Can a wedding venue sue for non payment if the wedding was cancelled

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a wedding venue sue for non payment if the wedding was cancelled

My daughter was to be married Nov. 11th we paid the deposit a year ago and the
total was due 12 weeks prior to the wedding date. they where holding a check to
post today and have never mentioned cancelling the even due to non payment. The
wedding was called off 2 days ago and I put a stop payment on the balance.. The
owner is now saying she is going to sue for the balance since its within the 12
weeks. However, ethically I should pay her I know…. But legally the contract
states any money paid will not be refunded within the 12 week prior to the
wedding. No money but the deposit has actually been paid. SO, can she sue for the
unpaid balance?

Asked on October 23, 2017 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she can sue for the unpaid balance unless the contract, by its terms, limits her to the deposit. If not limited contractually to keeping the deposit as her sole rememdy or recourse, she can sue for the full amount when you cancel and breach the contract, such as due to the wedding itself being called off (which, after all, is not the venue's problem or concern). 
More accurately, she can sue for her lost *profit* if it exceeds the deposit. Profit in this case is what you'd pay her less expenses she can avoid by not having to have the affair. Example: say the wedding cost is $20,000. If in hosting the weddding she would have incurred $10,000 in various food, supplies, staff/payroll, etc. costs, her profit--or what she has lost--would be $10,000; that's what she could sue for. If she is holding a $3,000 deposit in this example, she could sue for the extra $7,000.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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