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Couple angry as French wedding photo deal changed in last-minute text

British surgeon pair were shocked to find cheaper replacement was hired by photographer a week earlier despite claims she had fallen ill

Iain Roy and Sarah Pywell enjoyed their wedding despite issues with the photos Pic: Iain Roy

A British couple have complained to French authorities after a wedding photographer texted at 1:00 on the day of their wedding to say she was ill – and sent a replacement she had hired for €2,750 less, almost a week before. 

Instead of having their wedding covered by photographer Katy Webb and a two person video crew, Iain Roy and Sarah Pywell, both reconstructive surgeons working for the NHS, had one French videographer cover their wedding with a movie camera. 

“He did a good job, considering, and has sent us all the raw [video still] photos and video clips he took,” said Mr Roy. 

“We will probably have to pay for someone to edit them and put into the sort of albums we had signed the contract for. 

Stressed to get text in early hours

“But what really shook us up was when he said he had been booked by Katy Webb a week before and she had not told us she would not be able to do the work we had paid her in advance to do. 

“My wife was stressed to get the message in the early hours of our wedding day. We don’t feel we have had our money’s-worth.” 

The couple have made a complaint to the DGCCRF anti-consumer fraud agency and are considering legal action. 

Ms Webb did not supply a doctor’s certificate for her absence at their wedding, which was on a Saturday at the end of July. 

The couple say she did not reply when they asked about the nature of her illness. 

The couple had signed a contract with Ms Webb, based in the Tarn department, and paid her €3,750 in two instalments. 

Replacement contracted for €1,000

On the day, her replacement told them he had been contracted for €1,000 on the Monday before the wedding; this had followed Ms Webb making a first contact with him by text on the Friday three days earlier.

He later told them that when he asked to be paid, he was told to wait because Mr Roy and Ms Pywell, who is keeping her surname, had complained about the quality of his work. 

They do not know if he has now been paid. Mr Roy said the couple had accepted that they would not see their money again, but felt that it was necessary to take action and to publicise what had happened to try to prevent others suffering the same fate. 

“We chose Katy Webb after the make-up artist for my wife recommended her. When we contacted her, she seemed professional. 

‘Our biggest mistake was to pay upfront’

“Our big mistake was to pay upfront, but she said it was the way she did business and we took it at face value. 

We do not think she can just get away with how she treated us.” 

Ms Webb spoke to The Connexion after Mr Roy told her by email that he would be talking to us. She said she would not give her side of the story about her “lovely clients” but that her lawyer would. This has not happened to date. 

Company information shows that Ms Webb registered as a photographer in France with sole trader status in 2019. Despite the complication over the photographs, the couple said they had a wonderful wedding in Camps-sur-l’Agly, near Perpignan, where Ms Pywell’s mother lives. 

“We were married in the mairie and had the reception in the village square, with wonderful caterers and everyone taking part and creating a wonderful atmosphere,” said Mr Roy

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