How Bad Service Can Ruin a Wedding Day

Weddings are a joyous time in a girl’s life. Wearing a beautiful dress, marrying the love of your life and sharing it with friends and family. As joyous as it is, it’s equally stressful. Choosing the right venue, working out the budget and planning an event that will satisfy both you and your guests. You’re placing your trust and control in the hands of the people you’ve hired to fulfill your dreams. And when they don’t, it can turn a dream into a nightmare. And that nightmare happened on October 4th.


Angelinas on the water


This was the wedding of my best friend’s daughter. The girl I’ve known since birth. The girl I watched grow up. The girl I love as if she is my own. She’s stunningly beautiful, sweet as can be and deserves nothing but the best from the world and life. This day had extra special meaning for her and her family. Yes it was her Wedding Day, but it was a momentous day that she was celebrating without her Father. He passed away from a long battle with cancer and this was the joy this girl and her family needed. Although her Father wasn’t there in body, I know he was there in spirit. AND HE IS PISSED!

The venue she chose was Angelina’s On the Water, a beautiful venue next to The Atlantic Marina on Staten Island. Quite the setting for a wedding. She chose to have it outside to capture the beautiful views. The tent was set up with white drapes, chandeliers and crisp white linens. When I walked into the room, I gasped. It was lovely. Despite her Mother’s wishes, she went for a modern twist. Passed around hor dourves and buffet style dining. The guest list was set at 200 people with a guarantee that no one would leave hungry. There was a bar inside the venue and outside as well, allowing the guest to roam and enjoy their cocktails, which by the way was an additional cost. The crowd rolled in and the evening began.

Guest mingled and chatted up with friends and family they haven’t seen in a while. As the evening went on, we all started looking at each other thinking: “Are they ever going to start serving food?” The event started at 7:00 pm, so no one ate dinner. Where is the food? I saw a few waitstaff carrying mirrored trays, but there was nothing on them. After forty five minutes, a gentlemen with a tray comes up to me asking if I want one. I look at the empty tray and think is he offering me the flower on the tray? No it’s the small spoon on the bottom of the try cradling a small piece of pear with a speck of goat cheese on top. I passed. Big mistake. I was never offered another speck of food after that.

The Bride and Groom entered the room and the reception “officially” began. FINALLY an announcement is made; “the buffet is now open.” 200 guests get on line to serve themselves food. Not from 2 stations, but one. And where were the dishes and the forks…..on the other side of the room. Away from the food!!!!! The guest were confused and didn’t know what to do or which direction to go in. An announcement had to be made that the dishes were on the left side of the dance floor and the was on the right. Go left first and then walk right for food. DUMBEST DECISION EVER!!!! The line circled around the tables and onto the dance floor. The band had to wait to come on because no one could dance, THEY WERE WAITING FOR FOOD. My thirty minute wait finally succeeded me food, but by now it was 9:00. People were waiting on that line all night long for food. You have 200 people attending a wedding, didn’t anyone think to set up 2 food stations? And what happened to the hors dourves? Catering 101 gone wrong.

My table was next to the elder family members. Grandparents, Great Aunts and Uncles in their golden years. Can they wait in line for food? NO. The Bride’s Aunt tipped the waitstaff to bring them food instead of having them get up to get it. Did they bring it????? NO. Myself and 2 other guests at my table got up, cut the line (which didn’t make those that were waiting now for  a hour unhappy) to make up some plates to bring it over to Grandma and the family. Seriously????

The empty chafing dishes weren’t being refilled, they ran out of liquor and the roast beef was so rare, it mooed. One guest asked if they could have an end piece because that was more cooked. The look this guest got from the server was appalling. They even paid extra for fruit and it was never served. WHAT???

One of the guest’s 12 year old son, went to the bar to get a soda. The bartender handed him a glass and asked him for id. He looked at her with a confused look and asked why. “Well, you asked for a Kettle One and soda and I need to see id.” “I asked for a soda and I’m 12,” he said. Last time I checked the legal drinking age was 21 not 12. His Father  later asked for a glass of water and when he took a healthy sip, it was straight vodka. The man nearly vomited.

Despite this, we did have a great time thanks to the band. They kept us moving, even though our bellies were empty, including the Mother Of The Bride…who paid for the wedding. NOT COOL!

The next morning, my friend received a call from her daughter which broke her heart. “Mom….I’m so upset. I didn’t have the wedding I wanted and I’m so embarrassed. People waited all night long for food. The line covered the dance floor. How could they do that to me?’ Her Mother did try to warn her ahead of time. Angelina’s doesn’t have the best reputation and was warned by friends. Reading the remarks on social media and comments from some of the guests, this isn’t their first offense. But it was her daughter’s day and that was what she wanted. She never wanted to be in the position of saying: “I told you so.”

At the end of the evening, they’re supposed to give you your wedding cake. They didn’t. Words to the wise ladies, when they don’t give you the leftover cake, that means they’re serving it the next day to someone else at their wedding, even though that party paid for a fresh one. Something I learned from years of working in a catering hall during high school. And that was what they were trying to do here, until Mommy said; “GO GET YOUR CAKE.”

Now the battle will begin to try to recoup their money for a poorly executed wedding and not receiving what they paid for.

Angelina’s,  I know the restaurant business isn’t easy.  I worked in it for many years. The  hours  are long and dealing with highly emotional brides is challenging, but what you did to this girl is unacceptable. You’re in the service business and your job is to serve……so start doing it. Do right by this family and right this wrong.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and the impression you left on me and the other guests – DON’T EVER GO BACK TO ANGELINA’S.


Happiness, $25 and under.

OCTOBER 8th, 2014

Since the release of this story, the owners have apologized to the Bride and her Mother, taken full responsibility and a settlement has been reached.


Angelina's On The Water on Urbanspoon

Angelina's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bookmark and Share

About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”


3 Responses to “How Bad Service Can Ruin a Wedding Day”

  1. Laurie says:

    That is disgusting We stopped going there a long time ago people were very rude and very over priced

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I only had drinks one time at Angelina’s and I vowed never to return because she told me and my party that if we weren’t planning on eating dinner and moving from the bar to the dining room then we needed to leave! That was 4 yrs ago and I’ve never been back since.

  3. Elaine says:

    Took my Mom for her Birthday and as we were finishing dessert Angelina asked us if we were going to be much longer because other guest were waiting to be seated! How RUDE! Never went back again!

Leave a Reply