What exactly went wrong?
I see what you mean! Although it’s tempting to leave bad reviews, I must advise you against doing it because it can cloud the issue. They can start alleging they are defamatory and the last thing you need is a counterclaim.
You have a claim here for breach of contract, and breach of the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for failing to carry out the task with reasonable care and skill. You have a further claim for loss of enjoyment, stress, inconvenience, and importantly on your wedding day, loss of opportunity.
Expect the venue to deny all this, and if you do decide to issue legal proceedings, you are going to need some evidence (the more independent the better) as to the state of play and the venue.
You cannot say, “pay compensation or we will report this to the local authority with a view to getting your license taken away”. That is potentially blackmail. If you are going to complain to the local authority about the state of the venue, and the state of the service, it needs to be done completely independently of any claim.
I think you have a good claim but it’s going to be difficult evidentially to bring but certainly worth pursuing. You need to remember that if it is over £10,000, it will not be Small Claims Court and you may have to pay the venue costs if for any reason your claim fails. Whether your claim fails or succeeds would come down to the weight of evidence in your favour.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
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It doesn’t mean that you cannot bring a claim. It means that you have a verbal contract and not a written one. I verbal contract is just as enforceable as a written one, provided the terms of the contract are not in dispute.
You can also reply on your statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act.
They can pursue you for payment and you can defend their action on the basis of their common law and statutory breaches and you can also counterclaim for the loss of enjoyment opportunity stress et cetera.
It’s up to you until you wait until they case you and deal with their claim in which case, it will be in your local court whether you a few proceedings and let them defend.
Don’t worry about making the arrangements in person because the majority of this is not about the arrangements it’s about their total incompetence (from what you have said) on the day.
Assuming that the day had been perfect, even though you didn’t sign a contract, you would still be liable to pay.
If you are issuing legal proceedings against them, you have to warm them that if they do not provide you compensation and agree to write off their bill and to do so by a particular date, you will if you Small Claims Court proceedings without further notice. You can’t just issue proceedings out of the blue otherwise they can potentially claim costs against you for premature and unreasonable issue of proceedings.