How a catering company ruined this bride's wedding day

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The next time you want to hire a caterer, be sure to do your homework.

Local brides are up in arms after a Portland catering company destroyed their weddings.

Lindsey Petrushkin was one of those brides. Petrushkin and her husband, Dusty, wrote their own vows, got married and then made their way to the reception.

"And that was when everything fell apart," she said.

Petrushkin had hired Troy Meza, who runs Unique Catering and Pacific Northwest Events in Portland. His company was supposed to serve 200 guests. But by looking at all of the pictures of the reception, it's easy to see something is missing -- the food. On every table, there was no food from the company that promised hand-crafted gourmet dinners at $30 per plate.

Instead, the food the company purchased was in bulk from a grocery store that the catering company charred and blackened.

"They burned the side of my parents' building," Petrushkin said.

There was so little food and it was so late into the night that the family took emergency measures.

"My sister ended up leaving and ended up picking up pizzas from local pizza places in town," Petrushkin said. "I think she bought 15-20 pizzas and they all got eaten because people were hungry and this was at midnight."

The smiles turned into tears as some guests left in search of food.

"All I did at my wedding was go around and apologize to everyone there," Petrushkin said.

But there was more. Petrushkin learned after the wedding that Meza is a predatory sex offender convicted of sexually abusing teens ages 13-16 -- the same ages as some of her wedding guests.

"It's icing on top of the cake," Petrushkin said. "Everything was already wrong with it and it's just disgusting."

At the address in Aumsville Meza provided when he had to register as a sex offender, Meza was not there, his father said.

"Hopefully, he's employed in Portland," the father said.

Meza's father went on to say he doesn't know his son's address or phone number, but that he would let Meza know KATU stopped by.

Meanwhile, Petrushkin is still feeling all sorts of emotions, including being afraid and being angry.

"We feel so deceived," she said.

Petrushkin, though, has advice for any bride who spots Meza's ad online.

"Run as fast as you can," she said.

When a caterer needs to be hired for an event, the person doing the hiring should ask the company for references and then actually call the references. People can also check the company's record with the health department and they should also do an internet search to find out the backgrounds of the catering staff because they'll be spending time with your guests.

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