As soon as their vows were said, Steph and Paul Unwin were ready to begin their marriage in the right way. They were still excited about their wedding day and were ready to see the photos that were taken of the big day. Instead of beautiful memories, what they received shocked them and broke their hearts. It was so bad that the couple was forced to take legal actions.
Paul and Steph, who are from Bollington, Cheshire, planned their wedding for June of 2015. They wanted everything to be perfectly planned. When they were choosing a photographer, they found a photographer through his advertisements on Facebook, named David Kilcourse. Everything looked good when they asked him for examples of his work.
“The pictures he showed us before we booked him were really nice, well-done photos,” explained Steph. The couple decided to hire him because they could tell that he had worked lots of weddings before. They paid for a package that would have pictures of the entire day, including the bride getting ready, the meal, the ceremony, and the reception. They noticed the first red flag on the day of the wedding.
Kilcourse didn’t show up until right before it was time for the ceremony to start. “He didn’t turn up until after the groom’s arrival, by which point we were all ready,” said Steph. The couple let his late arrival slide because they didn’t want to let it ruin their special day. Even though there was a bit of bad weather, everything seemed to go as planned. Unfortunately, they would receive a horrible surprise days after the wedding.
The package that the couple paid for included a photo album of the days events, a CD and two prints, and all of the images were to be color-corrected and edited. The couple patiently waited, but there was still no word from Kilcourse. Steph was eventually forced to reach out to Kilcourse and complain. His response wasn’t exactly what they wanted to hear.
The couple only received a CD from Kilcourse. As soon as they opened it, they were disappointed to find out that none of the photos were edited. “He claimed the pictures he’d sent us were edited but they weren’t. My husband wore a grey suit but in the pictures, it looked blue,” explained Steph. Sadly, over a third of the photos were out of focus, as well. Kilcourse didn’t see a problem with the images.
“When we received them, he’d taken 1,636 images and 559 were out of focus. He called them ‘misfires’,” said Steph. The couple wanted to make the best out of the situation, so they went through all of the photos to find ones that were good enough to frame. That’s when they found something shocking.
Many of the photos were taken of Steph’s bridesmaids, zoomed in on their legs, buttocks, and cleavage. “He took pictures of one of my bridesmaid’s breasts, some of her bum. There were more pictures of just the bridesmaids than anything else. I’m sure he was doing that on purpose,” Steph explained. The photographer denied the claims when confronted, but the photos spoke for themselves.
While there were 70 pictures of the bride, and only 11 of the groom, there were 96 pictures of just the bridesmaids. “He didn’t get family pictures and missed my mum, dad, and in-laws,” said Steph. “When he takes three pictures of someone’s bum, that’s not an accident.” The Unwins were furious and asked for their money back.
Kilcourse claimed he provided what he was paid to do and refused to give them their money back. “It’s a matter of opinion that we didn’t fulfill the package,” he claimed. “Steph said that we didn’t take any outside shots of the wedding when it was pouring it down all day. According to my terms and conditions, we say that we can’t control the weather.” Despite what he claimed, the couple refused to give up.
Steph and Paul decided to sue Kilcourse for breach of contract. Their day in court was scheduled for September of 2016. Kilcourse didn’t show up to court. The judge ruled in the couple’s favor, ordering Kilcourse to pay $840. Even though the couple was happy with the outcome, they’re still sad that they lost those memories.
“He caused so much heartache. We have so many moments missing from our big day,” explained Steph. “Thankfully we had a videographer.” Once the couple got past the inappropriate pictures of the bridesmaids, they realized that all the other photos showed the lack of professionalism and Kilcourse’s poor skills.
“On pictures he took using the photo booth, you can see hanging equipment and the metal frame in the background,” said Steph. Steph reached out to some of the other clients of Kilcourse, and she wasn’t surprised to hear that others had complaints, as well. But, of course, Kilcourse continues to believe he did nothing wrong.
“As a company, we did over 1,000 weddings and we only had, probably in all that time, 10 complaints of that severity,” claimed Kilcourse. “They claimed I had taken inappropriate images but they cropped the pictures down.” Even though he claimed that he was innocent, he didn’t feel he should defend himself in course.
“The reason I didn’t turn up to court was that it was in Nottingham, it would have cost me a fortune,” claimed Kilcourse. He says that he’s completely done with the wedding business. “I got so much hassle through weddings that I just stopped doing it. The company has folded since then. As far as I’m concerned it’s all done and dusted.”