I had found a photographer for my wedding, through a wedding website and met with her and her partner at the church where the ceremony was being held. At that time, I gave her a $250.00 deposit but she forgot her contract. We'd been emailing back and forth for several weeks and had come to an agreement on a package and price - so I felt comfortable when she said she would send me a contract asap.
She ended up sending me a 'blank' contract, 3 weeks before my wedding. It didn't include any of the 'basics' that we had talked about through email. I asked her to revise it and she made excuses and never would.
I want to leave feedback on the wedding website I found her on - but they said we didn't have a contract - even though I gave her a deposit and she flaked on me 4 days before my wedding?
A contract is formed when you have an offer and an acceptance of that offer and consideration, which is a bargained for exchange. In your case, it seems you accepted the photographer's offer to hire her for your wedding and gave her money, which is consideration.
Contracts do not always have to be written and can be oral. For services, such as wedding photography, which can be completed in under one year, you can have an oral contract. Thus, even though your photographer was going to send you a written contract to memorialize your agreed upon terms in writing, you most likely already had a contract with your photographer based on your verbal agreements and you giving her a deposit.
Obviously, this answer provides only a general overview of issues similar to your situation. With contracts disputes, a case by case analysis is necessary because each fact changes the analysis. You may have a claim for breach of contract by your photographer. You should consult with a contracts attorney who can better evaluate your case based on the totality of the circumstances and facts surrounding your issue.
DISCLAIMER The answer given above serves for educational purposes only and is meant to provide general information for a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone with case-specific legal advice. Further take notice that any information on this site should not be used as a substitute for case-specific legal advice. Readers should also be aware that laws and their applications frequently change. As such, any information provided on this site is general in nature and may not apply to specific factual and legal situations. Contact a professional, competent attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction to receive case-specific legal advice before making any important decisions regarding your legal issue.
Attorney Asatryan has given you an excellent response. A contract requires an offer, acceptance and consideration. Based upon your general description of the facts, it appears that you had an oral agreement which was supported by consideration of $250.00.
The elements for a breach of contract cause of action are (1) existence of contract; (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance; (3) defendant’s breach (or anticipatory breach); and (4) resulting damage. (Wall Street Network, Ltd. v. N. Y. Times Co. (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 1171, 1178.)
Every case requires an in-depth factual analysis, so no one can really give you a definitive response without knowing all of the facts.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
I agree with Mr. Asatryan's response above. Sounds like you have an oral contract, which is just as enforceable as a written contract (although more difficult to prove).
In addition to the fine analysis from the previous attorneys, i would only add that there may be a question as to the putative contract if there were no definitive "terms" of the agreement. My concerns center around your statement that she sent a "blank" contract which raises the question as to whether or not there was a true meetihng of the minds on the terms of service. In any case, you will want to call an attorney and have a more robust discussion.
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