In recent years there has been a boom in destination weddings, with one in four UK couples now choosing to marry overseas. Mauritius was Kuoni’s most booked wedding destination for both 2017 and 2018, but European wedding destinations are also on the rise.
Warmer climes, endless sea views and supposed lower stress levels are amongst the reasons for the trend. With this increase in demand, more travel companies are offering wedding packages as part of their services. But what is supposed to be the happiest day of any bride or groom’s life can often end in shock, heartbreak, and in some cases, a distinctly lacking marriage certificate.
From Dress To Stress?
Couples who opt to marry abroad often put their faith and money into holiday providers to organise their nuptials, so it would be fair for them to expect exemplary service. After all, wedding package providers such as TUI boast the stress-free service they provide, even supplying a wedding coordinator to arrange the finer details.
But what happens when the coordinator doesn’t turn up? Or when the wedding site is a glorified junkyard? Are there any consequences when a couple returns home still technically “engaged” as opposed to joined in matrimony?
Sadly, we’ve dealt with consumer cases when a wedding has quickly turned from fairy tale to horror story. We’re committed to fighting for justice on behalf of wronged newlyweds seeking compensation for them against holiday providers who have sold them a lie. We help to enforce consumer rights, holding big businesses to account.
If you’ve been let down by a holiday provider that promised you the wedding day of your dreams, we can help.
Our Client Returned From Her Wedding Destination Unmarried
As a consumer rights firm, we are seeing an increase in the number of clients who have been let down with their holiday package or been mis-sold a holiday.
One of our recent clients, Emma Hall placed her utmost trust in TUI when they promised her a magical wedding day in Corfu. She explains: “We chose TUI because it’s a company we’ve used many times before and never had any difficulties. We put all our trust in them; even paying a premium to secure a day and time that suited everyone.
The expectation set was that of a fairy tale. We imagined walking into the sunset with all our loved ones around us, smiling and laughing.”
When Emma and then fiancé Peter arrived in Corfu and viewed the venue that they were booked to have their ceremony at, they said, “We were just in shock. We felt numb. The first thing we saw was a mound of rubbish which the coordinator said was three months of uncollected rubbish for that area of Ipsos. It absolutely stank and that was just the start of it.”
After much arguing and stress, the ceremony took place at a makeshift location that left much to be desired. Most upsetting of all, upon review of their wedding certificate, the couple discovered that it had the wrong name on it and as a result, was invalid. Emma was unable to legally change her name and the couple were left questioning whether they were legally married.
Returning from their ‘wedding’, the couple filed a complaint with TUI and demanded an explanation and an amended marriage certificate. They did not get a satisfactory response and remained unmarried according to their paperwork.
Ten months later, with our support, the couple have finally been issued with the correct wedding certificate and TUI have agreed to pay compensation for their distress and ruined wedding. Thanks to TUI’s incompetence, it took this couple almost a year to officially be husband and wife.
I Do? More Like Too Good To Be True
Reflecting on Emma and Peter’s sad situation, David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: “This couple were let down by TUI in what was supposed to be one of the most special times in their lives. They were led to believe that TUI had the skill and expertise to plan and successfully carry out a wedding which in this case was ultimately wrong.
“What’s more is that when notified of the issues the couple had, TUI failed to acknowledge the severity of their failures to meet the terms of their agreement with the couple.
Ultimately, when booking a destination wedding package there is an agreement in place to have a wedding in a venue in line with that described prior to booking and valid, legally binding wedding documentation after.
“This is not the first instance we have heard whereby a wedding package provider has failed to fulfil basic requirements for a sound wedding”.
Consumers Are Protected From Mis-sold Holidays
We feel passionately about rectifying wrongs when holiday providers have pulled the wool over consumers’ eyes, and we’re well equipped to pursue missold holiday claims and wedding packages. We can act on behalf of couples for the diminution in the value of a holiday or wedding, breach of contract and loss of enjoyment and disappointment.
In circumstances where a destination wedding has been ruined by the wedding provider, they may well be protected by consumer rights established in the law.
In line with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the wedding package should be carried out with reasonable care and skill and there is a reasonable expectation for the wedding package provider to carry out due diligence in this.
We’re committed to fighting for justice on behalf of wronged newlyweds seeking compensation for them against holiday providers who have sold them a lie. We help to enforce consumer rights, holding big businesses to account.
As well as this, under the Package Travel Regulations (2018), the package provider has a responsibility for the performance of the package irrespective of whether the services are performed by them directly or not. Under the Regulation, it is also implied that any brochure or advertising means in relation to the wedding, be accurate.
Ultimately, when booking a destination wedding package there is an agreement in place to have a wedding in a venue in line with that described prior to booking and valid, legally binding wedding documentation after. If this is not delivered, the wedding provider is in breach of that agreement and the consumers may be able to recover compensation because of this.
David Bott added: “Companies offering such important services to people should ensure they have the competency to do so effectively. When they fail to carry out the terms of the agreement, it is important that they be held accountable and compensate those affected accordingly”.