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Last-minute price hike scuppers wedding plans for couple

A couple had their wedding plans at a restaurant scrapped at the eleventh hour after a dispute with the venue over a last-minute price hike. 

Mr Marcus Lim and his wife had planned to hold their wedding at Arkadaş Café, a Turkish restaurant at Fusionopolis in Queenstown, for "sentimental reasons" as it was where they had their first date.

But the event was called off just four days before it was supposed to take place on Jan 8.

Mr Lim took to Facebook on Jan 7, to explain the situation to his wedding guests and to issue a "warning to all couples looking to tie the knot".

In his post, he said the venue had cancelled on the couple after they rejected its last-minute attempt to increase prices by 37 per cent. He also outlined several other issues faced in the course of five months' worth of planning.

The restaurant, however, told Mothership.sg the claims were "baseless defamation", and said Mr Lim’s side of the story was “totally falsified”.

The crux of the matter centred on the price per guest. 

A spokesman for Arkadaş Café told Mothership that the couple was initially quoted, on Aug 31, 2021, a price of $55 per guest, before a 10 per cent service charge.

The couple were later quoted a revised price of $75 per guest before the same 10 per cent service charge. This was because the couple "finalised the menu" late and had opted to customise individual meals for "different preference of the guests".

Mr Lim said he was surprised by the revised quote in January, as the food options for the guests had been finalised on Dec 12, 2021, when the couple had a "tasting session".

"All this while, including after the tasting session on Dec 12, we’d not been told there would be any changes to the package, so we were a bit confused," he said.

SCREENSHOTS FROM MARCUS LIM VIA MOTHERSHIP

Screenshots from a WhatsApp conversation show a restaurant representative explaining that the different pricing was due to the menu being customised for each guest. 

Mr Lim then replied saying he understood, but also asks why this was not made known earlier.

After a back-and-forth, the restaurant says: "If you don't like the pricing, you can cancel anytime and check other places."

 

In Mr Lim's Facebook post, he claims it was the venue that cancelled on the couple. However, the restaurant said in its statement to Mothership that the cancellation took place after Mr Lim accepted their "cancellation proposal".

It also shared its own screenshots of the same conversation, in which the restaurant representative asks, "We consider you cancelled ???", to which Mr Lim replied, "If you decide to cancel, I will accept your decision".

A subsequent message from the representative reads: "There is nothing to cancel as we haven't received any deposit so far."

 

Regarding the deposit, Mr Lim said there was no legal requirement for a deposit or downpayment to be made before the parties were contractually bound. He conceded in his post, however, that making a downpayment was something the couple "could have done better".

"While we’d gotten and accepted the quotation way back last August, we were brushed off every time we asked about whether we needed to make a downpayment. This made it easier for [the owner] to cancel on us because he believed that we needed a signed contract to hold an agreement up in court," Mr Lim said.

 

Mr Lim's Facebook post also alleged several instances of unprofessional behaviour on the part of the owner and restaurant representatives.

Reflecting on the experience, Mr Lim shared that he and his fiancée were "devastated” by the turn of events. 

He added: "One of my friends had flown in from the UK… We’re very touched that everyone was super understanding and accommodating. But we’re also sorry to have disappointed them because we knew how much everyone had been looking forward to this."

You can see Mr Lim's Facebook post here:

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