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Court Action Over Cancelled Wedding Band

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cavemanfraz | 13:50 Wed 21st Jul 2010 | Civil
19 Answers
Hi there,

Having tried for over 2 weeks to contact the wedding band we booked (and signed a contract with), we took the decision to search for another band as we had not heard from them since September 2009. When we tried to contact them repeatedly from 3 weeks before the wedding, by email & phone, we were greeted with messages that the Office was closed until mid July. Same message was on his website.

Assuming they were on Holiday we gave them every opportunity to contact us and left it until 4 days before our wedding to try and hire another band, as we were worried about the lack of communication from the band. We were lucky to eventually find one that had a last minute cancellation.

Now with only 2 days from before the wedding the original band have phoned us to say they have just got back from holiday and are surprised that we have cancelled them and are threatening to take us to a small claims court as their cancellation policy states 100% is payable if cancelled 1 month before the wedding.

My argument is that they did not contact us before they went on holiday to reassure us that they would be there on the day, and to tell us when we they will be back. We were unable to contact them and were kept completely in the dark to why "the office is closed". They contacted us on the 21st July which I would not say is mid July. At the end of the day, were we supposed to just sit and hope for them to turn up on the day?

I believe they should have contacted us before going on holiday with their return being 3 days before the wedding, we couldn't even contact them to ask for a first dance request, which would be too late to learn now. I believe he has acted unprofessionally and has a duty of care for his customers.

How would this hold up in a small claims court as he is going to sue us for cancelling the cheque we gave him and cancelling the contract?



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i would have thought they had every right to enforce the contract. you made the booking, they said they would come. They didn't contact you since september, but in all fairness you also didn't contact them durign that time
i agree that you were wise to search for another band, just in case, - i dont blame you - but still, they did not break any did...they are not obliged to keep in contact with you regularly from when you made the deal...they are entitled also to their free time etc up until the day you have hired them. they took the booking and as far as they were concerned they intended to attend your wedding.

unfortunately they were lax in communication, but thats not breaking any contract or rules...
in terms of first dance etc...perhaps they thought you should have arranged all that stuff at the time of the did not pay for them to learn a new you expect them to spend many hours of their own time learning a new song for you for free??
Question Author
It may be the case that technically they hav not breached the contract, but surely there cannot be a carte blanche that once they have your signiture your consumer rights go out the window. The fact of the matter is that any service provider has a duty of care to those they are providing a service to.

I believe that not contacting us to inform us that we would not be able to contact them whilst they were on holiday is not professional. His argument is that it is up to us to contact him. Well we did, however he prevented us from being able to contact him by going on holiday right before our wedding and not informing us prior.

Suppose he cancelled us right before the wedding, due to any reason. What do we get back? Our booking fee perhaps, however our wedding would be ruined with no entertainment.

I don't think signing an agreement is as black and white as it sounds. If there is reasonable negligence on the bands part that should be enough to contest payment!
well if you believe that you are in the right then all you can do is turn up at the court on the day and state the facts.

Personally i agree with the other posts in that the band have not gone against the contract
i think in law it probably IS quite black and white. if the contract did not specify that they would contact you on regular occasions, you can't expect them to. You also cant expect them to tell you what they are doing when they are not at your wedding
Question Author
Well on the contract it states that a first dance was still to be discussed.

They prevented us discussing this by:

A. Not phoning us, to discuss.
B. Not allowing us to phone them.

3 days is not long enough to purchase the backing tracks of a song not on his set list, so perhaps he is in breach of contract.
surely, having booked them in september youve had a lot of time to decide what song you wanted? why did you leave it to 3 weeks before to decide to call them?

chances are that you will be asked that.
Question Author
He told us 3 weeks was the minimum notice so we used that to decide!
3 weeks minimum so you left it til the last second? on something as important as your wedding?

sorry, but i dont think you'll really have much of a chance in court.
did they not leave you a mobile number? who goes on holiday and doesn't take their mobile?
IMHO what's been said already is correct. I find it hard to understand that you left it until only 3 weeks before the wedding to try to contact them. When we got married we made all our bookings as early as you did, but for stuff happening in May, we were sending reminders and phoning to check that everyone was OK from February onwards, particularly where we had special requests - and we had a harpist and a disco with particular requirements for music. Sorry, but I think this one is down to you.
Question Author
No he never gave us a mobile number which every other band we were going to hire has.

As for the other comment, well I am sorry but your are being quite rude! He said no later than 3 weeks and with a little baby and deaths just happening in the family and as college lecturers and teachers we have had a lot on our plate so please just leave it to the facts and stop jumping on the band wagon.

At the end of the day he has contacted us only 2 days before the wedding. I expect better of someone that is apparently an award winner, and claims on his website to take the stress out of hiring a band, "We have all heard the horror stories". It has previously happened to other family members and friends where they got a phone call on the day to say the band couldn't make it.

He even admitted that he seen our email when on holiday but waited until returning to reply!
whilst im sure everyone her understands your worry, and agree that it would have been nice if hed had answered your messages, the point is he has not, legally, done anything wrong - and legally - you have...
call me rude then, but it's really nothing to do with them that you have a baby and bereavements, just like it's nothing to do with you when they go on holiday.
As redcrx says, if you think you are in the right, then great, go to court
Bet you wished you hadnt asked now.
No-one on AB just gives a straight answer.Its a given rule that at least one 'its your own fault' or 'I wouldnt have done that' type od scenario creeps in.
Dont worry -been there :)
Sorry youve had this disappointment and personally I would let them attempt to sue me.Thats my opinion -I think they let you down.They do it for a living and are complacent -you dont so they might re think after this after all it was your big day.Let them chase you-lesson learnt by them IMO.
Question Author
Whilst I appreciate all the opinions. Dris I thank you for showing a little bit of compassion, and I agree with you! So I'll take some time to think, but I think I might just let them chase me as you said.

Thanks you
i certainly dont think i have been rude, and i have given a straight answer - you asked how they would hold up if they went to court... and the general opinion is - better than you... as legally they havent done anything wrong
i sympathise with your problem ...but thats is not what you asked about - you asked what their chances were and we told you.
Ditto caveman, I am not unsympathetic to your believing you needed a new band at short notice, but obviously you didn't - I think their PR leaves a lot to be desired, too.
This is another in a long line of "Ask a question - Don't like the answer - Start to argue about it and take offence".

The simple legal facts here are the band haven't broken any contract here, you have. As such they will legally be entitled to receive their fee in full.

For what it's worth I would have thought if they were heading away on holiday for several weeks and hadn't heard from you about a first dance then it might have been nice for them to contact you, particularly since presumably they hadn't made you aware in advance of when they would be away. However, they were under no obligation to do so and maybe just presumed at that late stage you had decided to go with something from their existing songbook. Any regular wedding band has all the usual suspects for first dances in their repertoire. As an aside we had the band learn something different for ours and to be honest it was a mistake. Although they did their best, it wasn't something they were polished at and it showed.

Equally, I wouldn't have waited to three weeks before the wedding to make contact with them for the first time in 10 months. Communication is after all a two way street.

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