Can client sue for defective wedding album?

We received a defective wedding album from our wedding photographer. Could I sue?: We received the album from our wedding photographer. The front image of the wedding album is on the back and the back image is on the front. The total package was for $2185 and the album was for $700. Is it worth going to small claims court? Can I sue for the whole package or just the itemized cost of the album?

Response (from Attorney Rob):

I’m sorry to hear about your wedding album! It can be such a long wait for photos and album, and to receive them in a substandard condition is certainly a bummer. Not to mention that pricetag!

Have you attempted to reach out to the Wedding Photographer to fix the problem? It’s possible that the album company made the mistake rather than the Wedding Photographer, and giving them both the chance to address the issue would be the most cost effective and least time consuming method for resolving the mistake.

From a legal standpoint, failing to provide the Wedding Album as agreed under the contract means that the Wedding Photographer is in breach of contract. The issue here will be the amount of damages (cash money) to which you would be entitled. You have two options to compute the damage. First, you can attempt to have the album ‘fixed’ by hiring another photographer or album company to print a corrected album. This cost would be your damages that you can seek from the Wedding Photographer. Or, you request the itemized cost of the album ($700). Either way, the law is going to attempt to place you in a position that you would have been had the Wedding Photographer not breached the contract (Photos and and Album, but less $2885).

You will NOT be entitled to request damages in the amount of the entire package, because you have received (I assume) all of the edited photos along with the bad photo album. Awarding you compensation for the album and the photos, when you received the photos, would be a windfall, and contrary to popular belief, the law doesn’t like a windfall.

I am not licensed in NJ (although I’ve been to Atlantic City a few times), but if their Small Claims Courts are anything like other states, then a layperson can initiate a claim and prove a case. However, even though this process is easier, it is not easy. I highly advise working with the Wedding Photographer first.

Good Luck!

Moral of the Story: Wedding business professionals should do their best to correct problems before they escalate.