Dear Mrs Macaulay,
I'm writing to seek some legal advice on how to go about filing a claim against my wedding photographer.
I am a Canadian resident who got married in Ocho Rios in July 2019.
My issue is that since that date I have yet to receive my full wedding package that was paid for in full on the day of my wedding.
What I have received are my wedding photos via e-mail download, which I received well beyond the four weeks after my wedding date that was promised, and I recently received my wedding video around three months later. This I had to plead for, and I had to ask several people (including my wedding planner who he also lied to) in Jamaica to chase him down.
I eventually got the contact details for the videographer who told me that my video was done and handed over to the photographer two weeks after my wedding; however, my photographer failed to send it to me.
When I received my video and photos, they were not what I expected. My photos were not edited and my video had the wrong bridal songs and was missing speeches.
I pointed this out and I was told that a new video would be done and sent urgently.
I still haven't had anything yet in the post.
The package I paid for were photos, video, printed album, and also a large printed canvas. So far I have only received e-mailed photos and the video.
What I'm mostly upset about is the treatment that I have received from my photographer. He has shown no remorse, no urgency, no apology, and no obligation to provide me with the service that I have paid almost US$2,000 for.
I have called him numerous times and he hasn't returned one call to me.
He has promised me over text several times that he will post everything, and every week comes and he gives me another excuse, or he simply ignores my calls.
This whole process has caused me a great deal of stress as this is my wedding souvenir. It holds a great deal of sentiment and memories and he has cared very little about this.
I would like to know if I have a case for suing him and to prevent him from doing this to another couple.
What you have related is simply atrocious! Everyone knows how important wedding memorabilia are, so apart from the money which you paid, the loss of memories is tremendous.
You certainly do have a case against him. The contract you had with the photographer was never performed by him, though you had paid him the full cost for his services and the end products he was to send to you.
You therefore have grounds to sue him for breach of contract and claim for special damages for the actual money you paid him, with interest thereon, and the actual costs of all the calls and other means you used to contact him. These must be strictly proved, for example by his receipt to you for the almost US$2,000 you paid to him, or a witness's evidence of your payment, and proof of the cost of your calls through your phone company contract with such details, or whatever means you have of doing so. You can also claim interest as these and your payments were expenditures his breach caused you to pay out. You ought to also claim general damages for the pain and suffering that such a loss of your real and proper mementos of your special day were caused to you by his breach, and on each and every occasion when he promised and failed again and again. Such a loss, it ought to be argued, ought be duly compensated for, maybe even in an exemplary way because you may never succeed in obtaining the items you paid for. You should preserve all his texts in support of your case.
You should take steps to retain a lawyer who specialises in contract law to act for you in this regard. Tell the lawyer everything and show him or her what you actually received eventually, and his texts, and identify those who have agreed to be your witnesses. I have no doubt that you will succeed.
It ought also to be remembered that not only did this photographer in breaching his contract with you cause stress, pain, frustration, and loss of money and time, but he may also have created doubt in the minds of other couples about the veracity of Jamaican weddings or event photographers, which is very serious indeed.
I am really sorry that you and your husband had this experience. It is good that you wish to act so that he will not do this again to any other couple. So please go ahead and proceed to obtain your lawyer and have your claim filed and served against him for breach of contract and damages.
Margarette May Macaulay is an attorney-at-law, Supreme Court mediator, notary public, and women's and children's rights advocate. Send questions via e-mail to email@example.com; or write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5. All responses are published. Mrs Macaulay cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to legal advice from your own attorney.