A wedding dress is displayed during a group wedding ceremony hosted by the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo May 11, 2010.
A wedding dress is displayed during a group wedding ceremony hosted by the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo May 11, 2010. Reuters/Aly Song

A Melbourne wedding venue has been forced to pay a couple $13,000 for turning their dream wedding into a “complete disaster.” Ben Bui and Wendy Lam got married in November 2016, but instead of a wedding reception worthy of their $26,000 payment, the couple’s guests were forced to eat McDonald’s because of the paltry meal they were served by Maison Melbourne in Elsternwick.

The couple said that weeks before the event, Maison Melbourne served them an “awesome” Asian sample tasting fare. But when their big day came, they were served a different set. The food was said to be so badly cooked and was served in platters instead of the individual servings that they were expecting. There wasn’t enough food for each guest as well.

“People couldn’t eat it, that’s how bad it was. It didn’t look anything like the tasting,” Bui told Daily Mail Australia. “We were sitting at our table watching everyone and they were just disgusted. It was really embarrassing for us.”

“No one could eat anything and some went to McDonald’s afterward because they were hungry. That’s not something you want to hear at your wedding.”

He continued, “Honestly, it would have been better if we’d served McDonald’s, everyone would have at least been fed and knew what they were getting.”

Some of their guests were served cold chicken wings for the first course instead of a meat platter of pork belly, barbeque pork, duck and roast chicken. The second course and the soup that they had at the tasting were also different from what the guests were served. The crab claw “looked something you’d buy at a supermarket,” Bui said.

The guests were also supposed to receive a whole quail but a table of 10 persons only got three or four quails to be shared among them without any utensils to cut them. But the guests who cut the birds with their own cutlery were left disappointed as well because the quails were still raw on the inside.

The fish served were supposed to be cut and deboned into individual slices, but they were instead just a fish on a plate. The “biggest disaster,” though was the most important dish: the lobster, which they said could make or break the experience of an Asian wedding. The couple paid extra so their each of their guests would get a lobster. What happened was each table was served two half lobsters with some noodles.

When Bui complained, the venue suddenly dumped the remaining courses on the table at once. It appeared that the venue knew they messed up so they gave up and hoped that the event would end.

Bui and Lam and the best man were forced to go around to all the tables and apologise to the guests. Upon learning of what happened, the English-speaking guests wrote to complain to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for them.

The VCAT sided with the couple, ordering Maison Melbourne to pay them $12,958.50, which included $2,000 for the distressed caused to them. It was significantly lower than the $98,000 they were hoping to receive to cover the thousands they paid for legal fees. Bui said they weren’t even sure Maison Melbourne would pay up, but at least their experience would prevent others from undergoing the same.

Maison Melbourne has closed as of Dec. 22 and “will not be reopening for business.”