Over the past few months we’ve seen an increased number of enquiries in relation to cancelled weddings and functions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many couples have had their dreams shattered, having planned and paid for their fairy tale wedding day only to find the venue was closed or was not able to operate within the government guidelines.
We have had several clients’ approach the firm who have had their dreams shattered a second time when the venue has not offered a refund or in some cases flatly refused.
The law in this area would refer to these wedding agreements as frustrated contracts. This is where the obligations under a contract have not been able to be carried out by no fault of either party. The law provides that you are entitled to a refund if you have paid for a service that has not been provided.
In recent wedding cases, we have been able to recover the majority of costs paid. It is certainly worth taking legal advice in this area as venues and organisers are able to retain part of the payment, this being for a proportion for any expenses already incurred. In these circumstances this could be for previous food tasters and other meetings in preparation for the special day.
To assist with these types of matters, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have created a taskforce which monitors market developments and identifies the big problems facing consumers. They have provided guidance which assists in applying the law of frustration to wedding agreements. They have also provided an open letter to venues and other wedding suppliers to explain the consumer protection law and practical ways to avoid action against them by the CMA or litigation through the courts brought by the couples concerned.
The Corporate Litigation team at Wilson Browne Solicitors are assisting clients both on a local and national level. Recent conclusions have recovered the fees paid for a wedding at a local venue when our clients were not able to agree a satisfactory new date with the venue. From this we are now helping several other couples recover the funds from the same venue to have their dream day, hopefully, in the near future. The team are also assisting a number of clients in the recovery of fees paid to wedding venues
We really do understand how emotionally draining a cancelled wedding can be – we’re ‘normal people’ just like you, and some of our own staff have experienced the exact situation we describe. Don’t let your fairy tale turn in to a nightmare – talk to us: we’re all the help you need.
Contact Chloe Doggett at Wilson Browne Solicitors on 0800 088 6004 or visit www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk.