File picture: Antoine de Ras/ANA
File picture: Antoine de Ras/ANA
Disappointed father Farouk Varachia Picture: Supplied
Disappointed father Farouk Varachia Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Father of the bride Farouk Varachia has been left to pick up the pieces of his daughter’s broken heart after a Currie Cup rugby game messed up her wedding day and venue at Ellis Park Stadium, now known as Emirates Airline Park.

As one of the main organisers of his daughter Zainab’s big day, Varachia, 65, was expected to ensure that the venue, catering and decor were scheduled for Sunday, October 8.

Unfortunately, the South African Currie Cup Golden Lions vs Western Province match will be played at the same venue on the same day.

“This has caused tension between the two families, because I was the main organiser. I had to book the venue and the caterers. Invitations have gone out and we couldn’t have the wedding at the end of the month,” said Varachia.

Through a number of back and forth emails and meetings, Varachia and the events company Circa agreed to host the Muslim wedding on that day.

In an attempt to speak to The Star, Zainab broke down in tears and was unable to speak over the phone.

But according to Varachia, the clash of dates was not the only thing that was inconveniencing them, but the capacity of the venue and the catering also could not accommodate his daughter’s Muslim wedding.

“The caterers and furnishers are not available, even the chairs that we booked are no longer available

“We now have to source from other people and time is running outI have already paid a R10000 deposit for the venue and they are only telling me now that I should use their caterer,” he said.

“This is a disappointment, additional costs and an embarrassment to my invited guests.

“It’s also more than double the amount of work to rearrange the wedding and find new service providers. All I can say is it’s a nightmare,” he said.

“As per the Muslim community’s tradition, a Muslim wedding is an act of worship and they are sensitive to the type of caterers as well as the crockery and cutlery used,” he pointed out.

“To secure reputable Muslim chefs, as we had to do, requires months of preparation.”

Circa’s hospitality and sales director André Homan said he was surprised to hear that there was a misunderstanding, especially after having had a number of meetings with Varachia.

“It’s unfortunate that this is the situation. We are willing to do everything in our power to make everyone happy.

“There was no malicious intent on our side and we would like to help to make the wedding a success,” said Homan.

“Mr Farouk booked the venue earlier this year. We had given him a quote, which he has not yet signed.

“The organisers of the Currie Cup fixtures came and they chose that Sunday to play, which is unusual. But because the stadium is a rugby stadium, rugby takes preference.

“We tried to help by offering an alternative date for the 29th or a day earlier. He has chosen October 7.

“We have offered the platinum suite free of charge and fully furnished,” he added.

To accommodate Varachia’s situation, Homan told The Star that the organisation had given the family huge discounts and, as a goodwill gesture, also offered him tickets for the rugby game.

The Star