Post # 1
we are cancelling/postponing our wedding, we will more than likely not have the wedding at the venue we booked when we do get married. I recently found out I am pregnant so we have decided to wait til after the baby, and will more than likely have to downsize and cut back. We paid the deposit in September. She mentioned she’d send me a contract that week, and realized in October I still had not received a contract. I emailed her asking for a contract and for some reason she re-sent a list of items we could use at the venue that we had already turned into her. This was not a mistake, as she mentioned in the email she didn’t realize she had not sent that list. Confused, I told her we had already sent that list to her before but I resent it again. I Haven’t heard from her since. So now that we are cancelling, I e-mailed her and explained the situation, and also mentioned we never got a contract and asked if she could possibly refund our deposit. I have sent her 2 emails and still no answer. So my question is, can she legally keep the deposit without a signed contract?
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Why did you agree to pay a deposit before receiving and reviewing the contract? That is really strange and rather unprofessional. To answer your question I honestly don’t know but hopefully others do. I’d assume you should have no problem getting your money back but was there ever any type of verbal or written agreement between you and the venue besides a contract regarding the deposit?
ETA: OP I really hope you paid this with a credit card. At least this way you can dispute it with the company. Did not notice this was paid back in September. Why did you let three months go by? Hoping for the best but please think things like this through better going forward. Never, ever pay a deposit without specific agreed upon terms in writing.
Post # 3
WHY would you give them money with no contract? Do you have a receipt? Proof that you gave them a deposit? What ‘reason’ did you give for wanting to cancel?
Post # 4
Usually when you cancel, you don’t get the deposit back. Companies do the deposit in case you back out.
Post # 5
Probably. The contract would have spelled out whether the deposit was refundable or not. Unless she clearly stated to you that the deposit was refundable if you change your mind, and remembers this and admits to it (or you have witnesses) there’s probably not much you can do to get the money back.
Post # 6
This sounds fishy on so many levels.
First off, why did you agree to give a deposit without a contract?
Second, the whole thing of sending her the list and then having her resending it and tell you that she hasn’t gotten it makes her seem unprofessional and unorganized.
Finally, if she is not answering your email. There’s a good chance she has just decided to take your money and run with it. Hopefully you have some kind of proof that you payed it so you have something to fall on if you need to take matters into your own hands.
In the future, please never give a deposit before signing a contract. Also, it’s a good chance you will not get that deposit back as companies usually keep it as profit in case you cancel.
Post # 7
Because you handed over money without a signed contract, there’s not much help people can provide. The contract would detail out the cancellation clauses and what, if any, refund you are entitled to.
You’re probably out of luck in getting your money back. The lack of response, the disorganized mess, and lack of a contract are all working against you. Never, ever, ever give money to someone without a written agreement for what you’re getting for it.
Post # 8
You should be talking to whoever actually owns the venue. (hopefully it’s not her.) If there is someone else you can talk to, I think you can get your deposit back because you have no contract with them. They have your money and have not given you anything in return. They also never gave you the promised contract. If they refuse, it seems pretty winnable in small claims court.
And you don’t have to throw in the baby information – that is not the issue. The issue is you gave money, received nothing for it, and have no contract.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2014 - Nazareth Hall
My mother in law told me that if it is a “deposit” it is refundable, but if it’s a “retainer” it is not. Not sure how accurate that is, but something to consider. That said, I work at a venue and we issue no refunds of any kind. If you cancel, you forfeit the money. BUT we would never take someone’s money without a signed contract or at least having them review the contract and sending one to them first (lots of our couples mail in their contracts from our of state and pay with credit card over the phone) so they have a contract out. If you don’t have a contract from them, legally it wouldn’t hold up in court if you chose to take it that far.
Post # 10
When we postponed and downsized our wedding, we forfeited all deposits. That’s what was laid out in all our contracts. You pay them a deposit, and they hold that date for you, turning away all other potential clients. That is what the deposit is for.
Post # 11
BrightGreen : That’s what was laid out in all our contracts.
That’s the difference here…. the OP never received a contract.
Post # 12
sure, hence why I made the distinction. But the point is still that the purpose of the deposit is to retain the date, which they are presumably doing, so I can’t see why a lack of contract would somehow entitle the OP to a refund.
Post # 13
We put a deposit on a venue (it was needed to reserve the date). We never received a contract from our first venue, despite asking for it many many times. Most recently, they fired the coordinator and haven’t hired another and in this process, decided to raise the prices drastically (over 2x what I was originally quoted).
We contacted them, told them all of our issues, and canceled that venue. My deposit was returned in 3 days. So maybe there’s hope for yours as well.
Post # 14
I think this is going to be a situation where you learn from a costly mistake. Never hand over money without a contract. With that contract you really have no leg to stand on, because there’s nothing written in stone saying what happens if you cancel.
Post # 15
Do you remember what they told you about whether it was refundable or partially refundable? You can still have a “contract” without having a formalized document that you both sign. You can have an oral contract or you can have a contract that is made up of your emails back and forth. You could have a contract that consists of an invoice or receipt.
But you can try to get it back. If your wedding is still a long ways out they might be willing to just be generous and give it back, especially if they deviated from their normal contract routine.