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Knowing your legal rights on your wedding day

Months of time and stressful planning goes into preparing for a wedding day, but even with strict attention to detail, things can still unfortunately go wrong.

To ensure you receive the right amount of compensation if things don’t go to plan, The University of Law, the UK's longest-established specialist provider of legal education and training has put together a guide to your legal rights on your wedding day.


What should I do if my wedding dress doesn’t fit?

For many weddings, the dress is the star of the show. As all eyes are focused on the bride as she walks down the aisle, it is important that the dress is completed and delivered on time and fits correctly. However, with fittings commonly taking place several months before the set date, sizing can be an issue.

According to the Consumer Rights Act, if you bought the wrong size wedding dress you may not be entitled to any money back, but if you have bought a made-to-measure gown that doesn’t follow your sizing requirements, you are entitled for your money back or a replacement.


What should we do if our wedding venue has closed down?

Wedding receptions are often booked several years before the big day, therefore there’s always a chance that circumstances for the business can change during that period. If your wedding reception does go out of business before your big day, you may be entitled to money back, but this isn’t guaranteed.

Credit cards are the safest method to pay for high value items and will cover you between the value of £100 to £30,000. If you paid via credit card, you can apply for a Section 75 claim, that will give you a full or partial refund of the costs. PayPal also offers some legal protection through its disputes resolution scheme.

If the company responsible for your wedding reception has gone out of business, you can apply to be a creditor by filling out a form with details about what you are owed, and sending this to the administrator who is handling the company’s debts. You can search to see if a company has gone bankrupt by searching the Companies House list or looking at the insolvency register.


What should we do if our flowers haven’t arrived?

When you buy a product, whether it is for your wedding day or not, it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure the items are delivered to you. If you have any concerns about your item not arriving on time, firstly contact the seller as they should legally provide you with an update. If your item doesn’t arrive, you are legally entitled to a refund or replacement within 30 days. All florists in the UK should abide by the British Florist Association Standard of Excellence, so if you feel that your problem hasn’t been dealt with in a timely or professional manner, you can escalate your complaint to this trade association.


What should we do if we’re upset about the quality of our cake?

Wedding cakes can be very expensive and are an integral part of a traditional wedding. If you notice before the big day that your wedding cake isn’t up to scratch, you should firstly contact the provider and see if they would be happy to make you an alternative, or give you a discount. If the service would take too long or it would be an inconvenience, you can ask the seller for a refund. According to the Consumer Rights Act, if you are unhappy with a service, you have the right to report this for up to five years in Scotland, or up to six years in the UK.


What should we do if our wedding entertainment hasn’t turned up?

Music and entertainment can be the life and soul of a wedding, as it gets people interacting with each other and makes the occasion memorable. If the entertainment you booked for your big day doesn't arrive, the entertainment provider is in breach of contract. Although you may not be able to rectify the problem on the day, the entertainment provider must legally provide a full refund and you may be entitled to compensation.


What should we do if we need to delay our honeymoon?

A honeymoon is a chance for brides and grooms to recuperate after a busy few months of planning. Whilst this usually takes place straight after the big day, there are some occasions where it may have to be cancelled. If you need to cancel your honeymoon, start by looking at the terms and conditions in your cancellation policy. Terms and conditions can vary depending on when you are travelling, who you are travelling with and the reasons you would like to cancel. Legally you should be able to cancel a holiday before you go, but this would be subject to a cancellation fee unless it falls under a category covered by your insurance, such as war, a serious disease or natural disasters. If you are cancelling your holiday due to significant changes by your travel provider, the company should pay you any money that you are owed within 14 days.