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There is a problem with my wedding venue or supplier – what are my rights?

Coronavirus and Weddings: What Are My Rights?

If you are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your upcoming wedding, the first thing you need to do is speak to the venue and any suppliers you have made arrangements with to find an acceptable way forward – for example, a new appointment to agree .

  • When your venue or supplier cancels You are entitled to a refund for what was canceled. If you have wedding insurance, speak to your provider and review the terms of your policy to determine exactly what is covered.
  • If you cancel or postpone Talk to your venue and your supplier and try to arrange a postponement to a later date. Also, check the schedules in your venue and supplier cancellation policies – this could save you a lot of money by acting sooner rather than later. If this is not possible and you have to cancel, you can pay fees that have already been paid – especially if you have only given a short notice period.
  • More information about Your right to a refund if coronavirus affects your wedding.

According to the law, deposits cannot be “non-refundable”. If a company is keeping your money, ask for a breakdown of why it is non-refundable. Read more about this below.

We spoke to 12 of the UK’s largest wedding insurers about how coronavirus affects their policies and what your rights are if your wedding is canceled. What does coronavirus mean for your wedding insurance?

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Wedding insurance

Don’t you wanna take the risk Read our Which? Money wedding insurance reviewsCompare the cost and coverage of wedding insurance policies offered by all the insurers in the market. This includes the cheapest wedding insurance and cost-saving tips from Which?

Cancellation of wedding venues

Availability can sometimes be an issue with venues where some go broke or even get double booked.

Read the fine print on your contract before committing to a location for your wedding ceremony or reception.

If you need to postpone or cancel the date, what are your rights? See what cancellation fees may apply and what deadlines apply.

I have to cancel my wedding location

Nobody wants to find out that they have to cancel or postpone their wedding date, but it can happen – for example due to a family illness.

And you may have already paid a deposit or even the full cost of your venue.

Typically, when you cancel your venue, only an amount of money is allowed to be held to cover actual losses.

For example, if you cancel the day before your wedding day, it is unlikely that the venue will be able to cover all costs.

If you quit on short notice, the company has reasonable reasons to keep most – if not all – of your deposit minus any savings.

Possibly by canceling orders, staff, or when it is able to reuse inventory at a later date (e.g. bottled alcohol).

In some cases they may charge a cancellation fee. If so, it should be explained in your contract.

It is reasonable to expect that your venue will give you a full or partial refund if you cancel in a timely manner as they may resell the booking.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says non-refundable deposits can only represent a small percentage of the total price. Read our guide on how to do this Request a non-refundable deposit.

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Do I have to pay a cancellation fee?

A cancellation fee isn’t necessarily fair just because it’s included in the contract you’ve signed. If you are faced with a cancellation fee it must be reasonable.

Cancellation fees should be a true estimate of the company’s direct loss.

In order to be clear about all costs, it is a good idea to inquire about the cancellation fee and see when it would apply before signing a contract.

My wedding venue went broke

If your wedding venue goes under management, you will need to register your refund claim with the administrator.

This can be time consuming and does not guarantee a refund of your entire deposit or venue fee.

If you paid part or all of the event fee by credit card, you can make a claim under Section 75.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act equally makes your credit card provider liable for your losses as long as the value of your purchases is between £ 100 and £ 30,000.

You can also consider getting your money back from your wedding insurance.

There is a problem with a wedding supplier

Whether you’re having a problem with an absent DJ, a wedding dress disaster, or a catering disaster, the same consumer laws apply.

The Consumer Rights Act states that any product you buy or rent – such as a wedding dress, suit, or cake – must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.

And any service that you pay for – such as catering, DJ or transportation – must be provided with “reasonable care and expertise”.

This means that if something goes wrong or is far below expectations, you can request a full or partial refund.

It’s always a good idea to explain any problem to the service provider right away in the day – they may be able to fix the problem there and then.

And don’t forget, you can also seek additional compensation for emotional stress if it seriously affects your enjoyment of your big day.

  • Wedding music and entertainment If your DJ or band is poor, late, or doesn’t show up, it can ruin your special day where you cannot provide service with reasonable care and expertise. Complain to the entertainment company directly, explain what went wrong, and request a refund.

    Wedding Catering If there isn’t enough food for all of your guests, you can request a partial refund for what you are running out of, or if the food is poor quality, you can claim all of your money back.

    If one of your guests feels uncomfortable after eating, they can also claim personal injury

  • The wedding dress If your wedding dress is the wrong size, design, or arrives damaged, you can file a faulty claim with the retailer.
  • Wedding photographer If you have some good quality images but the rest are missing or unusable, you can claim back some but not all of your money.
  • Wedding bouquet and flowers If all of your flowers never show up, then all of your money can be claimed back. And if they were all dead when they arrived, take photos as evidence and request a full refund.

    It gets a little trickier if just a few flowers are missing, poor quality, or incorrect – then you can request a reasonable partial refund.

    For example, if 25 out of 100 flowers were incorrect, you can reasonably request a 25% refund.

  • Late wedding transportation Your rights depend on what time it is and what the terms of the contract are. Unless otherwise stated, you can argue that the contract is to get you to the wedding services or reception by a certain time.

    However, some companies have clauses that say they can be late without being held liable.

    In this case, it is important to note what time the transport was and how reasonable the delay was. A delay of an hour is probably not appropriate – and you can still claim some money back, while a delay of ten minutes is likely to be considered acceptable.

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