough to learn from the mistakes that we make," he said.

After the original story aired, Smith says he got a lot of angry calls and messages on his company's Facebook page. He perceived at least one as a threat, and he reported that author to the Orem Police Department.

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