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COVID-19 and Wedding Cancellations

View profile for Jessica McSorley
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A question of particular importance to anyone who was due to get married this year will be whether or not they can cancel their wedding and claim a refund. The answer to this question is very much dependent on the terms and conditions which were agreed. It is therefore essential to check any contractual documents. You may be able to seek assistance from your insurance company if you took out wedding insurance but again you will need to review the terms and conditions that are in place.

Whether or not you should cancel your wedding and the rights that you will have if you do so may vary dependent on when your wedding is due to take place and the most recent updates to the Government restrictions.

What happens if the venue provider cancels the wedding?

It is extremely unlikely that venue providers will be able to perform their contractual obligations whilst the current Government restrictions are in place. In the absence of an applicable force majure clause, the venue provider will be in breach of contract if they do not perform their contractual obligations.

If the venue provider cancels the wedding then you should be entitled to a refund however, you must check the contract to see whether any exclusions apply.

What happens if I cancel the wedding?

If you cancel the wedding then you are unlikely to receive a full refund but you may be covered by any wedding insurance that is in place. It is important that you take advice before taking steps to cancel the contract.

I have paid a deposit. Will that be refunded?

The venue provider is not automatically entitled to retain the money which you have paid even if those sums have been labelled as a non-refundable deposit. The venue provider can only retain such sums that reflect a genuine estimate of their losses. You should therefore ask for a breakdown and an explanation for the sums which they are seeking to retain. It is foreseeable that the losses of the venue provider will increase as the wedding date approaches.

Are there any alternative options?

It is important to enter into discussions with the venue provider and any suppliers at an early stage if you have concerns about your wedding date as they may be able to offer you suitable alternatives. Alternative dates should be carefully considered because parties have a duty to mitigate their losses.

If you require any advice please contact Jessica McSorley on 01562 820181 or jessica.mcsorley@mfgsolicitors.com.

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