Post # 17
They did something similar to me. We were forced to change churches, because their other church was closing.. only thing they didn’t tell us was that someone else had the church resereved for that day and that time. So not only were they going to force me to change churches, but change times as well (this was after we were already on our 2nd church).
It became a negotiation process. Did the other bride put down her deposit? Could she move hers back an hour, so I could move mine an hour closer to my time?
In the end, she ended up moving her ceremony to her reception venue.
I had a signed contract, but it was at another church (even though that church had closed) – so I was the one that was going to end up getting screwed. This all happened about 5 months before my wedding.
Post # 18
I’m so so sorry this happened to you! My .02: Contracts are there for a reason. It doesn’t matter whether the couple is on active duty, chemotherapy, or crystal meth–if you signed a contract first, then the place is yours. That’s why we have contracts. It would work the same way if you booked a photographer and then got a call from him/her saying “Hey, I got this other wedding that’s running 3 more hours than yours so I’m going to make more money, so I’m canceling.” So the bit about whomever the other couple is is irrelevant.
Personally, I guess the way I’d handle it would be keep trying to get in touch with the chaplain but start prepping for damage control–so I’d start researching different places or figuring out a phone tree just in case things fall through. And go over that contract and make sure that there’s no weird clause that allows the church to cancel at their discretion or something.
Post # 19
No, no, no. This is so wrong.
Post # 20
I agree with you in spirit. If it is still an active military base than in theory, those who are attached to the base should have the right to ‘move to the head of the line’. I feel this way because base chapels are there solely to meet the spiritual needs of those stationed there.
As a side vent, to me, saying that the AD couple can just run to the courthouse or whatever is rather rude since it is implying that the desire to have a religious ceremony at what is most likely the church they attend on a regular basis is inconsequential. When other bees come on here upset because their church is booked for the day they wanted or their favorite pastor is unable to attend NO ONE tells them that it is ok they can just run down to the courthouse, rather the bees empathize and come up with solutions that don’t involve marginalizing the role of religion in a wedding.
Please do not assume that this couple can just find another venue or move their wedding as they probably have been doing their pre-martical counseling with the base chapel thus inhibiting their ability to move to another church AND might have military dictated reasons for the timing. Seriously, I find it amazing that ANY AD member can finagle a schedule that allows them to get married at any religious location and as such believe they should get first crack at the ones that were built specifically for them.
Still, despite my personal feelings about this situation I agree that the chapel is out of line. I do not know to which base you refer, but one base in MD (based on your tag) is Ft. Meade. I found this handy little document that essentially builds your entire case: weddings are scheduled on a first come – first serve basis. At no point in this document does it even remotely imply that an AD couple has rights above and beyond any other eligible person. (which, I assume as the dependent of a retiree you qualify)
In short, fight this as your contract should be dated where you signed it and will obviously pre-date the other couple’s contract. In that case, if it is Ft. Meade, use their own SOP against them. http://www.ftmeade.army.mil/pages/chapel/wedding2010/sop.pdf
In the event that your wedding was NOT scheduled for Ft. Meade, fight it anyway. Look up that chapel’s SOP and see what it says. Good luck and don’t back down!
Post # 21
I understand the other couple is active duty, but is that three hours really the difference between them being on base and someone shipping out? Or is it just that they really want your time?
I do think this is going to come down to the date on each of your contracts, with whoever signed first winning.
As for the contract, I am not a lawyer by any means… but I believe a contract is no less legally binding without a deposit. Not all contracts require a deposit to back them and just because the services are free does not reduce someone’s contractual obligations. I mean, I think. In a non-lawyerly way.
Anyway, I’d fight it. And I’d also research your venue’s procedures just as Pengiungal06 just did for Fort Meade. And no matter what, contacting the reception venue on your behalf is simply way out of bounds and the chaplain should be told so.
Post # 22
wait, they want you to move yours back 3 hours for another wedding? why can’t the other couple take the evening time?
Post # 23
@KaitlinHudson: If it’s Aberdeen PG google “Aberdeen PG Chapel” and their wedding SOP also pops up. Good luck!
Post # 24
Ok. I’m jumping back into the conversation because I think it’s important. I really don’t mean to be annoying, but since it’s clear that some churches/chaplains agree to things without requiring any fee or deposit, I just wanted to clarify my comment from before.
It is a basic principal of contract law that one of the things you must have to elevate a PROMISE into a CONTRACT is consideration. Consideration is something of value given by one person to another (i.e. money or the use of a chapel) – and the consideration has to be mutual (from both parties). Without something more, a promise to do something is only that, a promise.
Now, this is NOT legal advice in any way. I’m just giving you contracts 101 that you will find if you google “contracts and consideration”. And there are various circumstances (like justifiable reliance) which might change things (and that could end up being the case here since the OP has made invitations and signed contracts with vendors based on the timing). But don’t assume that you have an actual contract, just because it’s written down and signed.
Again, just thought I needed to clarify my meaning from before. Good luck with everything to the OP.
Post # 25
Everyone has given you some excellent advice so I’m just going to send you good thoughts. I really feel for you–this situation sucks and you shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of stress. Good luck and I hope it all works out for the best!
@JennyW1: “active duty, chemotherapy or crystal meth”–LOL! That was hilarious!
Post # 26
Hey guys, it’s actually the pax river base, but I will definitely look it up. Also, this same thing happened to me at the reception venue. I booked our date and time, put down the deposit and the next day got a call saying the room we reserved was in use that day by another wedding. So, we got a very generous discount and were offered a better room with more amenity for no additional charge. Now it seems the SAME COUPLE’s church fell through and now they’re scrambling to find another ceremony location. The thing that gets me….their reception doesn’t start until 6 pm…. why would they need the 1 oclock wedding spot? Why can’t they take the 4 pm wedding spot? It doesn’t make sense.