How do we know if we have grounds for a lawsuit against our wedding planner?

We hired a wedding planner to design, set up, and take down our wedding ceremony. She was also to set up, and take down the reception (we designed it). 4 days before the wedding she told us she had to leave town and another one of her planners would take care of us. I gave her diagrams of what we wanted for our aisle, what we wanted on the tables, and the room layout. Long story short, things were broken, missing, and backwards. I can go into more detail if needed. She has offered to give us our money back, although we haven’t met with her to know if that’s true. Should this be enough?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Business Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You probably do have a lawsuit against the wedding planner, if she did not provide the agreed upon services and/or provided them in a negligent (careless) fashion, whether herself or through some person covering for her. Either she would have breached her contract or she would have caused you a loss or damages through negligence.

However, what you could sue for is most likely a return of the money you had paid her, and/or possibly for the value of the things she actually broke or lost. If the return of you money would be all or most of what you could potentially recover, then--if she actually follows through and gives it back to you--you may not need to sue; if you get back most or all of what the lawsuit would be worth, then there is no value to actually filing the lawsuit. If she doesn't follow through, then you could likely sue her.

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