Post # 1
Has anyone had to cancel a vendor while planning, what was your experience?
Our wedding is under 4 months away and most things have been booked for a year now but we are considering canceling our caterer. They are just so inflexible and the more we get into the details with them the more we realise they aren’t what we want. For example if we don’t want canapes we still have to pay for them, at our tasting we can only pick 3 mains to taste even though we are serving 4 on the day – it a fancy bbq so the idea is everyone would have a bit of all 4.
I have to look into the ins and outs of canceling, I have accepted the deposit is gone but I hope we don’t have to pay anything else. We haven’t signed an official contract.
Post # 2
Yes I cancelled my photographer because I impulsively booked her and it ended up not being what I wanted. The only thing I will say is to make sure you can find another caterer who is available on your day and someone you love so make sure to have a list of questions and concerns you dealt with with this caterer so you are 100% sure you’ll be happy at the end of this. Deposit is probably lost but you never know. My photographer said if she found another wedding to book on our day she would refund us and she did. But that might be a one off situation.
Post # 3
Unless there was something in writing when you paid saying it was non refundable, I’d ask for it back.
Post # 4
bibliophilacticbee : True, there isn’t anything in writing about it being non refundable or anything about having to pay X% of the balance when we canceled. I guess with it only being 4 months away they might not refund it, but we hadn’t made any agreements about what we were serving or what the cost was so there shouldn’t be grounds for us to have to pay any more.
Post # 5
zzar45 : I’d go ahead and cancel after you secure another caterer. You don’t want to cancel to find out no one else has your date free. Otherwise without a contract I’d ask for your deposit back and definitely not pay them another penny.
Post # 6
Definitely make sure you secure another caterer first. Read the fine print in your contract about canceling, too. I don’t have our catering contract near me right now but the way ours is written, the closer we are to the wedding, the more it would cost to cancel.
Out of curiosity,have you tried working with them and explaining you’re unhappy enough to be looking for other options? Or asking if you can taste the 4th entree for a small additional tasting fee? I’m sure they don’t want to lose your business, especially with your wedding so close. If they realize how serious you are, they might be willing to work with you. (I have no suggestions for the canapés situation.)
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2020 - City, State
If you can afford to lose the deposit, I say look at other options. If you find something you’re happy with that’s available for your date and meets your needs, I would place a soft hold on the date if possible, let your current caterer know that if they can’t be flexible you’ll need to hire someone else, and move from there. If the caterer is then ready to provide the tasting you require and maybe not force you to pay for things you’re not having, you can decide what you want to do from there—work with them or book the new guys. That said, if you threaten to hire someone else unless they can be flexible and then they DO ease up and you STILL hire someone else, I’m not sure you have any grounds to ask for your deposit back.
If you can afford to lose the deposit and you KNOW you want someone else, go ahead and hire someone else that meets your needs better, and let the original company know that due to their inflexibility and inability to work with your needs you’ve booked with someone else and would like your deposit back. It seems really odd to me that you would pay a deposit without sigining a contract, but if there’s no contract you may have a better chance of getting your deposit back, depending on what was agreed upon in writing via email or other methods.
If you can’t afford to lose the deposit, I would do what pps said and ask if it’s possible to pay for a tasting of more items so that you can make an educated choice on what to serve, and if they’re gonna make you pay for canapés anyway, I’d go ahead and get canapés. What’s the harm?
Post # 8
If you can secure another caterer 4 months out then cancel your current one. They seem unreasonable making you pay for canapé you don’t want and not giving you a full tasting of what you’re serving. That’s not on to me.
Post # 9
I had to cancel my florist a few months ago, and now at four months out I am probably about to cancel my day-of coordinator because last week they suddenly told us they were going to cost over double the amount they originally quoted us. However, I’m looking into a couple other day-of coordinator options before I officially cancel with the first one. I will lose the deposit I already paid, but still will save money overall if I switch to someone else more reasonably priced.
Don’t hesitate to cancel if they aren’t meeting your needs. You may have to eat the deposit (although if there is no signed contract, then it’s more likely that you can get it refunded), but even still, getting what you want and peace of mind on your wedding day will be well worth it. Just make sure that you have a backup already in place before you officially cancel.
Post # 10
Yes I had to cancel my decor & florals vendor 7 weeks before my wedding. And find a brand new one. It was very stressful. We luckily got our deposit back and it was the best decision ever. Our new vendor was amazing and got our vision perfectly.
Post # 11
The canapés thing is odd – especially since those are usually labor intensive to make. Is there anything in your contract that says they’re mandatory or do you think they’re just trying to bully you into it?
Post # 12
There isn’t even a contract! (I know, I know I’m a moron!) hopefully that makes cancelling easier.
And we are adding several extra services that total like £900 so it’s not like cutting the canapés reduces the total amount and pushes it under a minimum, we are still adding more as extra than would be reduced from the canapés.
Its just more frustrating because they seemed so flexible at the beginning, telling us how the sample menu was just a guide etc but it really isn’t.
Post # 13
LilliV : yeah definitely not cancelling until I know what exactly I’m getting with someone else! I have found another caterer who are free and we’ve chatted on the phone today and it seems like a much better fit. They are going to send through a full quote soon so I can run the numbers and figure out if it is going to cost any more so switch at this stage and then I’ll know how much I want to switch.
I think even the fact that I’m getting another quote at this stage tells me I don’t really want the current caterer involved anymore.
Post # 14
I cancelled my photographer because she was not responding to any communications – we tried calling, texting, emailing, Facebook, everything we could, and it took about 2 months to get any response, which completely ignored what we’d asked. Our photography package included “unlimited pre wedding consultations” so I used the fact we weren’t getting what we paid for to get a refund, but I was so stressed that she had disappeared off the face of the earth that I’d have given it up.
We also cancelled the swing/jazz band and went for a ceilidh. With our contract, we lost the deposit but the cost of jazz band deposit and the ceilidh band was less than the total cost of the jazz band, so it was still a saving and the ceilidh was a big hit. I’m so glad we went for it.
I’d recommend getting your replacement vendor organised first – you may find the terms you’re unhappy with are standard for your town, or you may find other prices much higher/food not as good etc.