- Following the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Government has today announced that wedding receptions for up to 30 people will be allowed from next month which has been welcomed by the wedding industry. Currently, up to two families can attend a wedding reception if held indoors or up to six people from different households if outdoors.
- If a couple would like to cancel their wedding reception due to this 30 person limit, they would be able to do so if they can demonstrate that this significantly changes the nature of the reception beyond what could reasonably have been contemplated when they first entered the contract. For example, if couples were expecting to have 100 people attend a reception and only 30 can attend, it could be argued that the reception is significantly different to what the couple contemplated at the time of entering the agreement and the contract could be considered “frustrated” and so terminated.
- If a couple can demonstrate that a wedding reception contract has been frustrated, it is possible to recover the monies paid under the contract subject to any reasonable expenses incurred by the supplier.
- Couples should always carefully check the cancellation terms in their contract before cancelling their contracts.
The Government have banned my wedding:
A three-step plan for couples
With Coronavirus being described as the biggest threat the UK has faced for decades, the Government have imposed a ban on all social events including weddings. This means all weddings and parties booked in the coming weeks will be cancelled. Whilst this news can be devastating for couples, it is important to be commercially and legally minded when dealing with your wedding suppliers.
Step 1 – Commence discussions with your wedding supplier
If you are concerned about the impact of the wedding ban, you are advised to speak with your wedding supplier in the first instance to see if you can try and negotiate an agreeable and amicable way forward. This will certainly be the more efficient and cost-effective method of dealing with matters.
Step 2 – What does your contract say?
Is there a Cancellation/Termination clause?
It is important to carefully review the terms of your contract to see what happens in the event of cancellation. If a party seeks to cancel or terminate a contract when there is no right to do so, the cancelling party could be in breach of contract and liable to the other party in damages.
It is important to note that by law, deposits cannot be “non-refundable”, if a company keeps your money ask, for a breakdown of why it cannot be refunded.
Is there a Force Majeure clause?
Check whether the contract contains a force majeure clause which typically excuses one or both parties from performance of the contract in some way following the occurrence of certain events.
In English law, force majeure is only recognised if it is specifically provided for in the contract. Check whether the pandemic is specifically covered within the force majeure clause? If so, does the contract excuse you from performance and/or exclude/limit your liability in the circumstances?
It may be the case that a pandemic is not specifically covered as a force majeure event, however, on the basis that the Government have now banned weddings, it may be possible to rely on wording which covers a government decision or administrative action preventing performance that meets the political interference language commonly included in definitions of force majeure.
Has the contract been Frustration?
Where contracts do not include a force majeure clause, the parties may have recourse to the legal doctrine of “frustration”. This provides that a party is discharged from its contractual obligations if a change in circumstance makes it physically or commercially impossible to perform the contract or would render performance radically different.
On the basis, that weddings and parties are banned, one could argue that it is impossible to perform the contract and therefore, the contract is frustrated. The consequences of this is that it allows the recovery of monies paid under the contract before it was discharged, subject to expenses incurred by the other party.
Step 3 – Do you have insurance?
In the event of a cancellation or termination which leaves you at a loss, it is worth checking whether you have wedding insurance in place and if so whether the insurance policy will cover any losses sustained as a result of the cancellation.
It is important that contracts are interpreted carefully. For any more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use the chat bot on The Wedding Lawyer website.
You don’t need to be a millionaire to have a wedding like Pippa Middleton and James Mathews. It was dubbed the “society event of the year” with Royalty, A-List Celebrities and some of the wealthiest elite being invited to the wedding of Pippa Middleton to her long-term partner, James Mathews.
Despite the world media spectating, the couple ensured that practicality dominated every aspect of their big day to ensure it went as smoothly as possible. You do not need to be a millionaire to have a well organised wedding, so what tips can we learn from the wedding of the year.
- Proximity is Power – Pippa and James decided to marry at the 12th Century church of St Mark’s that was only about a 15-minute drive from their reception venue (Pippa’s home). When there is a logistical exercise involved in transferring guests from the ceremony to the reception venue, keeping the day’s proceedings as geographically close as possible will assist in ensuring everything goes according to the set timetable. Even if there is a delay incurred, the close proximity of events will assist in making up any lost time.
- Who said Christmas Cards were just for sending Christmas wishes –Despite the abundance of disposable income the high profile newly weds have, this didn’t stop them in taking practical steps in sending “save the dates” out to their guests. You guessed it! The couple used a practical approach and combined their Christmas cards with save the date notification to invitees.
- Taking Charge – Butlers, personal assistants and wedding planners were all at the disposal of the newly weds. However, Pippa insisted on taking the lead in organising her big day. The fact is, no one will be as passionate and enthusiastic about the smooth running of your big day more than you. So take charge! Sources close to Pippa mentioned that the bride took full control over the planning of her big day and had everything thoroughly organised weeks before the big day.
- Home sweet home – More and more couples are opting to host a wedding event at home to save cost and to create a more intimate wedding day experience. Pippa was no different. Following the church ceremony, guests were invited to a marquee event in the Middleton’s garden. Marquees do not have to be as elaborate as the one erected for the wedding of the year, however, marquees can be a cost effective and pleasant way to celebrate your nuptials. Further, quite often marquee companies can offer bespoke interior designs to match your exact requirements.
- Personalised touches make all the difference – Weddings become just that much more special and meaningful if you can add your very own personal touch to the celebrations. Pippa’s wedding banquet menu included her own lamb recipes from her cook book. Indeed, you may not be a budding cook, but personalising an aspect of your big day can truly add a touch of class to the whole day.
Photo credit: Rex Features
According to price Comparison website Money Supermarket, did you know over 50,000 couples have applied for loans to fund their wedding day costs so far this year. Of this number, one in ten couples have requested to borrow more than £20,000. It has also been reported that there has been a 53% increase in £30,000 plus wedding loan applications compared to last year. Since January 2017 to March 2017, collectively British Couples have asked for approximately £460 million to fund their wedding day.
Our tips before taking out a wedding loan:
- Look for the best deal
When it comes to taking out a loan ensure you check what the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is. Essentially, the APR informs you of the true cost of the loan taking into account interest payable, any other charges and when payments fall due. When checking which wedding loan to take out, be sure to compare APRs.
- Early Repayment Charges
Do not forget that it is possible to pay off your wedding loan early. Often this is desirable to couples particularly if they wish to be debt free or where paying off a loan may impact their ability to borrow further (for example, to purchase a house). Many loan providers will charge an early repayment fee if you wish to pay off your debts early. If you think there maybe a possibility that you can pay off your loan early, try and search for a wedding loan deal that comes without any early repayment fees.
- Check your credit rating
Wedding loan lenders are only required to offer their advertised ‘typical’ APR to two-thirds of applicants. If your credit rating is not in good shape, you maybe offered a more expensive deal than the low rate loan you originally applied for.
- Secured v Unsecured loans: know the risks
Secured loans are cheaper than unsecured loans but run the risk that your lender will be able to take a charge on your property. This means that if you are unable to keep up with your repayments, you risk losing your home. Secured loans generally are only offered to homeowners who have sufficient equity in their property. So do not sign up for a loan unless you are 100% sure that you will be able to meet your repayments.
- Check the small print
Never sign a document without checking the small print. Should you need any assistance in understanding the meaning of your loan agreement, always consider obtaining legal advice.
For any further information, contact email@example.com
We need your help!
Dozens of brides and grooms who are due to get married have been left devastated to learn about the sudden closure and administration of bridal boutique, Dan Kerr Brides.
According to the Lancashire Post, a number of wedding ceremonies may be cancelled after a representative from Dan Kerr Brides said it has “no alternative but to close”.
For brides and grooms who paid by credit card, there maybe some recourse to obtaining their money back from their credit card company. However, for a number of brides and grooms who have paid using cash or cheque, there is a possibility that they may neither get their bridal dress/wedding suit nor their money back.
With some couples potentially losing out on between £200 and £5000, we are looking to assist those who cannot afford to purchase a new outfit.
Could you lend your spare bridal dress for one day?
If you are already married, you may have a spare bridal dress/wedding suit that is not currently being used. If so, we are appealing to anyone who maybe willing to lend their dress or suit for a day to a bride or groom who has lost out on getting their outfit from Dan Kerr Brides and is unable to obtain a refund.
How does it work?
If you think you can lend a wedding dress/suit for one day, please email Pranav@theweddinglawyer.co.uk stating your:
- Where you are based
- For Brides – Size of your wedding dress
- For Brides – Style of wedding dress – Either by sending an image or similar image of the style of your dress.
- For Groom – Size of trousers, blazers and shirt.
- For Grooms – Style of suit – Either by sending an image or similar image of the style of your suit.
- Contact number (optional)
We will then look to pair you up with a bride or groom who has lost out on getting a wedding outfit. The bride/groom and lender will then communicate with each other to organise the logistics of borrowing the wedding dress.
Are you are bride/groom who has lost out?
If you have been adversely affected by the closure of Dan Kerr and would be interested in borrowing a dress or suit, contact Pranav@theweddinglawyer.co.uk stating your:
- Date of wedding
- Where you are based
- For Brides – Preferred size of bridal dresses
- For Brides – Preferred style of wedding dress
- For Grooms – Preferred size of trousers, blazers and shirt.
- For Grooms – Preferred style of suit
- Contact number (optional)
We will then look to connecting you with someone who maybe willing to lend you his or her outfit for your big day.
The Wedding Lawyer
We appreciate weddings can be expensive and stressful. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring every bride and groom has a wedding day to remember. Therefore, if you can assist us, please do. For any more information about The Wedding Lawyer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday 18 April 2017, it was announced that the Dan Kerr bridal boutique, which has stores in Preston and Blackpool, has closed its doors and removed stock from displays as the administrators move in. A representative from the family run bridal shop, which had been running for over 100 years stated that “We have no alternative but to close down” and that “individual letters will be sent to each customer in relation to dresses which have been ordered or paid for”. Consumers are instructed to wait for letters and to contact Leonard Curtis Recovery if they would like further information regarding the operations of the business. However, in the meantime, the below may assist you.
What is administration?
An insolvency firm has been called in to run the company, and obtain as much cash as it can for creditors by selling or utilising its assets. In this case, Dan Kerr has instructed insolvency practitioners Leonard Curtis Recovery to handle the administration. Leonard Curtis Recovery is likely to collect any assets and try and sell what is can. The cash raised will then be distributed to creditors in order of priority.
Priority of payments following administration
The priority in which creditors are paid is usually as follows:
- Secured creditors – E.g. banks – if the company have borrowed money secured on property/assets. According to Companies House, it would appear that Dan Kerr (Brides) Limited have outstanding liabilities to HSBC Bank PLC and Midland Bank PLC.
- Insolvency Practitioners – e.g. Leonard Curtis Recovery.
- Employees – Redundancy pay and wages
- Everyone else – including customers, HMRC and any additional money owed to employees.
Therefore, you will note that customers are low down in the priority list that could make it difficult (though not impossible) to obtain refunds from the bridal shop.
Can you get your money back?
It is our understanding that Dan Kerr have stock and it maybe the case that some of this stock has already been allocated to customers. Therefore, at this stage, there maybe a possibility that your orders have been fulfilled and it may be worth checking with your Dan Kerr/Leonard Curtis representative to what extent your order has or can be fulfilled. It maybe the case that Dan Kerr have entered into an arrangement with another company to meet their outstanding obligations to customers. You should check if this has been the case.
If you have ordered a wedding dress and the order has not been fulfilled as yet, there is no guarantee you will either get your wedding dress or your money back from Dan Kerr.
From what we understand about the situation with Dan Kerr, there is no evidence that the insolvency company will be running the company as a going concern, which means the company has ceased trading. This will complicate things as far as refunds are concerned.
As you will see from the priority list above, whilst it is not impossible, it is unlikely you will get a full refund from the administrators. If you do, it is often a negligible amount.
What are your options?
1.Did you pay by credit card?
If you purchase cost between £100 – £30,000 and you paid either a deposit or the full amount by credit card, then your credit card company is liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Please note, the £100 or more threshold is for a single item. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will be protected if you bought say 5 dresses for £90.
The Section 75 protection means that whatever rights you have against Dan Kerr, you now have against your credit card provider. You are advised to contact your credit card company explaining the situation. If you have any receipts for your purchased items, ensure you take a picture/photocopy of these, as you may need to submit these as proof of purchase. Please be advised that your credit card provider may expect you to contact Dan Kerr in the first instance to understand the latest position and obtain confirmation that Dan Kerr are unable to provide you with a refund.
2. Try relying on Chargeback?
If you paid for your wedding dress using either of the following methods:
- Debit cards – Visa, Maestro, Visa Electron or Mastercard debit card (any amount – even under £100)
- Prepaid Visa or Mastercard (any amount – even under £100)
- Credit Cards – Visa, Mastercard or Amex Credit card (Under £100 only. If it’s over £100 use Section 75 (in step 1 above).
You could try using the Chargeback system.
This is a system where your bank gets cash back from the Dan Kerr’s payment processing bank.
However, unlike with credit cards (in step 1 above), this is not a legal protection and operates based on the internal rules of banks. Therefore, you are advised to contact your bank to see whether you can rely on this system.
Please note, you must complain within 120 days of realising there is a problem (not from the date of transaction). If you heard about the Dan Kerr administration on Tuesday 18 April 2017 your 120-day time limit has commenced.
3. Did you pay in cash or by cheque?
Things get complicated where you have paid using cash or cheque as you will not be able to rely on the protection discussed in step 1 and 2 above. Our advice would be to see how far your order had reached with Dan Kerr and check to see whether your order had been processed.
If you have taken out wedding insurance, it is worth checking your insurance policy/contacting your insurance company to see whether you are covered in the event of a wedding supplier entering into administration. When contacting your insurance company you should have the following details to hand;
- The date of purchase
- The amount of purchase
- Proof of purchase
- The excess on your policy
- Your insurance policy
- The date you found out about the issue with Dan Kerr
- Any correspondence with Dan Kerr.
Should you need any further information, please contact email@example.com
It is important to remember that the legalities surrounding an international wedding can be slightly more complex compared to a conventional UK wedding.
Here is our quick guide to getting married abroad:
- Documentation – Depending on which country you are planning to get married, you may need to provide certain documentation for your marriage. The information requirements can often vary from country to country. You are able to obtain guidance if you visit the Government Website (https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad). The website has a step by step guide to assist you in understanding your obligations as to documentation.
- Marriage certificate – You will not be able to obtain a British marriage certificate if you get married abroad. You can still have the marriage recognised in the UK, provided you comply with the local law of the country of marriage. (See Destination Weddings – Are they recognised in the UK?)
- Insurance – it is recommended that you take out suitable wedding insurance in the UK which will provide cover for the wedding in the country of choice. Before enrolling onto a policy, ensure you are clear on what the policy covers and what is excluded. Click here for more information about wedding insurance. In the event that there may be an exchange of high value gifts at the international wedding, guests are advised to check that their travel insurance adequately covers the value of the gifts in the event that they are lost, stolen or damaged. Quite often, we have noticed travellers take out a generic insurance to cover them for the whole year. Therefore, if you are expecting a high valued gift at a destination wedding, ensure your insurance cover is adequate. If need be, consider upgrading your policy. Ensure the hotel / apartment can provide you with a safe big enough to fit any high valued gifts.
- Contracts – It is advisable to ensure that any contract you sign for a service being provided in another country contains a “jurisdiction clause” which states that the Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales. In the event of dispute, this will assist you in resolving the dispute by using the courts in England and Wales.
An example of the clause that should be inserted is as follows:
“This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales. Each party irrevocably agrees to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales over any claims or matter arising under or in connection with this Agreement”.
- Make provision for site visits before the big day – Where possible, aim to visit the venue at least once before the big day to gain an appreciation of the facilities which will assist in managing your expectations for the big day.
- Ensure suppliers are fully briefed about the wedding venue and facilities before entering into a contract – In the event of you booking suppliers from the UK, avoid entering any contracts until the suppliers have gained a full understanding of the venue. This may require them to speak with the management of the venue or in some cases going out for a site visit. Problems could occur where you have entered into a contract, only to find the contract price increases after your have committed due to additional equipment being needed which was not appreciated at the time of entering the contract.
- Have agreements and emails printed before your leave the UK – Much of the planning for a destination wedding will take place via email. Therefore, before departing the UK to the country of your wedding, ensure you have hard copies of all the agreements, itineraries and plans so you can ensure all agreements have been fully complied with. Do not rely on Wi-Fi or printers at your hotel to assist you in digging out such information once you have arrived at your destination.
For any more information about the legalities of getting married abroad – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been a surge in popularity in having a destination wedding. Guaranteed great weather, the picture perfect backdrop for the ceremony and quite often a trimmed down guest list. The question that often gets asked is whether marriages abroad are recognised in the UK.
- Your marriage should be recognised in the UK if you follow the correct process according to the local law of the country you get married in. To understand what the requirements are in the country of your marriage, you are advised to contact the embassy of that country.
- An overseas marriage cannot be ‘registered’ in the UK (rules may differ if you are part of the armed forces). If your wedding has taken place in one of the countries which the General Register Office (GRO) can accept formal notification, a ‘record’ can be created for your overseas marriage by depositing the marriage certificate in the General Register Office. Contact the GRO (details below) to see which countries will accept formal notification.
- This ‘record’ can be created at any point after your marriage ceremony.
- In order to have your wedding certificate deposited you will need to contact both the British Embassy in the country you were married in as well as the GRO in the UK. When contacting these organisations, you will need to state that you wish to deposit your marriage certificate with the GRO.
- When contacting the embassy in the country of your marriage ceremony, you will need to provide them with a copy of your marriage certificate that will be authenticated and potentially translated by the local authority. The British Consular General will then forward this certificate to the GRO in the UK. All this maybe subject to a fee.
- Once the documents have been received by the GRO you will be notified. The documents are then held with the GRO. Should you need a copy of your certificate you can contact the GRO.
General Information on Marriages Abroad can be obtained by contacting either of the below organisations:
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Tel: 020 7238 4567
Web : www.fco.gov.uk
Registering your Wedding
General Register Office
Tel: 0151 471 4814
If you need assistance in understanding the legal requirements of getting married abroad, please contact email@example.com
Couples usually get a huge sense of relief once their venue is booked. After all, once the venue is sorted the remainder of the wedding planning can continue. However, whilst it is appreciated that there is often a need for speed when securing a venue, care should be taken before signing on the dotted line,
Look out for the below points before signing the terms and conditions with your venue. If the venue terms and conditions do not mention the below, it is recommended that you address these points with them before signing.
- Ensure you have the full Agreement in front of you
The terms and conditions for a wedding venue is usually made up of:
- The Particulars or Schedule (usually a separate document to the terms and conditions)
- The General Terms and Conditions
Both documents are extremely important. You should always ensure you have both documents in front of you when you carry out your review before signing. It maybe the case that one document cross refers to the other document, therefore to understand what you are about to sign, it is a good idea to have all the documents to hand.
The Particulars/Schedule are specific to your individual booking. Therefore, it is advised that you carefully check;
- The names of the parties are spelt correctly
- The date(s) are correct
- The Particulars clearly specify which facilities you have access to on the date(s) of your booking
- There is clarity about access times and what time you must vacate the property on the date(s) of your booking
- If you have agreed any time extensions, ensure these are clearly set out in the Particulars
- If your wedding venue is providing you with complimentary or discounted accommodation, this should also be set out in the Particulars
- The Particulars may also set out a break down of the costs of your booking. Ensure these reflect the final price that has been negotiated
- Your Rights and Obligations
- Are you allowed to bring external caterers to operate on the day? It is worth while checking this as soon as possible as catering costs can differ massively depending on whether you are required to use in-house caterers or whether you can bring your own.
- Are there any areas of the venue which are out of bounds on the wedding day? If so, could this impact you?
- What are your obligations as to music? Are you allowed to bring your own DJ? Is there any information about what time music must finish? Are there any sound limit monitors or smoke machines that could impact on the big day?
- What is the capacity of the venue? Do you have any obligations in terms of informing the venue of the final guest list numbers?
- What are your obligations as to cleaning up the venue after the big day? If this is something you are required to do, are you in a position to make arrangements with someone to oversee this process? The newly weds would probably want to jet off on honeymoon rather than oversee the clean up operation!
- Payment, Postponement and Cancellation
- Are you required to pay a deposit? If so, are you in a position to pay this? Before paying this, ensure you have got full confirmation from all important family and friends that the proposed date is suitable for them to attend. It may be difficult to change your wedding date once you have signed the contract. Also, you are advised to check any potential tube strikes, major sports matches or road works which could inconvenience your guests to making their way to your wedding.
- When is the remaining balance payable? Ensure you are in a financial position to comply with the payment schedule. If you may struggle, negotiate this prior to signing the contract. Once the contract is signed, ensure you put diary reminders in on your phone or email calendar so you do not forget to pay your next instalment.
- What happens if you cancel your booking? Ensure you are clear on your payment obligations in the event of you having to cancel your booking. You are advised to get wedding insurance for this very purpose.
- What happens if the venue cancels the booking? In the event of the venue cancelling, the venue may try to limit their liability to only cover a ‘refund’ of any fees paid which will not exceed the total fee. If this is the case, you are advised to remind the venue that you may pursue them for consequential losses if they are in breach of contract. Consequential losses may include the cost of finding a venue at last minute, reprinting wedding cards or a change of cost for wedding transportation that may have to go to a different location.
- Does the venue have the correct planning permissions to carry out the civil wedding ceremony? This should be checked before signing the agreement.
- Is the contract clear about what happens if the wedding over runs the allotted time allocated?
- Are you clear on the penalty? If this is not set out in the terms and conditions, ensure clarity is obtained before you sign.
- What safeguards have you got in place, in case proceedings on the day overrun? You are advised to incorporate time buffers in your timetable in case there is a delay. It may also be useful to have a timekeeper on the day who ensures the programme runs to plan.
- General clauses
- In the event of a dispute, do the terms and conditions make it clear how they will be resolved? For example, does it set out whom you can complain to and when a complaint should be made?
- If you have not met representatives from the venue, the terms and conditions should make reference to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. This means you will have the right to cancel the agreement within 14 days of the conclusion of the agreement.
For more information or assistance with interpreting or negotiating your venue contract, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaining that you look more like the beast than the beauty on your wedding day is unlikely to be a good enough reason in the eyes of the law to provide you with consumer rights against your photographer.
However frustrating this may seem, consumer rights legislation is more focused on the ‘quality’ of your pictures rather than the aesthetics of the subject matters in the picture.
The starting point is that you should expect a reasonable quality of image from your photographer. However, where this has not happened, you can do the following:
- Contact your photographer to see whether they are able to edit the photographs to enhance the quality. A face-to-face meeting is usually more effective and shows a level of seriousness on your part.
- If the pictures are so poor that you are unable to use them, you should be able to seek a full refund. There is also a possibility that you will be entitled to claim for compensation to reflect the loss of memory of the day. In claiming compensation, it is useful to keep the amount to a realistic figure to reflect your disappointment. Any extortionate claims are likely to be unsuccessful.
- If some of the photos are good quality but the rest are missing or unusable, you will only be able to claim a partial refund.
- You may benefit from gaining an expert opinion from another photographer to comment on the quality of the photographs. This could assist in strengthening your case.
Should you require any assistance in complaining about the work of a photographer – contact email@example.com