Broadly speaking, if you have to cancel your wedding (not postpone), expect one of three outcomes:
Because external financial forces shape a wedding suppliers Covid-19 refund policy, this blog is not designed to be judgmental in any way; each supplier must do what they believe to be right for their situation. This blog represents my personal thoughts and feelings on how I should treat my couples. It is definitely not advice on how every supplier in the wedding industry should treat theirs. I've chosen this policy because it's how I would want to be treated. It is best described through this real-life story about Jennie and Francois, who were forced to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus:
Thanks for your email. After much thought here's my reaction:
I've been looking at social media to see how wedding companies have dealt with cancellations, many fight to retain deposits.
I've also looked outside my industry to see how larger companies deal with it. Many refuse to give deposits back, and I've seen the upset and financial pain this caused those that trusted them. I've also been victim to this through a holiday company that is so far refusing to return several thousand pounds that I paid for a family holiday.
Yet on the other side, I see frontline staff giving something so much more valuable than money during this deadly pandemic.
By business, head says "Terry, your agreement is transparent: If you cancel, your deposit is non-refundable." Yet even though refunding will impact my finances and my family, my heart says it is morally wrong to keep it.
We may never meet again, but should we ever do, my future self needs to be able to look back to how I treated you during the coronavirus. And this is why I've refunded your money in full Jennie, stay safe, protect the ones you love.
Sorry for the delay in replying - we were waiting to hear back from most of our suppliers before assessing the overall impact for our wedding finances.
Responses from suppliers have been dramatically different - complete polar opposites from some.
You have been the only supplier to offer a full refund - says a lot about you as a person ❤️ - but we have decided it wouldn't be right to accept a full refund only from you. We'd prefer to have a fair and similar arrangement with everyone we wanted to work with for our original wedding, who was able to be fair and generous of heart to us in this difficult time, so we'd like you to have back a third of the deposit.
One supplier, not only would not consider refunding our deposit but also remained insistent on requiring an additional 50% from us on our original wedding date, and told me they were being flexible by not charging us a fee to move the date! They did not seem to take on board anything I'd explained in my email about our personal circumstances and our upsetting conclusion that the wedding will not be able to go ahead in the way we'd expected/planned for. That supplier has now lost our trust. Sadly, we have no choice but to let go our deposit with her to draw a line under that relationship.
It was this supplier and another one who'd also reacted to the fact our date would be affected by the coronavirus by asking us for an extra upfront commitment financially, that meant we felt pushed to clarify the refund policies of our suppliers.
We really are thankful for your kindness and moral compass - where other businesses have no conscience at all.
Your heartfelt reply shows you are above and beyond a brilliant human being compared to your industry colleagues, we feel very lucky and privileged to have found you - and are hopeful one day, we will have the honour to have you hosting and DJing an amazing and well needed party for us.
Although today, we frustratingly and heartbreakingly can't plan to have the proper party we'd dreamt of for our marriage this summer, when hopefully there comes a time that we can commence planning a party again, (be that a belated wedding-blessing celebration/some other family party within the next 18months).
If we never get to secure our DJ Terry experience that we were so looking forward to and wanted so much, that will be a loss in itself, and we wish you the best and send you our love.
All best wishes
Jennie and Francois