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Break a verbal commitment with a vendor?

I am a bride on a beer budget, and a few months ago I was referred to a photographer who was going to give me a great deal on engagement photos and wedding photos. Given the incredible price ($1200 for e-session and 12 hour coverage on the day of the wedding), we couldn't say no (remember, beer budget!)
Recently, a good friend of mine mentioned one of her friend's husband is a professional photographer.  My fiance and I decide to meet with him, just to see what he has to say (which I'm starting to think is a mistake). My fiance was very impressed -- he came prepared w/ his assistant photographer --equipped with iPad presentation, albums (which were beautiful), etc.  Unfortunately, our original photographer had none of the above to show us during our first meeting :( --which lost some points w/ the fiance. 
Although the second photographer is a bit more ($800 more) the fiance and I are willing to increase our budget, considering we want the photos to be absolutely great (since it will capture our day forever).  The problem we have now is...  if we decide to go w/ the 2nd photographer, how do we break our vebal commitment to the first? We have already scheduled our e-session in a couple of weeks.. although no monies have been exchanged. All verbal.  Any suggestions? Is this DO NOT DO on the wedding list? Please help.

Re: Break a verbal commitment with a vendor?

  • aragx6aragx6 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    If you don't have a contract you're free to cancel. I would call him, apologize but let him know that you're going with a different vendor.
  • Agree with the PP - no contract and no money to the other vendor you are free to break your verbal agreement.

    My BF and MOH said the one regret she had at her wedding was not getting the photographer she wanted becuase it was more expensive.  When we talked about my wedding she encouraged me to go  with the best photographer that I coudl afford and that spending the extra $ on the photos was well worth it.  
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  • I say break and go for it. From what little you've said, your original photographer is worrying. Didn't bring photos or his work? No written contract? Insanely low price? (seriously, that's 100/hour plus a free e-session. that's low enough to be scary). Did you ever see the original photogs work, or just go off the price?  From what you've said, I say cut and run, fast.  The extra money will be well worth it. :)
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Actually, a verbal contract can be legally enforceable.  Did you ever make a verbal agreement, or did you just discuss making an agreement?  Did you exchange any emails confirming this?  They might be enough for him to try to bind you.  Honestly, though, verbal contracts are sort of a pain and he probably won't bother.

    I would call and be very polite and let him know that you've decided to go with another vendor.  Cross your fingers and hope he doesn't try to enforce a verbal contract.    
  • You should be fine to call Photographer #1 and cancel. 

    Just a word of caution about using your friend's husband as your photographer.  Make sure you treat him like every other vendor.  Get a WRITTEN contract this time, and make sure you pay all deposits on time.   Also, consider how this would affect your friendship with the wife if somehow things don't work out right with the husband as the photographer.   If the photos suck, or the album is late, or emails go un-answered, will it make it hard to keep your friendship?  If so, then you might want to reconsider....
  • PP is correct about verbal contracts, though I myself really don't understand how they are enforceable.  Sure, if you e-mail it or text something then you have some written proof, but how do you take someone to court over a verbal contract?  You have no proof of anything that was said (if it was all truly verbal) and it's "he said, she said."  I don't get how that works.

    But nonetheless, I had an issue with a photographer previously and this came into question.  I would call your original photographer, politely cancel, and hope that nothing more is said about it.  Most vendors I encountered did not do verbal contracts and did not consider a contract finalized until it was in writing and signed.
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