No bride or groom ever expects one of their vendors not to show up on their big day. But it happens. And, as many of you are aware, we contracted a videographer for our wedding who didn't show up until about halfway into our reception. Yes, it was disappointing that we didn't get to have our big day professionally captured on video, but what was more frustrating was that we had already paid the vendor in full for his services.
We handled the situation the day of but now we're left with "what do we do now," considering he is legally bound to reimburse us and still hasn't. I scoured the internet looking for a "how-to" for what our next step is for our situation, but all I found was information on what to do the day of when the vendor doesn't show. Not helpful.
So I decided to kind of document this process for other brides who are in similar situations and aren't sure what to do now that the big day is over. I'm not an expert in the law by any means, so please be sure to consult an attorney (or someone else in the know) before making any moves.
Let me give a little bit of background information before I launch into what we're doing now. Our videographer did eventually show up and apologized profusely for being unprofessional and let us know we would be reimbursed in full and be given what video was actually taken. Like I said, we signed a contract for his services (thank goodness) and were planning to demand that we be reimbursed anyway.
*DISCLAIMER: sign contracts with all of your vendors, even if it's just a friend who's going to take your pics. If you're paying for the service, sign a contract. Otherwise, you won't have much legal evidence to be reimbursed if something like this should happen to you. I can't emphasize enough how important this is.*
So about 2 weeks after our wedding (which was June 9th), Matthew emailed the vendor to ask when we could expect to be reimbursed, and we received a reply informing us that we would have our money back (and the video) by the end of July. Both of us decided this was a reasonable time frame considering he was planning to cut us a video (even though he technically wasn't required to do since the contract was broken).
The end of July came and went, and we still hadn't received a reimbursement. So, after talking to Matthew's brother (who has had to deal with a similar legal situation), he advised us to give him until August 14th to reimburse us and then file paperwork in small claims court on the 15th if he doesn't follow through with this plan. So that's what we emailed him. And we haven't received any response to that email as of today (the 13th).
So it looks like we will probably have to take this to small claims court in order to be reimbursed, unless he pulls through somehow. Something to note regarding small claims court, you have to file in the county in which the business is located. We live in Kitsap county, but our videographer's business is run out of Snohomish county, which is where we will have to file paperwork.
I admit that I'm frustrated because this just puts more work on us for something that should have never been an issue in the first place.
So, in short, your vendor doesn't show up, and you still haven't been reimbursed - file paperwork in small claims court in the county where the business is run.
That's all I've got so far. I'll be sure to update you guys on what's next in this process and how things go for us.
P.S. - A note of reference: I referred to this website for some basic information regarding small claims court and breach of contracts.