The couple wanted to press the flowers as part of the memorabilia from their wedding day. Stock image. Photo / 123RF
One couple’s wedding day went from dream to disaster when the company responsible for their reception overcharged for champagne and threw the nuptial blooms in the bin.
The couple has now been awarded some damages after taking the wedding company to the Disputes Tribunal.
According to a decision released earlier this year the couple, who are only identified as BT and NS, entered into a “Wedding Agreement” with a company Q Ltd in August 2021.
But, when it came time for the big day they claim the service fell short and so they sought $4979.75 for what they believed were multiple failings by Q Ltd.
The couple has walked away with just $406 of that claim after Q Ltd admitted to an excessive charge on champagne and throwing away the wedding flowers at the end of the night, meaning they couldn’t be pressed and stored as mementoes.
BT and NS believed the flowers would be kept for them to collect the morning after their wedding, and the tribunal ruled it was an implied term in their contract.
When staff from Q Ltd were packing up after the reception, a decision was made to bin the blooms as they had wilted, were in poor condition and therefore had no value.
However, the value to the newlyweds was to have the opportunity to press and preserve the flowers as memorabilia “of their special day”.
Some flowers had been knocked over in unstable vases, meaning they had been without water and wilted through the evening, but others had still held their pose.
The couple claimed 60 per cent of $870, the original cost of the flowers, based on advice from their florist, but the tribunal reviewed evidence including pictures and awarded just 25 per cent.
Other claims, such as a refund for inadequate service from staff, extra photographers’ cost because of the day running behind schedule and compensation for emotional harm and loss of reputation were denied.
The compensation claim for emotional harm and reputational damage by the couple was $3217.
The selection of staff was adequate, according to the tribunal, which dismissed the claim by BT and NS.
Service complaints, including the fact two side dishes of rice couldn’t be served and some plates were missing one or two slices of meat, didn’t mean standards fell below adequate levels.
BT and NS were unable to prove “to the required evidential standard” that the photographer’s increased cost was due to service staff, and the claim was denied by the tribunal.
The claim itself had been heard over two “lengthy” hearings and said all parties, NT, NS, Q Ltd and their staff, had been looking forward to an outcome and to bring matters to a close.
Hazel Osborne is an Open Justice reporter for NZME and is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington. She joined the Open Justice team at the beginning of 2022, previously working in Whakatāne as a court and crime reporter in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.