From deposits to announcements this is the blog NO ONE wants to read. You are as happy as can be. He asked and you said "YES! " You are now planning away. As you meet with event professionals you realize every vendor asks for a deposit. Here is the guide you don't want, but may need.
1. Why deposits and why are they non-refundable:
Vendors loose money on cancelled contracts. A DJ charging $1500.00 has you put down a $750 deposit for your wedding in McCall. The DJ company than gets a call from 5 other brides wanting that September 12th date. They kindly turn down other brides because they have the date booked. They book a room and but down their deposit on their lodging so they can accommodate you into the late night hours. They plan their weekend strategically around your event. 5 weeks prior you cancel. That DJ then scrambles to cancel their hotel reservations and is greeted with a "no" from the lodging establishment. Your cancelled wedding causes a ripple effect. That is why there are non-reundable deposits. It is not that these vendors are not feeling sorry for you. They are simply out money as well. They have planned their last 6 months to a year around you getting married as well. They are out a significant amount of upfront costs.
Good contracts may have a refund policy -- i.e., you may be able to get back a certain percentage of any deposits you made if the party is canceled by a certain date. Providing it is allotting enough time to rebook their services etc... The closer it is to the actual wedding date, the less likely you are to get any money back. Venues and other wedding professionals are simply protecting their own business.
If there's nothing in the contract you signed about a refund policy, you are simply out of luck. When discussing your contract with each vendor talk about the refund policy. Always hope for the best and plan for the worst.
2. If your event ends up CANCELLED what can you do?
There are a number of websites that sell wedding contracts. You could also call around to local area non-profits and see if they are in need. Depending on the time frame of the cancellation you could possibly arrange to turn your tragedy in to a tax-deductible contribution to a non-profit.
3. Many of your guests have already made travel arrangements.
If you set up a hotel block, call the hotel and explain the situation. Honesty is definitely always the best policy (don't try to make up a story about why you need to cancel your block). Read your hotel cancellation policy before booking the room block. Many hotels may require a few months' notice—then work with them to see what they can do for you and your guests. Airline flights are a different matter completely. It's inconvenient, but your guests need to call the airline directly to work something out. Try to have your family plan a family reunion and enjoy the vacation time anyway. Utilize the deposits and try to revamp the plans to enjoy the time despite the tragedy of the cancelled event.
4. Do we have to explain why we're not getting married?
"No" letting guests know the wedding is cancelled is enough at this point. There will be plenty of opportunity later to confide in family and friends about the situation. It is best to limit discussions to not make the situation more complex The less you say the more likely you are going to hurt each other further.
5. What about the honeymoon?
Take it! Go with a friend. Relax and enjoy! Airlines, cruises and others will often switch the name on tickets, etc... with just a few small changes. If you are not up for the trip and can not get your money back send your parents or grandparents. Great opportunity for you to gift a loved one with a wonderful gift. Ask your travel agency about fees and what it takes to change the name of the traveler.
Last the world did not end simply because your wedding was cancelled. Always look for the silver lining. Do something special for yourself and celebrate instead of letting the sadness consume you. Broken hearts do not heal easily and having the wedding on top of that can make it worse. Take care of yourself. Find a good outlet like YOGA or a spa day.
Life will continue after an event is cancelled. We hope this blog is helpful. Feel free if you are a bride that has had a cancelled wedding to share your thoughts, horror stories and more in the comment section. Here is to well wishes and to finding true love!