Can I Sue My Wedding Planner for bringing her kids?

Question (from Anonymous in FL):

Can I sue my wedding planner? Failed to complete the things promised in contract and on her web page. Was also let go by David’s: 1. Didn’t show up for final fitting 2. Didn’t contact vendor they had to contact her after numerous text and voice mails from me and it was 2 days prior to my wedding, 3. Never got final approval on set up, 4. Called hotel at 2:00 pm on the day of wedding asking if someone could help me dress, 4. Show up to venue and she nor the food was there bridesmaids had to call to find out where the food was, 5. Had to instruct DJ where to set up because she didn’t show up until 5:05 for a 5:30 wedding 5. Brought her young children to the wedding. 6. Stated She had a full crew to tell everyone what to do but was her husband and children and nobody was instructed. My one bridesmaid was telling people where to sit 7. Head table and needy where supposed to be served but only bride and groom got served.

Response (from Attorney Rob):

I’m very sorry to hear that your Wedding Planner didn’t deliver what you had hoped. Sounds like what she needs to plan is another job!

Can you sue your wedding planner for the fact that she didn’t do the things you outlined in your seven points? Probably.

Your lawsuit would be a ‘Breach of Contract’ action against the Wedding Planner for failing to fulfill the obligations laid out in the written agreement. You will be entitled to be placed in position that you would have been had the contract been fully performed on her part (“Expectation Damages”). Because it appears that the Wedding Planner provided at least SOME value under the contract, your Expectation Damages will be somewhere between $0 and the full price of the contract.

So how do you compute that? It will depend on what the Wedding Planner’s obligations were in the contract. For example, did the contract explicitly state that she would appear that the final fitting? Did the contract provide a definition for a ‘full crew’? (Although I doubt little kids would count, although it’s good to see young people earning their keep). Something else to consider is whether some of those points were outside of her control. For example, even if she had been there early, would the food have arrived on time? Do you have evidence to support that she had control over the caterer, or perhaps told them the wrong thing?

Once you have reviewed the explicit obligations that went unfulfilled, and you weeded out the things that she may not have control over, then you can place a value to each ‘breach’. For example, if the Wedding Planner charged you $100 per hour, and your final fitting was an hour, then your damages for her failure to show up to the fitting would be contract value minus $100. And so on. In the end, you will arrive at a number that you would ask for from the Judge. This would be supported at the hearing in the form of your testimony, and documents like the contract or email communications.

Suing someone can be time consuming and costly. I advise that, at this stage, you contact an attorney to draft a ‘nasty gram’ demanding the return of at least a portion of the contract amount. Often, this makes the Wedding Vendor see the light. Many attorneys work off of a flat fee for drafting a demand letter, making it a better gamble than initiating a lawsuit.

Good Luck!!!

Moral of the Story: The Wedding Planner should strive to make sure that the client is taken care of. This sounds like an issue with lack of personnel by the Wedding Planner. Also, violations of child labor law….