What to do if we had a wedding reception and paid the caterer the total but 4 days after we were told that the caterer had totaled up our bill incorrectly and we now owe money?

UPDATED: Mar 12, 2015

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What to do if we had a wedding reception and paid the caterer the total but 4 days after we were told that the caterer had totaled up our bill incorrectly and we now owe money?

On our contract the cost PP is correct, the tax was correct and so was the gratuity charge but when added together a 0 was left off of the gratuity charge. Instead of adding $1700 it was added as $170. Are we liable even when everyone signed off on the contract and the event is in the past? I have no issue paying but we opted for the wedding package instead of the party package because it included the ability to take pictures on the grounds which we were not able to do due to lack of snow removal from storm a week prior.

Asked on March 12, 2015 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you did not know and had no reason to know of the mistake on the gratuity charge, then you are not liable for paying the additional amount because in a contract the mistake is enforced against the mistaken party (the caterer in your contract).

The snow not being removed when you selected the wedding package for photos on the grounds instead of the party package is unrelated to the above issue of mistake pertaining to the gratuity charge.  

If the wedding package / party package issue was part of your contract with the caterer, the caterer is not liable for the lack of snow removal.

If the wedding package/party package issue was in a contract with the venue where the reception was held, the venue could claim objective impossibility as a defense and you would still have to pay for the wedding package.  You might want to discuss a possible discount regarding that matter, but since it was impossibility due to the snow the venue might argue against a discount.


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