Are you in breach?

I recently wrote a post for my other site, Seattle Wedding Lawyer about breach of contracts. While it is aimed at wedding vendors it is fitting for anyone in business.
As a wedding vendor you are probably wondering what is going on with other vendors these days. You can’t help but see the reports of wedding vendors being charged with fraud or sued by couples for not following through on what they promised. What is the deal? Breach of contract is one of the biggest issues that wedding vendors face. There isn’t just one type of breach of contract, there are four.
Anticipatory Breach
This type of breach happens when a vendor gives advanced notice that they won’t being honoring the contract. A great example of this is an article I just read about a bride in India whose venue canceled her reservation 3 months before the wedding.[1]
Actual Breach
An actual breach is when a vendor refuses to execute or only executes partially on the due date. This happens a lot. Bakery doesn’t delivery cake, seamstress doesn’t make alterations in time, or a caterer doesn’t show like in the case of an Australian couple. Their caterer failed to show and they were forced to serve hot dogs and pies. [2]
Material Breach
This happens when you technically give the couple/bride/groom what they asked for but it is breach is significantly different than what was actually contracted. Such as the soon to be Virginia bride who ordered a Peacock cake and got what guest called a “loch ness monster.”[3]
Minor Breach
A minor breach is when the vendor delivers what is promised but some part of the contract was not fulfilled. An example of that maybe be the caterer showing up 15 minutes late. 15 minutes is probably not a huge deal but an hour or two would be. The florist providing 99 roses when 100 were asked for. Unless the 100 were for a specific purpose the 99 may not be a huge deal.
Now, a couple/bride/groom can breach a contract with a vendor but this post I’m only focusing on when vendors breach.
All breaches can result in a couple/bride/groom seeking damages from the vendor, so the best way to not be in breach is to do what you contract to do. And if you can’t you should work with your customer to come to a mutual and reasonable agreement.
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