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Savvy May 1996

Deposit back on "state Cancelled" wedding

on April 16, 2021 at 11:57 PM Posted in Planning 0 3
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hi friends. need advice/guidance/gut check. my wedding was scheduled in CA during SIP almost a year ago for next month, then we decided to cancel/ postpone indefinitely and elope. questions about contract/ deposit.

my now husband and I booked a venue last may for may 2021 wedding, then decided last july to just elope with all the uncertainty in the world. we let the venue know in july and they said they'd happily refund our deposit as long as they would be able to book another wedding on our date. in july of 2020, that seemed like a pretty reasonable expectation.

fast forward to now. the clause in our contract says "In the unlikely event that *venue* must cancel the event, the full deposit will be refunded to lessee. Lessee will be notified of cancellation in writing no less than 90 days prior to the event." we understood that as if our wedding was not able to move forward for reasons that we are not cancelling on our end, we would get our deposit back. the venue said that they are not cancelling, the state is.

unfortunately with this being a very early pandemic contract, the clause we added "In the event that a pandemic or similar event occurs and *venue* is not legally permitted to host events during the scheduled date of the event, the client will have the option to have the deposit fully refunded or have it roll over to a future date." since there is no timeline included, this basically is saying we should continue moving forward with wedding plans/deposits and if on the wedding day, they are not legally permitted to hold events, then we would get a refund.

we had a frustrating phone call around the 90 days prior mark and gave in; if 3 weeks prior to our wedding date, we were still in SIP/ can't legally have wedding, we'd get our deposit back. unfortunately for us, the new CDC guidelines were released and effective two days prior to the 3 week deadline. the new guideline says that the max is 100 guests, unless everyone is vaccinated/negative then it is 300. our signed contract is for 120 people, however we have people on our guest list that are traveling internationally so need visas, flights etc. aside from the fact that vaccines are still very difficult to get in CA, and who knows about their countries. we are being expected to plan a wedding within 3 weeks, and have all of our guests vaccinated/negative, book flights, hotels etc. and move forward with the wedding. this is crazy!

all that being said, the 3 week mark is tomorrow and i'm dreading having to be the one to reach out and ask for another phone call (the lack of communication during this whole time is also disappointing). it was a large enough amount to continue pushing, and hindsight i can't believe i was willing to pay this much for a venue. we were also required to book a wedding planner, which is another deposit paid and lost (no contract clause for pandemic). even if we did push to another date, i have SUCH a bad taste in my mouth from their way of handling this, and poor business practices. while i understand this is a tough time for wedding venues/events etc, they have a related business that is in an industry that is still bringing in boatloads of cash. it feels like we are being taken advantage of, their holding our money hostage, and also worth mentioning that they just posted about a beautiful outdoor remodel that was recently finished.

3 Comments

Latest activity by Katie, on April 17, 2021 at 8:29 AM
  • JM Sunshine
    August 2020
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    I am really sorry. We just attended a wedding last weekend in CA where bride/groom were in same position. They ended up having their reception at their parent's estate (because state did not allow receptions) and the venue gave a credit to host an 'event" good for a year. Unfortunately, venues suffered so much this past year that if they can still host on the date signed for, they holding up their end.
    • Reply
  • Rebelle Fleur
    Rockstar July 2021
    Rebelle Fleur ·
    • Flag
    Is it possible for you to just change the date to next year (or two) so you won’t loose your money and use it as a vow renewal ?
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2020
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Stephanie, gosh I am so sorry you’re going through this!!! I suggest having your wedding planner join you on this phone call for support. If you/venue determine you must have the wedding, we redesigned our ceremony in 10 days. It’s a long story, but due to covid and our venue who was also difficult, we had 10 days to find a ceremony site and a complete redesign. We did it and ended up loving it. Our florist and DJ pulled together in this extremely short window and executed a ceremony of gorgeous flowers and music out of our wildest dreams!!

    If the wedding is absolutely not possible in this short of time and you are forced to use the space, could you do a retirement party for a parent or relative that retired this year? A baby shower?
    My heart goes out to you!! Hoping for a good result for you in this situation ❤️❤️❤️
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