Bride and groom Erika and Joshua Garza say they thought their Durham wedding was set and all planned. The owner of the Fayetteville-based "Bragg About It Catering" company had driven up a month earlier so they could sample her wedding wares.
"She had the food ready. It was good," said Joshua Garza. "We tasted it and everything seemed great, and then she wanted to meet at the venue to see the kitchen and kinda get an idea of where she wanted to set up like that. So then we met with her at the venue and everything still seemed great."
They moved forward with the company, signed a contract, and say they prepaid caterer Jennifer Debrue $1,100.
"We talked to her all the time. We kept in contact. Everything was fine," Erika said.
That was until the day of the couple's wedding. The two say they received some surprising news.
"Nobody told us anything until we were in the limo and they were like 'Yeah, your caterer's not here,'" Joshua Garza recalled.
The Garzas now had more than 100 famished family and friends and no caterer. Fortunately for them, they did have some resourceful relatives who were able to run out and grab food for the wedding and save the day, but that did not change how the couple felt about the no-show caterer.
"I mean you don't do that to somebody on a day like that," said Joshua Garza. "You just, you ruin somebody's day."
Joshua and Erika tried to contact "Bragg About It Catering" but never received a call back or a refund.
"I don't want her to do this to anybody else, said Erika Garza.
But unfortunately, Sergeant First Class Anthony Baxley says it also happened to him at his retirement party.
"We didn't want to have to be running around," Baxley said, "We didn't want to be cooking. We didn't want to do any of that. We did a lot of research. We actually contacted probably over 10 different caterers before we settled on this one."
Falling in love with everything on the menu that Debrue offered, Baxley, too, chose "Bragg About It Catering". He says he prepaid the full cost of $1,500 and, like the Garzas, was left with an event with no caterer.
"After the ceremony was over I was immediately told there was a couple of problems with the caterer ... she never showed up, Baxley said.
Stressed to the max after receiving the news, it was Baxley's family and friends who also stepped in and saved his special day.
"A lot of the people found out before they went over to where we were doing the actual reception and they went to the store and purchased a whole bunch of food for us, he said.
With two costly no-shows, I tried to track down caterer Jennifer Debrue, but she did not respond to our phone calls or emails. We decided to go to the address listed on her contract information and spoke with her husband who seems surprised.
"They paid $1,100 and their wedding day came and went and she never showed up," I told him.
"I'm shocked. I don't know," he responded.
He told me Jennifer DeBrue would call us back, but she never did. Meanwhile, the newlyweds and Baxley are trying to spread the word that "Bragg About It Catering" is not something to brag about.
Our advice to viewers would be to pay by credit card so you can dispute it when something like this happens. Both Baxley and the Garza's said they did that.
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