Upper Marlboro, MD asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Maryland

Q: Wedding vendor is withholding funds to photographer even though contract is paid in full on my end.

I paid in full for an all-inclusive wedding where the venue would pay the third-party vendors themselves with the money I paid them. We are now three months post wedding and the photographer is withholding our pictures because they still haven't been paid. The vendor is refusing to respond to the photographer and has given me basic responses but is refusing to follow through and pay the photographer.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: So, I imagine you would like the photos asap. You can pay a lawyer to send a letter to the vendor to either pay the money they owe at once, or you will pay and then sue the vendor for breach of contract. This will cost you (1) to pay the lawyer; and (2) pay the photographer what you've already paid the vendor to pay. So, if you have the means to pay up front, you may be out of pocket for a while. The concern is that the vendor has spent your money on other expenditures (or taken it as profit or salaries and used it on their household epenses) and doesn't have the funds available to cover these obligations. They may be waiting to receive money from other customers to use that money to cover their past debts (robbing Peter to pay Paul), thus covering your expenses at the cost of not being able to afford the next customer's expenses they contracted to pay. It's a game of musical financial chairs, played by a vendor who cannot manage other people's money and spent it already. You will need to hope they don't file bankruptcy before they get more money from some other poor soul to cover your contract obligations. Then it will be the next person's problem.

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