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| p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Phone call from father of bride about final payment |
You handled it well enough by looping your client in on the problem. The result speaks for itself.
It's worth establishing something for the record, since so many people urged you to make demands of the bride. In most states, the father's threat is not legally material to the contract because he is not a party to the contract. Therefore, his threat alone does not justify unilateral action on your part, including making unilateral demands of the bride. If your customary form of payment for the final payment includes credit cards, and the bride insisted on paying with her own credit card (and told you her dad has no say in the matter), then refusing her credit card payment would put you in the position of breaching the contract.
By contrast, if she reiterated the charge-back threat, or told you she planned to pay with her father's card (or some other form of payment her father controlled), then you'd have a party to the contract notifying you of intent to breach, in which case a unilateral demand on your part for a more secure payment form might be warranted.
It's dangerous to go off half-cocked when third parties attempt to inter-meddle with the contractual relationship.
I especially appreciate Todd's advice, here, because the father had no authority to interfere with the existing agreement. There might have been an opportunity to make a friend out of the father by calmly engaging him, and helping him trust you. The father likely thinks of you now as an adversary. I think the bride's comment -- that she has retained control over only the photography -- is fascinating. It may be that the father is incorrigible, but it's more likely he's just difficult, and could have been won over. "Difficult" is just a challenge. Whether you choose to rise to it or not depends on skill and your assessment of the upside of doing so.