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Bride fires Kamloops wedding planner, then sues

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A bride has lost a legal challenge against a Kamloops wedding planner after she fired her two weeks before the wedding.

According to a March 27 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, Layne Ongman hired wedding planner Emily Pearson who owns Bella Giorno Events to provide "day of coordination" services for her June 25, 2022, wedding.

However, things didn't go too well between Ongman and the wedding planner and the bride fired Pearson two weeks before her big day. She then launched a case at the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal arguing for the $1,500 she'd paid Pearson to be refunded.

The decision says Ongman paid $1,500 for the "day of coordination" service. The package included "final preparation" in the four weeks before the wedding and coordination on the wedding day itself.

The package stipulated it was for "couples who had their day planned but wanted, help finalizing details and executing their beautiful day."

In the decision, Ongman argues that Pearson had failed to contact her wedding vendors.

As evidence, Ongman submits an email from the venue saying it did not receive any communication from the wedding planner about Ongman wedding.

However, the Tribunal finds this piece of evidence is contradicted by an email from the wedding planner to the venue asking about a "load in" time.

"I place significant weight on this documentary evidence, and I find it shows the (wedding planner) contacted the... wedding venue on May 31, 2022," the Tribunal rules.

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The wedding planner also submitted emails sent to other vendors which show she was in contact with some vendors weeks before the wedding.

"I find this evidence supports (the wedding planners) submissions that she was taking steps to contact the... vendors," the Tribunal rules.

However, Ongman submits more emails and texts from wedding vendors saying they hadn't heard from the wedding planner.

In the decision, Ongman alleges that Pearson was being "dishonest" about contacting the vendors.

However, the Tribunal points out Ongman's own submissions say that the wedding planner contacted some of the vendors and the Tribunal dismissed the allegation of dishonesty.

Ongman goes on to say the contact the wedding planner with the vendors was not "meaningful" and was not enough to have successfully organized the wedding.

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However, Tribunal points out the package Ongman bought was intended for couples who had already arranged all their own vendors.

"The bulk of the 'day of coordination' services described in the contract were to be provided on the day before, and the day of the wedding. The contract said the... day of coordination services would occur during the last four weeks leading up to and including the wedding day," the Tribunal rules.

"The contract also said the (wedding planner) would ensure an itinerary was set in place for the vendors and the wedding party. However, the contract did not say that the (wedding planner) was required to contact all the vendors at the start of the four-week period, or on any other specific date before the wedding day," the Tribunal rules. "Based on the contract’s wording, I find the (wedding planner's) only role with the vendors was to ensure they were coordinated and organized for the wedding day itself."

The Tribunal says that while the bride may have wanted more frequent communication with the wedding planner leading up to her wedding day the evidence doesn't show that the wedding planner failed to reasonably communicate with her.

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Ultimately, the Tribunal rules the wedding planner didn't breach the contract and dismisses the bride's claim.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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