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    Wedding Industry Law is your online resource for legal news and education on running a wedding business. We hope you find the articles, videos, and information helpful. If you have any comments, news tips, or areas that you would like to see covered, please let us know!

    Wedding Industry Law is edited by Wedding Lawyer and Trial Attorney Rob Schenk. Contributing blogger Ayisha Lawrence also kicks out some of the jams, too.


Can I Sue Seamstress for Breach of Contract?

Question originally appearing on AVVO

“Where did I put my Super Glue?”

“A seamstress ruined my wedding dress, but the store has a no refund policy. Can I fight this and obtain the refund they owe me? I purchased a wedding dress in January of this year at a store with a no refund policy. We bought the dress loving the intricate and delicate lace of the train. The top needed some restructuring, but after a long discussion with the owner we were assured her seamstress could produce what we were looking for. After 3 months of waiting on alterations I had my appointment yesterday only to discover the seamstress had cut off the entire bottom of the dress. The entire train (10inches). The reason I purchased the gown. The seamstress is attempting to “fix” the dress, but the damage is done. No where on our receipt does the notes say the seamstress is to touch the train. Can I get a refund?”

Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):

You will most likely have a claim for Breach of Contract against the Seamstress, since you did not completely receive what you bargained (paid) for.

The issue will be the amount of damages (cash) that you may be entitled to. Generally, the Court will look at the problem with the train (the “breach”), and determine its value relative to the total cost of the Wedding Dress. You would present your own testimony that you consider this the ‘essence’ of the dress, and therefore would attempt to get as close to 100% of the cost as possible.

The law allows persons that are in ‘breach’ a chance to fix the problem (called “curing”), so that any damages would be lessened. Here, the Seamstress will attempt to show that she has cured the damages by “fixing” the train, thereby minimizing her liability to you.

Even better, I would recommend reaching out to the Seamstress and requesting the money back, appealing to the Seamstress’ sense of customer satisfaction (more flies with honey). Litigation is not fun, so if you can achieve victory outside of court, I highly advise it.

Best of Luck!!!

Moral of the StoryOwn up to your mistakes as a wedding business owner. Many times, an apology and a discount solves the problem.

Possible to Sue Destination Wedding Planner?

Case Study (Courtesy of AVVO)

“I thought there would have been a Chapel…or some other people.”

Question (from anonymous in Texas):

“Can I get advise for suing a travel agent in small claims court. He lied about the resort/wedding package he sold us. Agent gave personal experience/advise about a resort for our destination wedding in Fiji. Does he have a fiduciary role? He said resort is 4 star, should be 5 star, along with other misleading info. Resort was a 2 star at best. Implied international star rating scale. We described what we wanted for our wedding/honeymoon, and he lied about what we received. Our wedding ceremony was okay, but not what was desired, or promised/described by agent, and accommodations were terrible and dirty. We did sign a terms and conditions disclosure to allow charge to credit card. We have attempted mutual resolution. Getting ready to file suit in small claims court. Do we have a chance? What would a good strategy consist of?”

Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):

“Good luck on you case!

The ‘terms and conditions’ that you signed regarding your credit card more than likely has other information in it that may affect your case. For example, a ‘Limited Liability’ clause may set the maximum amount of money you may be awarded. Or, ‘Merger’ provision (“this document represents the entire understanding of the parties…”) may kill your misrepresentation claims. You should definitely read and re-read that document.

I agree with my colleague that you may have success in small claims court. While I am not licensed in TX (my licenses are TN, GA, CA, NY, FL) the small claims courts of these states tend to be more relaxed and manuverable for a non-lawyer. That is not to say that you should not prepare!

Again, good luck.”

Moral of the StoryMake sure your contracts have the ‘fine print’ i.e. protections for your business.