Know your LEGAL RIGHTS when it comes to your wedding

08 Aug 2018

No matter how prepared you are, things can still go wrong in the lead up to and on your wedding day so knowing your legal rights is essential

Image: Beatriz Perez Moya via Unplash

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From no-show suppliers to a substandard service, there are various ways that your wedding can go wrong. With so much riding on one day, it is wise to take out wedding insurance but also to gen up on your legal rights should things go wayward. 

To ensure you receive the right amount of compensation if things don’t go to plan, The University of Law has put together a guide to your legal rights when it comes to your wedding. 

What should I do if my wedding dress doesn’t fit?

The pièce de résistance; for many weddings, the dress is the star of the show. To ensure the bride walks down the aisle both comfortably and confidently, it is imperative that the dress is completed and delivered on time and fits correctly. However, with fittings taking place several months before the wedding date, sizing can be an issue.

According to the Consumer Rights Act[1], if you bought the wrong size wedding dress you may not be entitled to any money back, but if you have bought a made-to-measure gown that doesn’t follow your sizing requirements, you are entitled for your money back or a replacement.

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Image: Daniel Suarez via Unplash

What should we do if our wedding venue has closed down?

Wedding venues - whether they are for the ceremony and/or reception - are often booked several years before the big day, therefore there’s always a chance that circumstances for the business can change during that period. If your wedding venue does go out of business before your big day, you may be entitled to money back, although this isn’t guaranteed. 

Credit cards are the safest method to pay for high value items and will cover you between the value of £100 to £30,000. If you paid via credit card, you can apply for a Section 75 claim[2], that will give you a full or partial refund of the costs. PayPal also offers some legal protection through its Disputes Resolution Scheme. 

If the company responsible for your wedding reception has gone out of business, you can apply to be a creditor by filling out a form with details about what you are owed, and sending this to the administrator who is handling the company’s debts. You can search to see if a company has gone bankrupt by searching the Companies House list[3] or looking at the insolvency register.

Always retain any correspondence and documentation (emails, booking confirmations, invoices, contracts, receipts) should evidence be required. 

What should we do if our flowers haven’t arrived?

When you buy a product, it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure the items are delivered to you safely and in the time specified. If you have any concerns about your item not arriving on time, firstly contact the seller as they are legally obliged to provide you with an update. If your item doesn’t arrive, you are legally entitled to a refund or replacement within 30 days[4]. All florists in the UK should abide by the British Florist Association Standard of Excellence⁵, so if you feel that your problem hasn’t been dealt with in a timely or professional manner, you can escalate your complaint to this trade association.    

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Image: Orio Nguyen via Unplash

What should we do if we’re upset about the quality of our cake?

Wedding cakes can be very expensive and couples will place utmost faith in their wedding cake maker to deliver on their promises. If you notice before the big day that your wedding cake isn’t up to scratch, you should firstly contact the provider and see if they would be happy to make you an alternative, or give you a discount. If the service would take too long or it would be an inconvenience, you can ask the seller for a refund. According to the Consumer Rights Act, if you are unhappy with a service, you have the right to report this for up to five years in Scotland[5], or up to six years in the UK.

What should we do if our wedding entertainment hasn’t turned up?

Music and entertainment is key to creating a celebratory atmosphere on your wedding day. If the entertainment you booked for your big day doesn't arrive, the entertainment provider is in breach of contract. Although you may not be able to rectify the problem on the day, the entertainment provider must legally provide a full refund and you may be entitled to compensation[6]. Always ask for a booking confirmation and/or contract at point of booking and retain all correspondence and documentation.

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Image: Evelina Friman via Unplash

What should we do if we need to delay our honeymoon?

While all couples will look forward to spending quality time together as newlyweds on honeymoon, there are occasions when unforeseen circumstances can put a stop to travel plans. If you need to cancel your honeymoon, start by looking at the terms and conditions in your cancellation policy. Terms and conditions can vary depending on when you are travelling, who you are travelling with and the reasons you would like to cancel.

Legally, you should be able to cancel a holiday before you go but this would be subject to a cancellation fee unless it falls under a category covered by your insurance, such as war, a serious disease or natural disasters. If you are cancelling your holiday due to significant changes by your travel provider, the company should pay you any money that you are owed within 14 days[7].

Remember to take out travel insurance when booking your honeymoon to ensure your policy covers you in the lead up to your getaway. 

The University of Law is one of the UK's largest law schools offering law and business courses. To find out more visit: www.law.ac.uk