I run a wedding decorating business and I recently provided decoration services for a client in the UK. It was a last minute booking (2 days before the event).

I requested some details from the client so that I can put a contract together, the client provided 2 separate email addresses (one for him and one for his bride-to-be). The name provided was the name of his bride-to-be, let's say for instance the name provided was Jessica. I chose Jessica's email address as the one to send the contract to as it made sense to match the email up with the name of the signee.

The client and I agreed terms and I received a deposit payment. I put together and sent a full contract to the email address on the same day. The contract was not signed after numerous messages and reminders were sent I still did not receive a signed contract. It seems the client was checking the wrong email address the whole time (I found this out after the event).

So fast forward 2 days to the event, we went ahead and provided the services as we felt it was morally the correct thing to do considering this is somebody's wedding day and we wouldn't want to ruin it.

After a whole week of chasing up the final payment the client claimed to have made the payment via online-banking, we checked numerous times in our bank account and we received nothing at all. After a few more days I finally decided I would take legal action as I have tried my best to be reasonable but the client started to ignore my phone calls and text messages.

My question is, would I still be to okay to pursue this legal claim without a signed contract? I have proof of the contract being sent along with messages from the client and I discussing and agreeing terms.

2 Answers 2


Contracts do not have to be in writing unless there is a law that says they have to be: wedding services are not such a contract AFAIK.

However, you do have a written contract which the other party has accepted by conduct.

  • So would I still have a leg to stand on without any written contract at all? Nov 7, 2017 at 10:13
  • Without a written contract, a court would look at the actions of the parties to determine what the agreement was. In such circumstances, a court often makes a quantum meruit award (a sum that is reasonable for the work done). Nov 8, 2017 at 15:36
  • Since it is very rare that someone provides wedding decorations for free, a court would very likely decide that you need paying. The problem might be to figure out the amount. If you ask for £2,000 and I claim we agreed on £1,000 then you have a problem without a written contract to get the second £1,000.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 7, 2022 at 9:44

The answer is yes! The moment she made the first payment to you she admitted liability and responsibility.

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