You know it’s always amazing the different views or opinions from families and couples regarding the minor issues that can happen at weddings.
I’ve been with lighthearted and fun couples who wanted to enjoy their day and, I’ve been with unreasonable and demanding lunatics who if nothing was wrong- looked to find something to be unhappy about. Give me the fun folks any day of the week- heck those are the best and most gracious folks I’ve ever met and ironically these are the people who had NO MONEY to hire me and trades items for services. The most thankful families were the ones contacting me with no idea that I work to afford anyone a beautiful ceremony for a very good reason- I knew they would appreciate my services.
For families with limited resources, I provide the ceremony, the flowers, the cake, the decorations and photos too. Best of all, they are lifelong friends who appreciate the sacrifices I’ve made to create a unique opportunity for them.
When I’ve “run across” issues of non payment, it’s been with affluent families who obviously could afford to pay myself or my team and, chose not to. Under these circumstances, I file suit for Theft of Services.
Apparently, “searching” to find an issue to focus upon rather than being joyous at a celebration and commitment to love, honor and cherish has “taken a backseat” to the weather, the cake, the DJ, a broken air conditioner, a bloody nose, long lost love showing up to seranade the Bride, or the wrong wedding dress being shipped AND, it doesn’t fit! If you are dealing with a Bridezilla, a gold chariot won’t be enough to make her happy- trust me. “Something” will always be “wrong.”
Weddings are a “life event.” The meaning is that it is expected to only happen once and, can’t be repaired “after the fact.” The key meaning of this is actually based a legal reference that there is a “performance standard” with the wedding dress vendor, the venue vendor, the cake vendor, the DJ, the photo booth, the flowers, the venue, the caterer, I could go on and on here.
Legal- The Reliance Measure
If Expectation Damages are unavailable due to limitations of certainty, foreseeability, or mitigation, the promises may measure damages by the Reliance Interest. The purpose of measuring damages by the Reliance Interest is to put the Plaintiff in as good of a position as if the contract had not been made, by compensating for losses by the Plaintiffs reliance on the original contract. The Plaintiff is entitled to Expectation Damages when a breach occurs that was not defined under the original contractual terms or promises. The Plaintiff may NOT recover both Expectation Damages and Reliance Damages if the recovery would put the Plaintiff in a better position if the contract had not been performed.
Damages for lost profits must be based upon net profits not gross profits and all damages must be mathematically based and precise ie: damages may NOT be based on mere speculation. The evidence need only provide a reasonable basis for computing damages, which may be approximate. If the existence of some damages has been established, the Defendant bears the risk of uncertainty about the amount of damages.
The Foreseeability Limitation has it’s roots in the landmark decision of Hadley v Baxendale (1854), in which an English Court established the flowing rule for recovering damages in contract cases:
“Where two parties have made a contract which one of them has broken, the damages which the other party ought to receive in respect to such a breach of contract should be such as may fairly and reasonably be considered either arising naturally ie: according to the usual course of things, from such breach of contract itself, or such as may be reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of BOTH parties, at the time they made the contract (Express, Implied, Oral or Written), as the probable result of the breach of it.
Recent cases involving the foreseeability limitation have clustered around the recoverability of lost profits and damages for mental distress. In regard to claims for lost profits, it is important to distinguish between profits lost directly from the nonperformance of a contract and profits lost in a collateral transaction. To recover lost profits when the Defendants breach of contract prevents the Plaintiff from profiting from a collateral transaction, the Plaintiff must show the parties contemplated the Plaintiffs entry into the collateral transaction. Only if the Defendant was aware of the Plaintiffs collateral enterprise when the contract was made would those lost profits be recoverable.
The very REAL issue of Wedding Industry Law is flooding courtrooms across America. The problem is, most of these lawsuits backfire when defamation, libel and slander on social media sites are documented by the vendor who is being sued. Smart people don’t do stupid things, mad people often do. I recently attended a hearing regarding a racial slur appearing on a photo from a rented photo booth at an event, the end result? The couple won. When you post public comments that affect a business, you my friend are creating a financial liability against yourself!
A New York City couple sued their floral vendor for $400k when ironically, Elana Glatt, who practices law as Elana Elbogen at Kelly Drye in New York submitted this personal injury suit herself.
The vendor rather than delivering the agreed upon arrangements from Posy Floral Design, substituted flowers in colors that looked more like pink and green pastel. For the entire selection of flowers, the couple paid $27k and, the lawsuit sought $400k “to cover the payment of flowers, extreme disappointment, distress and embarrassment.” The vendor countersued for damages to the business reputation.
It should be noted, the vendor also took photos of the flowers and kept notes, emails, phone calls and other information from a Bridezilla who the vendor knew to be an attorney because “my father used to tell me don’t deal with lawyers. He was right God rest his soul.” The lawyer left negative reviews and comments that affected the vendors business and, reputation.
Vendors are now countersuing and, winning. Prior to “running off to the courthouse” you may want to find a viable solution to your issues in a reasonable manner.
I’ve been “called in” while bridal parties literally stood at the altar because the officiant was an FTA (Failure to Appear.) The families who were hysterical regarding having up to 750 guests “waiting” all have the same story- we didn’t know what to do, they wouldn’t answer their phone and we “need your help!”
I’m going to go over this one more time for all of the families who thought that the best place in a wedding budget to “save a buck” was with your wedding officiant:
1. You are having the emergency, not me.
2. You hired an unethical idiot and, counted on them to bother showing up, not me.
3. I am licensed in numerous states and, follow ALL state and federal guidelines ie: know who you are hiring when you hire them! It truly leaves me speechless at the number of times my trust and loyalty had been taken advantage of by the “Haves” when I established a business to provide the “Have Not’s” with profits from the upper class who can afford to pay “fair market value fees” and, choose NOT too. The reason the Pawning Planners was created is that for THREE years, I have been jipped, stiffed or, underpaid to conduct hundreds of ceremonies. That’s right, HUNDREDS!
I now REQUIRE a contract and, a DEPOSIT! After hearing the same preposterous excuses for years “I spent all my cash tipping other vendors, I forgot my wallet, I will send a check etc.” If I arrive at your event AND am NOT paid–I’m leaving!!! You are in a breach of contract for failing to honor your end of the bargain but, here’s the best part- now, you can have a worry free and very expensive party because there won’t be any “wedding drama.”
4. I am on call at area hospitals as an emergency clergy and funeral minister as well as a crisis counselor with Twogetherintexas. Therefore, your “emergency” is YOUR emergency- not mine.
5. I often have numerous events scheduled on the same day up to a year in advance.
6. I do NOT control the weather and therefore, can not be held responsible for rain, hail, a tornado or, other Act of God. Rescheduling due to rain or other weather condition is based on MY SCHEDULE, not your own. This has happened so many times, it must be noted that simply because you’ve decided that rescheduling will “work better for YOU” I’m addressing it again.
7. If your event is being filmed for The Pawning Planners, my production team do NOT work for either you and even me, they work for the network and will not take directions from you, your family, your guests or vendors present at your event. They are present to film me, my staff and document our unique journey and are not “gophers” present to address your last minute needs or demands and even, requests.
8. If you have had an issue with the venue on a prepaid package that include a minister who was a FTA, I have NO affiliation with that venue and, therefore am not a part of the venues “package.” Effectively, you needed an Emergency Officiant which requires me to accommodate your needs with MY OWN SCHEDULE. Because of this issue (Reference Ferragne Villa and, The Tardy Party Bride) I will not under any circumstances, give a discount on emergency fees, holiday fees, travel charges, etcetera UNLESS, there are actual verifiable and validated discounts available ie: Police, Military, Firefighter, First Responder.
9. I’ve officiated hundreds of weddings and been the “brunt” from everyone else’s mistakes (vendors) that have nothing to do with my own Performance Standards. When I committed to your event, I honored any/all commitments by being timely present, appropriately dressed and giving direction to the wedding party and family (reference Bridezilla and/or GUESTZILLA.).
10. Outrageous Behavior is defined as as screaming at me or my team who are present not to meet your needs but, my own unless you have hired and paid The Texas Twins Events Team in any capacity at your event. My team work for me, not you. My production team Good Clean Fun are there to film The Pawning Planners not you and, film, photos, audio records etc are OWNED solely by Good Clean Fun TV and, the network and/or affiliate organizations.
Film recorded at any event of which myself or, my team are present is not going to be provided to any client who has retained me to be present in any capacity at any event unless, I have shared photos on social media sites for the couples and the families. I share these photos for the families to use, copy, and keep as mementos of their event and, I DO NOT charge families since I share these photos as a gift and memento of their event.
If there is an issue with a vendor other than myself or, the weather, it should be noted that these circumstances are in fact, “Beyond my control” legally, morally, and finally.
Verbal assaults at myself or, my team or, my production company will NOT be tolerated by myself or, anyone affiliated with me will be dealt with in a Court of Law within the County that such occurrences have occurred and effectively void any previous contract signed by me.
It should be noted that I have extensive knowledge pertaining to Civil, Federal and Business Laws that affect me, my reputation, my ability to conduct my role and finally personal outbursts by clients who are upset at ANY outside issue OTHER than MY OWN will in no way, shape, form, or fashion be tolerated.
Throwing items at me or anyone affiliated with me will be swiftly addressed, by me. Yelling, screaming, or other outrageous conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
At the end of the day, I operate a business and am consistently amazed at actions that are subsequently reactions to something having nothing to do with The Pawning Planners/Texas Twins Events being transferred to either myself, my team or our production company. I do not have any control over any actions other than my own.
My role is serious in that I’m signing a legit binding document and therefore, if you think I’m “too serious” or, “stiff” it should be noted that I’m not present to entertain you- rather, I’m present to be friendly, professional and conduct my role.
I have a sense of humor. I am passionate and perseverant and have even honored my commitments under rather extraordinary circumstances on numerous occasions- however, throwing things at me, or anyone affiliated to me or, being unreasonable with outrageous demands, requests or consideration is, a deal breaker.
Wendy M Wortham
Texas Twins Events