Wedding Pics Miss The Kiss Can Law Sort The Mess?
The bride was furious. Wedding pictures taken by the professional photographer she’d hired for the big day hadn’t captured the big moment as she’d imagined. The post-vow kiss was a disaster. All you could see was the back of her veiled head and the groom looking like a blowfish as he pouted towards her.
She withheld $390 when she paid the $2600 bill, saying the photographer had failed to capture the most romantic moment of the ceremony. The photographer said it wasn’t much of a kiss, more of a peck really, and done so quickly there wasn’t much to take a picture of.
The couple was outraged and claimed $6400 in damages for ruining their big day. Furthermore, they said the snapper failed to take pictures of them cutting the ribbon or signing the wedding certificate. They claimed the pictures were blurry and not at all “artistic” like on his website.
The photographer counter sued, arguing he had not got a wedding meal as promised, the couple had a second professional photographer at the wedding, and he wanted payment in full as it wasn’t his fault the kiss failed to live up to the bride’s expectations.
The case ended up in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. This is a place where small claim disputes can be settled with minimal legal costs.
The judge weighed whether a kiss really was the “money shot” of a wedding ceremony. The judged said a wedding, unlike a studio, was a moveable feast outside the control of the photographer.
“I accept it is quite difficult to capture the moment of a kiss,” the judge ruled. But he said the photographer had not given value for money and ordered he pay the couple $710. He ordered the couple to pay the photographer $60 for not giving him a meal during the wedding.
The point of all this is that if you have a dispute over a bill or debt of less than $10,000, the Small Claims Division of the NSW Local Court is designed to help resolve the matter without the formality of a higher court.
The Attorney General advises that if the dispute is over a personal loan or credit card debt, a home loan, rent, goods or services you bought from a business, you should get legal advice as soon as possible. It could affect your credit rating and have long term impact, and the court might not be the best place to go for resolution.