(Closed) Cancelling a Reception over 6 months away

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Do you have a wedding planner that may be able to negotiate with them?  Maybe you should talk to a lawyer about your options, perhaps he would have some suggestions to get the cancellation penatly lowered to a more reasonable amount.  I’m surprised the venue coordinator is enforcing the clause so strictly, considering six months is plenty of time to rebook – especially for a June wedding in a big city!

Post # 4
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

unfortunately, it sounds like your contract locked you in for that amount. since most venues book a year or more in advance, 6 months notice isn’t a whole lot of time for them to find another wedding reception, which is why they’re charging you so much. in other words, they probably already turned other brides away for that date, and those brides have booked elsewhere.

i’m so sorry about your fi’s dad!

Post # 5
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I just had a thought, but maybe you won’t like it… if you can’t get out of it, maybe you can have your small ceremnony in California with just a nice dinner with your guests afterwards, and then a larger reception at your original venue for the people who won’t be coming to the smaller one?  It’s true that those people won’t be able to witness the ceremony, but they will enjoy the party and being part of your marriage – and at least you won’t be spending money on the venue for nothing.

Post # 7
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

What I’m about to say is not legal advice, and I don’t know all of the details or the laws of your state. But I can’t imagine that you would be obligated to pay 60% of the food and beverage minimum when they are not being asked to prepare any food or beverages for you, so their damages are necessarily going to be reduced. Keeping your entire deposit as damages would be unkind, but fair. Asking you to pay another $6,000 is probably not within their rights. I would cancel immediately (before the six months) and sort out the details later.

ETA: Just because your contract says a certain thing doesn’t necessarily mean you will be held to exactly that. Some unscrupulous companies will write very draconian cancellation clauses that will scare people into paying a lot of money or not cancelling, when those clauses might not be enforceable, either at all, or as written. If they try to make you pay more money than the $1,000 (your deposit is probably gone), I would consult a lawyer.

Post # 8
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i think this is pretty standard stuff.  just like an apartment lease.  you break the lease, you are obligated to pay all the rent that would have been collected if you stayed the entire year, unless there is a cancellation clause.  your cancellation clause is 60% instead of 100%.  that $1000 deposit was just a deposit, and likely non-refundable.  they dont have to give you any of that $1000k back.  i would try to negotiate this with them nicely…maybe tell them how sick your Father-In-Law is, maybe cry a little… because you are definitely on the hook for the 60% of food + bev min, not 60% of the non-refundable deposit. 

Post # 10
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Would you consider going down there just the two of you and your own parents, to be married in a small church or even at a courthouse with just the two of you and both your parents?  You can still have your wedding and grand reception as planned in your own town the following week, and that way you don’t have to pay the costs of flying so many guests down there with you.

You could do a small “vow renewal” sort of ceremony for show before the reception.  Just make sure that all of your guests understand that it is not the real deal.  Typically a “fake” ceremony might annoy some people, but I think this is a special situation and most will be okay with it, and even think it’s nice.  I know that many of your guests will be disappointed at not being there for the ceremony, but I’m sure they’d understand your situation.  This is probably what I would do.

Post # 12
Member
14496 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Can you sell the date?  Or, find someone to take your date?  Most venues will give you your money back as long as they get another booking.  Maybe you could try posting it on CL.

Post # 14
Member
299 posts
Helper bee

For that amount of money, I think I would consult an attorney.  If the contract is as vague as you have indicated, it might not be enforceable to the amount that they desire.

Post # 15
Member
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We had a similar problem.  I booked a venue but a few months later I realized that I it wasn’t the best place for us.  We wanted something for our wedding and adding those things would have been too costly for us. So we had to find another venue with a caterer who could offer what we wanted at at cheaper price.

Like you our contract stated we had to pay a percentage of the total quote.  We honestly didn’t have that money.  Like you, we thought if we cancelled we would only lose our deposit.  We actually got some advice from a groomsmen’s mother who is a lawyer.  I can’t remember exactly what we wrote but we did it in a way to tell them that we can’t afford the additional cost.  We were apologetic to the venue. We thanked them for all the help that have done.  We didn’t want to piss them off, we just wanted them to know that we couldn’t pay them.  We sent the letter via certified mail so that we would have a record of us being nice and apologetic just in case the venue wanted to sue us to get the funds owed to them.  We were ready for the wedding venue to call us and demand the rest of the money from us.  Luckily, they never called us back.  They took our deposit and that was the end of it.  I was still on the look out a few months after that because if they were going to sue us, that it would take some time.

But like I said, nothing happened after that.  I may be one of the lucky ones.  The Darling Husband probably has the letter saved some where but I don’t have it.  If you really want to know what was written to our venue, PM me and I’ll see if I can find it.

Good luck. Sorry about your Future Father-In-Law.  Hope he’s getting better.

Post # 16
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I agree with others, you should consul a laywer and try to reason with the venue! At least try before deciding you don’t have a choice! Or perhaps you could try finding another bride yourself: on this board there might be brides srambling to try to find a venue in your town so late in the process!

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