Weddings are joyous occasions, and the couple wants to celebrate their love with family and friends. But, what happens when one of the guests had a little too many wine glasses and got into an accident? Is the happy couple liable for this?
Brides and grooms are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their guests at their wedding activities. When they rent a location for a wedding reception, for example, they’re accepting responsibility for returning everything they are renting and using to the venue in the same condition it was in before their main event occurred.
Couples: Expect to be given a liability waiver and damage agreement from most wedding venues you consider, but don’t let it freak you out. Just make sure that you have the standard documents and clauses, and if you get confused by all the legalese, you can Ask a Lawyer.
For example, if you have an open bar at your wedding reception, research your venue’s and/or bartender’s policy regarding liquored-up guests, that way you can plan ahead and make sure you’ll be covered in case of your uncle decides to dance on top of the bar. It happens.
Ask about what happens if your photographer leaves his equipment unattended and someone trips and falls? Who’s responsible? Maybe is the couple or those who planned, coordinated, and executed the wedding may also be potentially accused of negligence if it can be proved that they ignored safety procedures.
Further to this, you are jointly responsible with the venue to make sure the facility is safe for sober and intoxicated guests at all times. More lawsuits are brought against couples for unsafe conditions than for alcohol-related injuries.
The venue will have their insurance; you usually will not, that’s why we recommend finding wedding insurance in our how to manage your wedding vendors, it’s fundamental to protect yourself.
If you are planning a wedding and are concerned with protecting yourself from different case scenarios that will involve liability, a lawyer can help you on how to best protect yourself and your memories of your special day, while ensuring that your guests still have a great time.