Join Date: Nov 2003
Sportbike: 01 F4i (Well, I HAD one, anyway)
Years Riding: 7
How you found us: I google myself regularly
Contract fail-- what would you do?
I'm gonna try to keep this short:
Contract with my wedding photographer was $x, paid up front, in cash. (Receipt was given, contract signed by both parties). In return, she shows up at my house at 2pm, takes pics there, heads to the church and takes pics there, then heads to the reception and takes pics there til 10pm. In addition, she comes to the church the next morning for my daughter's christening and takes pics for 1 hr. Delivery of all photos on a DVD to be sent no later than 6 weeks from date of event.
Photographer shows up at my house at 2pm, takes pics. Bridal party heads to church, photographer doesn't show up til midway through the ceremony. No pics of bridal party getting ready at the church, no pics of bride or bridal party walking down the aisle, no pic of groom looking as happy as ever. No pics of vows or anything. Photographer arrives, driving her own car, at church WASTED drunk. Wedding planner meets her outside, figures this out, finally gets her sorted out and into the church in time to capture retreating down the aisle in utter wedded bliss. At this point, photographer is in complete breadown mode, crying, and informs me that she's missed the ceremony. I tell her to stop talking and keep working. I go about my day as a happy bride and pretend this isn't happening. Rest of the evening goes fine. Pictures turn out ok-- everything else at the church was obiovusly not as good because there was some tension there.
Two days after wedding I find out about the drunkenness. A few weeks after the wedding I find out she's been in jail for this kind of thing before, in California. Anderson Cooper even did an expose on her. She moves to IL, starts fresh, and somehow gets this all expunged from the internet (so my background checking on her in advnace of the wedding yielded nothing but some recent good reviews). Pictures arrive to my house 5 weeks later than contract specifies, after several unreturned phone calls and a lot of hounding on my part.
I also find out during this process that to supplement her lacking photography business, she regularly babysits a 2 year old boy, including taking him in her car. I also find out she has a reputation in town for being a regular drinker and drug user. She's an admitted alcoholic.
I think that she should offer me some of my money back, or perhaps some additional services to make up for the umnet contract requierments and her lack of appearance at my wedding. I also have a hard time living with the fact that I know she's an alcoholic and caring for a child. Not sure what I can do affect that situation, but I would say ensuring this doesn't continue is the more important issue to me. The contract isn't as important as the child.
I have already looked into the court option. I can get a summary judgment against her here in TX (or in IL, if I wanted to travel). It wouldn't cost me a lot but I'd likely not see any financial return. It wouldn't affect her record in any way that would keep her from doing business.
So, what would you do if you were me? Letting it go is eating at me-- it sorta keeps me up at night. But don't want to go off in some direction that might prove foolish; I want to think this through.