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Marriage & Divorce - LawCall

Tis the wedding season again as countless couples make their way to alters to profess their never-ending love – ‘til death do they part’. But as anyone who has been through a wedding knows – it is a hectic and busy endeavor.

The expense, time and effort that go into making your day special can really add up, and fast. You must reserve the caterer, venue, florist and wedding planner well in advance, and sometimes, with healthy up-front deposits.

One such bride, Lauren Serafin, had made all of the plans using her own money and some funds from mom and dad. She had made all of the above-listed reservations and had also gotten a band, made a down payment on her bridesmaids’ dresses and her own wedding gown. She had even put a deposit on the honeymoon – but it all soon came crumbling down around her.

Robert Leighton, the groom-to-be, headed to Las Vegas for his bachelor party, and that’s where trouble began. Days later, while Leighton was in the shower, a message came through on his phone; Serafin picked it up and read it: a message from a woman named Danielle whom he had met while in Vegas.

Leighton admitted that he and Danielle had only kissed, but the bride-to-be was having none of it; she tried to contact the Vegas woman, and in the process found out that her fiancé and the woman had been intimate. Leighton finally admitted the truth to Serafin.

Wedding off. Serafin requested that Leighton reimburse her the more than $62-thousand she had spent on the wedding; he refused. So, Serafin filed a civil lawsuit attempting to get back at least some of the money she had thrown away on a wedding that was now not happening.

In Illinois, where this happened, there is a statute called the Breach of Promise to Marry Act. Lauren Serafin had done everything required of her and Leighton didn’t have a leg to stand on. Instead of going to court, though, they settled for an undisclosed amount of money.

What do you think? Should the person who is cancelling a wedding, or causing it to be cancelled be held liable for the expenses?

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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