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Beginner May 2021

Breach of Contract?

Erin, on December 15, 2020 at 1:47 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 36
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My DJ recently announced over Facebook that all his 2021 wedding will be required to wear masks or else he is refusing to play music. While I personally have no issue wearing a mask (even though its my wedding) I have guests who will be attending that simply won't. My question is since this is now required and not part of the original contract I signed, am I allowed to cancel without paying the remaining balance? I simply cannot control a large amount of guests on who wears a mask and my other vendors are not requiring it, rather it is based on comfort. This has greatly upset me as my wedding is in May of 2021 and who knows what that will like from then, but I cannot guarantee his demands will be met and I will be out thousands of dollars if he refuses to play based on my guests decision.

36 Comments

Latest activity by Marie, on December 17, 2020 at 8:55 AM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    He is within his rights to do so. You have to ask him specifically what his cancellation policy is, as every vendor is different in how they are handling the pandemic.
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  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    I would assume it depends on if masks are mandated in your area or not.
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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    The contract was done before the pandemic, so if he wished to do this he should have drawn up a new contract for all his brides to sign. The cancellation policy mentions nothing about COVID or mask mandates as it is something I would not have signed as I have no control over my guests and it states if he is unable to perform his duties for any reason, a new DJ would be assigned, but this is for his company wide.

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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    While current restrictions have increased, we don't know what the late spring will look like which is why I don't see this as a wise move. They stated that if restrictions decreased they will remove their mandate, but I can't chance that as even if I comply and my guests do not, he will refuse to play and I would be out that money.

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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
    • Flag

    Note* I emailed him explaining if I could speak with his over the phone to ask some questions and he rudely said he was not going to negotiate public safety and that I could blame it on other vendors. His unprofessionalism and rudeness is enough to make me want to cancel outright.

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  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag

    I would ask him what his cancellation policy is just in case. What are you going to do if masks are required in your area period? Do you think your guests still simply won't wear them?

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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    Yasmine,

    If masks are mandated are required and the state is going to be policed 24/7, then I will likely postpone, however it is the dependent on the venue to encourage mask wearing. It isn't that I think my guests won't wear them, it is I have guests who simply won't. My wedding and reception are both outside as well allowing for social distancing.

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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    I agree with this. Ask about the cancellation policy. If he's changing his requirements and you aren't OK with the new policies, I would request that he refund you so you can find a new DJ (maybe search for a new DJ first before cancelling your current one).
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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    I have researched a few and planning on seeking legal counsel to aid in the matter. While I understand COVID has made things difficult for all, I simply cannot control my guests desires to wear a mask. It's just not in my heart to do it I guess.. Like I said, I personally would do it if people were comfortable, but I key people who are coming to the wedding have already stated they won't wear one and that is their right (selfish or not) but I can't chance my DJ refusing to play after I have paid. Thank you Lisa!

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  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
    • Flag
    I would definitely check your contract for the cancellation policy details. Every single one of my vendors included a cancellation policy in their contracts. Most of them simply state if the remaining balance (after deposit) is not paid within 30 days of the wedding, then they will consider it a cancellation by the couple. The remaining balance does not have to be paid, but they will keep the deposit.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    Totally makes sense! You can try to require it, but you're correct that you can't always enforce it, otherwise you'd spend more time enforcing the masks instead of enjoying your wedding. I would check whether your current DJ would be willing to fully refund you so you can find a DJ who would be willing to play. Hoping for the best for you!
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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    His cancellation policy through a regular cancellation is that if I cancel before the second installment which is January 1st that I still have to play the second installment, but not the third. However, since he is adding to the contract without consulting me and me not agreeing, I feel as if I shouldn't have to pay as I feel forced to cancel based on the false guarantee that everyone will wear a mask which I have guests who I have told about this say they will refuse. Unfortunately, they are key people in the wedding.

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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    It's definitely unfortunate that many people have to decide between their own health and safety and making a living these days. That's one of the biggest tragedies of this pandemic, beyond the actual deaths.

    Setting that aside, since no one can solve that, I would talk to a lawyer about the contract. Lay people can't tell you what would or wouldn't be "breach of contract" so you'll need to consult an expert.

    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
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    Oh wow, I’ve never heard of that before. I have a feeling there will be a lot of pushback on this from his clients- especially if he is already mandating this for the entire year of 2021 before the year has even begun! If you do not pay the second installment, he would have to pay for a lawyer or take you to small claims court. If he has a lot of cancellations due to this policy, I doubt he’s going to follow through with all that. But you never know! You may want to seek legal advice on it. It’s so hard telling which side the law will be on in these situations. It seems to differ from one state to another. If masks are mandated at that time, I’m sure the law would be on his side. However, if mask mandates have been lifted by then, I would assume he would be in the wrong. Another concern I would have would be him suing you if he were to get sick. There have been tons of cases won by employees who have sued their employers for not requiring masks, thus putting them in “unsafe working conditions”. So no matter what, I definitely think a different DJ would be the route to go. Lord forbid he play your event and some of your guests not wear masks and he gets sick and sues you.
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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    Chrysta,

    I definitely think he has gotten pushback as he has stated if restrictions are lifted then they will rethink their decision. However, I am not willingly trying to cancel the contract, but I feel as if it is being done for me. There is no guarantee that my guests will follow this guideline he has implemented and as you said he could easily sue me even if I am following his rule. For everyone, I am planning on seeking legal advice on this, but I was more looking to see if anyone else has had a breach in contract before even not COVID related. This was thrown upon me without even consenting me before an announcement was made. I feel like I am not even a client let alone a friend which they harp on in their business pitch.

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  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    Well hopefully masks won't be required at that time then. Goodluck

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  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I appreciate your feedback and congratulations on your recent wedding. I hope it was everything you wanted it to be!!

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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    Will your guests comply if it is state mandated that they have to wear a mask? I know in the state I live (Maryland) that masks are currently mandated and will likely continue to be so. I am pregnant and at my one appointment I asked the doctor if she thinks the Covid restrictions will remain in effect until I give birth (due May 1st) and her response was that she thinks she the restrictions will remain in effect until at least summer if not longer. Unfortunately, I think there is a very good possibility that the Covid restrictions remain for quite some time.
    • Reply
  • E
    Beginner May 2021
    Erin ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Masks are already encouraged throughout the state, but I am confident that even if masks are mandated, I will have a few guests who will refuse. That seems to be the issue of the above comments is that no matter if it is mandated or not, there will be those who will refuse and unfortunately, these people are key guests at the wedding. The point is that what the DJ is doing is not part of our original contract and even if I comply, there will be a few who will not, which means the $2250 I will have spent will be for nothing as the DJ plans of refusing to play music. I believe COVID restrictions will last, however I cannot control people's desire to wear them or not. That is what the issue is with my DJ is that he thinks his microphone will magically make everyone comply.

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    If mandated at any level (local, state, federal, or required by his or your venue's insurance) he is fully within his right to add a masking requirement to his conditions of service without renegotiating your contract. Regardless of regulations, the pandemic could also be considered an "act of God" which is covered within most contracts. At the very least, if you decided you wanted a different DJ you should expect to forfeit your deposit. I don't know if you would be on the hook for the remaining balance.

    Frankly, I don't know why you'd be willing to wear a mask at your own wedding that you are hosting but wouldn't expect everyone else to. If I was spending thousands of dollars on a party for people to have a good time, I would be insulted if a guest felt that their own "freedom" was more important than my safety and wouldn't want to enjoy my party less and put others at risk just so someone else didn't have the inconvenience of covering their face during a pandemic. I think its great that your DJ is making a sound safety decision based on science and being an advocate for his own safety and well being and demonstrating responsibility towards the community. Your issue should be with the guests who won't mask up, not the DJ, and if you feel like you can't require or enforce that others act safely, you should reconsider whether you should have a wedding of that size with those guests during a time when two Americans are dying every minute from Covid-19.

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