Coronavirus, wedding venues, and solutions from a Texas lawyer.

Although we have not seen much from this out of the press, the coronavirus pandemic is going to have a significant impact on the wedding season.

Recently, we were engaged by a local family whose daughter was planning to get married on April 25, 2020. But on March 18 the venue notified her that because of local government proclamations regarding social distancing the venue would not be able to honor the contract on April 25. Further, the venue offered her a couple of replacement dates that were very unfavorable (July 4 and another date in August on a Thursday) and refused to offer any sort of reduction in fee or a refund.

The family attempted to find other venues that might accommodate them on April 25 but were unsuccessful. Ultimately the bride determined she would rather get married on April 25 in a backyard ceremony than move the date.

In reviewing the contract it was clear that if the family canceled the event there would be no refund and they had fully paid all sums due under the contract.  But the contract was silent as to the remedies available to the family in the event the venue canceled.

Sometimes, once we are retained we don’t let anyone know we have been retained. We will ghostwrite communication for the client in order to establish a paper trail that will be favorable in the event litigation becomes necessary. That was the course of action we chose in this instance.

We “took over” the communication between the client and the venue. There were a series of emails back and forth orchestrated by us that culminated in the venue finally stating that they were formally canceling the event. At that point there was no longer any protection for them under the contract and we notified the venue of our involvement and demanded a full refund. The matter eventually settled on very favorable terms. As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat.

Coronavirus is going to affect our lives for a long, long time. Both personally and in the legal realm. If you have a question about these issues, give us a call.

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